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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Taste Chicago

Let me digress from my blog for a minute and talk about a place that is not a pizzeria. Though it does have pizza, deep dish and sicilian style.
In Burbank is a genuine Chicago style food eatery. Owned by some celebrities, Joe Mantegna and wife Arlene. I wouldn't call it just a pizza place, because it has so much more. People pack this place in for everything from hotdogs, sausages and ribs to stuffed shells and meatballs. I went in at 11:30 and there were already a couple tables filled, by 12 this place didn't have one table open. I then knew that people had a special spot in their heart for this place.
Speaking of hearts, they have a Sicilian heart-shaped pizza, how awesome is that!
Now I have never been to Chicago and really know nothing about their food. So I can't really tell you much. But it seems to me that the signature thing here, that people come from all over to get, are the sandwiches. The warm roast beef or the Italian sausage sandwich which both come with hot or sweet peppers and are dripping with wet flavorful juices. They are amazing. On another day in the morning I ate the sweet peppers and egg sandwich. Which was also delicious. It was loaded with the biggest slices of peppers I've seen, mixed with the egg and all on a big, soft doughy roll.

Now to the pizza. The first time around I got a slice of the thick Sicilian pizza. It was 4.35 for a slice, which defeats the purpose of ordering it. Like a po' boy, it is supposed to be good food for cheap. However, the size of this pizza slice was gargantuan, so maybe they make up for it.
Again, I don't know how they do it in Chicago, and I am really not all that familiar with Sicilian slices. To me this pizza wasn't your proper Sicilian slice. The crust was thicker in girth but not as thick as I have usually seen. The dough was a thicker cake like consistency, very buttery and flakey on the outside. Very similar in fact to what they use for their deep dish style crust. The sauce and cheese were put on heavy and were pretty low grade tasting, especially the cheese. I ate it but I would not get it again. This slice worried me about getting the Deep Dish.
The next time I went back though, my worries had been forgotten and I bellied up and ordered the deep dish. Between the other 3 people I was with, we ordered a lot of food, so we just got the plain cheese deep dish pizza. It is expensive, 23 dollars for what is about, I'd say a 16 inch pizza, but of course it's much thicker that a NY style pizza. Right away I was disappointed. I could see there was very little sauce on the pizza, especially compared to the several pounds of cheese. The sauce was lightly spread out over top of the cheese but not under it. The crust was the same as the Sicilian slice, as I figured it'd be. It had high edges from the deep pan it was in but the crust itself was only a half inch thick at most. The cheese dominated everything. When you pulled out a slice from the whole pie, the excess cheese from the slices next to it ran down like molten lava into the empty space, connecting in the middle and filling the space completely to form a whole new slice, made completely of cheese. It was NOT a pretty sight. I like cheese as I have said many times, I like a generous amount. But this cheese was not of high quality, it did not have good flavor, and there was just not nearly enough tomato sauce to give a proper balance. I managed to shove two thick cheese slices into my stomach, one more and I would have been the first person to overdose on cheese. Two slices just put me in a cheese coma. It really was just a gross amount of cheese. The pizza came down to just eating plain bread with plain cheese. There was not enough sauce to really even talk about. It was unappetizing, uninspiring, and really just inedible.
I don't know what good deep dish pizza is but I hope to God this wasn't it, otherwise Chicago is living in a fantasy world if they think their style of pizza is better than the thin crust.
The rest of the food seems pretty great though, and if you like Chicago food, I would urge you to try it out, get the sausage or the beef, order two of them, you will love it.
Just, for the love of God do not eat the deep dish pizza, unless you want to have a heart attack on the worst meal of your life.
603 North Hollywood Way Burbank 91505
Price: $

Taste Chicago on Urbanspoon


  1. bookmarked your blog, keep posting good stuff

  2. I agree with you regarding the deep dish pizza. I've had it twice & both times I'm thinking, "What the fuck is this?" 3 inch think crush?! Its near impossible to have a balanced bite when the crust completely dominates the mixture of crust, sauce, cheese & toppings.


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