2417 N. Clark Map
The Chicago Pizza Club invaded My Pie on 5/20/08.
All of the Pizza Clubbers in attendance tonight have walked by My Pie numerous times, but none of us had ever been there (at least not to this location - a couple had been to the much smaller place in Bucktown). The first thing we all noticed was how much bigger the restaurant is than we expected. From the outside, it seems like it would be primarily a take-out place with a few tables. But it's actually a nice, large restaurant with brick walls and heavy wood tables.
My Pie is a family-owned chain that has opened 23 locations in 9 states. They claim to be the first Chicago deep dish pizzeria to open outside of Illinois. It's unclear how many My Pies currently exist since the claim about other locations is in the past tense, but the only two mentioned on the website are both in Chicago. I shall try to solve this pizza mystery someday.
We ordered four pizzas: a deep dish sausage and mushroom; a deep dish pepperoni, onion and garlic; a thin crust roast beef; and a stuffed spinach soufflé. My Pie says that is makes its dough daily and that it uses different dough for the three different styles of pie. In fact, they say they use different cheese, spices, sausage and tomatoes for each of the three types. After about a 40 minute wait, our pies were all delivered to the table.
The thin crust with roast beef had no characteristics that really stood out. The crust drooped when one held up a piece, but there was some debate whether that was because of a flaw in the crust or because of the weight of the beef. There was definitely not a shortage of roast beef on the pizza, but the amount of cheese made it less than easy to taste the roast beef. Indeed another possibility for the lack of sturdiness in the crust may be that the oil that came out of the cheese during cooking softened it up. One thing to note about the crust is that it is thicker than a typical Chicago thin crust like the one at Pat's or Vito & Nicks.
The deep dish pizzas were noticeably different from typical deep dish pizzas in that their crust was not particularly thick. In fact, it seemed no thicker than the crust on the thin pizza. The crust seemed to have a garlic flavor to it and it definitely had a lot of butter, so it wasn't entirely unique for Chicago deep dish, but the crust/cheese breakdown was different. A couple of notes on the toppings: the sausage had a higher fat content than most sausage. Also, while My Pie is generous with the toppings, the chefs are not particularly careful about even distribution. On one slice of my pepperoni, onion and garlic pie, I counted six pieces of pepperoni on top of one another and I had a couple of bites with no pepperoni at all.
The stuffed spinach soufflé was definitely the most unique pizza of the night. Like a traditional stuffed pizza, the cheese and toppings sit between two layers of crust. But while the top layer of crust is normally paper thin, here it was about as thick as the bottom layer. Furthermore, while traditional stuffed pizza has only sauce on top of the top layer of crust, this one seemed to have a little more cheese on top of the crust and under the sauce. It's hard to say what the cause is, but the result is that the stuffed pizza at My Pie does not feel nearly as heavy as a traditional stuffed pizza.
Finally, a word about the sauce. This may have been the chunkiest sauce that I've ever had and there was not even a hint of acidity to it. I could not tell a difference between the sauces on the different pizza, but one reason for the lack of acidity could be, as My Pie claims, that their tomatoes are vine-ripened and only single-cooked, while most canned tomatoes are double or triple-cooked.
For those who are planning on driving, My Pie is on a busy street in a busy neighborhood - parking is sparse. My Pie offers discounted parking just two blocks north at Children's Memorial Hospital for $3.
Petey Pizza Gives My Pie a 6.2/10.
Serving up some deep dish...
The Roast Beef thin crust pizza...
Limp crust makes El Presidente sad...
The Spinache Soufflé
Who knew it was so big?
Where it went down...
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Tuesday, May 20, 2008