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Deep dish pizza

We have lived near Lefty's in North Park for years. My husband is from Chicago and I lived in Chicago for 3 years. We used to like Lefty's, at least as an acceptable substitute for the real thing. Recently, though, we have been disappointed with one pizza after another. We compared notes and think it has to do with the tomatoes which seem to be canned without any flavoring and devoid of their own natural flavor. Today we were at Costco, and noticed, for the first time, a bake-at-home deep dish pizza next to the standard pizzas Costco has had for years. The deep dish pizza has pepperoni, sausage and olives and was about $9.95, about half the size of a Lefty's pizza and somewhat less than half the price (if I recall correctly). We just cooked and ate the pizza and greatly prefer it to Lefty's. It is still nowhere near our memories of Chicago deep dish but the crust was actually fabulous (if not quite authentic--actually fairly buttery), the tomato sauce was good and the toppings were fine. The cheese was the only ingredient which was just average.

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  1. We tried the Costco deep dish a few months ago,

    Not bad and could be 'doctored up' to be fairly good!

    Let it come to room temp before baking and use a pizza stone in the center of the oven.

    Forgot the recommended temp, but use a thermometer to check your oven...d;^)

    1. Since you're open to do-it-yourself, have you tried ordering/shipping from Lou Malnati's?

      1 Reply
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Yes, but cost is an issue in terms of doing that regularly, and, in general, we get the pizza "urge" on a spur-of-the-momennt basis. We have had Chicago friends bring back frozen deep dish pizzas on occasion.

      2. Berkeley Pizza is very good.

        539 Island Ave
        (between 5th Ave & 6th Ave)
        San Diego, CA 92101
        Neighborhoods: Gaslamp, East Village
        (619) 937-0808
        http://berkeleypizza.net

        I think they also sell take-and-bake deep dish pizzas at the Little Italy Farmer's Market on Saturday mornings -- at least they did the last time I was there.

        6 Replies
        1. re: bizzwriter

          +1 on Berkeley. My significant other, who's a Chicagoan and huge Giordano's fan (okay, she's from the Western suburbs), says Berkeley's is the closest to real deep dish pizza.

          1. re: bizzwriter

            To confirm an old "I think" statement, yes, Berkeley Pizza does sell take-and-bake pizzas at the Little Italy Farmers' Market. I'm not a huge fan of deep dish, but the DH is. Years ago, when we were dating, Chicago Brothers pizza was a regular stop. Anyway, I picked up a sausage pizza from the market on Saturday, baked it last night, and it was good. Okay, if you ask him, it was great, and he'd definitely love to have it again.

            1. re: phee

              I have given up on North County getting a decent deep dish. Since I drive up to visit mom in WLA, I found Union Pizza in Manhatten Beach to be quite reliable. They are on Rosecrans just west of the 405. I call ahead, and they do a half baked pizza that you can finish up at home. If I got a finished pizza, I would probably eat it on the way down, especially with the lousy traffic along the 405 in Seal Beach these days.

              1. re: littlestevie

                Kudos to you if you can finish a deep dish pizza while in the car! The one from Berkeley definitely required a knife and fork.

                1. re: phee

                  I could do it!

                  Of course, I'd need to have the front seats and dashboard professionally cleaned.

                  But I could do it!

                  1. re: phee

                    With the speeds on the southbound 405 on Saturday afternoon, I could pull out a knife and fork. Plus if I finish my pizza by Beach Bvld., I can go to Whipp'd and wash the pizza down with a Dole Whip.

            2. I have not seen the deep dish at my Costco but haven't really looked.
              Sounds good and I'll gussy it up with more cheese.

              1. Whole Foods has a extra thick sliced deep dish pizza ready to heat & eat on the spot.

                A meal in itself!