Deep Dish Pizza: The Pride Of Chicago

Pizza of the week: Lou Malnati's "The Lou"

A few words before I get into this awesome pie: For the 15 years that I've lived in Chicago, I've loved telling people that I hate Chicago-Style pizza.

Well, that's kind of a lie. The fact is I don't hate it at all. I just don't always feel like a whopping, half-pound slab of molten goop when I'm in the mood for a slice of "pizza." Is Chicago-style deep dish really pizza? I'm not sure. It's built from the same basics—crust, sauce, and cheese. But the proportions and order in which they are arranged are so completely different that, to me, it's a different animal. Whatever. It's considered pizza here, so who am I to argue?

I can get a near perfect Neapolitan or an almost-authentic New York slice very easily. (Chicago is a pretty big city. We have choices!) But when I am in the mood for Chicago-style "pizza," I learned long ago that, like any other type of pizza, there are good ones and bad ones. A very, very good one can be had at Lou Malnati's. It might not be as famous as Uno's, Due's or Gino's East but with a slightly sweet tomato sauce and an impossibly buttery and flakey crust, it blows the big names away. I always go for "The Lou" which uses that buttery crust as a base for loads of fresh mushrooms, spinach, and sliced tomatoes. The veggies are then buried under a blend of mozzarella, Romano, and cheddar. Then there's that sweet tomato sauce on top. I may not consider it pizza, but it's definitely awesome!

Still not sold on Chicago-style? That doesn't mean you should rule out Lou's. They also make a killer thin pizza with that same crispy, buttery crust.

Lou Malnati's has dozens of locations in and around Chicago.

What's your favorite Chicago-style pizza? Sound off in the comments.