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Chicago style pizza in D.C.?

Leo in BR Aug 28, 2006 10:23 PM

Been craving it lately - none down here in Louisiana. Looking for good, gino's-style stuff. Yes, I've considered mailorder, but will be in D.C. around beginning of December - what a great time that would be for some freshly made deep-dish!

Anywhere in D.C. do that sort of thing? Thanks for any ideas.

  1. b
    baloo Sep 7, 2006 06:12 PM

    I agree with the Siena's recommendation. I am from Chicago and it is the closest thing to real Chicago deep dish I have found around DC. Make sure you ask for deep dish because their thin crust is not that special. The deep dish is stuffed and it's great even though there is no meat--you won't miss it. Their calzones are pretty good too.

    1. l
      laurentobias Sep 6, 2006 03:06 AM

      I miss Chicago pizza deeply (no pun intended), and the best I have found in DC is ordering directly from Gino's. It is shipped two-day mail on ice, and tastes as good as it did (well, almost) in the restaurant. Not cheap, but delicious. http://featuredfoods.com/cgi-local/So...

      1. i
        ImaginaryGirl Sep 6, 2006 02:41 AM

        The best is Siena's, just off Rockville Pike in Rockville. It is entirely kosher and dairy, so there is no meat to be found (though you can get fake sausage and pepperoni if you want). Definitely get the stuffed pizza. I lived in Chicago for 7 years and fell in love with Chicago pizza, and this is the closest I've found to the real deal in this area. The crust is perfect. (The owners are from Chicago, I believe.)

        1. k
          KOK Sep 1, 2006 01:03 PM

          Not sure if they're still there.

          Kevin

          http://www.marylandrestaurants.com/Me...

          1 Reply
          1. re: KOK
            s
            Steve Sep 1, 2006 04:07 PM

            Geppetto's is still there. But I've never been to the Maryland location.

          2. m
            mgelman Aug 31, 2006 07:56 PM

            Also, note that Giordano's and Edwardo's (and others in Chicago) do "stuffed" pizza, not just deep dish (Lou Malnati's does deep dish and not stuffed, I think). As far as I know in DC, Alberto's is the only stuffed pizza provider.

            (There was a Nancy's franchise in Rockville a few years ago, but it's gone now. Alberto's is take out only, and too far away for me, so I make my own now)

            Warthog's comments about the variations in what a "Chicago pizza" is are on the mark -- the definition varies depending on who you talk to.

            2 Replies
            1. re: mgelman
              f
              flavrmeistr Sep 1, 2006 12:20 AM

              What ever happened to Geppetto's? They had a killer deep-dish pie. I heard a rumor that there was still a Geppetto's somewhere in the Maryland suburbs.

              1. re: flavrmeistr
                w
                Warthog Sep 1, 2006 12:54 PM

                Geppetto's is one place that *did* have a very good Chicago-style pan pizza (in my opinion), but I only got to eat there once. The next time I went back to Georgetwon, they were gone. If there's another location somewhere, somebody please post!

            2. k
              KOK Aug 31, 2006 11:45 AM

              Per Tugboat's post on the Baltimore milkshake thread, good coddies can be had at Ye Olde Malt shop.

              Thanks,

              Kevin

              "And if you do get to the Malt Shop on Fort Ave. make room in your tummy for their coddies.

              They are REALLY good. Made by some local Nuns I think."

              Ye Olde Malt Shop
              635 E. Fort at Jackson Street.

              1 Reply
              1. re: KOK
                c
                charmedgirl Sep 2, 2006 05:31 AM

                As further illustration of Warthog's post, I was born and raised in Baltimore and had never heard of coddies. Google turned up this interesting article on the subject: http://www.citypaper.com/news/story.a...

                Looks like I have to make a trip to the Malt Shop, Faidley's, Miller's Cafe or Suburban House!

              2. w
                Warthog Aug 30, 2006 12:24 PM

                Depending on whether you believe the "Ike Sewell/Ric Riccardo as deep dish inventors" story, the first "Chicago Deep Dish pizza" dates back to 1943. It's entirely possible that others were also evolving something similar from the roots of thick crust "Sicilian" pizza. It's not a given, however, that everybody in Chicago instantly knew about it, or even knew about it within the 13 years between 1943 and 1956. I would imagine that the idea took time to gain popularity.

                Another factor is *where* in Chicago your mom lived. It's a big city, and it was probably far less common in that timeframe for people to eat out as often as we do now, or to travel as far to go to a pizza place. Your mother's ethnicity/national ancestry also plays into it. Chicago is even now a city of strong ethnic neighborhoods, and it's entirely possible for a person to know everything about the shops and restaurants that catered to, say, the Polish population, and know nothing about the places that a Serb (or German, or Italian, or Mexican, or...) would know about.

                I've lived in the Baltimore area for over 20 years, and I'd bet there are plenty of "Baltimore" things (food and otherwise) I still don't know about. As an example, I've *heard* about "coddies", but I've never actually seen one, let alone tasted one, and yet I'm told that they are quite popular in old-time Baltimore circles.

                To the OP, I'd say that one *may* find a passable deep dish pizza, but one will likely not find a classic Chicago style deep dish pizza. Even those that claim it (Armand's, Uno's, etc.) tend to serve a slimmed-down, "lighter" version than what one might remember from a Chicagoland upbringing. That said, the same trend seems to be happening (though much more slowly) in the old Chicago mainstays. Even in Chicago, many of the "name" places are serving a product that is not quite as hefty or artery-clogging as they used to be.

                While there are exceptions here and there across the country, where somebody who "gets it" puts out a decent deep dish pizza, for the most part, it's one of those dishes that is best experienced by going back to the original source.

                1. f
                  FoodGuy2 Aug 30, 2006 11:28 AM

                  My mother grew up in Chicago and lived there until she was 27 years old. She's told me on more than one occasion that she never saw deep dish pizza when she lived there. Now, she left Chicago in 1956 when she and my dad got married and moved to Washington. Is deep dish pizza a Chicago tradition that started sometime after 1956? My mom lived right in the city, not the suburbs, so surely she would have been aware of deep dish pizza if it were really popular in Chicago at that time.

                  1. d
                    DC Gal Aug 29, 2006 01:59 PM

                    What about Alberto's in Dupont Circle? It's close to Chicago style, I think. although not as deep dish as some of the others listed here, but I'd say a better choice. Check it out.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: DC Gal
                      s
                      Steve Aug 29, 2006 05:59 PM

                      I do not recommend the deep dish at Alberto's, although their thin pizza by the slice is very good for Washington.

                    2. o
                      ooroger Aug 29, 2006 02:51 AM

                      Not sure about DC, but in Northern Virginia I've been told about Armand's (various locations including one at Route 50 and Pershing) and a pizza restaurant on King Street in Old Town (the upstairs of which is a sports bar--the name escapes me).

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: ooroger
                        jrsmoltz Aug 29, 2006 03:32 AM

                        Yes, there are a few Armand's in DC too. They really aren't bad if you have a craving for the deep dish, but they aren't on the level with what you'll get in Chicago (but of course nothing outside of Chicago will). There's also an Uno's in Georgetown. I've had Unos in other cities and they're good enough to cure a craving too. I've always liked their spinoccoli pizza. I haven't tried the ones here so I can't vouch for the DC locations.

                        http://www.armandspizza.com/newsite/index.html
                        http://www.unos.com/location.html

                        1. re: jrsmoltz
                          monkeyrotica Aug 29, 2006 12:35 PM

                          I would recommend staying away from the Unos in DC. I've tried Georgetown (crowded, poor service) and Cleveland Park (crowded, poor service, and poor pizzas). The latter goes overboard on the butter spray. It's like eating bread soaked in butter with pizza toppings.

                          In DC there's an Armand's on Capitol Hill off Massachusetts Avenue near Union Station. They usually do an all-you-can-eat. Not the greatest Chicago pies, but they're not obscene butter mops either. There's a place in Old Town Alexandria called Bugsys that makes a decent Chicago pie.

                          http://washingtondc.menupages.com/res...

                          1. re: monkeyrotica
                            cheesepowder Aug 29, 2006 01:37 PM

                            The Uno's in Cleveland Park closed some time ago.

                            1. re: cheesepowder
                              monkeyrotica Aug 29, 2006 02:37 PM

                              Hmmm. I wonder why?

                            2. re: monkeyrotica
                              a
                              Adam23 Aug 30, 2006 05:47 PM

                              I'd give my vote to Bugsy's too in Old Town. I've always enjoyed their pizzas

                            3. re: jrsmoltz
                              Chocolatechipkt Sep 7, 2006 01:00 PM

                              The original Armand's is still on Wisconsin Ave. in the Tenley Circle area. I used to go there all the time when I was growing up.

                            4. re: ooroger
                              m
                              MikeR Aug 29, 2006 11:11 AM

                              I don't recall noticing that Armand's across from Fort Myer for a while. Are they still there? I used to go to one o Leesburg Pike near Skyline Plaza, but that became Tequila Sunrise.

                              Funny about Armand's. Whenever I saw an ad for them, it never mentioned the Virginia locations. While the logo and style of pizza was the same as the DC locations, I always wondered if there were two independent management companies.

                              1. re: MikeR
                                o
                                ooroger Aug 30, 2006 03:22 AM

                                yes; they're still there. I will try it some time soon, but as I just got back from Chicago and stuffed myself silly on Giordano's pizza, I probably need a break.

                              2. re: ooroger
                                t
                                tubman Aug 30, 2006 12:50 PM

                                Alexandria: Bugsy's, 111 King St. The pizza end of the business was operated as an Armand's franchise originally. They broke away from Armand's years ago, but the pizza is still PDG.

                                http://www.bugsyspizzarestaurantandsp...

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