Stage 1: Skepticism. You sit down at what’s supposedly the best deep dish pizza restaurant in all of Chicago and think to yourself, There’s no way I’ll like this better than New York pizza. I like my crust thin. I like to be able to fold my slice in half and eat it while I text and Instagram and walk the dog. What the hell does Chicago know about pizza that New York doesn’t? And then you sit and wait until your pizza arrives. It takes a good 30 minutes, and you don’t care how friendly the waiter is (FINE, the people in Chicago are nicer), no pizza is worth waiting more than half an hour for. You have other things to do. Like, try Italian beef. What are they doing back there, making the crust a quarter of a millimeter at a time?
Stage 2: Playing it cool. The pizzas arrive, piping hot and smelling better than bacon on New Year’s morning and you have an automatic salivary response. Your stomach churls and lurches, but your face shows none of it. Smell isn’t everything. You are going to reserve your enthusiasm for the first bite.
Stage 3: Loss of decorum. Despite your resolve not to like this bastard form of pizza, you’ve bitten down on a slice of pillowy, saucy, crunchy deep dish cheese with pepperoni, and you’re experiencing a mini-blackout. All of your pleasure centers are responding at once. You are floating through cloud crusts, sailing through a pepperoni sea. You are lulled to sleep on a bed of sauce and tucked into a blanket of mozzarella. And no pain or harm can come to you. Now or ever again. The world is not such a bad place after all as long as deep dish pizza stays in your mouth forever. You don’t care if it’s all over your face. You don’t care if you’ve brought the plate up to your face and you are licking it. You are alone with the pizza. Just you and the pizza for eternity. Keep reading »