Monday, May 8, 2017

Review: Pizano's, Chicago IL

Pizano's is a Chicago based mini-chain of 6 pizzerias offering both deep-dish and thin crust pie. Although the thin pie is their biggest seller, I came in to the downtown loop location on Madison Street at lunch time to try the deep-dish pizza.

Pizano's offers the basic deep dish style: a bowl-style crust, where the bottom and high sides are relatively equal in thickness. It differs from the Chicago stuffed pizza with a layer of dough on top of the cheese, and from the pan style which features a thicker crust, shorter walls around the edge, and caramelized cheese around the perimeter.

I ordered a personal-size pie with sausage and mushrooms, which came to $9.55 before tax. We had waited an hour the night before for the deeply disappointing pan pizza at Pequod's (review HERE), but this pie came out in less than 30 minutes. 

The large and airy space had a lot of old-time charm, decorations with a Hollywood theme, and a good overall vibe. Start to finish, service from Sam was attentive and friendly.

The side walls of this pie were thin and golden brown, sporting crisp edges all around. Like a lot of the traditional deep-dish pies in Chicago, the crust had a buttery quality.

The top revealed a sea of chunky crushed tomatoes. This layer of fresh and vibrant uncooked sauce was in generous proportion but it did not overwhelm the dense shell, which remained crisp on the outside and firm on the inside where it was properly moist but not wet.

There was a well-proportioned amount of mozzarella cheese under the crust, mixed with the mushroom and sausage. The mozzarella was both surprisingly flavorful and ideally stringy.

The mushrooms were fine if a bit overwhelmed by the sauce and cheese; the big chunks of sausage were a true standout in both flavor and texture.
Crisp and golden underneath
This little pizza was well-balanced, ideally seasoned, and fully flavored. My sense is that there is plenty of belly-bomb deep-dish pies in Chicago that offer little beyond heft and calories, but Pizano's is a gem. I ate the entire pie without feeling especially stuffed or decadent. 

In this loop location, Pizano's offers a genuine deep-dish pizza that is convenient for tourists but good enough for locals. Bravo.

Pizano's Pizza & Pasta Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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