By definition, the Chicago deep dish pizza is too big, with too much crust, cheese and sauce. A lot of people like it tht way.
At SoHo Mixed Media Bar, owner Mark Becker and kitchen manager Ryan Aubin got it right. Back in August, Chi-Town Deep Dish Pizza Co. replaced the former Downtown Doner Shack window on Fort Street Mall with a pizza 12 inches wide and 1 ½ inches thick. Try the mushroom and sausage, and you’ll find whole, sweet baby tomatoes and chunks of juicy Italian sausage in the sauce. Somehow the slightly hard crust, made by Whole Ox Deli (they also make a different dough for V-Lounge), holds up to thick layers of cheese, sauce and general ooey, gooey excess.
Aubin and Becker are both from Chicago, but the recipe is all Becker’s. It’s hard to find a deep-dish pizza anywhere else, so it’s no surprise that they sell about 65 slices during the average lunch hour. “It’s a different concept,” says Aubin. “It takes 40 minute to cook, you need special pans and you couldn’t make it in a traditional pizza oven.” As for ingredients, Aubin picks up local produce every morning at Chinatown markets. “It saves us money compared to buying at a wholesale place.”
Slices only take about five minutes to heat up, but call at least 45 minutes ahead if you’re planning to order a whole pizza. Special flavors include pepperoni, veggie, supreme and others, too. At $4 ($3 for college students with ID), one slice is more than deep enough to fill you up.SoHo Mixed Media Bar, 80 S. Pauahi Street., Mon., 11am–9pm, Tue.–Fri., 11am–2am, Sat., 9pm–2am, 545-4714, [facebook.com]