Giordanos, as bad as I remembered
We had some out of town guests in for the weekend, and they insisted on "Chicago Style" pizza. They also said they wanted to go to the chain Giordanos(not the place I would have suggested, or style of pizza I would have suggested, but I went along with the plan. I would have taken them to Coalfire if it was my choice. We went to one of the many outlets of Giordanos in the suburbs, the Deep dish pizza with sausage, mushroom, onion, and green pepper was as bad as I remembered. The sauce was bad(too sweet), and the crust was not very good either(flavorless). I had 1/2 of one piece of the deep dish, and I was glad I got their Italian style sub sandwich, and a cup of Minestrone. We also ordered an extra large thin crust pizza with sausage, and peperoni(the style of pizza I like, but I do not like Giordanos version of thin crust either). With a group of ten only half the deep dish was finished, and about half of the thin crust. After dinner we discussed Giordanos, and the consensus was that it was not very good. I told them that to me "Chicago Style" pizza is what I grew up with, that being thin crust pizza with sausage and mushrooms from a local corner place, not a chain.
Wow, I just got back from vacation in Lake Buena Vista, FL where we saw a Giordano's and based on their reputation, decided to try it. Since there was six of us at the hotel we decided to try the deep dish and 2 thin crust for take out. Well needless to say 2 and a half pizzas went into the garbage. This without a doubt is the worst pizza any of us has ever tasted!!!
I've found huge differences in quality from each location that I've been to. I think I've been to about 10 different ones throughout my lifetime, and for the chain pizza joints, Giordano's is usually my favorite, ALTHOUGH, recently, I had a pretty good pie from a Lou Malnati's location in the NW burbs. But anyway, calling Giordano's my favorite of the chain joints really isn't saying much. Please do note though, that consistency is not their strong point from what I can tell, and some locations seem to churn out a decent product. I too, however, will always opt for my best local joints for a pie over the chain type places.
I am curious since Giordano's has so many locations, and some in Florida, if they make anything(dough, sauce, etc) on site, or if these things are all made at a central commisary, and shipped to the chain outlets. I would guess the latter.
As I mentioned above, I just wanted to be good host, and take them to the place they had heard good things about, or seen on t.v. Maybe next time I'll take the lead.
Giordano's has adopted a generic quality that is not a good representative of chicago pizza. The last time I ordered a stuffed pizza, the sausage reminded me of bits of "meat" that one might find on a Tombstone frozen pizza...little round balls of blech.
Their thin crust is just a step above grocery store frozen pizzas as well. For thin crusts, you can't beat your neighborhood joints. For thick, my heart/stomach belongs to Gulliver's.
I'm right with you about many of the local dives vs. the chains, and I can appreciate your preference for thin-crust pizza, but what is traditionally considered Chicago Style pizza is deep dish or stuffed, both invented here in Chicago (deep dish in the '40s and stuffed in the '70s). We have plenty of good thin-crust pizza, but it isn't usually considered "Chicago Style".
Not the final authority, by any means, Wikipedia is at least a consensus opinion http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chicago-....
BTW, while I love deep dish, the thin crust pizza that I grew up with at a local pizzaria still holds a special place in my heart ... er stomach.