By my sophmore year I was a stuffed pizza addict, and my pizzeria of choosing was Bacino's in Lincoln Park. There was aways a wait, but while waiting you could watch the creation of the stuffed pizzas in the open kitchen. We preferred eating upstairs, but we would settle for the basement seating (no windows, not as good people watching).
Like all college students we went out in groups and as a result we were able to order a pretty wide variety of different pizzas with traditional toppings or, in this case stuffings, including pepperoni, sausage, mushrooms, veggies and more.
I became hooked on Bacino's Stuffed Spinach Supreme Pizza, crust on the bottom, filled with spinach, a blend of cheeses, herbs, and spices, covered with crust, sauce and some grated cheese. It was pizza heaven. The cheese blend is smooth and creamy, certainly some ricotta cheese was in there along with the mozzarella. Bacino's crust is thick, crunchy and full of taste.
Unquestionably most would consider a stuffed pizza a "dish" as opposed to a "pizza" as you can't exactly pick up a slice of stuffed pizza, fold it in half, and shove it in your mouth. Instead it is usually a knife and fork experience with great flavor in every bite.
Having frequented Bacino's on a regular basis I became friendly with the owner Dan Bacin, a great guy, and extremely creative. In fact, later on when I was working at a Chicago radio station I worked with Dan to create some pretty neat radio promotions. A pleasure to visit his restaurants and a pleasure to work with.
If you are not in the Chicago area but have "stuffed" or "deep dish" pizza franchises in your area, be forewarned. While you may enjoy those restaurants the experience and quality is not the same as you would find in a true Chicago pizzeria.
Bacino's slogan is "Give me the best", and I can assure you that just like during my college days you will still get the best at Bacino's! (Note: Bacino's has been creating quality stuffed pizza for over 30 years!!!)
Bacino's (Multiple locations plus Bella Bacino's locations)
2204 N. Lincoln Ave.
Chicago, Il 60614