ML - Michigan Avenue

2013 - Issue 8 - December

Michigan Avenue - Niche Media - Michigan Avenue magazine is a luxury lifestyle magazine centered around Chicago’s finest people, events, fashion, health & beauty, fine dining & more!

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Page 145 of 147

We're Numero Uno SEVENTY YEARS AFTER THE INVENTION OF DEEP-DISH, CHICAGO IS STILL FIGHTING FOR RESPECT IN THE WORLD OF PIZZA. BY PAIGE WISER Onward! 144 ILLUSTRATION BY DANNY O'LEARY T he Chicago vs. New York pizza debate started raging just as World War II was ending. Whose pizza is the best in the country? The battles have been savage. Brutal. And above all, greasy. But there's been a shocking development in the conflict. The pizza wars finally have a victor… and it's San Diego. That's according to a survey released from TripAdvisor, which ranked the city's pizza number one. New York ranked number four. Chicago didn't even make the Top 10. What? How? Huh? "The top US cities for pizza were determined by looking at the highest overall average rating of restaurants that serve pizza in each city," explains a spokeswoman for TripAdvisor, without any apparent shame. "Each city has a minimum of 50 eateries that serve pizza. Although Chicago wasn't in the Top 10, it was number 15 on the list." Well, thank you for that, TripAdvisor. But your methodology stinks. Your mob of crabby tourists has been reviewing pizza restaurants based on things like "value," "atmosphere," and "service," as if that has anything to do with quality pie. San Diego should have done the right thing and refused the honor, as when Ving Rhames gave his Golden Globe trophy to Jack Lemmon back in '98. You have not stayed classy, San Diego. You are perhaps best known as the Gateway to Tijuana. You are the home of former Mayor Bob Filner, who ruined a perfectly good sex scandal by being unattractive. Please, San Diego. As if. Tourists visit you for SeaWorld's turtle reef, not your regional pizza. Let's be real: When it comes to pizza, San Diego has a very nice climate. But the cheese gets even more tangled in this dispute: Everyone wants a slice of the supremacy pie. Why, for instance, is Pizza Today magazine published in Boston? And why, at the World Pizza Games in Las Vegas, is one of the strongest competitors from Finland? This is not a world war, after all, and the victor is simple to identify: Chicago makes the best pizza, period. And New York is the only city we will even deign to argue with. But it's just so easy to taunt their limp dough, that orange grease. The main selling point of New York pizza is that you can fold a slice. I suppose that way, the pizza can be consumed while elbowing passersby on the sidewalk. It's pizza for on-the-go rude people. Chicagoans have nothing against convenience. But in 1943, a higher form of pizza was invented at Pizzeria Uno. Some say it was founder Ike Sewell who pioneered the pie; others say it was original pizza chef Rudy Malnati. Either way, a Chicago-style slice of pizza is easily identifiable. The crust should be three inches thick and you should be able to taste an entire stick of butter in it. The cheese-tosausage ratio should make you tremble. And you should never, ever attempt to lift a slice without a trained technician present. In a recent issue of Bon Appétit, Illinois' Nick Offerman of Parks and Recreation sums up Chicago's dominance: "If properly dried and trimmed," he said, "New York-style pizza could be used to make a box for Chicago-style pizza." When it comes down to it, the truth is this: We're Chicago. We don't need affirmation. We don't need the opinions of drunken tourists, snobby critics, or people with ugly accents. Our pizza can beat up your pizza anytime, and everybody knows it. MA MICHIGANAVEMAG.COM 144_MA_BOB_GoldCoasting_Winter2014.indd 144 11/20/13 10:47 AM

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