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The Numero Uno @The_Real_Pizzeria_Uno
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The Numero Uno @The_Real_Pizzeria_Uno

When you go to Chicago and then tell people you had pizza at Uno’s, their reactions are all the same:

“Awwwwwwww, not UNO’S! Come on, there are so much better pizza places to go to!”

To a T. Every single one said something like that. Even today when my trip to Chicago comes up in conversation, the groan and change in facial expression that comes two tenths of a second after I say “Uno” is exact. You could calibrate scientific tools to this reaction time.

I thought it was pretty good. Of the four pies I had while I was in Chicago, I liked Uno the most, but I hated food when I was at Pequod’s, so that call might not put them on a level playing field. If I was going to be in Chicago again sometime soon, I wouldn’t try to eat the entire city in three days.

Seriously, though; the NYC Food Guy and I landed in Chicago at 9 and had an Italian Beef, a Hot Dog, Fries, and two deep dish pies before 3. That’s over two days worth of calories in six hours. It was chemically impossible for us not to fall asleep at the table after finishing the Geno’s pie (OK, half the Geno’s pie – but still).

So now you want me to talk about NY pizza vs. Chicago Pizza? Fine. Take a look at this article. What does that tell you? I don’t know either. What I do know is that there is no making a snack out of a slice of Chicago deep dish pizza. It is a meal. You can call me a pussy if you’d like, but I am standing by that fact: one slice of Chicago deep dish is a meal.

Of course, one slice of New York pizza is not a meal, but two slices certainly are.

Do you get the same amount of dough, cheese, toppings, sauce on one slice of deep dish and two slices of NY style? If it’s not exactly the same you might give the edge to NY on that, but not by much and the only thing that might put it over the top would be the amount of dough beating out that of the Chicago “slice.”

Which brings me to the question; how come specialty shops can be so notoriously stingy with their toppings? Motorino gives you practically no toppings. What’s the deal with this? And they throw them on with such recklessness that you might think they’re just messing with you when each slice has such a topping disparity. Is it cool not to care about how even the toppings are placed on the pizza? Is it cool to think that you don’t care how uneven the toppings are? It seems like the further away from awesome you go along the pizza continuum, the better distributed the toppings are. See? Does that pizza not look goddamned disgusting to you? I wouldn’t eat it.

OK, I’m lying. I’d probably eat it.

Should I get to the review of Uno’s “Numero Uno” Pizza? Sure. Here’s the obligatory upskirt:

Kinda liked taking this upskirt shot because the waitress was clueless about what I was doing. Tried to explain it to her and she looked at me as if no one had ever come to Chicago and taken a picture of the pizza before. I guess she just looked at me as if no one had ever come to Chicago and taken a picture of the underside of the pizza before. That. I can understand. Plus, it looks like all these pizzas come out the same on the bottom. I don’t think the upskirt applies to deep dish (or any kind of dish) pizza. I guess she knew more about pizza photography than I’d given her credit for.

Oh, I forgot to mention that the NYC Food Guy Shellacked me in our game of Dots. I could have just as easily left this out, but come on: this post is just barely about pizza anyway.

The bottom line is that I’m happy we went here. It’s definitely one of those places that you have to go when you come to Chicago if you’re a tourist. I know we missed Lou Malnati’s, and everyone is saying that’s the current best pie in Chicago, but this one was pretty good. Nothing like Di Fara or Grimaldi’s, but good. The ingredient quality on this pizza compared to the aforementioned two is completely night and day, but I’m sure fresh mutz isn’t going to work the same way when cooked under five layers of toppings. I was pleased with Uno, and I know it probably comes down to personal preference. I was talking with someone a few weeks ago from Germany – she said that she only liked pizza from Pizza Hut.

You could say, “there’s no accounting for taste,” but that statement could be put to the test by Chicago’s pizza purists.

Pizzeria Uno
29 East Ohio Street
Chicago, IL 60611
(312) 280-5120

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