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US Supreme Court: NY pizza infinitely better than Chicago

I am not joking, although ultra-conservative justice Antonin Scalia may have been. He recently gave an interview to California Lawyer, the magazine of the California Bar. One of his less important remarks (to us hounds) was that the Constitution allows discrimination against women, or any other group except African Americans.

That's pretty controversial for a lot of folks. But here is the really controversial item. He said that NY pizza is "infinitely better than Chicago pizza." Also: "You know these deep-dish pizzas — it's not pizza. . . . It's very good, but call it tomato pie or something."

Any Illinois lawyers want to comment?

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  1. I lived in Chicago (Irving Park/Lake Shore area) about a decade ago, for a year, and I absolutely loved the deep dish -- Lou Malnati's, Gino's East, Giordano's, even Uno (even though they put the cheese on top...) were all excellent. It's apples and oranges:

    - If you want a light meal you can take on the go, get NY style
    - If you like thick, rich sauce and a thick slice in more of a sit-down dinner feel, Chi-style is for you.

    Chicago-style flavor is a far more rich, robust slice. Cheese on the bottom, sauce on top. If you like rich tomato sauce and oregano, it is absolutely superior to NY style. NY style is more about the portability and the cheese.

    1. I rarely agree with the Justice but he is correct in this regard.

      He missed the other big issue (he was in California at the time) and should have also stated that many of the toppings that have been added to the pizza (i.e. pineapple, salads, and other fruits) should also convert the name from pizza to flatbread.


      2 Replies
      1. re: jfood

        I rarely disagree with Justice Scalia and I'm not about to start with his opinion on pizza. Perhaps ultra-liberal justice Bader-Ginsberg can issue the dissent.

        1. re: Perilagu Khan

          To be fair, you would think a Sicilian originalist would see the essential similarity between deep dish and pizza gain. I have to wonder how Justice Alito would render his verdict.

      2. I'm a Chicagoan - born and bred. While I understand how the monstrosities have become known as "Chicago Style," everyone I know from Chicago considers deep dish or stuffed pizza as tourist pies. Chicago "cracker style" thin crust has always been my preference, and also that of everyone I know. If you come to Chicago, and don't get one of the thin crust pizzas, you've missed out on a true slice of Chicago.

        5 Replies
        1. re: gordeaux

          I agree with the definition of pizza in Chicago. I lived in the Chicago area until after high school and ate nothing but thin cracker crust. I bounced around for the next 10 years, spening 7 years on the east coast (Philadelphia area, NYC area). Returned to Chicago and had my first deep dish. You can't really compare the pizza between Chicago and NY, or between any other cities because each location has put their own spin on the dish (be it pineapple/fruits/salads). They are totally different types of pizza and both have their merits. When I go to NYC, I have me a slice or five. When I go to Chicago, I'll have some pizza in some form (thick or thin). I simply embrace the pie and long for pizza from those locations that do it well.

          Now that I live in TN, I would kill for either type. Pizza, like most things we enjoy, are personal preferences.

            1. re: gordeaux

              Thank you for that (long time lthforum member; I hadn't read that thread yet). I forgot about Salerno's and that mushroom and sausage pizza just killed me! Now I'm homesick for Chicago pizza.....and I'd really love to go back to Burt's!

            2. re: gordeaux

              Thanks for this info. I didn't know any of this. I guess I just believed what I read in the papers about Chicago style pizza. If I ever get to Chicago I'll have to try "cracker style". Growing up in NY we had both thin crust Neopolitan style pizza and thick crust Sicilian style. Both are great!

            3. A close reading of the Articles of Confederation shows the Founding Fathers to be unanimous in their prayse of NY pizza.

              1. Bear in mind that Justice Scalia is from an immigrant Italian family, which may also contribute to his opinion on this matter.

                5 Replies
                1. re: Erika L

                  Let's hear from justice Sotomayor!!!!

                  1. re: Motosport

                    Yes. Justice Scalia went to Harvard so he is probably not familiar with New Haven, the pizza capital of this hemisphere. Justice Sotomayor was the editor of the Yale Law Review so she can probably correct the record. (And just as an afterthought, I lived in the Chicago area for 20 years and agree with gordeaux and Dee S's appraisal of their pizzas.)

                    1. re: DonShirer

                      jfood was a 2-year resident of Chicago and loves the Giordano pie , cannot stomach most of the rest, Lou M included.

                      That being said there was a small pizza place in a strip mall on 55th st that made incredible thin crust sausage pizza, top 3 in my life. then they cut into squares, whoa baby!!

                    2. re: Motosport

                      Growing up in the neighborhood of Ms Justice Sotomayor - it is thin crust!

                      The 2 pizzerias on Westchester Ave near Morrison at the time were in a war offering 10 cent slices & a free soda! If you wanted a sit-down - you went to Luna Rest. on the corner of Harrod & Westchester.

                      Deep dish - FEH!

                      1. re: Motosport

                        Then again, there was the White Castle on Bruckner Boulevard....

                    3. Absoluuuuutely. Fuhgeddaboudit!