It’s just pizza

It’s just pizza
: The single cushiest assignment I ever got in my allgeged journalism career was finding America’s best pizza for People magazine. I traveled coast-to-coast and snarfed and snarfed and finally put the crown on Gino’s East in Chicago.

So tonight, for old time’s sake, I decided to have Gino’s again. I walked many blocks to Gino’s only to find some heretic serving thin-crust pizza there. Gino’s moved. So I walk well more than a mile to the new Gino’s only to find an hour-long line. Wait and hour and then it takes another 45 minutes to get the pizza.

Damn, it’s just pizza.

I walked back and came upon Uno’s, which I never liked as much. But I sat at the bar and waited a full frigging hour to get a pizza with enough cheese to employ a cardiac unit for a year.

It’s just pizza.

I regret not naming New York’s John’s No. 1.

  • I vouch for John’s. As Jeff knows…

  • I like Joe’s, on Bleeker. Two Boots is completely overrated. I went to Ginos once when I lived in Chicago. Afterwards I was so stuffed I didn’t have to eat for 2 days. But most of those big, famous Chicago restaurants have that same effect.

  • The best pizza I’ve had has never been in the big cities. And, should you ever find yourself in London, do not eat the pizza. Limeys can’t do it.

  • Coccia House Pizza – 764 Pittsburgh Avenue in Wooster Ohio – 262-7136.
    I grew up eating there every Friday night. Then I worked there one summer and ate their pie 3 meals a day. Yes, cold pizza with a can of Coke is an unbeatable breakfast (although my Dad attributes my appendectomy at summer’s end to that habit.) Anyway, I’d often peek over the owner’s shoulder while he was mixing the sauce to try to learn the secret ingredient… some narcotic? Nope. Garlic. Garlic. Garlic.

  • Close, henrycopeland: the best pizza is indeed to be found in Ohio, but at Eliseo’s Pizza in Lorain, Ohio. A close second would be Giovanni’s (not part of the chain) in the same city, on Grove Avenue. Being good Catholics (ahem), our Friday meat-free dinner when I was growing up would be one of those, or fish at the American Slovak Club.

  • Due’s (Pizzeria Due, that is) is great. I won’t say vastly superior to Uno, because almost any pizza–franchise and freezer case brands included–is superior to Uno’s. Oddly enough, though, Due’s is an affiliate of Uno. Better pizza, but you’ll have the same long wait.

  • Delorenzo’s Tomato Pies (also known as Chick’s) –
    East Trenton
    530 Hudson St. (bet. Mott & Swan Sts.)
    Trenton, NJ 08611
    (You KNOW it’s good pizza when there’s a line out the door for a place that doesn’t even have bathrooms).

  • Catherine

    Sorry, but I lived in Chicago for 5 years and most of the pizza was awful. Too much sauce and cut in small squares. I never ate at Gino’s so I can’t comment, but I did go to another much ballyhooed place called Connie’s. Deep dish is lasagna in a crust. I never went to a place who had the right mix of crust, sauce, cheese and oregano.
    Good pizza? Grace’s pizza in Glendale, NY. Pizza at the General Store, Wading River, NY. Dry Harbor Pizza in Middle Village. Grimaldi’s on Fulton under the Brooklyn Bridge (the name used to be Patsy’s until one of the grandkids sold the legendary name to a corporation that started a chain).

  • Sandy P.

    No, no, no, Nancy’s for deep dish.
    Zazzo’s in Darien or Roberto’s in Elmhurst.

  • JorgXMcKie

    I know I’m coming in late, but Papa Del’s in Champaign, IL is the winner. Unless you’ve eaten Pop’s pizza you’ll never know. Since the student body and area includes a great many from the Chicago area, I think it is important that *they* pretty uniformly agree. His thin, Chicago-style, and stuffed pizzas are all great. When my wife and I cross Illinois to see my folks, we make a point to go thru Champaign just so we can go to Pop’s (we call him that even tho I’m his age because we both worked there for him — he actually exists– and that’s where we met and started dating, he’s a surrogate father.)
    I suspect the reason Pop’s remains so good is that he is still running it. It is so good that we have brought pizza back to our home in Michigan, reheated day-old pizza and people still rave about how good it is.