Saturday, January 4, 2014

Giordano's and my love for stuffed pizza

I love pizza.  I’d say this must be genetic except that I don’t know any German restaurants that offer pizza and for that matter I never knew an Amish restaurant to offer one either.  It must be one of those learned behaviors but however it happened, the fact still remains that I love pizza.  Luckily I married well and my wife loves pizza too, haha!

I grew up eating thin crust pizza until Pizza Hut opened its doors and introduced us to pan pizza.  I remember thinking that it was so good!  However, it wasn’t until I went off to college in Fort Wayne, Indiana that I met stuffed pizza.  On a day trip to Chicago from Fort Wayne (a 3 ½ hour trip one way); I met my pizza love for the first time.  After that, we made many trips to Chicago for stuffed pizza just to drive back to Fort Wayne again that night.  Only once did we all nod off and almost crash, but we lived to tell the tale.

The stuffed pizza pie for me was Giordano’s Pizzeria.  It just tasted better than the others and that’s how a long term relationship between a man and his stuffed pizza began.  Years later when I would fly into Chicago for the National Restaurant Association Show, the first place I hit after dropping my bags off at the hotel was Giordano’s.  There is something special about a glass of Chianti and my stuffed pizza at Giordano’s that make my eyes sparkle!

The stuffed pizza is a serious double crusted pie full of cheese and toppings in the first layer with sauce covering the top.  I know some people are weirded out that they can’t see the cheese, but a little patience will reveal all that you need.  The crust is firm enough to hold the heavy pizza pie together yet has a flavor that only adds to the total deliciousness of the pizza.  The sauce is great with oregano showing through and again collaborating with the rest of the ingredients to make it all happen.  And of course the cheese, thick and gooey, tasty and divine – there just ain’t nothing like it folks!

Part of the reason must be because this is an old family recipe that is over 200 years old according to Giordano’s.  The Story (from the Giordano’s website):
Its creation began in a small northern Italian town near Torino.  Mama Giordano was famous around town for her exquisite cooking.  Of all her renowned dishes, her most beloved meal was her “Italian Easter Pie”.  Mama Giordano would serve this double-crusted, ricotta cheese stuffed masterpiece every year for Easter.  This pizza pie became a sacred tradition in the Giordano family and a legend in the town of Torino. 
Years later, original owners and Italian immigrants Efren and Joseph Boglio moved to Chicago to start their own pizza business.  Discourage by the lack of authentic pizza available in the city, the brothers introduced their Mama’s recipe for stuffed pizza.  In 1974, on Chicago’s historic south side, Efren and Joseph opened the first Giordano’s. 
Over the next 35 years, hundreds of critics announced Giordano’s as the city’s “best” stuffed pizza!  The rest is history you can still taste today …
I don’t know how much of that story may be true or about the hundreds of critics mentioned but I do know that Giordano’s is my favorite stuffed pizza.  If you can’t make it to a Giordano’s location, order it online (it’s still good, but not as good as fresh out of the oven).

Information on my favorite locations:
Giordano's Pizzeria

Giordano’s Gold Coast/ Magnificent Mile
(312) 951-0747
730 North Rush Street
Chicago, Illinois 60611

Giordano's Pizza on Urbanspoon

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