This is for a series of posts for a 2014 Chicago trip including Alinea, Giordano's, Bottlefork, Bub City, Portillo's Hot Dogs, Doubletree Hilton: Magnificent Mile, and Garrett Popcorn Shops.
Regular readers know that despite being a New Yorker, I've got a soft spot for Chicago deep dish. And despite the competitors, Giordano's reigns supreme to me, though it's likely due to having a location in Evanston, where I went to school. So when I recently returned to Chicago, I knew I had to make a pit stop.
I was showing off the sights of Chicago to the GF and her folks so during the requisite walk down the Magnificent Mile, we decided to grab dinner at the Rush Street location.
Be warned, this location is packed. There are no reservations here so plan ahead. By that, I mean plan to do some shopping after you drop off your name and number with the hostess. Or grab a drink at a nearby bar. Why not a drink at Giordano's? Its bar will likely be packed as well.
In fact, we were told 'only' 45 minutes, but the wait was actually twice as long. That left a bad taste in my mouth, but I knew the taste of Chicago deep dish would likely satiate both my appetite and annoyance.
Ripe Tomato Bruschetta with Mozzarella [$7.50]
Diced tomatoes, extra virgin olive oil, fresh basil, garlic toast, balsamic glaze, fresh mozzarella
And with a Yelp check-in, we received a free appetizer. So we opted for the bruschetta to whet our appetites. It was a bit cumbersome to eat because the toppings simply slid off the toast points. However, each bite was still offered the fresh flavors one comes to expect from what was essentially a caprese salad bruschetta. Nothing novel, but tasty nonetheless.
Chicken Carbonara Rigatoni [$13.95]
Chicken, bacon, peas, mushrooms, Alfredo sauce
The GF was in the mood for pasta, so she went with the chicken carbonara rigatoni. It was more of an alfredo with a thick cream sauce sans egg. Still, the pasta was cooked al dente and the bacon accented the cheese sauce, with the mushroom and peas providing earthy elements to the dish.
Large Chicago Classic [$32.75]
Pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, green peppers
But really, the show stopper was the deep dish. I think the real reason I love Giordano's so much is the fact that there is a huge mound of cheese in each bite. And this pizza did not disappoint. The cheese was littered with bits of salty pepperoni, tempered by the mushrooms, onions and green peppers. The tangy tomato sauce atop provided the perfect foil for each bite. And the buttery crust? Nothing gets left behind.
Despite the long wait, service was good and the pizza was even better. It took everything I had not to fill my suitcases with frozen pies to go. And despite the high premium to get these bad boys shipped to the East Coast, I know that another Giordano's pie is in my near future.