My, my, all this pizza pie
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Going from New York to Chicago is the equivalent of comparing apples to broccoli — the Windy City’s pies are a different beast altogether. Invented — according to Chicago legend — in 1943 by Ike Sewell, co-founder of Pizzeria Uno with his partner, Ric Riccardo, the rich, buttery, cornmeal-crusted pie hugs an almost casserole-type layered filling of sauce, raw Italian sausage or other meats, vegetables, grated cheese and tomato sauce. Unlike thin-crust pizza, these pies take a good half-hour or so to bake, so don’t show up too hungry.
Sewell opened the sister restaurant to Pizzeria Uno, Due, right down the block in 1955. Many famous Chicago-style pizza parlors followed, including Original Gino’s Pizza, Lou Malnati’s and Giordano’s Pizza. Ask five Chicagoans what their favorite is and you will get five different answers. I’m guessing the same goes for Tulsa.
8211 E. Regal Plaza, 918-369-9387,
I have loved Savastano’s since it first opened in a tiny strip center on East 111th Street in Bixby. It has since outgrown that space and now takes up two floors near the SpiritBank Event Center. The place is usually packed, so be prepared to wait a bit. This family-owned pizzeria named all of its pies after Chicago landmarks. My favorite is the hand-tossed, thin-crust Old Water Tower, piled with Savastano’s own Italian sausage and huge chunks of sautéed mushrooms. The rich deep-dish pies are always popular as well.
Marley’s Chicago Style Pizzeria
6104 E. 71st St., 918-551-7744,
Diners love the Big Bertha at Marley’s (the deep-dish pie is piled with pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage and hamburger, along with veggies and cheese), which is layered as are some traditional deep-dish pies in Chicago, starting with crust, then cheese and toppings, with sauce on top. The restaurant features daily specials as well as several TVs, making it a great place to catch lunch or dinner and a big game.
9999 S. Mingo Road, 918-250-8000,
Gusano’s Chicago-Style Pizzeria, opened recently in south Tulsa, is the first location outside of Arkansas and Missouri for the small Little Rock-based chain. Whether you prefer deep dish or thin crust, you’re in luck, for the delicious pies have proven very popular among diners. Other menu items include sandwiches, Chicago dogs and appetizers.
6380 E. 31st St., 918-627-6434
This hidden gem has been cranking out Chicago-style pizza for more than 25 years. D’Oro Pizza, nestled in a tiny spot near East 31st Street and South Sheridan Road, tops its thick-crust pies with all of the traditional ingredients, but you’ll have to get them to-go or by delivery, for there is no dining in.