No visit to Chicago would be complete without a meal at an authentic Chicago style pizza restaurant, and this trip was no different. Yesterday evening we stopped in at Lou Malnati's Merchandise Mart location to get our fill. As you might suspect, Saturday is a pretty busy evening in downtown Chicago, so we had to put our name in and wait at the bar next door for a little while. At least we had anticipated the wait, and the drinks were a good warm-up for an evening out.
The company and the food was excellent, but the decision to visit that particular chain wasn't the easiest. Ask any group of Chicagoans what the best Chicago style pizza place is and you'll likely get a 45/45 split between Giordano's, Lou Malnati's, and a few other lesser-known places. Our group was no different. This particular trip, the Giordano's contingent made the sacrifice and agreed to go to Lou's. The meal was good, but the visit certainly didn't change my mind.
There's just something about the taste of Giordano's that takes me back to that apartment on Sheffield Avenue, that first winter in the city. Giordano's was the target of my near-weekly attempt at the coupon scam, where you order a pizza for delivery claiming to have a coupon for an incredible deal and hoping they never actually ask to see it. Sometimes it worked,sometimes it didn't. Whether or not I ended up paying full price, I came away with a large Giordano's special (sausage, mushroom, peppers and onions) a quarter of which was eaten immediately and the rest doled out over the course of the week. Even now that buttery crust reminds me of sitting in the living room watching 24 and waiting for the ring of the doorbell.
In my nearly two years in Chicago, I had more than my share of different takes on "Chicago style pizza," and Giordano's is the one I settled on pretty quickly as my preference. Have an opinion on the matter? Are you a Lou's fan, or did I miss another contender altogether?