A bite of Chicago's pizza scene
Friday, October 14, 2011
We all know Chicago is the home of deep-dish pizza, but there is so much more to the story. After Cubs versus Sox, Uno's versus Malnati's must be the second biggest local rivalry.
Recently, I joined a pizza tour to get the inside scoop on Chicago's pizza scene and sample the different ways cheese, tomatoes and bread can be compiled.
Slice of Chicago Pizza Tours offers a two-hour walking tour that covers one mile and gets you three slices of pie while feeding your mind with pizza lore and fun facts-Did you know people in America eat 350 slices of pizza per second?
Our guide traced the history of pizza in Chicago from its humble beginnings in the wooden bathtubs of Taylor Street in Little Italy to its explosion after World War II, which led to the opening of Pizzeria Uno in 1943.
The tour starts at Pizzeria Uno, 26 E. Ohio, although it doesn't go inside the restaurant. With a seating capacity of 100, the historic institution prefers to bring out paper plates of piping hot slices to eat while standing on the sidewalk. To make this easier for the kids, bring a bottle of water and some wet wipes.
From the granddaddy of Chicago pizza, we walked to a relative unknown on the pizza scene, Pizzeria Ora, and were quickly seated. The walk also stops at Giordano's and winds past other pizza landmarks.
This tour is great for tweens on up, especially growing boys. Besides a big stomach, our tour guide, Will, recommends that an interest in history helps.
And the three mini-slices really do fill you up. Even the pair of 15-year-olds on my tour agreed at the end they couldn't eat another bite.