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Lone Star Rooster

Chicago style deep-dish pizza in Houston?

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My wife and I are going crazy trying to find a place to get a good, authentic Chicago style deep-dish pizza in Houston. Any suggestions?

I know what you're thinking already. "Star Pizza is known for their Chicago style." Nope. I like Star Pizza just fine, and while their self-proclaimed "Chicago style deep dish pizza" tastes OK, it's NOT the real deal. Neither is Candalari's. They're both just a thick-crust pan pizza, pretty much the same thing you could get at Domino's or Papa John's, with a little bit of sauce thrown on top. Please note: I'm not saying that Domino's or Papa John's is necessarily as good as Star Pizza, just saying that Star's authenticity is lacking to me.

For those of you from Chicago, or who visit there often, I'm talking about the kind of pizza you get at Gino's East (deep dish), or Giordano's or Nancy's (which is stuffed deep dish, which includes a thin layer of crust on top right below the sauce). Mangia Pizza in Austin also has an authentic Chicago style deep-dish stuffed pizza, which is well worth the weekend drive.

Here's a link to a page on the Mangia website, where you can see clearly what we're looking for:

http://www.mangiapizza.com/4/Menu.html

As you can see, unlike what you get at Star, the crust on an authentic Chicago style isn't necessarily all that thick--there's just a lot of stuff piled on there. I think most pizzas like this are actually baked in cake pans.

So, is there anyplace in or around Houston to get something like this? Or are my wife and I going to have to learn to make this ourselves? Any suggestions would be most appreciated!

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We used to have Pizzeria UNO (Now UNO Chicago Diner), but that's gone.

You could write to them and ask them to come back to Houston...

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Mangina delivers nationwide via fedex. hope this helps some.

i wouldn't eat at any place called mangina. sounds NASTY.

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i wouldn't eat at any place called mangina. sounds NASTY.

Huh huh. Of course, that should be Mangia -- Italian for "eat."

I might just have to order up the FedEx from Austin...

Edited by Lone Star Rooster

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You can have Lou Malnati's FedEx you some pizza. I've been doing it since 1994. Wherever I live across the country I'm always able to get Malnati's.

The pizza travels surprisingly well. It's the same Malnati pizza packs you get from Peapod. Just put them in the oven and follow the directions and it tastes and feels exactly like the real thing. The sausage is the best.

I think the number is 800-LOUS-TO-GO, but you can also order on the internet.

They'll also ship Eli's cheesecake, Carson's ribs, Vienna Beef, and other Chicago staples, but I haven't tried them long-distance, so I don't know how good those come through the mail.

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You can have Lou Malnati's FedEx you some pizza. I've been doing it since 1994. Wherever I live across the country I'm always able to get Malnati's.

The pizza travels surprisingly well. It's the same Malnati pizza packs you get from Peapod. Just put them in the oven and follow the directions and it tastes and feels exactly like the real thing. The sausage is the best.

I think the number is 800-LOUS-TO-GO, but you can also order on the internet.

They'll also ship Eli's cheesecake, Carson's ribs, Vienna Beef, and other Chicago staples, but I haven't tried them long-distance, so I don't know how good those come through the mail.

I kind of like that 800-LOUS-TO-GO idea, sort of sounds like The Capo will deliver direct to ya door. If-ya- know-wadda-mean. :ph34r:

The prices are probably like an offer-ya-can't-refuse.

Santo cielo! Mi amico! Buona fortuna!

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Mangina delivers nationwide via fedex. hope this helps some.

Male escorts via fedex?!? What will they think of next.

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i wouldn't eat at any place called mangina. sounds NASTY.

Sounds like a metaphor for the new San Fransisco police commisioner. :P

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Male escorts via fedex?!? What will they think of next.

Oh crap, that started as a joke between me and my friends but now i just call it mangina out of habit. calling it mangia just seems foreign to me. but a mangia by any other name...

Edited by tommyboy444

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The best deep dish pizza I've had in Houston was in my kitchen about 2 hours after FedEx dropped off the package from Tastes of Chicago. Malnati's pizza is known for its buttery crust from what we read on line and it was good. I'm just not a deep dish fan and we haven't ordered again, although I do think of that crust.

We also got a hot dog pack and they were the best Chicago style dogs I've had in Houston. Pizza by itself was kind of steep but we figured with the hot dog pack added, we were getting the dogs for about $3 each which is not a bad price. But I prefer chili cheese dogs or NY style dogs with mustard and kraut over Chicago style.

Now I've just learned about this place: Baby Leita's Pizza. Haven't been. Maybe some Haifers have and can report.

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You might want to give "Barry's Pizza" a shot

LOTS of people rave about it, but I always just thought it was "OK" pizza, personally.

While I enjoy Chicago style pizza, I think I've been leaning towards New York style, so I'm not a good recommender of that particular (deep) dish.

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You might want to give "Barry's Pizza" a shot

LOTS of people rave about it, but I always just thought it was "OK" pizza, personally.

While I enjoy Chicago style pizza, I think I've been leaning towards New York style, so I'm not a good recommender of that particular (deep) dish.

I haven't ate Barry's Pizza in years but remember it was out of this world! Must have been great for me to recall the taste and aroma..ooooohhhhh. It's too early and I'm drinking Slim-fast.

The Mario's Pizza in Clear lake used to be the ultimate delicious pizza ever, but it swapped owners years ago and went downhill since. They used to stack it up high with the supreme pizza. A grown man could only eat about 3 huge slices and throw in the towel.

I miss original Mario's real Italiano Pizza!

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My wife and I tried Baby Leita's in Cypress a few weeks ago. The pizza was O.K., but not even close to a good Chicago style pizza. It's definitely not worth a special trip.

Barry's on the other hand is the closest I've found to a traditional Chicago style pizza (I grew up in the midwest and frequented Chicago). We are big fans of their pizza. We frequently make the trek from Cypress into the Galleria for their pies. Outstanding crust, great cheese and toppings, and red sauce on top. MMMMMM!

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I've tried Baby Leita's one time, and really enjoyed the Chicago-style deep dish pizza. I have not tried Barry's, so I can not compare, but BL is worth a try. Regettably, the atmosphere is strictly strip-mall - I saw a lot of take-out orders go out the door while we were waiting for our dine-in deep dish. Like all true deep-dish pizzas, it took a long time to cook, so I understand the take-out preference.

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I kind of like that 800-LOUS-TO-GO idea, sort of sounds like The Capo will deliver direct to ya door. If-ya- know-wadda-mean. :ph34r:

The prices are probably like an offer-ya-can't-refuse.

When you factor in the fact that you don't have to tip the FedEx guy, the price is pretty close to the same as it would be if you had it delivered locally.

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Baby Leita's Pizza is the real deal, for Chicago Deep Dish, and thin crust. The owner is from Chi town. They have had nothing but great reviews, and I agree with all of them. I have tried Star Pizza, and being from Chicago myself, that did not cut it for me. Go try Baby Leita's I don't think you will be disapointed. They are in Cypress just south of 290 W. They are a BYOB too.

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Well, the wife and I have tried a couple of pizza places in the last few weeks. First, we took a drive up to Cypress and Baby Leita's. While it is more authentic than what you get at Star, unfortunately it just didn't taste all that good. The crust was waaaaaaay too buttery and the cheese was runny. I'm picky, I know, and maybe we'll give it another try sometime. But for now, Baby Leita's gets an unenthusiastic shrug of the shoulders from me.

Then we tried Barry's this past weekend. I gotta say, while it's not exactly authentic Chicago-style, their thick-crust Sicilian was for me the best overall pizza I've had in Houston. If I can't buy a real Chicago-style deep-dish pie, Barry's Sicilian will definitely tide me over until my next trip to Austin or Chicago!

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There is a new place on Airline, between N. Main and Cavalcade called something like "Italian Beef Sandwich shop" or something like that. They have really good Gyros and sandwiches, the good fresh cut fries, etc. When we were leaving the lady behind the counter told us they were getting a pizza oven & would be serving genuine Chicago style pizzas. She really emphasized the genuine part, guess we will see soon.

You might check them out when they get that part going.

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There is a new place on Airline, between N. Main and Cavalcade called something like "Italian Beef Sandwich shop" or something like that. They have really good Gyros and sandwiches, the good fresh cut fries, etc.

That's Chicago Italian Beef. It's on Airline just south of Cavalcade. I've been there twice so far, and had an Italian Beef sandwich and a gyro. The sandwiches were pretty good, but the fresh-cut fries are awesome, and they give you a ton of them. Quite refreshing considering the "fries" at most places have more cornstarch than potato content. All the sandwiches come with fries, I think, even though it doesn't say so on the menu.

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I hope the place makes it. While it is not some sort of "fine dining" experience or anything, yes the fries are awesome and the portions are good. The Lindale/Sunset Heights/Heights/Garden Oaks area needs all the dining options it can get. When they start the pizzas they are also going to do delivery.

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* UPDATE * - Candelari's (at all locations, as far as I know) now serves a fairly authentic, Chicago-style deep-dish pizza pie! It's called the "Wrigley Pie."

Toppings include sausage, mushrooms, spinach, and sliced tomatoes (the tomatoes are on top of the sauce, the way they serve it at Gino's East in Chicago). Not quite up to Mangia or Giordano levels, but very good nonetheless. For the moment, it's by far and away the best, most authentic Chiacgo-style pizza in Houston!

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See my initial post above, except that (as indicated in my most recent post) Candelari's has now redeemed themselves:

I know what you're thinking already. "Star Pizza is known for their Chicago style." Nope. I like Star Pizza just fine, and while their self-proclaimed "Chicago style deep dish pizza" tastes OK, it's NOT the real deal. Neither is Candalari's. They're both just a thick-crust pan pizza, pretty much the same thing you could get at Domino's or Papa John's, with a little bit of sauce thrown on top. Please note: I'm not saying that Domino's or Papa John's is necessarily as good as Star Pizza, just saying that Star's authenticity is lacking to me.

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Thee does worship thine Star Pizza!

I bow down to this most beloved pizza.

PS, I had some lasagna at Spaghetti Warehouse DT and I was in 7th heaven. Sheer delight! :rolleyes:

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Original reports had a pizza joint going into the new Allegro building next to the Glass Wall on Studewood. Now that this structure has finally commenced construction, here's hoping we'll have another option later this year...

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Thee does worship thine Star Pizza!

I bow down to this most beloved pizza.

PS, I had some lasagna at Spaghetti Warehouse DT and I was in 7th heaven. Sheer delight! :rolleyes:

I have to admit, I am not a big pizza eater (either in-restaurant or delivery). That said, I am basically happy with any kind of pizza (even store bought) EXCEPT Domino.

They are just plain awful.

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I just ordered a Papa John's. Best delivery pizza ever. I haven't had one in probably ten years. But when I checked into my hotel a few minutes ago there was a leaflet for the local delivery outlet. Jackpot!

And since the wife isn't with me I got mushrooms, onions, sausage, green peppers, and black olives.

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I just ordered a Papa John's. Best delivery pizza ever. I haven't had one in probably ten years. But when I checked into my hotel a few minutes ago there was a leaflet for the local delivery outlet. Jackpot!

And since the wife isn't with me I got mushrooms, onions, sausage, green peppers, and black olives.

That sounds pretty good!

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I just ordered a Papa John's.

To me, going somewhere where I'm not familiar with the local pizza joints, Papa John's is usually safe. It's everywhere, but it's still pretty good stuff. Beats Domino's and Pizza Hut anyday.

I've gotta try Star and Candelari's, even if some say it's not the genuine article. Sounds like NY-style pizza gets imitated a little better here. (For that, I hit a little hole in the wall near Chimney Rock/Braeswood called Angelo's. They also have what they call a "Chicago-style" pizza but it's just a really thick crust, definitely not the real deal)

Edited by BrewsterMcCloud

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There's a place called Chicago Pizza on North Main just up from Airline that does deep dish. It's run by the same people who run Chicago Italian Beef on Airline at Calvacade. I've been to the latter - Vienna beef provisions but the sandwich was kind of skimpy, gardinera bar so you can select your own condiments, very greasy fries.

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There's a place called Chicago Pizza on North Main just up from Airline that does deep dish. It's run by the same people who run Chicago Italian Beef on Airline at Calvacade. I've been to the latter - Vienna beef provisions but the sandwich was kind of skimpy, gardinera bar so you can select your own condiments, very greasy fries.

I've been to both places. I like the fries at Italian Beef - maybe you just caught them on an off day. Or maybe I just have a higher tolerance for grease. They're real potatoes as opposed to the extruded starch abominations that pass for fries at many places these days.

I was not at all impressed with Chicago Pizza, but I did not have the deep-dish pizza, only the thin-crust. Nothing to distinguish it from any other run-of-the-mill pizza place. I've only been there once, however, and that was not too long after they opened, so maybe they were still working out the kinks. I'll probably give them one more chance before declaring it a lost cause.

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I had a take-out deep-dish pepperoni from Chicago Pizza yesterday. It actually reminded me of the old Chicago Pizza Company on Mandell where Cafe Artiste is now. I enjoyed it: the crust was soft and flavorful, and the sauce had a hint of tartness. The raised edges of the crust were burned but that's not a deal breaker. I would have liked to have seen more cheese and maybe some sliced tomatoes. The upshot for me is:

Not as much flavor as Star.

Not as rich and juicy as Gino's East.

Good value for the price (12.50 incl. tax for a 12" deep dish)

Worth a visit if you're in the area (I was), not worth driving all that far at $3.60+/gallon.

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I've been to both places. I like the fries at Italian Beef - maybe you just caught them on an off day. Or maybe I just have a higher tolerance for grease. They're real potatoes as opposed to the extruded starch abominations that pass for fries at many places these days.

I tried Italian Beef, too. It was nothing like the italian beef I had in Chicago. The bread was a soggy mess and the jus was flavorless. The fries were slimy drippy with grease.

My favorite pizza in town is the pepperoni "pizzette" at Collina's on Richmond near the Edwards theater. The crust is amazing.

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I tried Italian Beef, too. It was nothing like the italian beef I had in Chicago. The bread was a soggy mess and the jus was flavorless. The fries were slimy drippy with grease.

My favorite pizza in town is the pepperoni "pizzette" at Collina's on Richmond near the Edwards theater. The crust is amazing.

Flavorless, with soggy bread? Sounds very authentic!

I've tried Chicago beef at a dozen places in Chicago from neighborhood joints to the big touristy places. They all suck. It's like a dry, flavorless Philly Cheesesteak dipped in water.

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Flavorless, with soggy bread? Sounds very authentic!

I've tried Chicago beef at a dozen places in Chicago from neighborhood joints to the big touristy places. They all suck. It's like a dry, flavorless Philly Cheesesteak dipped in water.

I had one from "Al's No. 1" that was exquisite. The bread stayed solid and the jus was delicious. I crave it at this very moment.

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Sounds like we might have to pay a visit to Chicago Pizza!

And yes, Candelari's new Chicago-style deep dish (the "Wrigley Pie") is the closest thing to the real deal that I've found so far in Houston.

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Sounds like we might have to pay a visit to Chicago Pizza!

And yes, Candelari's new Chicago-style deep dish (the "Wrigley Pie") is the closest thing to the real deal that I've found so far in Houston.

Candelari's deep dish is close, but not quite. Doesn't seem like the right crust to me.

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