Zoom in on this toasty cheese crust. THIS is the distinguishing characteristic of Chicago pizza at Pequod’s Pizza, just east of Lincoln Park. I ended up here on my first week in Chicago after luckily meeting a member of The Windy City Pizza Club (thanks, Dave and Kevin!), a group that convenes at triangular slice-slinging eateries around Chicago once a month – just before its two year anniversary gathering. I immediately jumped at the opportunity to attend so I could begin to understand the deep-dish delicacy with a presence that spreads across the city like the melty cheese ingredient that seems to have no limit.
When I first heard the name, Pequod’s, I tried to wrap my head around how it could possibly be spelled. I wondered if the name indicated that the “P”izza would go straight to your “quads”. I was relieved to discover the ‘o’ instead of the ‘a’ in Pequod’s, and that the name represented a whaling ship in Moby-Dick. That was the most I could get out of the waitress as she delivered our deep-dish pan pizzas with metal clamps and served up our weighty pieces so quickly, I couldn’t even snap a photo before she was off to deliver the next pizza pie to another table nearby. I like to think that the voyage that takes place aboard the Pequod may be symbolic of my new Chicago journey that started just that week. (Okay, maybe I’m a bit sentimental.)
Take a look at some club members’ choice – simple tomato. And again, notice the dark crispy edge around the perimeter of the pan. My take on it? The toasty cheesy edge is the best part, though it takes many big and filling bites, or forkfuls, really, to get there. The crust was airy and crumb-y (not crummy!) at the same time. The ratio of cheese to crust was about 60/40, until you get to the pure crunchy crust edge at the end of the piece. I am picky with sauce and liked this sauce better than the sauce at Lou Malnati’s, the pizza I had the day I arrived in Chicago (great crust, though!), and I need some spice, so I added crushed red pepper to both for a kick – coming from Austin, I’m constantly looking to awaken my senses with added heat.
See the pizza I indulged in below with some green veggies to attempt to balance out the heavy treat with some added nutrients.
Haven’t been to Pequod’s yet? Get those quads moving and find your way there for a piece of toasty pizza pie.
*Special thanks to The Windy City Pizza Club for the warm and toasty welcome to Chicago!