Like all great cities should, Chicago has a collection of dishes that were invented within its borders and that you can't get anywhere else. I decided to create this list to help keep track of them all.
'stuffed crust' on Serious Eats
Stuffed crust pizza gets a bad rap, but divided into its parts—bread and cheese—why, it's easy to get on board with that. And we all love pizza, so why would we hate on cheese-stuffed bread attached to our slice? Admittedly, chains dominate the stuffed crust scene, but does that mean it can't ever be legit?
Pizza Hut has expanded its hot dog stuffed-crust pizza, first popularized in outlets throughout Asia, to the UK. I can't imagine that Americans would tolerate this sort of repurposing of one of our culinary national treasures. Exploring that theory a little further, I asked our resident hot dog expert Hawk Krall if he had ever eaten or spied any pizza-themed hot dogs.
Even the most diehard haters among you have to admit that a crust stuffed with cheese is pretty brilliant. No? Don't lie to me, people. I can see into your greasy souls. It's bread. Stuffed with cheese. Attached to PIZZA. You can grumble about execution, ingredients, flavor, etc., etc., but you've gotta admit that the idea itself is awesome. So what if we were to try to make it at home?
I think I kinda vaguely remember this commercial for Pizza Hut's stuffed-crust pizza. I mean, it sort of rings a bell. But as a Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings fan* I think I also blocked it out as being too traumatic. If you are a fan of Willie and/or Waylon, do not watch this.
* "Luckenbach, Texas" is probably in my top 8 songs of all time.
Giordano's flagship restaurant might be loaded with tourists, but residents all over the Chicagoland area keep dozens of other locations busy. There's a thin crust on the menu, but there's really no reason to get it when a wonderfully gluttonous pizza is calling out your name.
Pizza Hut introduced their new Ultimate Stuffed Crust pizza on Sunday. For $12.99 you get a 14'' pie with pepperoni, sausage, bacon and cheese inside the crust. We gave it a try so you don't have to.
What really stood out at Salvatore's is this intense stuffed pizza filled with meatballs and broccoli rabe. Fresh out of the gas oven, the crust was super crisp and golden brown (on both sides) and a perfect ratio of sauce to cheese and filling.
Here at Slice, we're looking for the best pizzas everywhere. This week, we've got recommendations for slices and pies in the Chicago area. Don't worry, the rest of Illinois is coming soon! Here's my guide to the city's best.