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Monday, April 23, 2012

[Chicago] Giordano's Restaurant & Pizzeria

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135 East Lake Street
Chicago, U.S.A

A couple of weeks ago I went to the windy city of Chicago for the first time, and I must say I was pretty excited. Not only have I heard so much about the city itself, it meant that I could finally try the infamous Chicago deep dish pizza. And I did not waste time to cross that off the to-do list. The very first night we touched ground in Chicago, we headed to Giordano's Restaurant & Pizzeria (@GiordanosPizza) to give deep dish pizza a try! There were a couple other popular places that those more familiar with the city recommended for deep dish pizza (Lou Malnati's PizzeriaGino's East) but the general consensus seemed to favour Giordano's the most.

The story of Giordano's starts with two brothers Efren & Joseph Boglioren, who arrived in America during 1967 and found that the pizza being served was no where comparable to what their mother, Giordano could made back home in Italy. Determined to rectify this, they opened the very first Giordano's Restaurant & Pizzeria in 1974, to try to bring the best pizza to the city. Since then, there are 40 Giordano's locations in Illinois and Florida, with 14 of them being in Chicago.

Despite the many locations spread over the city, my friends and I had to hop to several until we found a table for 8 that didn't require waiting for over an hour. Because of this I ended up with a mish mash of pictures from multiple locations, sorry about that! But not to worry, the pizza speaks louder than anything at Giordano's.

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Giordano's Restaurant & Pizzeria

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Giordano's Bar

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Dining Room

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Replica Pizza

While we were waiting for a table, I spotted at the counter a replica/model pizza that shows you what the deep dish pie looks like on the inside. Never having had Chicago style deep dish pizza before, I was very intrigued and surprised. I always thought deep dish pizza just meant thicker crust and more dough. But it turns out Chicago deep dish pizza isn't "deep" in a sense that the dough is thicker, but more so it's deep like a pie. In fact, you can see from this picture that the crust is actually quite thin! It's the many layers of toppings and cheese that makes it thick.

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Anyways, looking at that replica made my stomach grumble, and it didn't help that the deep dish pizza takes 40 mins to prepare and cook. If you're impatient, they also have other items such as salad, pasta, and thin crust pizza. Watching everyone else get their food was like torture, but when it finally came, it was worth it!

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Large Special Deep Dish Pizza ($26.75) - Sausage, mushrooms, green peppers, onions

The large pizza is a 14" pie, and is recommended on the menu to serve 4-5 people. The 8 of us ordered 2 pizzas, and without any additional sides we were stuffed to the brim. These portions are no joke!

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The large pizza is cut into 8 slices that are seemingly manageable at first, until you start eating and realize how much substance there is to it. The crust is also notably different; it isn't the bread-like crust that you get at most chained pizza places but instead a crunchy flake pastry. The entire pie crust is filled with toppings, and all of the remaining space in between is smothered with melted cheese. If you've ever wanted to imitate those pizza commercials with the stringy cheese, this is the time to do it. So. Much.Cheese.

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It's a messy pie, and you'll begin to feel disgusting with cheese sweats after 2 slices, but it absolutely lived up to all the good praise. Would I eat it again? Yes. Oh, most-positively-definitely-yes. Maybe just not in the same day.....or make that the same week. Well done Mama Giordano!

Giordano's Pizza on Urbanspoon