There are few things more divisive than the question of who makes the best slice of pizza. If you’re from Chicago and loyal, you’d argue that deep dish sauce on the top is the way to go. True Chicago style pizza, the deep-dish style that they are famous for, is made with a layer of dough that is laid in a deep pan and the sides are then pulled up. This doughy crust is then parbaked before any sauce or toppings are added and this parbaking is key to making the Chicago style deep dish the springy crust. Toppings are then put on the crust and sometimes mixed with the mozzarella. Then the sauce (or crushed tomatoes) goes on top and the whole mess is baked. Gino’s East makes a good example of this type of pizza. Here’s a shot of one of Gino’s cheese deep dish pizzas:
However, if you’re from New York, and loyal, your tastes more likely would favor the thin-crust style pizza New Yorkers are famous for. Some argue for Patsy’s (Grimaldi’s) (which now offers by the slice as well; http://www.grimaldis.com/brooklyn.htm), others Tontano (http://www.totonnos.com) or even Lombardi’s (http://www.lombardispizza.com/). But I’d definitely have to say my favorite is Di Fara pizza out in Midwood, Brooklyn.
Domenico, the owner and sole pizza chef there, prepares each pizza pie as its ordered right in front of the eager customers. Each regular pie is lovingly given sauce, fresh mozzarella that he has flown in from Umbria, and basil from Jerusalem that is cut as you watch over the pie fresh from the oven and then drizzled with extra virgin olive oil. The whole experience is like watching theater. And the aroma of the fresh basil and baking pizza fills the room.
Best to go on weekedays to avoid the wait, Here’s a shot of what you get:
After adding the olive oil, Domenico cuts the pie himself and, as you can see, cuts it into irregular shapes…..all part of the uniqueness of this place. Outside of Tuscany this is hands down, the best pizza I’ve had. The crust is thin, with just the right combination of burnt spots on the edges and crispness throughout; and the freshness of the ingredients really carries it above and beyond other New York pizzas.
When I went there, a couple (possibly in their 60s) waiting in front had come via subway all the way from the Upper West Side. They ordered the rectangular pie.
Here’s the whole pie, a regular cheese: