As far as food frenzies go, the opening of Chicago-based deep dish pizza chain Giordano's in Minneapolis was a pretty big one. Long lines and long waits had the Twitter-verse atwitter, and fans of the place were practically running around with napkins tucked into their shirts in anticipation.
Things finally evened out and you can fairly easily get a table these days, but Giordano’s still has the final word when it comes to deep dish in this town. But should they?
We recently checked out Andrea Pizza, the slice place that also has the final word on the local iteration of the Philly cheesesteak (Dinkytown location only), and found their deep dish superior to Giordano’s version.
This critique isn't meant to downplay the charms of a Giordano’s pie — we sort of love-hate the place. But while Giordano’s relies heavily on proportions of cheese, Andrea’s puts the emphasis back into the crust, where all true and good pizza glory belongs.
Conventional wisdom says that deep dish pizza crust can’t really be any good because the overabundance of sauce and cheese makes a dreary mess of honest crust. Soup in a bread bowl has more hope of remaining steadfast.
As a result, the crust at Giordano’s has a distinctive brick-and-mortar consistency, like a dam attempting to hold back a deluge.
Not so at Andrea. The deep dish crust, while naturally puffier, more substantial, and heftier than the crust on their more traditional East Coast style, maintains an unlikely airiness, with bubbles and a little buttery richness for good measure.
Additionally, it’s not a glut of cheese that makes the pie, but a lush reservoir of superior red sauce, fennel-flecked sausage, and pepperoni. The cheese is there, but it’s of surprisingly high quality and utilized in judicious proportion.
This is quite a pie — Andrea was originally founded in 1972 by a Palermo-born dad (sons Antonio and Frank have the birthright to their father Andrea's legacy, though he is still at the ovens, too). They’ve had plenty of time to perfect the craft.
And bonus, all of Andrea’s locations, four in all, are counter service, so there’s no waiting — just quick, grab-and-go deep dish satisfaction.