There was a recent spat on the Jon Stewart show about what sort of pizza style is the best. Stewart is in the midst of an erudite debate with Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel in which the highest levels of oratory and rhetoric are on display in their quest to determine which style of pizza is the best.
I do not suggest that I am at the same level of popularity as Stewart and Emanuel but I do have an opinion on pizza and I suspect that some of my loyal following might as well.
Now, there is much debate between the two great cities about the merits for and against the Deep Dish style for which Chicago is famous and the more traditional New York Style. Being from St. Louis I thought it might be fitting for me to at least introduce St. Louis style into the debate. To discuss the merits of the super-thin crust pizza that is a favorite here in my home town before moving on to the debate between the more well-known Chicago and New York styles.
With that in mind I think I can sum up St. Louis style in a single word. That word being abomination.
Thus unburdened I can now, in good conscience, move on to the more pressing matter of the debate between New York and Chicago.
We have a pizza place here in St. Louis that specializes in deep dish, Chicago Style, pizza. It is called Pi. It’s a fancy pizza to be certain. It’s popular, this is true. People flock to the restaurant and praise the pizza with all their heart.
I can distill my opinion into a few words. Better than St. Louis style … barely.
But for pizza? For real pizza? For tasty pizza? New York style is the only answer.
Now, a short trip down memory lane as I remember some of the best New York style pizza I’ve ever eaten.
In the Loop there was a place called Racanelli’s. It was owned and operated by a Yankees fan with a broad, and I mean thick, New York accent. They had a spinach slice that brought tears to my eyes. I used to ride my bike down to Forest Park, around a time or two, and then on my return trip home stop by to get a slice. I had dreams about those slices. The owner had no problem with St. Louis Cardinals fans but I would suggest not wearing a New York Mets cap in his presence. Sadly, they were bought out and went straight down hill. Sigh.
I flitted hither and yon for a few years trying Joanie’s Pizzeria, Sunflower’s, Dewey’s, and the not bad at all Whole Foods Pizza Pie but I did not find a good slice until wandering into a neighborhood joint, La Pizza, a few years back. It’s a shack, this much is true, but the slice is good.
Now, if Mr. Stewart wanted to invite me out to New York and show me a place or two he thinks might have a better slice, well, I would be willing to stray. I’ll wait by the phone.
Now, my loyal fans. I put the question to you. What’s your favorite slice? New York, Chicago, or the Lou!
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Go to Chicago and try some REAL Chicago pizza. Going to a chain and then comparing it to a mom and pop place is like comparing apples and oranges.