- 1 month ago
- 2 months ago
- 3 months ago
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I spent a total of two days in Chicago last month and managed to visit 19 pizzerias. It was my first time in Chicago since 2003. I’m not a big fan of restaurant reviews, so think of these more as abbreviated recollections of my experiences at each place. I might do more in-depth reports later but people ask me about pizza in Chicago so often I just want to use this as a quick reference guide. It’s split into two parts because Chicago pizza is too massive to fit into one post. Description first, photo below. Enjoy!
I hate to start this way, but Uno was the worst deep-dish I tried in Chicago. We ordered the Chicago classic onions-peppers-mushrooms-sausage-pepperoni (someone referred to it as “sticking to basics” — WHAT?!?!) and it was a soppy mess. You can see the runoff in the photo. Veggies were basically raw because they’re topped toward the end of the 45+ minute bake. I don’t need to ever go back.
As its name suggests, Pizzeria Due is the second location of the more familiar Pizzeria Uno. They’re located a block away from each other. Even though the managers claim the pizza is identical, my experience found otherwise. I tried them both back-to-back and liked everything about Pizzeria Due MORE than Pizzeria Uno. If you’re on a Chicago pizza pilgrimage you’ll have to go to both, but save more room for Due. It’s a serious deep-dish pizza.
This was the first pizza I had on this trip and I was really jazzed up when I got there but I still think it would have been my favorite pizza in Chicago even if I tried it last. I know what you’re thinking, this is basically a New York coal oven pizza and NOT a typical Chicago style pizza. You are correct, and maybe that’s why I loved it. But it’s in Chicago so it belongs on this list. It’s a domed wood-burning oven but they keep a mountain of bituminous coal piled into the back of the oven for that dry heat. We use anthracite in NYC but Chicago doesn’t have easy access so they go with the lighter coal with more moisture content by default. Great crunchy-yet relenting crust paired with creamy fresh mozzarella, a sharp sauce and post-oven basil.
Good looking pizza in Chicago!Source: scottspizzatours
- 5 months ago
- 5 months ago
PTK has come to a slow stop for now while we start on a new adventure. We just signed a lease for our new restaurant on Fulton St. in Clinton Hill and we need some help to get the oven built.
We have all kinds of goodies and prizes for our sponsors!
Here is the link: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1408468291/build-matts-oven?ref=live
I tweaked the recipe to incorporated slightly more yeast and a longer, cooler proof time. The results not only tasted great, but it got the cornicione I was looking for. %70 hydration. Bob’s Red Mill organic AP.
My mixer is my hands
Bonus: Last weeks dough turned into focaccia
Closer look at those beautiful Long Island tomatoes
First up: Classic Margherita with fresh mozzarella and globe basil and oregano from the garden. Dough was still a little cold at this point so I let it sit for another 15 minutes.
White! Although the crust says otherwise.
Burrata make everything special. Red pie photobomb up top.
The crust puffed up nice and has baby leopards on it. Tasted great but next time I am going to try to incorporate some rye into the flour to see what happens.
- 6 months ago
After a hard day of pizza making I enjoy keeping the oven hot and charing a few skirt steaks. I marinated them in fish sauce, mint, garlic, sesame oil and sake. This made a vaguely nondescript suburban white guy asian taste that we all love so much. During the grilling I added plenty of mesquite chips for an “o’so smokey” flavor.
No caption needed
Not quite done
Mesquite doing what it does best
Every skirt steak meal needs a toppings bar. Lettuce cups, fresh herbs, and pickled carrot slaw.
R: spicy peanut sauce
L: soy ginger scallion
Top: fish sauce mint pesto
- 7 months ago
After a short break filled with some loss and some gain PTK has re-fired the oven. I made a focaccia out of old pizza dough in an overpriced italian range. I didn’t take any after pictures because it wasn’t that great. I did however test out a new dough with some successful results.
Maker of overpriced Italian oven
R: Sun Dried Tomato with Oregano
Here is the dough I have been using since the start of PTK. It has the taste I am looking for but none of the airiness. Pizza topped with burrata and globe basil from the garden.
This test dough from a new recipe has some of the puffy qualities I am looking for but not the taste.
Why is this young “Pizza the Hut” smiling? Because he may have figured out what the dough problem is…
- 7 months ago
I know what you are thinking. Lame blog has a build up for gluttony in the previous post and does not deliver. Hopefully this post will satiate your food porn needs.
It’s no secret that I like to light fires and cook over them. So why not cook burgers in the radient heat of the oven. I soaked some mesquite pieces in water and threw them on the fire. Smokey!
Wiped down the cast iron plate with oil. Rag caught on fire!
Buns are waiting for a deposit.
2oz burger balls sizzle on the plate. Our meat came from Cow Palace.
Pizza Monster Burger Monster applies the onions.
Smash the the onions into the meat.
Let cook and steam for awhile
Cheese it. I always use American cheese on my burger. I like Applegate Farms for its flavor and processed meltability.
These are ready
Martin’s Potato Rolls for the guys and lettuce cups for the ladies. Homemade pickle and homemade aioli on top.
And for dessert: S’mores!
4th of July is one of those occasions that can only be truly celebrated by lighting fires, getting drunk and eating tremendous amounts of food. Luckily, I was up to the task to make all three happen.
The dough is getting better as I tweak the recipe. Spots and char are forming nicely and the oven is cooperating with me.
Let’s do this thing
Better Champ! Right: Consigliere head bombing the photo.
Margherita with buratta and lemon basil. Artistically topped herb oil.
Marg with American buffalo mozzarella. The American version is less watery and more tangy. Honey bear is watching over.
The whitest of pies with herbs from the garden.
Action shot! Vermont Smoked and Cured pepperoni cups, honey drizzling and…
So much spicy oil!
Why is this post called pizza edition? Burger edition is up next.
- 8 months ago
After getting the opening day kinks out I was ready to hit the oven hard. The crust is still a work in progress at this point, but it is getting closer.
Marinara to start off the day classy
Me topping with Dales Pale Ale to my right
Onion, Burrata, Spicy oil, Honey
Let’s get closer
Here is an beautiful and interesting combo of Chicken sausage, Onion, Burrata, Chive flower
INSTAGRAMED!!!! Next time I will chop the flowers for easier eating
This pie is the winner of the day
Fresh sausage, Peppers, Buratta, Thyme flowers
I love you flowers!
- 8 months ago
Here is the continuation of the much anticipated “First Day pt. 1”
First pie out of the oven
Still got some work to do figuring out the oven, but not too bad
Like in Times Square, I charged everyone for a photo with me and the pizza
Pizza monster attack! Notice how the jaw unhinges
A quick dough lesson for everyone
Pizza of the day: Onion, Pepperoni, Burrata, Honey, Homemade spicy oil
Pizza over, but still more work to do for tomorrow
Now the day is over
- 8 months ago
It’s about time the pizza action gets started. For my first run I did a no knead recipe with AP flour with around 70 percent hydration.
Dough balls waiting to be made into something worthwhie
Cute oven getting to temp
The glass of beer is essential to my pizza setup
First dough stretched, sauced, cheesed, oiled (Olave from Chile)
And away we go! Emily watching intently
Yes, I wear Vibram shoes, but I refere to them as “Feeties”