Pizzeria Uno Experience

On a recent trip to the windy city, we spent the morning wading in Lake Michigan, riding the EL stumbling into a free concert by the Neon Trees playing at the Hard Rock Chicago. After a busy morning, we needed sustenance before heading back to Iowa City. We arrived at Pizzeria Uno just as they opened for lunch and scored a table in the middle of the restaurant. Pizzeria Uno (and its sister restaurant across the street Pizzeria Due) are renowned for their deep dish pizza.

At the next table over, a crew from AOL Travel was filming for their online travel guide section. The waitress encouraged us to place our pizza order as quickly as possible as it takes close to 30 minutes to prepare. We ordered the "Numero Uno" (of course) and then listened intently to the manager explain how the pizzas are made to the camera.

She explained that "the dough is spread evenly over the bottom and partially up sides of the pan and let rise for about 30 minutes. The cheese is arranged in thick layer first because it will burn if placed on top. Then a layer of sausage is pressed like a giant patty onto the cheese, followed by a coating of tomato sauce. The pizza is sprinkled with Pecorino Romano and baked in an extremely hot oven for about 25 minutes. If a customer orders mushrooms, peppers, onions or other toppings they are added for the last few minutes of baking. The pizza is removed from the oven when the edges of the crust are crisp and golden brown."

As she finished her explanation, our pizza arrived at the table. The waitress advised us to wait a few minutes before cutting and eating as it was still steaming hot - having just been removed from the oven. The crust was just crispy enough to hold its shape without being tough while he cheese was gooey and delicious, and the sausage was a near perfect accompaniment to the sauce and cheese.

The pizza is very filling and I could only eat one piece. My older son was able to put away two slices before declaring himself stuffed. We had the remainder boxed as we waddled out the door. Now if I can only figure out how they make their crust...