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Chicago style pizza in MSP?

  • t

With the demise of Pizzeria Uno in Edina, I am having trouble locating any decent deep dish pizza in MSP. Wondering if anyone has any suggestions. I don't think Greenmill's version is very good. Is there any other options?

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  1. As a Chicago native, I think the Uno's franchises are an abomination on the Earth.

    Ahem. That said, the short answer is Rainbow. That is, Rainbow Foods carries Gino's East frozen pizzas. These are much closer to the real deal than the Uno's franchises (or the Uno's frozen pizzas). Home Run Inn pizzas (a Chicago thin-crust pie) are also becoming ubiquitous in Twin Cities freezers.

    Your other best (but more expensive) option is to order over the web from Lou Malnati's. They'll overnight you par-baked Malnati's pizzas, but you will pay for the privilege.

    I haven't found anything local that comes close to a true Chicago deep dish. Green Mill is probably the closest to a stuffed pizza, though the cup of room temperature sauce they give you to apply yourself is just odd.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Jordan

      I am not a Chicago native, but I love their pizza! It's funny, for the most part I agree that the Uno's restaurants are not that good (we have tried them in several states). Strangely, I found the one in Edina to be as close to the real deal as any (particularly the extra large Chicago classic - it seemed the bigger the pizza, the better it tasted. Anyway, I didn't realize that Rainbow carries Gino's East. I have heard of Home Run Inn pizza, but admit I am skeptical. Have you tried it? I know you can overnight the Lou Malnati's and the Giordano's pizza, but they won't ship sausage. Sigh...

      1. re: TDS1

        Yes, I like the Home Run Inn frozen pizzas quite a bit. (They're thin-crust, not pan or stuffed.) I would go with either the plain cheese or the sausage.

        1. re: TDS1

          another source for frozen gino's east pizza is cub (at least the cub in roseville). they usually only have a few but boy are they good! we like the sausage pizza. this from someone who usually prefers neopolitan style or very thin crust pizza. since i cook most evenings, it's a double treat to know all i have to do is fire up the oven and have a little taste of chicago.

          1. re: carolita

            oh darn. was just at the roseville cub for another frozen gino's east chicago pizza and none there. my produce mgr. friend checked it out for me and the distributor is no longer carrying. so i got the davanni's deep dish sausage and pepperoni. disappointment - oh so salty!

        2. re: Jordan

          The only problem with Lou Malnati's shipped pie is that when it arrives and you reheat it, the ingredients leak out liquid (I think the main culprit is the delicious sausage) and that sogs the end result. If I get it again, I will be the wiser and do some moisture absorption before heating.

          (um, thanks, Jordan).

          1. re: cheeseguysgirl

            >> The only problem with Lou Malnati's shipped pie is that when it arrives and you reheat it, the ingredients leak out liquid (I think the main culprit is the delicious sausage) and that sogs the end result. If I get it again, I will be the wiser and do some moisture absorption before heating.

            When ordered locally for carry-out or delivery, deep-dish has a tendency to get soggy when it's sliced. Many of us who live in Chicago have learned to specify our pizza UNsliced, and slice it at home. That may (or may not - ?) be the culprit on frozen deep-dish pizzas as well.

            Here are a few facts for deep-dish fans. Ike Sewell is generally credited as the founder of deep-dish pizza when he established Uno in 1943, although his wife was actually the owner of Uno and Due (opened 1955, a block away from Uno). When Ike died in 1990, she sold the restaurants and all rights to the company that went on to open franchise locations of Uno Chicago Grill, but the sale was accompanied by an agreement not to change the pizza recipe at the original locations of Uno and Due in downtown Chicago.

            In the early decades of Uno and Due, one of the principal characters there (variously mentioned as manager, bartender, etc) was Rudy Malnati Sr., whose sons worked with him in the restaurant for years. His son Lou went on to found his namesake chain with his first location in Lincolnwood in 1971; it now has 33 locations. His other son Rudy Jr. founded a Chicago-based chain called Pizano's in 1991; it now has 3 locations.

            I also see various mentions here of Giordano's. Giordano's specializes in double-crust "stuffed" pizza, which is somewhat different from the single-crust deep-dish served at Uno, Due, Malnati's, etc. The first place in Chicago to serve stuffed pizza was Nancy's, although Giordano's followed shortly thereafter, both in the early 1970s, and both based on recipes from family in the Torino (Turin) area of Italy. Other places serving stuffed pizza in Chicago include Edwardo's, Bacino's, and Carmen's.

            1. re: nsxtasy

              I love Giordano's and Gino's East.... tough call on which one I like better.

              1. re: danionavenue

                Tried the Gino's East (frozen) from a grocery store, and was impressed. It was very good for a store bought pizza. Can't compare to an actual pizza place in Chicago, but was fairly close to some of the better Chicago pizzas I've had in CA (Zachary's and Little Star).

        3. I'm no expert, but I like the Italian Pie Shoppe on Grand Avenue, in St. Paul (though I haven't yet been there since they relocated to their new spot just West of Snelling). http://www.italianpieshoppe.com/

          There's also Old Chicago in Har Mar in Roseville.

          ~TDQ

          6 Replies
          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I can't speak to the Italian Pie Shoppe, but Old Chicago's another chain, like Uno's, that is a pretty far cry from a real Chicago pan pizza.

            1. re: Jordan

              Ah that's too bad about Old Chicago. It did look sort of chain'ish, so I always avoided it, even though I was never really sure (the call of China Jen across the street is just too strong for me to waste my precious chow-time on a maybe chain.) But, you're right, now that I realize they're a chain, it was easy to find their website, where they list many, many locations:

              http://www.oldchicago.com/RockBottomW...

              ~TDQ

            2. re: The Dairy Queen

              My parents are Chicago natives and the Italian Pie Shoppe is pretty much the only place they'll get deep dish pizza. Green Mill also has it, though the wait is long...Pie Shoppe is definitely the way to go!

              1. re: chompchomp

                Which is better at the Italian Pie Shoppe - the deep dish or stuffed

              2. re: The Dairy Queen

                We used to go to the Italian pie shop a couple times a month, the pizza is great. But I'm not a big fan of their new location, it's too crowded if your party is larger than 2 on Fri and Sat. nights
                .
                In addition to their deep dish - the italian cheese fries are awesome - the kids love them. Or favorite pizza combination is their thin crust with pepperoni and banana peppers.

                Another great place for pizza in Saint Paul - Red Savoy's

              3. I don't hold myself up as an expert of authenticity either, but I think Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge on Lowry & Marshall in NE Minneapolis makes a delicious deep dish pizza.

                http://www.psychosuzis.com/

                1 Reply
                1. re: StPauliGirl

                  That place looks great! Thanks for pointing it out!!

                2. I live with a pizza fanatic and can honestly say I have never had a pizza in Minneapolis that is anything like Gino's East, Pizano's or Giordano's (places I consider to have the quintessential Chicago-style pizzas). For me, it's all about the polenta crust, the rolled layer of sausage, and the sauce on top and no place in the TC's has these as far as I've found.

                  Sadly, the closest is probably Old Chicago, but it's not that close and you can tell the crust was frozen and it's wheat flour. Suzy's pizza is good, but I know the shells come frozen there and the dish is not "deep" really.

                  I would follow Jordan's recommendation and have Gino's (they ship as well now) or Malnati's send you a frozen pie. Or lets start a petition to get Giordano's to open an outpost up here!

                  1. What about Fat Lorenzos? Cedar Ave I believe in SoMpls

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: dellwood ted

                      Ick. No. I don't understand why this place is popular.

                      1. re: Jordan

                        Thanks everyone for the suggestions. I will need to put the Italian Pie Shop and Psycho Suzi's Motor Lounge on my list to try!
                        Foureyes137, I am with you - I would love to have a Giordano's here. You would think it would do well at MOA or something.

                        1. re: Jordan

                          Amen. I live 5 blocks from Fat Lorenzo's. I tell people I live near there, and they usually trip over their tongues gushing how great Fat Lorenzo's is. After a few times trying it out, I haven't been back in over 2 years. (Except for their gelato....)

                          -----
                          Fat Lorenzos
                          5600 Cedar Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417

                          1. re: foreverhungry

                            I had the same experience when I lived in Diamond Lake. The place is always crowded, though -- I can't figure out why. The pizza is doughy and pedestrian, at best.

                            1. re: Jordan

                              Lots of folks seem to like thick doughy crust with lots of cheese. It seems the more cheese, the better the pizza, for some folks. I don't get it.

                              1. re: foreverhungry

                                Yup, and that's why everything on these forums or any forums shouldn't be taken as gospel. I love a greasy, gooey, cheesy pizza but that may not fit somebody else's mold of a good pie. That's why these pizza threads seem to go on forever. Everyone has a different opinion. That's what is so great about it all. Even if you don't get it, someone else does and will. To each their own.

                        2. re: dellwood ted

                          I really like Fat Lorenzo's pizzas, but they don't do deep dish or Chicago style.

                          1. re: Kilgore

                            another vote for the Italian Pie Shop

                            & their thin crust pizza is excellent as well.

                            The one on Grand Ave is now smaller than before. They do have takeout as well.

                            1. re: St Paul Susie

                              ***slightly off-topic alert***

                              hey i wanted to give all of you pizza lovers this great link to "the pizza project" below: these folks mapped independent MSP pizza places that deliver, and their delivery areas, in an effort to show that there is practically nowhere in MSP you can't get a non-chain pizza delivered to your home or workplace. it's got a lot of great indie pizza places that chowhounds might want to check out! note that places that only have carry-out pizza are not on the list.

                              http://www.metroiba.org/pizzaproject

                              1. re: soupkitten

                                Pretty cool. Next thing they need is a reverse lookup tool so that you could plug in an address and get a list of the places that deliver.

                        3. I heartily agree. I haven't been able to get an authentic Chciago Style Deep Dish pizza in Minneapolis for 20 years. Years ago, some may remember a pizza shop called MY PII pizza. They may have had more than one location but living in Edina at the time, I went often to the one in Golden Valley off what was then Hwy 12. The pizza was a traditional Chicago Style pie with the hand molded crust baked in the cast iron skillet/pan. It was approxiamtely 4" deep and had a layer of mozzerella, then the fresh chunks of tomatoe and spiced sausage intermixed. The place closed about 18 years ago and I haven't had a decent deep dish since. I've tried Green Mill, Uno, and the italian Pie Shoppe but they aren't even comparable. Let me know if you ever find one. If I had the guts, I would open a Pizza restauraunt here in MSP that would fill the void. I think there would be a market/demand for it!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Wingman3624

                            We had two Edwardo's locations and they closed a few years ago so, I don't know if I'd take that bet.

                          2. Nobody's mentioned Davanni's. I'm not an expert on Chicago deep dish but the construction is done right with the tomatoes on top. How does Davanni's deep dish compare? What areas is it lacking in? Is the crust wrong?

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: mnitchals

                              Davanni's uses a crust that is too thick and too heavy on ... something. I'm not sure what, but there's a distinctive buttery, fatty flavor to the crust that becomes overwhelming after a while. I find Davanni's palatable from time to time (especially their calzones), but it's not reminiscent of a Chicago deep dish pizza.

                            2. First, I gotta try Italian Pie Shoppe. I've lived within 2 miles of the place for 2 decades and never once eaten there. It's on the top of my list.

                              Second, for some heresy wrapped in a delicate and buttery crust of blasphemy ...

                              I spent a year in Champaign Urbana about 25 years ago. I tried and liked Papa Del's deep dish and Giordano's stuffed pies. I've been to Uno's original location and two Gino's locations in Chicago a number of times (never Lou Malnati's, I'll try that next trip).

                              I like deep dish pizza but I'm not religious about it. I save religion for BBQ.

                              If you don't compare it to the original, I didn't think the Uno's chains were too bad. I also enjoyed pizzas at the Edwardos when they opened here. I eat, but don't really like the deep dish at Green Mill, so that's why I suffered the Uno's & Edwardos Chain stuff...it wasn't as good as in Chicago, but it was certainly better than Green Mill. I even like Old Chicago's pizza more than I like Green Mill.

                              Like I said, I've got to get out and try Italian Pie Shoppe.

                              (For Neapolitan, I love Punch).

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                                I'm not enough of a Chicago-style pizza expert to comment on how closely it meets the ideal, but Italian Pie Shoppe's pizza is otherwise lovely. They made their own sauce--it's nice and tangy and still tastes of tomatoes. The deep dish crust is buttery and is simultaneously crisp and tender. And the restaurant is family owned. Overall, it's a nice experience. But, yeah, I don't know if it meets the ideal.

                                ~TDQ

                                1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                  i've had some really good pizza there, and some bad/unfortunate pizza. i gotta say, don't order broccoli on your pizza at the italian pie shoppe, unless you like steamed frozen veggies on an otherwise nice slice of pizza. growl. :(

                              2. Tried Italian Pie Shoppe on Grand last night for first time. It wins. Best Deep Dish in Twin Cities. Easily. Maybe not as good as some of the best from Chicago. But it's certainly better than Green Mill or Old Chicago.

                                1. It's not happening. No one in the Twin Cities can hit it right on crust, sauce and cheese. I'm a CHI No. Burbs native and when I make my quarterly return voyages, a decent pizza is the first thing on the list. Don't even bother getting a frozen pizza, even if it is shipped straight from Lou's of Gino's -- they don't compare when cooked in your own oven. When it comes to pizza in the cities, I just stick to what the cities does well -- neopolitan style at Pizza Nea (anyone else been getting bad pies at Punch lately?) and Frankie's in Bloomington is decent. A search for Chicago style here will only lead to disappointment.

                                  By the way, any other Chicago imports up here want to get a Portillo's going in the metro?

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: mplsmike

                                    Count me in for a Portillo's, a Malnati's, and an outpost of Max & Benny's.

                                    1. re: mplsmike

                                      I'm a suburban Chicago native transplanted here about 5 years ago. I've had to come to terms with the fact that food is a very regional thing in spite of our being only 5+ hours from the Chicago metro.

                                      Portillo's ranks as one of my top three I wish I could get here. Considering they have opened locations in Indy and other cities outside Chicago I often hope they would consider Minneapolis. Sadly though, I think this city just has no desire to embrace food that is different from what they know. As I write this I know I will be chastised by many locals who will be very defensive and that will serve to make my point.

                                      There are a couple one-off's that attempt on a very small scale to reproduce the typical Chicago hot dog/beef joints. A short list includes Uncle Frankie's and the two Chris n' Rob's locations, formerly Joey D's. Some how these locations have survived for a while, while other's who have tried similar menus have not. There was a Scala's beef location here for a very short time near Maple Grove, so short I never got a chance go try it. There was also a decent dog joint in Burnsville called Papa T's and it is gone too. Back to my point... I have stood near the counter waiting for my food at Uncle Frankie's and at Chris n' Robs several times to see what the locals order. I was shocked to see what happens to Chicago food when Minnesotan's order it. The Italian beef is often called spicy beef and is more often ordered smothered and covered in nacho cheese goo, something that would likely get you a food citation in the state of Illinois. I've even witnessed two people order a beef with BBQ sauce! I have only seen a couple people order a dog with anything other than ketchup only, much less the traditional drag it through the garden Chicago style dog. While this is not a statistically accurate survey I think the fact that you won’t see a drive-thru line around the bock at any of these locations like you would at all of the Portillo’s locations, there just doesn’t seem to be a demand or desire for true Chicago style food in this town.

                                      I agree with the other Chicago native posters in this thread, don’t waste your time trying to find a Chicago style pizza in this town. There are at least three styles of pizza Chicago is known well for and I have found only one representation I would remotely compare. If I am on the way home from the airport at the right time I will stop at Brianno’s in Eagan and grab a takeout pie that is a fairly close representation of what I would call a typical thin crust pizza, similar to Rosatti’s. They also have a decent Tiramisu that is homemade. If I happen to be flying home from Midway at the right time I have been known to hit the Giordano’s that is literally across the street from the airport and get a couple pizzas to take with me on the plane. They have them double wrapped and in the freezer ready to go. You can get in and out of there in less than 10 minutes. I have gotten some very odd looks walking trough MSP with Chicago pizza’s under my arm and that’s ok that they just don’t “get it”.

                                      -----
                                      Brianno's
                                      2280 Cliff Rd, Saint Paul, MN 55122

                                      1. re: Musky_Hunter

                                        Have you tried Randy's in Oakdale/Maplewood/N. St. Paul (not sure where it is, technically)?

                                        I've been to all the usual DT Chicago haunts; I'm not a Chicago native, but I've been there quite a few times. I was just there 3 weeks ago, in fact. Randy's is the best representation of CHI style I've found in MSP.

                                        If you don't want to commit to a whole pie, go during their lunch buffet (W-F). You can call ahead and request a specific pizza, and it will be there waiting for you.

                                        Believe me, it's worth a look...

                                    2. ok, now I'm depressed. I make an annual pilgrimage from Plymouth to Bloomington UNO's with my Happenings coupon for a deep dish fix, and just figured out they're closed. And yes, I remember MY PII - used to work next door to them on the old Hwy 12 - and totally loved their pizza. I have discovered Home Run Inn frozen pizza and enjoy that for a change. I haven't had a Green Mill deep dish for years. 28 years ago used to drive over to St. Paul for one of those. Maybe I need to try Marcello's deep dish again. Or better yet, a road trip to Lincoln. NE for Valentino's.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: husker

                                        I tried Frankie's Chicago pizza in New Hope last night. I tried the sausage stuffed crust version. I would rate it as average. My main criticism is the same for many of the deep dish style pizzas around here. The crust was very bready, and too thick, where as I prefer a more "flaky" style of deep dish crust. I imagine the deep deep crust would have been similar to the stuffed crust. So, on with the search.

                                      2. There is a new pizzaria in town. Tommy Chicago's in Mendota Heights. My family is 1/2 thin crust lover, 1/2 deep dish lover. We had a pizza party recently. The deep dish lovers really liked their deep dish pizza. They said it was just a little better than Green Mill, which they also like. We loved the thin crust, too. The place itself is a bit too preppy for me, but takeout works fine. Nice thing - you can preorder, which we did (we called at 1:30 to have pizza picked up at 6 - it was hot out of the oven!)

                                        1. Lorenzo's - terrible

                                          Uno's - was great in its day - but that was long before it came to Minnesota

                                          Punch - yuk

                                          Psycho Suzi's - I want to try it

                                          My Pii - was really good

                                          Green Mill - very good in its day - not good now

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. I'll have to give it a try, since good deep dish and chicago style are rare finds in the Twin Cities.

                                            They do have a website and their address is the following:
                                            5501 34th Avenue South
                                            Minneapolis, MN 55417

                                            It looks like it's in the Nokomis neighborhood near Al Vento

                                            -----
                                            Di Noko's Pizzeria
                                            5501 34th Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55417

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: GutGrease

                                              Close to 20 bucks for a 14" specialty pizza? Wow. Better be orgasmic.

                                              1. re: GutGrease

                                                My wife and I tried Di Noko's the other week. I couldn't convince her to go for the chicago style so we compromised on the regular/hand-tossed crust. It was a pretty good pizza. Also I'm not sure if it's standard, but while placing the order the owner gave us a $2-off coupon. He was also friendly when we picked up the pizza, so the overall experience was good. Now I just need to order the chicago style!

                                                1. re: GutGrease

                                                  Di Noko's has been my my to-try list ever since Heavy Table did a write up on them. Demerits to you GG for no deep dish review!

                                                  Green Mill started sucking to the point of being banned from my list about ten years ago. I haven't had decent deep dish since. Gotta try Italian Pie SHoppe now though.

                                              2. Green mill has the best deep dish pizza in MN.

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: danionavenue

                                                  I live near both Green Mill and Italian Pie Shoppe. I go with Italian Pie Shoppe, despite the way they spell shoppe because I like their deep dish pie more than the deep dish at Green Mill.

                                                  -----
                                                  Italian Pie Shoppe
                                                  7107 42nd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55427

                                                  1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                                                    Italian Pie Shoppe is also a small, family-owned enterprise (albeit with a few locations) and they make their own sauce from scratch, as well as some (maybe all, I'm not sure) of the sausage.

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    -----
                                                    Italian Pie Shoppe
                                                    7107 42nd Ave N, Minneapolis, MN 55427

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                                      Green Mill used to be small and very good. When restaurants turn into chains they "go bad".

                                                      1. re: sandylc

                                                        Perhaps I got into the Green Mill game late (8 years ago), but I've never had a good experience there.

                                                        On Chicago Deep Dish pizza, being from New Jersey, I didn't think I'd like it. I had two deep dishes in Chicago that were excellent - I was very pleasantly surprised. I've never seen anything close to that in MN. MN just isn't a pizza state. With one exception, in my opinion, there's only one style of pizza that MN excels in - Neapolitan, a la (in no particular order) Punch, Biga, Black Sheep, Lola. Looking for high quality Chicago or NY style in MN is like looking for a good burrito in Ireland.

                                                        For what it's worth, I don't think there's a relationship between "chain" and "bad", and "independent" and "good". There are plenty of independent places that are terrible, and plenty of chains - however one chooses to define that - that do a very good job. Don't ask me to name independent places that are terrible - there's too many to name. For examples of chains that do a very good job, see Capital Grille and Bonefish Grill. For downscale, see Pollo Campero on Robert Street, St. Paul.

                                                        -----
                                                        Capital Grille
                                                        801 Hennepin Avenue, Minneapolis, MN 55402

                                                        1. re: foreverhungry

                                                          I'm talking early eighties for good Green Mill. Although I do admit my tastes weren't quite as discerning back then. The choices were more sparse then as well.

                                                2. My Chicago favorite is Giordanos. The best deep dish Chicago style pizza I've had in MSP is Di Noko's. Di Noko's gets the cheese, sauce and sausage perfect and the crust is almost there. It has the right flavor & texture, Giordanos seems to fluff up a bit more and seems thicker, but it's been a few years since I've been to Chicago.

                                                  http://www.dinokos.com/

                                                  1. I moved to MSP about two years ago from Chicago and the short answer is "no."

                                                    For a bit of clarification, I would say that your "typical" Chicago pizza is tavern style thin crust cut into squares. I'm not sure when "deep dish" became the city pizza for Chicago (I'm guessing with the expansion of Uno chains) but I don't know many Chicagoans that often order out deep dish for pizza night.

                                                    Lake Harriet Pizza cuts theirs into squares and it's not bad but I think the sauce may be a bit spicy and off balance. My one go-to here was Frankie's Chicago style pizza in St. Louis Park off of Minnetonka and Texas. To me, it tasted like my local delivery thin crust I would order in Chicago. They have deep dish but I've never tried it. I guess I should but even in Chicago, I would eat deep dish about 2x per year. If that was the case I would order from Pequod's or head up to Burt's - the two best pizza places in Chicago-land for deep dish / pan pizza. Next would be Malnati's and the original Uno or Due. Then Gino's East. Just my $0.02.

                                                    Frankie's Pizza
                                                    8114 Minnetonka Boulevard, St. Louis Park, MN
                                                    http://frankiespizza.com/

                                                    3 Replies
                                                    1. re: tyrus

                                                      I think that Midwesterners (I've lived in Milwaukee and Minneapolis for equal halves of my life) generally think call any pizza "Chicago Style" if it's generally a deep dish pizza with crust/dough on the bottom, followed by toppings, and sauce on top. As a Chicagoan, I'm sure that you've been to Giordano's and Gino's East like the rest of us. Ninety percent of the folks that I know in Chicago seem to recommend them as the places to go for "Chicago Style." All of that said, I agree that it's more what Chicago is known for whereas the thin tavern pizza is much more prevalent.

                                                      I'll have to try Frankie's. I'm still a giant Di Nokos fan until somebody (maybe Frankie's) knocks them off the top of my Chicago style pizza list - which unfortunately is a tiny list

                                                      1. re: GutGrease

                                                        Next time you are in Chicago, you have to try Burt's. I was a Lou Malnati's devotee until I had Burt's. Nothing like it.

                                                        I've yet to find a suitable Chicago Deep Dish here in the Twin Cities, much like I've never found a great Italian Beef to match Johnnie's or Mr. Beef. Some things just don't travel as well I guess.

                                                        1. re: GutGrease

                                                          Good points. I guess I was speaking from the perspective that having lived in Chicago, I would say that tavern style pizza is much more prevalent than deep dish. I know most people associate deep dish with Chicago as it's pretty unique to the city. I'm always at odds when people ask, "you're from Chicago, what's your favorite deep dish." It's tough because I really like pizza but I don't really love deep dish (unless it's a craving from Burts or Pequods) and I don't know too many of my friends who do. I like it and have my preferences but it's never been a pizza night thing, rather a few times a year indulgence.

                                                          I get it, Chicago = deep dish but the fact that you can count on your hand the number of places that make a good one, with a metro area about 9 million people, Chicagoans are eating more than deep dish. Given the fact that most of these places are anchored in tourist areas says even more about it.

                                                          Hot dog stand on the other hand - there are plenty of them to go around.

                                                          I'll have to try Di Nokos. There's plenty of love from the local food media about them. I would say that Frankies' thin crust is a good rendition of a Rosati's style pizza but I havent' had the stuffed. If you do, let us know. Thanks...

                                                      2. We split some good info about making it yourself from this thread to Home Cooking so more home cooks would see it. Check it out here: http://www.chow.com/topics/861139

                                                        8 Replies
                                                        1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                          Bringing it back to local discussion - does anyone know whether 6-In-1 Tomatoes/Tomato Sauce are available locally in the Twin Cities?

                                                          1. re: bob s

                                                            Brand? I have never heard of such a thing.

                                                              1. re: mitch cumstein

                                                                These - http://www.escalon.net/products/6in1-...

                                                                I want to say that I saw them at Cub Foods but don't hold me to that.

                                                                1. re: tyrus

                                                                  Does anyone remember if there was a My Pi around here in the 80's?
                                                                  That was pretty solid representation...

                                                                  1. re: mitch cumstein

                                                                    Yes there was. Somewhere off France I believe. It was a pancake house during the day and My Pi in the evening. Awesome Chicago style deep dish pizza and so sad it is gone.

                                                                    1. re: mitch cumstein

                                                                      My Pi was around in the 70s and was in the strip of buildings on the north side of I-394 West of 100 in Golden Valley near where the Good Day Cafe is now. There have been several restaurants and bars at that site. So many I don't remember them, but I remember My PI.

                                                                    2. re: tyrus

                                                                      It's what tyrus has linked to (I think). Most of the threads I've seen here for making deep dish pizza suggest 6-In-1. I'll check out Cub sometime.

                                                              2. This might sound a little unorthodox, but here's what we occasionally do to approximate Chicago pizza in Minnesota:

                                                                Order one of the 5-meat or Chicago-style "stuffed" pizzas from Papa Murphy's (maybe with extra cheese). Bring it home and spread a thick layer of either some extra-chunky tomato sauce, or some crushed tomatoes over the top of the crust, and add a (fairly) large sprinkling of Italian herb mix - oregano, basil, fennel, rosemary, maybe some chopped garlic - and then bake it per the Papa Murphy's instructions. Sometimes I'll also brush the crust around the outside with butter or olive oil and a little more seasoning.

                                                                No, it's not Giordano's, or Gino's, or Lou's, but it's really not too bad in a pinch - especially here in the southern 'burbs, where there's really not a lot to choose from.

                                                                We moved here from Chicago almost 10 years ago, and have yet to find anything quite like Chicago pizza here in the Twin Cities. The closest approximation I've found to the _taste_ is the deep dish at Italian Pie Shoppe - if only it had the "heft" of a true Chicago pizza.

                                                                11 Replies
                                                                1. re: greghoffman

                                                                  Greg,

                                                                  Very cool pizza mod. Sounds good pretty good and I bet the price is quite reasonable. That is the nice thing about papa murphy's: you can add anything you want to the pizza before baking.

                                                                  DiNokos has pretty decent heft. Have you tried one yet?

                                                                    1. re: greghoffman

                                                                      Totally approved pizza add! Nice job

                                                                      1. re: Lincster

                                                                        Yeah - I was really surprised at how well it worked. We'd been here a few years, and hadn't been back to Chicago in awhile, and when I saw the pizza come out of Papa Murphy's it was just the first thing that popped into my head (the top just looked so dry and "lacking".

                                                                        And, as dalewest mentioned, it's tons cheaper than a Chicago pizza - the thing is _huge_, and in the $10-$15 range, depending on coupons/specials and toppings.

                                                                        I have not tried DiNiko's - I'll put it on the list. Luckily, we've also got a son heading down to college in the Chicago area this fall, so that'll require a few extra trips down there to buy him pizza.

                                                                        1. re: greghoffman

                                                                          DiNoko's deep dish is an absolute monster and well worth trying.

                                                                          1. re: BigE

                                                                            Yeah, I'm not exactly a dainty eater, and a DiNoko's pie served as two dinners and one lunch. The thing probably weighed a few pounds.

                                                                            1. re: wpodonnell

                                                                              If there red sauce was a little less sweet, they would be perfect. The cheese and sausage are great, the whole construction is legit. Just too sweet on the red sauce.

                                                                            2. re: BigE

                                                                              ....and the sweetness of the sauce is purely subjective, dependent on the eater's preference.

                                                                              The one thing that I've noticed over time since I've now gotten DiNoko's more times than I've got toes, is that there is a ton of cheese on that pie. I'm originally from Wisconsin so that doesn't scare me away, but when you eat a cold slice you really notice.

                                                                              As an aside, my personal preference for reheating these giant slices is to stick a slice(s) in the toaster oven on the rack. I turn the toast-browning dial to dark and hit the switch. After it's done "toasting" I let it sit in the toaster oven for another 5-10 minutes so it can slowly come to temperature. It tastes almost fresh.

                                                                              1. re: GutGrease

                                                                                IMHO the best way to reheat pizza is in a skillet. Put it on low-med about the same as you would make a grilled cheese, put the lid on it, and 10 minutes later you have reheated pizza with a crisp crust.

                                                                                1. re: ssioff

                                                                                  Bingo! I do that too....it has the added benefit of not drying out the toppings the way the oven does.

                                                                      2. I'm not sure that there is anything better than Di Noko's chicago-style pizza in the Twin Cities. It is by far more authentic than any Green Mill or Old Chicago chain pizza. The Italian Pie Shoppe's deep dish is pretty good but still not in my great category like Di Noko's.

                                                                        Has anyone tried Tommy Chicago's? Can anyone compare it to Di Noko's?

                                                                        1. Uno's and Malnati's are "inedible"? Well, that's certainly going to be a minority opinion!

                                                                          1. In the 80's there was a place in Minneapolis called Mario's. I loved their deep dish. They opened a place in St Paul, which was Gannon's and is now a Buca. LOVED it. Not sure what happened, one day we called for take out and they were both closed. That is the only deep dish I've had around here that was near Chicago deep dish.

                                                                            I recall My Pi only as a location. I know I ate there but no recollection of anything about it.

                                                                            There was also a place on campus called Perry's (NOT the current Perry's) that was the best pizza of any kind. Although it was discovered the same summer my friends and I discovered drugs so my memory of the place is slightly tainted.