If you were to cast a movie about Chicago pizza — which actually sounds like a good idea this morning — Ed Levine would undoubtedly be the villain. The New York food writer and founder of Serious Eats is famous for writing that, at best, “Chicago pizza is a good casserole.” So, what on earth are we to make of the fact that Levine just published a list on Serious Eats called, On the Topic of Crust, which positively mentions Chicago-area pizza not once, but twice! In fact, the very first pizza mentioned in the article is the pan pizza found at Burt’s Place.
Here’s a selection of what he had to say about Burt’s:
Yes, Burt Katz’s crust is thick, but it’s also crisp and caramelized and cheesy on the outside, tender on the inside, and most importantly it’s got a wonderful oily, salty, and yeasty flavor all by itself. Burt’s crust has all the characteristics of great bread (even with the addition of cheese to the crust), and that’s just the point. If great pizza is first and foremost great bread, then Burt’s qualifies.
It’s no great surprise that Great Lake also makes the list. (He’s already on record describing it as having a “glorious, light yeasty, pizza crust.”) Though this may have totally been intentional, Chicago pizzerias are actually mentioned just as often as New York ones.
Which is just a good way of saying that we need a new villain for this Chicago pizza movie. Any ideas?
Ed’s Cosmic Pizza Blab: On the Topic of Crust [Serious Eats]