Jon Stewart, the witty host of TV’s “The Daily Show” took off on Chicago deep dish pizza last week, as a postscript to a story about the new World Trade Center being named the tallest building in America. Seems Mr. Stewart’s opinion of the 2nd city is less than favorable, and his pizza rant took up quite a long segment. If you missed it, I’ve included it here.
Mind you, I don’t DISlike deep dish (Chicago style), it’s just I prefer pizza for the toppings and cheese, and less for a heavy crust.
Gino’s East is one of the more renown deep dish makers in the city, with about a dozen locations, and like many successful pizza restaurants, they have a frozen line that closely parallels the restaurant pizza.
They are widely available in grocery stores, weigh in at two full pounds, and cost considerably less than at the restaurant, of course.
The Gino’s East version of the Chicago pie starts with a thick butter flavored crust in a two inch pie pan, followed by a layer of cheese, a layer of sausage, more cheese, and thick and chunky tomato sauce on the top. (That order was part of the source of Stewart’s consternation – “sauce on the top!”).
While it takes nearly forty minutes to bake at home, the result is worth it, a flavorful pie, with quality ingredients. If I was in charge, I would make a few small changes, I’d go with a single patty of sausage spanning the pie (as some places do), and more cheese. Gino’s East frozen uses sausage crumbles. I can imagine that these are pre-cooked, resulting in a less greasy pie, which is understandable and a good thing.
The pies are made by a contract manufacturer in the tiny town of Waupaca, Wisconsin; Chef Fresh is the name of the outfit, and I found an old news story about them.
Ginos East Frozen Pizza Review