There are some debates it seems borderline impossible not to choose a side in: Yankees vs Red Socks, Boxers vs Briefs, Coke vs Pepsi, Chicago pizza vs New York pizza. You catch the drift. Is there a definitively correct answer to any of these? Of course there is: Option C!
Yankees or Red Socks? Root for the Mets. It builds character.
Boxers or Briefs? Go commando. It’s more comfortable.
Coke or Pepsi? Beer is healthier anyways.
Those are all child’s play.
But what about the age old dispute over Chicago pizza vs New York pizza?
The question in itself is blasphemous. How could one type of pizza reign supreme over another? Why should we even be forced to choose? After all, this is America, goddamnit it. And while all pizzas may not be created equal, they are all equally delicious in their own special way.
Let’s just put aside the pizza death matches, “definitive” rulings, and ESPECIALLY the blind and unwarranted hatred. As the Black Eyed Peas would say, where is the love? Stop spewing criticism out ya pie hole, and instead fill it with a slice of pie, and learn to appreciate each type of saucy, cheese-loaded, carbo-catastrophe for its own individual beauty. We conducted a taste test of each type of pizza, run by a panel of highly qualified gastronomic experts (re: one hungry, pizza loving intern), and here’s how they stack up:
(Side note: To try and take into account the fact that the Chicago pizza lacked home field advantage, I tried to even the playing field in two ways:
1. I actually went out to a real restaurant for the deep dish pizza, while I ordered the thin crust pizza on Seamless
2. I ate the New York pizza after feasting on the Chicago pizza (that’s right, two pizzas in one night. Judge me, I dare you.))
After some intensive research (a quick Google search), I concluded that Emmett’s was my best bet to acquire some authentic deep dish pizza in Manhattan. They have some negative feedback on their Yelp page about lacking authenticity, but I overheard the bartender saying that him and his brother, Chicago natives, actually own the place, so it sounds like they know how it’s done. Let’s do this thang.
Atmosphere: Cozy, candlelit, and warm. The bartender was attentive and our waitress was honest to God one of the friendliest people I’ve ever encountered. I concluded that this is what life in the Windy City feels like 24/7, and immediately resented everyone currently residing in Chicago (let me be explicit, I have never actually been to Chicago.)
Cheese:sauce ratio: Spot on. Not one single bite of this pizza made me wish for a drop more sauce or a sprinkle more cheese. A popular criticism of deep dish pizza is that there is just “too much of everything,” that the pizza is simply “swimming in sauce and cheese.” And to that I say, are you kidding me? Are you ACTUALLY kidding me? What planet are you from that this would ever count as criticism? Seriously, there’s the door *points to door*. For me, this is where the deep dish pizza really shined.
Cheese consistency: Stringy, chewy, melty goodness. And an ample amount of it, too! I want to go back for seconds just thinking about it now.
Sauce flavor: Nice, but more savory than I’m used to as a native New Yorker. If you love oregano, then this sauce is probably your soul mate.
Crust quality: I found the crust to be a little off-putting, but I wasn’t really sure why. Maybe it needed salt? Maybe the texture was wrong? Nobody’s perfect, and for me, the crust was the deep dish pizza’s Achilles’s heel.
Nutrition: Not that I was expecting this to be a particularly healthy meal but YIKES. Thank god it’s sweater season and I have 5 whole months before spring break.
Legitimacy: I’m not even going to justify the claim that any kind of pizza is more legitimate than another kind. Just like Horton would (sort of) say, “A pizza’s a pizza, no matter how small.”
Song playing in my head as I ate it: “A Whole New World” from Disney’s Alladin.
Satisfaction factor: I left Emmett’s feeling STUFFED to the brim, wanting to go back as soon as possible, and really happy/lucky I wore my stretchiest eating pants. Out of 6 slices of the 20” pie we ordered, I made the safe decision to only consume 2 pieces, knowing I still had another pie ahead of me.
I got back to my apartment, and the fullness really hit me hard. My eating pants we’re no longer good enough, so I put on pajamas and opened my laptop to order from Seamless, hoping Motorino would take longer than usual for delivery to allow me enough time to digest. 15 minutes later, the buzzer rang. It’s now or never.
Atmosphere: Wow. Whoever decorated this place really knows their stuff. It’s almost like it was tailored to my exact taste.
Cheese:sauce ratio: Let me preface this by saying this is my favorite thin crust pizza in all of Manhattan. And I eat a LOT of pizza. The fresh mozzarella is absolutely delicious, but there could be more of it.
Cheese consistency: ^The above being said, it is extremely fresh mozzarella, and the texture and flavor is divine.
Sauce flavor: Tangy and sweet, thin yet substantial, this sauce is so good that I regularly order a side of it to dip the crust in.
Crust quality: Crispy, thin, and jam packed full of flavor.
Nutrition: Mildly less terrifying than its deep dish counterpart. Mildly. But clearly I don’t give much of a damn about personal health since I made the autonomous decision to consume two pizzas in one night. We choose our own battles.
Legitimacy: AGAIN, pizza is pizza, people.
Satisfaction factor: Well after my second pie of the night, I kind of just felt like I was going to vomit. I could barely stomach one and a half slices, but on a good night I can finish the entire thing by myself and feel like I’m on cloud 9.
Song playing in my head as I ate it: “You Make My Dreams Come True” by Hall & Oates
I’d never eaten so much pizza in my entire life. I felt “Thanksgiving dinner” stuffed, a type of pain typically reserved for once a year at the end of November, and I had no idea how to deal with it except immediate sleep. Talk about biting off more than I could chew.
While I refuse to declare a winner, there is a clear loser here, and that loser is my diet. And Sicilian style pizza (seriously, why even bother.)