Lefty's (deep dish) wasn't that great
From the best hamburger thread, Josh recommended eight joints, I chose the Linkery (why isn't cost ever mentioned in any thread?) but I found out the burgers cost $13+--so my pals agreed fuck that! We headed towards Bronx Pizza but found Lefty's Chicago Pizzeria along the way and tried it out. The cost was agreeable: ~$20 for a 16'' deep dish specialty pie, but the quality was ordinary. The crust was thick and crispy and the cheese was plentiful but the meat was hamburger patty. So the experience was okay and recommendable but not superb. How could some of you say it is the best deep dish in the city?
Sorry for not warning about the cost. Linkery has great food, but it don't come cheap. It's always a good idea to mention before-hand if you're price sensitve, because otherwise you'll see some pretty expensive recommendations on here.
I'm a little surprised at your description of the pizza at Lefty's though. I just bought a pie there last week and was quite happy with it. Not sure what topping you got that would be hamburger patty meat, though. I had mine w/ sausage (which they make in-house), roasted red bell pepper, and spicy giardinara and it was great.
I think for most people, the measure of a good deep dish pizza is going to be things like the crust, sauce, and cheese. By that standard, I can't think of another deep dish in town that even comes close. Usually, on the deep dish pizzas, the crust is bready and not crisp (at least in my experience).
Is there another deep dish you've had in SD that you think is better?
$13 might seem like a lot, but the best things in life aren't necessarily cheap. Their products are high quality and locally sourced, which ads quite a bit to the cost. For a more affordable burger experience - try Hodad's, Tioli's Crazy Burger or Rocky's.
I unfortunately have to agree with the opinion that Lefty's is not very good. I went in last night and ordered a sausage pie. I had I hopes for the place, but really can't find a reason to ever go back. It's basically a slab of thick dough, lots of cheese and bland sauce. The "homemade" sausage really didn't mean much because it had no taste or spice to it. I understand there's really no other deep dish places around (outside of Uno's), so it's hard to criticize. The only positive thing to remember was that their fries were surprisingly good, althought a bit on the saltier side. So the search continues..
I wonder if there's been a change in their kitchen staff. While I wouldn't describe the sausage as spicy (in the sense of jalapenos), I'd never thought it flavorless. It's always tasted very much like a pork-based sweet Italian sausage. The same deal with the sauce: not spicy, but very tomatoey with large chunks of tomatoes and just enough to know that it's there but not too much on the pie. I wonder if they've become a victim of their own success? I'll have to go back one of these days and see what's happened.
Having eaten there probably over a dozen times, there have been visits where the pizza was noticeably less good than others. I usually get the by-the-slice options as opposed to whole pies, and there were a couple of times where the dough seemed to be too thick, which made the slices kind of bready and underdone tasting. However, on my first few visits the pizza was always good, so I am more willing to give the benefit of the doubt.
I think it's hard to judge places based on a single visit. Any place can have an off night, and I think it's somewhat hasty to conclude that a place "is not very good" based on a single sampling. Of course, I am guilty of doing this same thing, as there are many places I've gone once, had a bad experience, and not bothered going back. With so many choices out there, why risk a second bad meal?
The OP seems like sacrilege to me. Leftie's serves deep dish especially stuffed pizza in the Chicago style while Bronx serves thing crisp pizza in the New York style. They're two different animals. I see you tried the deep dish when you should have waited the 45 minutes (just drink a few pitchers of beer while you wait) and gone for the real deal stuffed pizza. That is what the place is famous for. Bronx does a great job on New York style pie but that is so different it is hard to compare the two.
If you're interested in good pizza in San Diego which serves a more traditional west coast style pie then try Woodstocks in the SDSU area. I first got turned on to Woodstocks when I was living in Santa Barbara and was relieved to find that one of their few other locations was in San Diego (they open them near large universities specializing in really good pizza sold for a reasonable price).