It is always a Chicago tourist’s duty to try deep dish pizza, so let’s just get this over with.
There were many choices for Chicago Deep Dish. While the best in the city remained debatable, I used my NSA keyword detection skills and the name Lou Malnati came up quite often at Chowhound. It also had a location in River North which was conveniently located near my hotel in downtown. Chowhounders advised that the pizza was prepared to order, so a 35 minutes wait was not unusual. Showing up early right when the restaurant opened was in order…
The Malnati Chicago Classic – Keeping in mind I got another tasting menu tonight, I got the 6″ personal. After a lengthy wait, my first impression was that it sure was thick, like a steak – use of a fork and knife would help here. The crust was flaky, crunchy but not overdone. Unlike other pizzas on the menu, this particular one came with their signature Buttercrust, and I could detect that strong hint of smoothing butter with every bite. The stuffing was cheesy and the fresh tomato sauce was cooked just right (not overcooked, unlike those street corner pizza places I frequent in downtown, but not under-cooked either, so the sauce was not runny). The whole thing wasn’t greasy at all. It wasn’t out of this world amazing, but I could say this thing was perfectly tuned. It was good, and I wasn’t disappointed with the 35 minutes wait.
To be honest, I had my doubts because it was also known that Chicago Deep Dish Pizza was a tourist thing, and you know how much I hate gimmicky things. But this wasn’t one of them. What I had was a decent, city signature dish that I wouldn’t mind coming back for more. Also…make sure you have the Buttercrust!