I Long For Deep Dish Pizza in Houston

DeepDishPizzaHP.jpg
Photo by Pirx the Pirate
Why must real deep dish pizza be confined to Chicago?
In a few weeks I'm going to Chicago, and in addition to catching up with friends and family, I am really really looking forward to having some deep dish pizza. I don't mean pizza that has an extra thick crust and uses crushed tomatoes instead of sauce. Many pizzas masquerade as Chicago-style deep dish by mimicking these two hallmark traits; ultimately, however, they fall short of the real thing.

I mean a pizza that you might actually mistake for a pie because its depth would allow you to bury your entire thumb inside à la Little Jack Horner. I don't know where exactly I will eat one, maybe two wedges of this pizza; I'll let the locals lead me. I do know when I finish I will be very happy and very full and just a bit sad. Because I will going back to Houston where deep dish pizza, at least the kind I'm after, is scarce.

Katharine Shilcutt, whose food criticism and sharp wit I very much admire, called deep dish pizza "the type of pizza that this Texan simply cannot get behind." Oh Katharine, I respectfully disagree. A LOT. But I don't blame your vote of no confidence on why Houston is lacking in Chicago-style deep dish options.

Don't tell me, please, to go to Star Pizza. You don't have to, actually, because I will go anyway because I actually like their "deep dish" pizza. Note, however, the quotes, please. This pizza just has a thicker than average crust and an extra handful of cheese.

I once got very excited when I learned Barry's Pizza & Italian Diner offered deep dish pizza. Upon closer examination, however, I learned that their "deep dish" is actually U.S. Sicilian style (as opposed to original Sicilian), which differs considerably from the Chicago version.

I guess I could drive to Fort Worth to visit Pizzeria Uno, though having tested this chain's pizzas in numerous other locations (Boston, New York, Pennsylvania, Chicago), I can say confidently that the quality varies significantly by region. The Uno deep dish you get in Cambridge, Massachusetts is a far cry from Chicago-style, but, not terribly surprisingly, the Uno deep dish in the Windy City is closer to the real thing.

Chi-town natives now living in Houston, have you found any restaurants here that successfully replicate Chicago-style deep dish? Maybe I'm missing something. Or, is there a secret club that meets to mourn the relative absence of those glorious mile-high wedges of dough and tomato and cheese? If yes, please, please invite me.

If not, I suggest starting an organization to promote the peerless quality of your hometown's pizza. Let's spread the Chicago-style deep dish gospel. Maybe some enterprising restaurateur will address this glaring gap in Houston's pizza offerings.


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112 comments
yazupstairs
yazupstairs

I also vote for Chicago Pizza. Classic sausage and diced tomatoes. The best places take 45 minutes to cook one of these bad boys. Also, they are even MORE delicious late at night after a night of drinking. 

When I Lived in Chicago, Pizano's had the best pizza. The one on State street. Especially their butter-crust thin pizza. Had that pastry flaky crust with a snap all without it being too heavy. Owner is the son of Rudy Malnati who started Pizzeria Uno and obviously related to the Manati empire. 

himmad
himmad

Have you tried Rosati's Pizza in Chicago? 

I too have been in search of finding a authentic chicago style pizza, and star pizza just wasnt cutting it.  So I decided to open it myself.  I am in the process of opening a Rosati's Pizza in Houston.  September 1st is the expected opening date.  

CHICAGO
CHICAGO

TRY WINDY CITY PIZZA IN ATASCOCITA TEXAS. THEY GOT THE DEEP DISH PIZZA.  WINDYCITYPIZZA.NET

Ken Roberts
Ken Roberts

Chicago Pizza, before they merged with Chicago Italian Beef, was pretty close. I've tried it twice in the new location (though not within the last couple years) and it was merely edible. The best i've found in Houston is Candelari's Pizzeria (on Washington). It's very good. It's still not in the same ballpark as a good Pizzeria Uno. I've not seen anyone duplicate Pizzeria Uno's buttery crust.

Mauricia Turner
Mauricia Turner

Go to Chicago's Italian Beef on Airline in the Heights. Excellent deep dish!

Jacob Bocanegra
Jacob Bocanegra

this aint chicago, u want that pizza , move back, and btw enjoy the shtty football team, and the winters, and getting shot at, now shut the hell up and eat some brisket..

Rose Marie DeAngelis
Rose Marie DeAngelis

Right in nj, were talking down here honey. Not here at all. I remember that place.

Karen Traska
Karen Traska

Uno Pizza (from Chicago) chain restaurant here in Clifton has a good deep dish you can also get frozen to take home and bake

MoBobby
MoBobby

So the author is asking about deep dish and the posters are talking about their preferences and recommendations of everything but and are mentioning Star Pizza like that wasn't mentioned in the article... Geez you people are simple. 

Kathy Stabe
Kathy Stabe

I don't think I've ever had Chicago deep dish, but I prefer my pizza thin, a little crispy, and just a tiny bit scorched. Grimaldi's has coal ovens, I believe. They do a pretty great authentic crust.

Jason Barron
Jason Barron

where can i get a good deep dish pizza in Houston?

James Stephens
James Stephens

In Chicago Lou malnatis ... but I was not that impressed ... they don't have foodies like here. Sorry to say but star was better

Rose Marie DeAngelis
Rose Marie DeAngelis

You can't even get a regular type of pizza down here. They don't make it like the NE.

Enidbette Ruiz
Enidbette Ruiz

We were just having this conversation yesterday. Anybody want to share a special spot??

elrose1906
elrose1906

There is only one place that comes closee to Chicago Style Pizza in Houston and that is Windy City Pizza in Humble. I've had Stars, Chicago Italian Beef, Pinks etc... They are ok but Windy City Pizza in Humble is very good. I've eatin at many pizza spots in Chitown my favorites are Lou Malnatis and Giordonnos'.

manwalklikebear
manwalklikebear

Fuzzy's offers Chicago Style, but they cook it a little differently to make it done in 35 minutes instead of 45, which I personally think also takes away that great "Chicago" flavor. I can't wait to try Chicago Italian Beef. If they do it right, I think that will satisfy my cravings. Also, the Gino's East frozen version from the supermarket is surprisingly pretty good considering the mass-production thing.

fmontes
fmontes

Chicago Italian Beef has a pretty good deep dish. Better than Star Pizza in my opinion. I haven't tried their new location.

chitown
chitown

Original New York & Chicago Pizza Company in Cypress does a good deep dish.

John C Martin
John C Martin

Deep dish is so 70s. I wish chip beef on toast would come back but I'm not holding my breath.

Robin Varner
Robin Varner

Amazing how pizza brings many comments. It is because we in Houston don't have anything that comes close to what we were eating before we came here

robinvtx
robinvtx

NJ Thin crust, my hometown Warren Oh Sunrise Inn and there are many others Houston doesn't have. What about Panzerottis? Does anyone but me know what they are?

Danny Delgado
Danny Delgado

Chicago Italian beef, on Airline drive, long wait, but worth it.

Glenn Ray
Glenn Ray

The reason Pizzaria Uno didn't survive here was because the franchising mess they put themselves in by allowing two franchisees to freeze each other out. I totally wish they'd bring it back, but the new PU owners have mucked up the menu since then.

David Pilgrim
David Pilgrim

im no pizza snob, but those fast food pizza chains just make me feel all dirty inside!

Mimi Bernal
Mimi Bernal

Getting the deep dish pizza there is worth the 40 min wait cause of it fresh ingredients. Better than Dominoes , pizza hut, and little ceasers.

David Pilgrim
David Pilgrim

yep. the deep dish at star pizza makes everything right with the world! although these days i go for the thin crust, but when deep dish was king, star pizza had that shit on lock!

Mimi Bernal
Mimi Bernal

I'm a Chicagoan and living here in Houston the best pizza I think so far to Chicago style deep dish is atChicago Italian beef at the Heights area. So good! I go there once in awhile. Try the Italian beef it's awesome!

Greg Barker
Greg Barker

This style of pizza is the answer to no Houstonian's question about pizza, is the thing.

Kristina Michel
Kristina Michel

I think the reason why there are so few legitimate Chicago-style pizza joints in Houston is because legitimate Chicago-style pizza takes a while to make. While I love Giordano's pizza in Chicago and will go there every time I'm in town, the wait time is always at least 45 minutes. I'm willing to wait that long because I know the pizza will come out great every time. But most people in Houston aren't used to waiting that long for a pizza no matter how good it is. As long as Houstonians continue to associate pizza with 30 minutes or less, Chicago stuffed pizza will be little more than a niche market in the Bayou City.

CHICAGO
CHICAGO

@Ken Roberts TRY WINDY CITY PIZZA IN ATASCOCITA TEXAS. THEY GOT THE DEEP DISH PIZZA.  WINDYCITYPIZZA.NET

CHICAGO
CHICAGO

@Moses Martinez TRY WINDY CITY PIZZA IN ATASCOCITA TEXAS. THEY GOT THE DEEP DISH PIZZA.  WINDYCITYPIZZA.NET

jsoleary
jsoleary

@Jacob Bocanegra Thank you for that erudite and practical response.

TimP
TimP

@elrose1906 Pink's doesn't offer a deep dish on their menu. When and where did you have one from them?

jsoleary
jsoleary

@John C Martin I miss creamed ham on toast. That fueled my fourth grade year.

fmontes
fmontes

@Danny Delgado agreed.

neilquan
neilquan

@Mimi Bernal The Italian beef has taste and texture more like roast beef. Its just not close to right.

whhhaat
whhhaat

@Greg Barker whhhaat?!

manwalklikebear
manwalklikebear

@William Jeffrey Goldberg They do, but's it's not really accurate to taste.

TimP
TimP

@jsoleary True facts: They don't eat brisket in Chicago, the football team has never won a Super Bowl or NFL championship and you are very likely to get shot in nearly every neighborhood on the frequency of something like once every other day.  Now, the winters on the other hand are actually quite pleasant. 

neilquan
neilquan

@TimP The Bears won the superbowl in 1985. How can you forget the Superbowl Shuffle? Nvm, Id like to forget the superbowl shuffle too.

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