I couldn’t leave Chicago without having some deep dish pizza. I’ve had some memorable deep dish pies before when I visited places like Gino’s East and Pizano’s a few years back, but this second time around had me doing a little research before my trip in order to find what people largely consider to be the best of the best. An episode of Food Wars brought me to Lou Malnati’s, the place that went head to head with Pizzeria Uno, the originator of the deep dish and won, which both impressed and enticed me.
Here is a bit of history between Lou Malnati’s and Pizzeria Uno; Uno opened in 1943 just two years before the end of World War II and contributed a big part in Chicago’s culture and history when Malnati and his father helped create the recipe for deep dish pizza. In 1971 Malnati decided to open his own restaurant, and eventually spanned 31 locations all over Chicago during the past 40 years.
To do it right, my girlfriend and I went to the original location in the northern suburb of Lincolnwood, now considered a Chicago landmark. The interior has low key lighting, as well as a full bar and twenty or so booths and tables. We sat down and were given menus and explained that the wait for the pizza would be about 25-30 minutes, which is usually the case for restaurants that serve deep dish pizza. Because of this we started off with the Malnati salad; a massive portion of lettuce, olives, mushrooms, salami and gorganzola and romano cheese, tossed with Lou’s famous dressing, a concoction derived from a pretty awesome mixture of Burgundy wine and red wine vinegar. The vinaigrette is quite sweet, however because of the cheese and saltiness of the salami, it tastes just perfect.
Then came our pizzas, “The Lou” and the “Malnati Chicago Classic,” and they’re also the two most popular choices. I first want to comment on the buttercrust, which was absolutely delicious and quite different than the crust on regular pies around America. The thing about the buttercrust is that not only is it ridiculously good, the flavor of the crust stands out amongst the other flavors from the sausage and tomato sauce in the Chicago Classic, as well as the spinach, mushrooms and tomatoes in “The Lou.” I preferred the “Chicago Classic” to “The Lou,” only because I loved the beautiful flavors from the sweet sausage that spans the entire pizza, together with the wonderful sauce it was truly a one of a kind pizza, even compared to other deep dish pies in Chicago.
My first visit to Lou Malnati’s has made me a life long fan. If you can’t make it out to Chicago but you live in the United States, then you’re able to order a frozen pie; they’ll ship their pizzas anywhere in America. Although I am sure their frozen pizza warms up just great, I say you still have to get down to Lou Malnati’s actual locations for a taste of their legendary pizza.
6649 North Lincoln Avenue, Lincolnwood IL 60712, T:(847) 673-0800
JarredReviews is my personal weblog. The opinions and experiences represent my own. If you read that I didn’t particularly enjoy a meal or restaurant, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t try it and see for yourself. Restaurants can have an off day, people make mistakes, we’re all human. My writing is mainly so that you can find out about great restaurants that you may have not heard about, and also to give you an idea of what I enjoyed that you can experience for yourself. Food reviewing is very subjective and you must take this into account and use your discretion when reading any review; If I have had a bad experience somewhere, do not let that stop you to try the restaurant for yourself.