'Flavor Guides' on Serious Eats

LaRosa's: A Tradition Cincinnatians Should Not Be Proud Of

Serious Eats contributor Daniel Zemans, our man in Chicago, checks in with another piece of intel from the road, this time in Cincinnati. —The Mgmt. Photographs by Andrew Stamm LaRosa’s Pizzeria 417 Madison Road, Covington KY 41011 (map); 773-275-7080‎; larosas.com Pizza Style: Traditional (thin), hand-tossed (medium), and crispy pan (thick) Oven Type: Gas The Skinny: Popular Cincinnati chain's success is baffling, as this is just not good pizza Price: Large thin crust, one topping, $14.04; large focaccia-style pie, $17.14. As with religion and sports teams, I think it’s safe to say that most people are loyal to the type of... More

Paula & Monica's: When an Italian Beef Makes Love to a Pizza

Paula & Monica's 1518 W Chicago Avenue, Chicago IL 60622 (Armour Street/Greenview Avenue); 312-929-3615; paulaandmonicas.com The Skinny: Worthy newcomer with an unusual "Combo" hybrid pie that combines Italian beef and pizza Price: 10-inch Combo, $10; 14-inch Combo, $17 As happens every spring in the midst of the NBA, NHL, NCAA sports championship hoopla, mayors in every major city hunker down and waste public tax dollars trying to feed the PR machine with cheeky side bet offerings of their particular cities culinary offerings. Just before the Blackhawks–Canucks game, Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley promised Vancouver's mayor Red Hot Chicago hot... More

Stephen Starr's Philadelphia Pizzeria to Be 'Brooklyn-Style'

Radio station KYW uncovers some new details on Philadelphia restaurant mogul Stephen Starr's impending pizzeria: "I've been wanting to do pizza for a long time because I usually do things that I want. And I can't get really good pizza here in Philadelphia, so I'm just doing what I want to eat!"..."It's going to be real thin-crust, Brooklyn-style pizza, which you'd think is served here but it's not. Here it's just thick, doughy pizza. We're doing a lot of research on this." Tentative name: Pizza Select. Starr is shooting for a fall opening. [via The Illadelph]... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Top Pizzaiola: Top Chef's Stephanie Izard makes a pizza at Spacca Napoli. [via MenuPages Chicago] Obama's Fave Pizza from SF: Little Star's deep-dish was inspiration for St. Louis pizzeria that served prez's pizza dinner. [SF Chronicle] First-Rate Tosser: Profile on a Florida dough-thrower. [Orlando Sentinel] CHI - Gino's North: Daniel Zemans and his crew hit one of the Windy City's cheesy institutions. [Chicago Pizza Club] NYC - Openings: New Carroll Gardens wine bar with wood-fired pizza. [Eater] Philly - Rumor: Is restaurateur Stephen Starr gearing up to open a pizzeria at 2nd and Lombard? [Foobooz via Illadelph] SF -... More

Quote of the Day

"Hell, maybe we like Chicago a lot and wanna come back. The pizza's freakin' good." —Doc Rivers, Boston Celtics coach, after the Bulls beat the Celtics, 121-118 (two overtimes!)... More

Ian's Pizza: Built for Drunk College Students, But Good Enough for the Rest of Us

"Drunk customers would be far more likely to think that pizza toppings like mac and cheese are a good idea." Serious Eats contributor Daniel Zemans checks in with another piece of intel on the Windy City pizza scene. Daniel also blogs about Chicagoland pizza with his friends on the Chicago Pizza Club blog. —The Mgmt. Ian’s Pizza 3463 N. Clark Street, Chicago IL 60657 (map); 773-525-4580 Getting There: Red line to Addison, walk one block west and one block south; or Brown or Purple line to Belmont, walk 3 blocks north, including soft left onto Clark from Sheffield; or #22... More

Who Invented Deep-Dish Pizza? The World May Never Know

The Chicago Tribune carried a story yesterday about the quest to officially document who invented deep-dish pizza. Like many a culinary origin story, this one remains shrouded in mystery. The only paper trail indicates the pizza almost certainly came out of a 19th Century mansion built with lumber money at 29 E. Ohio St.—the restaurant now known as Pizzeria Uno. But the question of who exactly developed the concept remains a mystery despite the best efforts of the City of Chicago's official cultural historian. But after proving that deep-dish came from the original Pizzeria Uno location, the question is who... More

Awesome Assyrian Pizza in Chicago

"The lahmim beajin is not a study in confusion, rather an inspired flatbread that borrows the best of all cultures." If you’re hungry and you can’t choose between a hankering for a kabob, some French patisserie, or a pizza pie, you no longer have to. In Chicago, all you have to do is head over to Sahara Kabob, aka Big Buns and Pita (heh), for some lahmim beajin. Lahmim features finely ground, charcoal-roasted beef blanketed in a rusty rich tomato sauce studded with tomato, onion, parsley and aromatic sweet and hot spices like cumin and allspice nestled inside a buttery... More

Italian Superior Bakery

View Larger Map Each year in December, I drive around the city, buy up platters of some of my favorite eats and invite friends over for a holiday noshing party. This year I rounded up lumpia from Isla Filipina; Chinese soy garlic chicken wings, aka "Little Hotties," from Take Me Out, Let’s Eat Chinese; the undisputed deep-fried doughnut champion of the world, aka the apple fritter, from Old Fashioned Donuts; and a sheet pizza pie split into sausage and onion and fresh ricotta, basil, and tomato topped halves from Italian Superior Bakery. All these goodies are the best of the... More

Where the Obamas Eat Pizza

From the New York Times: A good place to experience Hyde Park’s cross-cultural vibe is 57th Street. There are tweedy academics rummaging through the dusty shelves at 57th Street Books (No. 1301; 773-684-1300; semcoop.booksense.com), and dapper African-American families sharing deep-dish pizzas at Medici on 57th (No. 1327; 773-667-7394; www.medici57.com). Indeed, Malia and Sasha Obama have held pizza parties at this popular Italian restaurant; just refer to the menu, where new “Obama Eats Here” T-shirts are on sale for $18.... More

Where to Go Obama Sightseeing in Illinois

While you still can, before the Obamas move to D.C., the Chicago Tribune lists places you might bump into the president-elect and family: "Medici on 57th Street in Chicago: Pick up your "Obama Eats Here" T-shirt and order a pizza." 1327 East 57th Street, Chicago IL 60637; 773-667-7394 (map)... More

Windy City Food Writer: 'Ed Levine Has a Blind Spot for Chicago Pizza'

Oh, snap. Michael Gebert, Chicago food writer and cofounder of LTHForum.com, is bitin' back at our man Ed Levine on his blog, Sky Full of Bacon: Ed Levine is a smart guy who loves New York pizza and food generally, and has a blog called Serious Eats which (MenuPages informs us) now intends to provide a guide to essential eating experiences in major cities. (You can see New York’s here.)The problem is, Ed Levine hates Chicago pizza. No, perhaps it would be fairer to say Ed Levine has a blind spot for Chicago pizza. As in, Ed Levine, looking... More

Is Chicago's La Madia a Pizzeria or Restaurant? Who Cares?

Jonathan Fox was the CFO at Maggiano's Little Italy when decided to go back into the kitchen. Trained at the Culinary Institute of America, he had previously spent time working in a variety of cuisines, including French, Greek, and New American. He did not have a professional background in pizza before opening La Madia last October, but you wouldn't know that after trying his pizzas. Fox did extensive research and travel, particularly in Italy, before opening La Madia, but he was surprisingly slow in answering when I asked what his favorite pizzerias were. He eventually settled on Da Michele in... More

Caffe Florian: A Tourist-Free Gem in Hyde Park, Chicago

Caffe Florian 1450 East 57th Street, Chicago IL 60637 (Hyde Park; map); 773-752-4100 Each year, nearly two million people visit the Museum of Science and Industry. And though I don’t have the numbers to back it up, I think it’s safe to say a significant number of those visitors decide to enjoy a Chicago-style pizza during their stay in my hometown. But I would guess that virtually none of the out-of-town visitors to the museum know that there is an outstanding pizzeria just a few blocks directly west of the museum. I grew up in Hyde Park, and Caffe... More

Chicago's Spacca Napoli: Good But Not Great

Spacca Napoli 1769 West Sunnyside, Chicago IL 60640 (map); 773-878-2420; spaccanapolipizzeria.com Pizza Style: Neapolitan, as verified by the VPN Oven Fuel Source: Wood, of course I wanted to love Spacca Napoli. I really did. Having taken massive amounts of grief for allegedly dissing deep dish Chicago pizza by characterizing it as "at best, a good casserole" in my book Pizza: Slice of Heaven, I was hoping to swoon over Jon Goldsmith's VPN-certified pizzeria in the Windy City and put Spacca Napoli in my pizza pantheon. The friend I met there, Andrew Huff, founder of Gaper's Block, compared Spacca Napoli... More

Events: Pizza Fest, Chicago

Pizza Fest: Features a variety of thin, deep-dish, and stuffed pies, plus live music and a "best pizza" contest with celebrity judges. June 21 to 22. 2400 North Racine Avenue, Chicago IL 60614 (map); 773-868-3010. Cost: $5... More

Help Wanted: Chicago Correspondent

Do you live in Chicago? Interested in blogging for Slice? We're looking for a pizza-mad Chicago correspondent to document the Windy City pizza scene. You should love pizza and know all the Chicago haunts—from the old standbys to the up-and-comers. From the tourist traps to hard-to-find hole-in-the-walls. And, oh, yeah: You should also be able to write and edit well. This is an ongoing assignment that would pay per post. Details after the jump.... More

Is Deep Dish Pizza Over in Chicago?

According to Chicago Tribune restaurant critic Phil Vettel, the Windy City's deep dish pizza mania may finally be on the wane. In other words, the tasty casserole that is deep dish is being shoved aside for more serious Neapolitan and Roman-inspired creations. Vettel cites the popularity of new thin-crusted pizzerias La Madia, Frankie's Fifth Floor Pizzeria, A Mano, and Pizzeria Via Stato. What do Slice readers, in Chicago or not, think of this heretical notion? As someone who practically needed police protection for suggesting in Slice of Heaven that at best Chicago pizza is a good casserole, I wholeheartedly welcome... More

National Coal-Oven Pizzeria Map Now Posted

I've been workin' in the coal mine, digging up some more coal-oven pizzerias to bring you. Although New York City and New Haven, Connecticut, are two of the most famous coal-oven towns, did you know there are coal joints in Florida; Philly; Chicago; Des Moines, Iowa; Dallas; and Scottsdale, Arizona? They're all on the Slice National Coal-Oven Pizza Map.... More

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