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This Is Why Pizza Is Cut Into Squares in Chicagoland (Supposedly)

Yesterday we were out in Aurora, IL to visit the beautiful Hollywood Casino for the Bears game. Unfortunately, that game was disgusting. The good news is is that we were also 15 mins away from the best pizza spot in Chicagoland, Al's Pizza. Now I'm biased. I grew up in Warrenville and hence grew up on Al's Pizza. But I wanted to get Dente out there, but they had to get back to NYC immediately after the game. I know how much he dislikes Chicago style pizza which is... fine. Everyone has their preference. But to respond to the picture above with this comment?

Outrageous. That pizza looks FIRE and it tastes even better. Just like certain NYC or CT or Boston places look fire. But people are way way way too hung up on how it's cut and judging this magnificent pizza solely on that. That changes the taste 0.0%. 

Years back, I met the owner of a decently popular Chicagoland pizza joint. There was a falling out with him and rumor has it he had a hit out on Dente because he only gave him a 7.1 when we reviewed his spot, but prior to that he gave me the reasoning to why we cut pizzas into squares in Chicago. I can't guarantee this validity of this, but it came from a "pizza guy" that had pizza joints in his family for decades. He said this is why:

During the Great Depression, orphanages in Chicago would cut their pizzas into squares because you could ration the pieces to more kids like this. After the Depression was over, the style just stuck. I've never heard this elsewhere, but it makes sense in my dumb brain, so I'm running with it. 

Many people think Chicago pizza as deep dish, which is true because you don't really find it elsewhere, but 99% of Chicagoans will tell you their favorite style of pizza is tavern style thin crust. I don't want to go as far as saying "Deep dish is for tourists" but it's typically something we get when people are visiting Chicago. A "when in Rome" type deal. We'll get pizza a LOT throughout the course of a year; but deep dish pizza will only be consumed 1-2x a year maybe. 

Regardless, Dente's crass response to my tweet is outrageous. I don't care where you're from, now that you know the (supposed) reasoning behind why it's cut like it is, that pizza looks amazing. Well done, razor thin pizza from a joint that's been around since 1959 (literally). Chief said it's the best pizza he's had in Chicago. Tom said it was the best pizza he's had in Chicago. Dante says it's one of the best he's had in Chicago. Chief and Tom are NOT Chicago pizza guys. They like that east coast stuff. That shows you how good Al's Pizza is. 

To conclude, here's Eddie and I when we kidnapped Dave to do a tour of Pizza joints across Chicagoland. It was spur of the moment, so we couldn't do many since it was late at night otherwise we would have taken him to Vito and Nick's and Phil's if possible. This eventually lead to us going full time.