Once you get to Chicago, one of the first things people will tell you about the city is that their Pizza is the best. Chicago deep dish pizza was made famous by Uno Pizzeria. One can get the franchised offerings all through the US and in the airports when travelling, but I personally have not been impressed by the pizza I have had in the franchises. The first thing is that because of the guidebooks talking about the pizza, there is always a lineup there. Today, we decided that we would do the tourist thing in Chicago and eat at Uno’s. So off we went in the rain, thankfully there was a nice Bloomingdale’s across the street, so we were able to kill some time there while waiting.
BTW If you take a tour on any of the trolley tours, you will think that everything was invented in Chicago. For example, we heard that Saganaki was invented in Chicago. Personally, I couldn’t care less about who invented a pile of steaming Greek Cheese cheese, but I was surprised to hear that they invented it; of course I had to check this fact out and this was what I found:
“Saganaki is a cheese-based Greek appetizer. The original Greek version is typically fried. The cheese is typically made from sheep milk, of the Kefalograviera or Kasseri varieties. Delicious regional variations include the use of Formaella cheese in Arachova and Halloumi cheese in Cyprus.
In the United States, saganaki is presented differently. After being fried, the cheese is usually covered with Brandy extract, and set aflame at the table when served (typically with a shout of “Opa”). The cheese is then extinguished with the juice of a fresh-squeezed lemon, and sometimes served with pita bread. The invention of the “Flaming Saganaki” is usually attributed to Chicago restaurateur Chris Liakouras.”
Now back to Uno’s…. its Deep Dish Pizza was pretty decent. While the menu had a number of items, but we just went with the Numero Uno (Numero Uno with Mozzarella, chunky tomato, sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions & peppers.) for one person each. I got my Numero Uno without cheese, while D* got a regular Numero Uno. When they say 45 mins for a pizza, they really mean it, but it was more like an hour or so to get something to eat.
You can see how thick the crust is. Personally I found the crust to be quick Biscuity and not like real pizza. I guess I still like Italian thin crust pizza for me. The thick crust is meant to fill the consumer and it does do that.
My pizza does look good here in the dim light of the pizzeria. My view though is I find it profoundly sad that visitors to Chicago might go to Pizzeria Uno and think that they’ve had the quintessential Chicago dining experience. They claim to have invented Chicago-style pizza, but they may well have the worst interpretation of it in the city these days. The crust was crumbly and sweet, almost like a graham cracker pie crust. The sauce was alright, but not great. The wait was excruciating (ok, I admit, any wait for food is excruciating for me) and the bill was high. (Almost 40$ although the house white wine was 12$ which was great value)