The theory of the pizza belt

I’m a proponent of this theory. Actually I’ve been relating a version of this to my friends for years, though my region was a bit more restrictive than this one. The gist is, the only good pizza is from a narrow area centered on the tri-state area on the east coast. It’s true, and if you try and tell me your Chicago deep dish matches up, I’ll wave a greasy sausage in your general direction and suggest you lack taste.


3 thoughts on “The theory of the pizza belt

  1. dadleehamilton says:

    You have left Coccia House off your list, pleasing Uncle Dick who now favors Domino’s (proving thizz guyzz point) . . . but I keep it in my heart(burn) along with the place in San Francisco where pop died without giving the sauce recipe to the kids. I checked my mouth & the taste’s still there.

    About Chicago: “Chicago-style” pizza isn’t “deep dish” — it’s thin-crust and still not anywhere in the running for “equal to tri-state.” Still, you would be wrong not to try it.


  2. dlh says:

    Hey Dad,

    I’ve had Chicago several times – several of my best friends in college were from Chicago and I used to debate this point with them over beers. Twice when I passed through they took me to their favorites, including one that was held up as the Chicago concensus best deep dish (and if I recall correctly, bearing in mind this was over 20 years ago, the originator of the style). It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t all that either.

    Coccia house pizza was terrible. The greek joint in town with its spaghetti, feta, olive and broccoli with lots of red pepper added by me was the closest thing to ‘pizza’ that I ate and enjoyed while in school. I did have lots and lots of Coccia house courtesy of Dick and Verna though.


  3. dadleehamilton says:

    Clarifying: 2 pizzas trace in lore to Chicago:

    1. “deep dish” originated by Pizzeria Uno (known as “tomato bread” by snarky detractors) is closer to so-called “Sicilian-style” in the U.S., which itself is closer than any other (including Neapolitan which is the model for tri-state pizza) to any authentic Italian-style pizza made in the U.S. — information shared in my yout’ by Frank Grande, the neighbor whose family ran El Rancho Grande . . .where, truth be told, the better pizza was made, with Coccia House and Conti’s the also-rans;

    2. “Chicago-style” which is what the myopic Midwesterners say when they’re bragging (“deep-dish” is for tourists) and they’re talking about what detractors call “cracker-crust” pizza . . . which had its hot little minute, even in New York.

    All three — Neapolitan, Sicilian, thin-crust — have authentic antecedents. Fact is, the “best” pizza is always the one you like, and when you’re lucky that’s the one in your mouth at that moment — and it’s never as good ever again.

    Footnote: The place in San Francisco was Victor’s, and shame on pop — he hadda go and die.

    Now, let’s talk about the hero sandwich . . . er . . . sub, grinder, hoagie, po’boy . . . and wait for the Chicago gang to bring up Jimmy John’s. It’ll only take a minute . . .


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