Whether you love it or hate it, deep dish pizza has become an iconic food of Chicago. There are several restaurants in the city specializing in it and they all claim to be the best, but I decided to try the most popular local chain, Lou Malnati’s. Lou Malnati’s Pizzerias have stayed true to the original Chicago-style deep dish pizza recipe that Grandpa Malnati helped create in 1943 at Chicago’s first deep dish pizzeria. Both tourists and locals swear by it. As much as I love New York-style pizza, I had to try it!
I walked in to a small crowd and gave my name to the hostess. She took my phone number and informed me that it would be around 20 minutes. You can place your order at the other counter so they can begin to prepare your pizza while you wait. Pizzas can take up to 30 minutes. About 10 minutes later I received a text that my table was ready and was led to a small booth upstairs.
I was pretty much set. The waiter went over my order, a small Malnati Chicago Classic. Yep. Any appetizers or salads? Nah, I’m just here for the pizza.
The Malnati Chicago Classic is made with Lou’s lean sausage, some extra cheese, and vine-ripened tomato sauce on their signature Buttercrust.™ Now the personal size seemed like the appropriate portion for myself, but if you want your pizza to come in that greasy deep dish pan, go with the small.
I waited and waited. It seemed much longer than it probably was because I was pretty hungry. After about 20 minutes and seeing others’ pizzas pass right by me, mine finally arrived!
They serve up your first slice and leave the rest up to you.
You’ll need your fork and knife for this one. It’s weird, I know, but that’s how it’s done around here.
The chunky tomato sauce and lean sausage were mild in flavor, but still good. Chunks of sausage was evenly spread throughout. There was a decent amount of cheese and the crust held up well. You know what? I actually liked it. Not bad at all. I only wished it was hotter, it was served lukewarm. Oh and that flaky buttery crust was pretty good too.
Obviously, deep dish pizza is very filling. One slice feels like meal, but I had no problem having a second one. I ordered a Goose Island Green Line to wash it all down.
The pizza was good and I was stuffed. As popular as Lou’s has become (they ship their pizzas all over the world), they still manage to serve up a satisfying meal. I only had a chance to try one place for deep dish pizza and I’m glad I went to Lou Malnati’s.
Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria
439 N Wells Street
Chicago, IL 60654