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In Search of a True Deep Dish Pizza

On Monday, the wife, kid, and I went to a restaurant named "Twins" here in Erie. They're well known for their "broasted" chicken and, on Mondays, they had wings for $0.25.

While flipping through the menu, I saw something I last had almost a decade ago: a true deep-dish Chicago-style pizza. The menu promised that the pizza weighed almost four pounds. The waitress assured us it was good. I began salivating helplessly.

We ordered the wings and made plans to order a pizza as soon as possible, lest we forget. Tonight was that night… and man were we disappointed.

Not a deep-dish Chicago pizza:
Not a Chicago Pizza

The pizza we got barely had any thickness to it at all. It had a metric ton of cheese, but the crust was thinner than a slice of bread. The sauce was spicy (as in hot sauce spicy) and the pepperoni was good, but this was decidedly NOT a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza.

I've been to Chicago one time, for several days, in order to attend a college newspaper conference. I ate seven non-lunch meals in Chicago, and each of them was a deep-dish pizza at a different spot in Chicago. They were all basically the same: for $20, you'd buy a small or medium pizza. It would be about two inches thick and one slice was more than enough to fill you up. That one pizza would feed four to eight people. Not only was the bread thick, but the toppings - meat and cheese - were layered and thick as well. You ate with a fork not because you were uncool, but because you had to. These beasts were almost more a casserole than a pizza.

Why can't I find a good deep-dish pizza outside of Chicago? It seems like something enough people would be interested in that it would be worthwhile for someone - specifically a non-chain (Pizza Hut, Papa John's, etc.) small family restaurant to get into the game. It could be their hit item.

Incidentally, the picture in the menu was exactly how I remember a deep-dish pizza. Twins must have copied the image from someone else and not taken a photograph of one of their own disappointingly thin pizzas.

9 Responses to "In Search of a True Deep Dish Pizza"

  1. Might I suggest 🙂 Best pizza in Chicago, IMHO.

  2. Giordanos is fine, as is Gino's East. But for the really good stuff, check out Lou Malantis. You can get them shipped to you frozen and you pop them in the oven.

  3. I wonder if they even gave you the right pizza? That's almost fraud.

    Anyway, BJ's has some nice thick truly deep dish pizzas.

    It's a chain but it looks like there aren't any in PA. Lots here in California.

  4. I feel your pain, when I was in the windy city I stopped at a place called Graziano's, the pizza was excellent. Twins is great for the chicken, I haven't found a good pizza joint yet, seems like a lot of places use a prebaked pizza crust....ughhh.

  5. We lived in Chicago for a year at Loyola U on the north side and had a Giordano's within walking distance. Man it was great.

    We thought about having one shipped from there, but couldn't justify the cost.

    Can't find anything like it in Ohio, which truly stinks.

    We bought a deep dish pan and make our own, stuffed like Giordano's. There are some really good recipes online.

    Trust me it's the only way in our region.

  6. You can get a good deep dish at Steveo's on State St. I like it deep.

    Best Regards,
    Pensblog Charlie

  7. Only real Chicago-style pizza I've seen outside of the Windy City is here in Detroit at a chain called Pizza Papalis. It really is more of a casserole than a pizza. They do one with spinach and sausage that's like a pizza/lasagna love child.

    But yeah, pretty much anyplace else that advertises Chicago-style deep dish pizza is setting you up for failure.

  8. Well if you live in southern ohio there are quite a few pizzeria unos or if you live in eastern ohio there are a few in pensylvania practically on the ohio penn border.

  9. [quote comment="56370"]Well if you live in southern ohio there are quite a few pizzeria unos or if you live in eastern ohio there are a few in pensylvania practically on the ohio penn border.[/quote]

    There don't seem to be any east of Columbus. I live in Erie.