Chicago’s restaurants put forth a literal universe of cuisines — but inevitably when talking about the city’s native foods, the subject will turn to deep-dish pizza. Local food writers tend to roll their eyes when asked for pizza recommendations (partly because there’s plenty of options in Chicago that are excellent), but several of them will argue for Pequod’s.
The late Burt Katz, a local pizza legend, started the original Pequod’s in 1971 in Morton Grove, a suburb just north of Chicago. Katz sold Pequod’s long ago but developed the style of pie that the restaurant (with a second location in Lincoln Park) still serves: a centrist creation somewhere between thick and thin that bakes in a cast-iron pan in which grated parmesan has been scattered around the edges. The resulting blackened, lacy edge is irresistible, like the scorched edges of a molten lasagna.
Deep dish has its naysayers, but one advantage is that it can handle a profusion of toppings, begging for a piling of sausage, garlic, green peppers, and mushrooms. First timers should know that the pies take around 45 minutes to bake. But the reward is a carefully constructed stunner, crisp and tangy and rich, that best fulfills the potential of Chicago’s famous creation.