The greatest tragedy of our time is the phrase, “authentic Chicago style.”
It’s thrown about willy-nilly by every crook with a hotdog or circle of dough.
I’ve put it to the test all over. Almost always, it’s resulted in grave disappointment and frustration.
I order $60 deep dish pizzas from Chicago’s Giordano’s or Lou Malnati’s. They’re shipped on dry ice to my doorstep. So, I’ve kept my pizza standards high but I keep an open mind too.
Humble Pie in Edmond was touted as the legit, Chicago-style pizza place of Oklahoma. I was skeptical.
There are two signs above the counter, “Authentic Chicago Style” and “Genuine New York Style.” These two things are sworn enemies. Any place claiming to have mastered both understands neither.
I ordered a “Chicago style” deep-dish pizza and paid roughly $25 for something just slightly larger than a traditional apple pie. It was carved into eight small slices about a third the size of a Giordano’s slice.
I was disappointed not only by the area of the slices but more by their depth. The bulk of each slice ran about a half inch deep. This is about the size of the layer of sausage you’d find spanning the entire bottom portion of a deep dish in Chicago. Otherwise though, the actual makeup of the pizza looked right.
The sauce was above the cheese, the cheese was white and dense, and the crust was flaky and crisp — and the exact color I’d hoped for.
The flavors of Humble Pie’s deep dish were on point. The cheese blend was worthy in taste and texture. Their signature sauce was delicious authentic. The crust tasted like it should but was unnecessarily thick for only holding up the wimpy mass of ingredients above, thus overwhelming the other flavors a bit.
I support the local efforts nevertheless. Humble Pie puts out a good pizza. “Authentic Chicago style?” No.
And any place that tries to convince the rest of the country that dainty things of limited depth are the style in Chicago, should have to answer for it.
To contact Jorge Krzyzaniak, email firstname.lastname@example.org