Cravings Culture

Apparently Deep-Dish Pizza Is Only One Of 10 Different Pizza Styles In Chicago

Just from reputation alone, I’ve always believed that New York City offered the best pizza in the United States. Biting into those phenomenal pies, I’ve often wondered if there was anywhere else in the US that could square up against those massive New York slices.

One man decided to put in the delicious work and settle the debate on which city really does offer the best pizza.

Steve Dolinsky is a 13-time James Beard Award winning TV and radio personality based in Chicago. Dolinsky hosts a segment for ABC 7 called “The Hungry Hound” where he seeks out and reviews the best restaurants in the city.

Photo: Huge Galdones

Dolinsky is also the author of the upcoming book Pizza City, U.S.A: 101 Reasons Why Chicago is America’s Greatest Pizza Town. In it, he sets out to prove that Chicago is irrefutably the best place to get pizza in the country.

During his experience, he explains that there are actually ten different types of pizzas the city is known for. Over the course of six months, Dolinsky went to 185 different pizzerias in Chicago and 56 in New York to be able to properly judge between the two cities.

He came to the conclusion that Chicago’s pizza was the superior of the two metropolises for two reasons: variety and depth.

“Not everyone likes stuffed, but some do. Not everyone likes deep, but many do. We also have tavern style and more Detroit places per capita than New York City. Quite simply, diversity wins.”

Dolinsky’s process was methodic. He wanted a baseline as to what to expect from the pizzas, so he would go in asking the style they were known for and then just order two common toppings: pepperoni and sausage.

“That was always the order when I was doing the initial assessing,” he explained. “I wanted to compare apples to apples. I didn’t think it was fair that some guy could have, even if it was a longer fermented dough, broccoli rabe and porchetta versus something that’s just pepperoni.”

In doing so, Dolinsky was able to experience the many different styles of pizza Chicago had to offer. So what else was there other than what we know as Deep Dish?

Check out the ten different styles of Chicago pizzas below.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Much longer dough fermentation time, a minimum of two days.
  • A relatively more moist dough that allows for a better chew.
  • Gourmet toppings.
  • Typically everything is made in-house, which includes sauces, dough, meatballs.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • A pan pizza.
  • Uses brick cheese instead of mozzarella.
  • Cheese pushes to the edge of the pan and caramelizes.
  • Two racing stripes of tomato sauce only.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Also known as Chicago style thin.
  • Always square cut.
  • Cheese and sauce are pushed to the edge.
  • Thin and crispy, in some cases it’s almost saltine cracker thin.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Wedge cut.
  • Crust is thicker than Tavern style, but not crispy.
  • Similar to New York style in terms of chewiness.
  • Not a pronounced heel (rise in the crust), an even height.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Lots of cheese and tomato sauce.
  • Three ingredients.
  • The dough resembles leopard spotting.
  • Wood burning oven with 850-900 degrees F.

New York

Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Giant wedge.
  • Foldable with three fingers.
  • A little crispy underneath.
  • In Chicago, if you ask for sausage, it comes crumbled rather than in slices like New York.
  • There’s a lot more fennel and oregano in the sausages offered in Chicago.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Has a thin, extra top layer of dough.
  • A lake of tomato sauce on top of that.
  • Great for cheese pulls.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Two-inch height.
  • There’s a layer of mozzarella cheese on the bottom to protect the slice from getting soggy.
  • Chunky, strained tomatoes in the sauce.
  • Baked for 45 minutes.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Essentially “Pizza Tapas”.
  • Cooked in long rectangular pans.
  • Two day fermentation of the dough.
  • Baked in a special handmade oven at 580 degrees.
  • Topped with fresh, seasonal ingredients — up to 60 flavors.


Photo: Huge Galdones
  • Made in a shallow pan
  • Crunchy base.
  • The cheese and toppings cook for hours first before adding the sauce.
  • Served in squares.

Pizza City, U.S.A: 101 Reasons Why Chicago is America’s Greatest Pizza Town releases this upcoming September.


8 Annoying Food Phrases You Have To Stop Saying

As a food writer, I’m blessed and cursed with the opportunity to try a myriad of foods and witness a smorgasbord of ways to describe them. The nature of my gig has led me to hear a lot of terms and phrases that are simply outdated or, frankly, downright stupid.

I’ve chronicled eight of the phrases that should meet their demise above all others:


1. “Dank”

Example: Dude, have you ever had Taco Bell’s $5 Box? It’s way dank, especially if you’re baked.

Why it shouldn’t be said: For those who don’t know, the definition of “dank” is “damp, musty, and typically cold.” Why the hell do you want a damp, musty and cold taco? What’s wrong with you? Now I understand that “dank” is stoner-speak for “my, this is rather delicious.” But why? Just go back to saying things are “bomb,” let’s keep it simple my dab city dudes and ladies.


2. “Pizza Pie”

Example: Mama mia! Its-a me, Mario! Luigi, make us a pizza pie with a side of some-a spaghetti!

Why it shouldn’t be said: Pizza, while technically can be considered a pie, is never associated with pies in any way. Most meat and vegetable pies, if not all, have some sort of pastry top and base. While many fruit pies don’t, they have the other aspect that makes a pie a pie: sweetness. Pizzas are pizzas, so unless there’s key lime underneath all that pepperoni and mozzarella, they simply shouldn’t be referred to as pies.

Geez lady, why don’t you and the strawberry get a room. Pervs.

3. “Orgasmic”

Example: Oh. Em. Gee. This Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Latte is orgasmic, I wanna marry the barista that made it.

Why it shouldn’t be said: I feel like this one is fairly obvious. If food is making you jizz your pants, you’ve got an entirely new and more important issue to worry about than what food phrases not to say. YOU EJACULATE IN YOUR PANTS FROM FOOD, BRO. Please, seek help.


4. “Falls off the bone”

Example: Dude, you gotta try these ribs, the meat just falls off the bone. Kinda like your mom when we finish plowing, hey-o!

Why it shouldn’t be said: If your meat is falling off the bone God intended for it to stick to, then something is wrong with the meat. Don’t get me wrong, this phrase is more often than not used for ribs, and many slow cooked ribs pull away easily from the bone. But falling off? You need to stop eating that shit, homie. Like, immediately.

Excuse me waiter! My meat keeps falling off the bones, do you have a stapler or something?”

5. “Gourmet”

Example: Have you tried McDonalds’ new gourmet Big Mac? It’s different than the old ones, because it’s, like, super gourmet. It’s so dank.

Why it shouldn’t be said: What the fuck does gourmet really even mean? Does anyone know? Is my car gourmet? Was the movie Eat Pray Love “gourmet”? My mom likes to think so. In general, I think gourmet basically means “this food was made with quality items and it’s not shitty and processed.” Come on, foodies, we can do better than that.


6. “Foodies”

Example: Hey, I’m gonna go hit up a gastropub with some of my foodie friends, wanna join? We’re gonna wreck their charcuterie so hard, it’s gonna be sicky gnar gnar.

Why it shouldn’t be said: Everyone thinks they’re a foodie. Just because you don’t shovel whoppers into your mouth like they’re going out of style, it doesn’t mean that you’re the authority on food. Why can’t you just be a human that likes food? Foodies are the hipsters of the food industry, so don’t be “that guy.”


7. “To die for”

Example: Kelsey, you have to try this almond peanut butter. It is TO DIE FOR.

Why it shouldn’t be said: Honestly, is any food worth dying for? Imagine if people literally died after eating something they love. There would be about 12 or 13 people left on earth. Please, don’t offer your life in exchange for that tuna casserole, there’s so much more out there.

This artisan sandwich is so pretentious-looking, I bet it went to Princeton and studied Philosophy.

8. “Artisan”

Example: Have you had the new Artisan Tuscany Asiago Panini? It’s to die for. It’s so dank. Any real foodie knows a gourmet sandwich when they see one. The steak they use fell off the bone, I’m sure. It’s legitimately orgasmic. And something about pizza pies.

Why it shouldn’t be said: Oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t know you made this sandwich with a paintbrush. Oh, you didn’t? Then it’s not artisan, Anthony Brodain. Slapping some sun-dried tomatoes on it doesn’t make it special, nor does stuffing it into a waffle-maker to turn it into a panini. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely believe there is a subtle and beautiful art to cooking and creating amazing dishes. But not everything you make is a masterpiece, Picassbro.

We live in a time where food isn’t just a necessity, it’s a way of life for some. That being said, let’s not forget that it’s just food. It’s time we took the pretentiousness out of food and went back to just eating delicious things. I mean, what are we, Yelpers?


Image Sources: Sadie Rose Baking Co, Huffington Post, Yelp, KC Parent


FDA’s Ban on Wooden Cheese Boards Could Devastate the US Artisan Cheese Industry


This could very well be the first sign of the cheesepocalypse. In a move that’s shaking the dairy world, the Food and Drug Administration issued a ban on the practice of aging cheese on wooden boards — including a majority of cheeses imported to the US. Aging cheese is a process that incorporates bacteria, enzymes, molds and environmental factors to add to the flavor of the final product. While this centuries-old process may sound unappetizing, it makes for damn good cheese.

It all started when the New York State Department of Agriculture asked the FDA if surfaces made from wood were an acceptable means to age cheese, according to Forbes. The branch chief of the FDA’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutritions Dairy and Egg Branch replied:

The use of wooden shelves, rough or otherwise, for cheese ripening does not conform to [Current Good Manufacturing Practices], which require that “all plant equipment and utensils shall be so designed and of such material and workmanship as to be adequately cleanable, and shall be properly maintained.”

While the regulation does not directly mention wood, the FDA will likely argue that wooden boards never truly reach their standard of cleanliness in comparison to plastic and metal alternatives. Because nothing says artisan like a cold and sterile factory environment.

While major cheese manufacturers like Kraft will be unaffected — they don’t require the wood-aging process — smaller businesses who make artisan cheeses will most definitely be devastated. Time will tell whether or not the FDA will back down or ease up on this regulation.

Fast Food

Arby’s Testing New Grilled Artisan Melts, Including Steak & Garlic Toast

Arby's Artisan

For those lucky enough to live in the Indiana region, Arby’s is testing four new grilled Artisan melts at a select location in Evansville, Ind. While we’re pretty sure the word ‘Artisan’ is being thrown around loosely, these photos are pretty droolworthy nonetheless.

The four sandwiches available are Steak & Garlic Toast, Reuban, Turkey Avocado & Bacon and Steak & Portelbella. A representative of Arby’s told Brand Eating that they’re only testing the melts in Evansville and it’s simply a test of the new operational process and new equipment.

Could that process and equipment be turning on and off a panini press? I kid.

H/T Brand Eating


‘Zillion Dollar’ Grilled Cheese Comes with Foie Gras, 24K Gold Flaked Wisconsin Cheddar


We can’t presume to know why the 1% do anything they do. Once the houses and boats and kids’ private preschools and spare Lambos have been paid off, maybe they really don’t have anything better to do with their money than shit gold.

It’d certainly explain this obnoxiously plush grilled cheese sandwich. New at the deca restaurant at The Ritz Carlton Chicago, the ‘Zillion Dollar’ Grilled Cheese actually just costs $100, which is kind of a steal when you consider what goes into the damn thing. Let’s count: thinly sliced Iberico ham made from free-roaming, acorn-eating Spanish pigs. Artisan sourdough bread. 40 year aged, 24K gold flaked Wisconsin cheddar. Hudson Valley foie gras, white truffle aioli, and a sunny-side-up duck egg.

Lest that price tag still make your blue blood a little thin, the ‘wich also comes with a side skillet of lobster macaroni and cheese. Available until the end of April for National Grilled Cheese Month.

H/T + Picthx Consumerist


Pepsi Unveils New ‘Qua’ Premium Water, Because First Names Are So Passe


Forget dropping last names to cement your superstardom (Madonna, Beyonce); it’s all about dropping those pesky first syllables.

Take it from “Qua,” the brand-new bottled tap water from PepsiCo, which was first introduced to the Hollywood set last night at the Golden Globes. Not to be weighed down by unsightly extra A’s, Qua is Pepsi’s attempt to compete in the sexy premium aqua (get it?) category, taking its place alongside the likes of Evian, Fiji, Voss and Coca-Cola’s own Smartwater. Like the rest of its kind, Qua earns its higher price tag mostly from branding, from its sleek bottle design to its being “micro-filtered,” and sodium-free.

Associated Press reports Qua will be tested in California over the summer before expanding to other markets, and that its name and design could change before then. Let’s hope so, because the alternative sounds a little too unintentionally French.

H/T + Picthx AP


14 Foodie Phrases That Have Lost All Meaning


We now live in a food culture where no phrase can be uttered without being a stupid pun or insider slang, and in the process, we’ve developed a culinary lexicon has become so convoluted, reading a menu sounds like a cross between a science book, a travelogue, and a lost diary from the Oregon Trail. In short, we need to clean up our f*****g language, starting with these phrases.




We appreciate the idea of freshness as much as anybody, but this kind of gives us the suspicion that we’re gonna get a plate full of dirt clods. Every place that doesn’t use frozen veggies (except the really hip ones without tables) is now using this, and it’s making Old McDonald’s kids feel less special at Sunday dinner.



“Oh no, that’s not a salad, that’s a deconstructed chicken sandwich with avocado, spinach, baby carrots, ramps, a light raspberry vinaigrette, and lemon zest. See, the roll’s over there, on the side.”


“Kitchen-driven cocktails”


Whoever is driving with cocktails should be reprimanded. Except in Wyoming, where you can get drive-thru ones.


“Carefully curated”

A “curated” menu is just a menu with a pretentious name. Every menu is designed for somebody. Serving crepes doesn’t make you the Louvre.



“Seasonal menu” is a little too lowbrow? Or do you want us to be concerned about the commodities exchange while we eat a foraged salad? Because, if that’s the case, foraged salad bonds are going down.



A term used for movie remakes and putting some non-gravy sauce on fried chicken. You’re not really re-imagining anything… you’re just changing things people eat all the time. That’s just called regular imagining. Or using the ingredients on hand.


“Riffs on classics”


Riffs on classics should be reserved for somebody ripping a bitchin’ guitar solo during a rendition of “Slow Ride”. Not a beef Wellington that uses truffles instead of button mushrooms.




Unless you’re incorporating ingredients from Russia, Taiwan, Iraq, and beyond, you probably don’t want to use this phrase. Especially if you’re just plopping some soy sauce on something. “Asian” is fine.


“Slow food”


Makes it sound like your pasta was held back a grade.




When it first started appearing on menus, it came with the promise of ingredients lovingly transformed by a culinary master. Now, “artisanal” is a descriptor on frozen dinners and canned soup. Those can artisans apprentice for decades!


“New American”


Apparently, this now means putting weird ingredients on diner food. How… classic.


“Molecular gastronomy”

When you’re eating something under the molecular gastronomy name, you know you’re getting some mad food science; they’ll use beakers, break stuff down into elements and reassemble them, and basically behave like Dr. Bunsen Honeydew in the kitchen. It’s awesome. And it deserves a better name than this, which sounds like a boring-ass college course or a procedure in which a tube is inserted in your throat.



Who the hell else would be driving? The busboy?


“We just want to be a neighborhood spot”

Well played. You’re in the neighborhood. And you’re a spot. If I live in a different neighborhood, can I please still come in?


Oktoberfest Stout-Flavored Frozen Yogurt Has Hints of ‘Hops’


If you think your October was just starting to wind down, think again. 16 Handles released a new Oktoberfest Stout flavor, and it’s all you’ve ever wanted from dessert — think beer and cold, creamy froyo. The flavor is “a new spin on artisan flavor by merging the dessert-like base notes of Oatmeal Stout craft beer with farm-fresh dairy. The result is a creamy and earthy blend of Fro-Yo with familiar hints of hops and barley.”

It’s also low fat, so you can get your brew on without all the calories. We recommend topping this brew-flavored froyo with a generous helping of peanuts, which sounds to us like the perfect bar snack.