My favorite pizza is usually Neapolitan Style. Very thin crust and a cracker like crispness. But that’s not what Chicago Pizza is famous for. The big item is Stuffed Pizza with thick crust and a two inch tall wall of crust around the edge. Lots of gooey cheese and lots of options, each costing a couple of dollars, that can be added. I like sausage. While in Chicago recently, I tried two pizza restaurants. Allegretti’s Pizzeria & Ristorante and Giordano’s Pizza.
Stuffed Pizza is one of those foods that doesn’t translate well with a photo. The aroma, the mouth feel, and the amazing weight and density can’t be photographed. Once it is cut and a slice removed it tends to ooze and collapse a bit. Taking that piece out leaves long strings of white cheese. It is a bit of fun to eat.
Giordano’s is a chain of pizza joints. The atmosphere in the one I went to was your basic sports bar with a lot of TVs and posters for local teams and a long wooden bar. The stuffed pizza takes about 40 minutes to cook, seeing as it’s a very large bit of business. So we had the Lunch Special, which was two personal sized stuffed pizzas. Others around us had full sized versions. I posted a photo on Twitter and Giordano’s like it and gave me a giftcard. Always fun when something like that happens. The pizza was very good. The sausage had a nice flavor and there was a lot of it.
Allegretti’s was just a few blocks from the hotel and it was a hole in the wall kind of place. Wedged between a couple of small businesses that seem to change on a regular basis, we weren’t even sure that we could dine in, but found that we could. The dining room was small, the handful of tables covered with red checkered clothes, and the waitress an older woman who took her time in all that she did. This place also took 40 minutes to cook it’s Stuffed Pizza, but we had more time and ordered a large pizza. It looked a good deal like the ones from Giordano’s, but the flavor was a lot more intense. There was less sausage, so maybe I just tasted more sauce and less meat. The Wife liked Allegretti’s better than Giordano’s. I thought they were both great.
Of course, we only had the two stuffed pizzas in a city with a bazillion pizza joints, so I don’t know if these were the best or not. I do know they were damned good pizzas and I’m looking forwarding to cashing in that gift card next time I’m in Chicago.