A well-liked Chicago pizzeria is back in action: Called Chicago's Original Pizza, this mom-and-pop recently reopened in Allen, but has been doing this kind of food in Collin County for more than a decade.
Chicago's Original started out on Greenville Avenue where it earned a following from deep-dish devotees around DFW, where the Chicago-style pizza scene has experienced some closures recently including Uno and Old Chicago.
The Greenville Avenue location changed landlords, and Chicago's Original was forced to find a new home. They relocated to West Plano, but were subsequently able to secure another location in their home base Allen: at 1206 Main St., a space that has seen many pizzerias come and go, including Chef Tony's Gourmet Pizza, Pizza Guy, and Pizza Azteca.
Their deep-dish is hailed as authentic by Chicago natives, but deep-dish is not all they do. For example, they do a "Chicago thin crust," which differs from New York-style thin crust in that it's crispy and cannot be folded.
Their other signature Chicago dishes include:
- Italian beef sandwich, with thinly-sliced roast beef, pepperoncini peppers, giardiniera, Italian dressing, and beef broth, served on a hoagie roll with melted provolone cheese.
- Chicago-style hot dog wit an all-beef frankfurter on a poppy seed bun, topped with a salad of sorts that includes diced onion, sport peppers, pickle, mustard, relish, tomato wedges, and celery salt.
Their signature pizza is their "double decker stuffed pizza cake," which boasts two complete layers of pizza, like one pizza on top of another.
Some reviews comment on the prices, which can run as high as $50 for a deep dish with lots of toppings. Their defense is that one or two slices is all you need for a meal.
Husband-and-wife Thom and Gem Lease are owners. They claim to use water bottled in Chicago combined with Allen water to give it the same mineral content as the water from Lake Michigan, which they say has a positive impact on the flavor of the dough and crust.
Their space is small; they're mostly set up for takeout. They also do a "Bake at Home" option, with the toppings and other ingredients broken into separate packets you can assemble and bake in your own oven, as well as prepackaged beef sandwiches to go.
They definitely recommend calling ahead. "Chicago pizza always takes longer to bake," Tom says.