Sacramento - Chicago Fire Pizza
I've now had both the deep dish and the stuffed pizza at Chicago Fire on J Street in Sacramento (the original is in Folsom but I haven't been there). The restaurant purports to be a tribute to places like Lou Malnatti's and Gino's East in Chicago but I'd have to say the pizza is better than those I have had at the originals in Chicago fairly recently. The Chicago pizzas were made and presented somewhat indifferently compared to the Sacramento version. The deep dish crust at Chicago Fire is made in a crisp but still moist style unlike the dry, crackery crust at Zachary's in the East Bay. Good balance of flavors and ingredients. Pretty much the best pan pizza I've had outside of Chicago except for a little brother and sister run place that existed in Berkeley about 20 years ago. Can't vouch for the thin crust. That's an entirely different product.
Maybe I'll try Zelda's for a comparison. Anyone had them both and have some comments?
I don't think anyplace in Sac could be quite like the craziness of Zachary's. Chicago Fire wasn't too crowded when I was there but it was early. I noticed that some people had to wait for a table even though there were plenty of empty seats. I think they weren't fully staffed yet. I got my pizza to go, actually and drove it all the way to the Bay Area. It was still quite warm and when I got home and the crust held up well. They seem to do a lot of takeout business. Nice bar too.
If Chicago Fire is anything like the Folsom location then I think it is pretty awful pizza. I win their pizza all the time and have tried it all. Not good if you ask me. the toppings are canned (or seem so) and the only thing they ahve goig for themselves is the crust.
compared to Zeldas it is like night and day. Zeldas is one the great pies in the city.
But myself, I like Romas. True NY Style pizza. So many toppings you have to eat it with a fork. The crust is always just the right amount of charred and the sausage is really great.
Luigis is great too. Anotehr NY Style pizza. Old school.
As long as I live, I will not get the love for CFP. I have been many times. many times. And I don't like it. The crsut is great but the pizza itself is nothing.
Everything else is great there, especially the salads. But the pizza is lacking.
I have asked people in and around Folsom if they have had a real Chicago pizza and they all say that Chicago Fire is authentic and reminds them of the pizza they got in Chicago.
So, I am not familiar with Chicago pizza and this might be a true representation of Chicago pizza, I don't know.
But as a pizza, I don't like it.
We haven't tried Chicago Fire--the wait was too long the night we went (decided on Thai Basil that night)--but we have been to Zeldas. It was ok. Nothing spectacular, though I know people that love it. I prefer a pan pizza over chicago style though
We went to Chicago Fire Pizza for the first time yesterday. We all three agreed the stuffed and Chicago style were there were the best pizza in Sacramento - and perhaps better than Lou Malnatti's - but we had that shipped to us frozen, so we are not experts. LOVED CFP. Been to Zelda's, but the staff there have quite the attitude and a lesser pizza. The wait staff at CFP were excellent and the pizza was supreme - that crust was to die for on both the Stuffed and Chicago style. Thin crust was just OK up against the over- the- top Chicago and Stuffed pizzas. How do they make that delicious crust? And I swear, we are not a friend nor relation of anyone involved! We'll be back!
Zelda's and CF deep dish crust are pretty much the same, but Zelda's puts more cornmeal in theirs. I am partial to Zelda's, but CF comes in a very close second. Zelda's does not take credit or ATM cards - only cash, and their wait staff can be abrasive. Plus, Zelda's doesn't open till 5 on Saturdays. Its really a coin toss.