I don’t get “authentic” foods. Or, I get it, but I don’t care at all. Just give me what tastes good. What I really don’t get is, when people dislike a place simply because it’s not authentic, nothing to do with taste. Explain that to me. There’s these arguments around here all the time about whether so and so Mexican restaurant is “authentic” Mexican. Who cares. Taste (and price) is all that matters to me.

Anyway, I got into a ridiculous conversation with someone about what constitutes “Chicago-style” pizza. I have no idea what that means. I mean, I know what people say, but there are tons of pizza places in Chicago that aren’t “Chicago-style” and that makes no sense to me. Like, people say Pizzeria Uno isn’t really Chicago style, even though they’re based in Chicago, they themselves call their pizza Chicago style, and according to various sources, Pizzeria Uno *invented* Chicago-style pizza. But people say it’s not Chicago-style. Cuckoo.

And like I said, I don’t even care about what it means unless it’s related to taste. And “Chicago-style” pizza doesn’t necessarily mean good. To wit: Giordano’s. I’ve had it twice now and I’m not a fan. First time, summer of 2000, I was all excited to have real “Chicago-style” pizza in Chicago but it was just good. Last summer went again, it was just OK. This time went to Gino’s East and I liked it way better. That’s a good pizza.

Maybe this is heretical, but I think I still like Pizza Chicago in the Bay Area better than even Gino’s. Spare me the it’s not real Chicago-style stuff. I don’t care. What I like is that it’s tasty and that it tastes fresh. It’s just different styles I guess. Everything in Chicago is about being piggy and greasy good. You can feel your arteries harden with every bite. California is about fresh and different. Just different styles.

I will say the bone-in ribeye steak I had at Harry Caray’s in Chicago was probably the best I’ve ever had, definitely better than any I’ve had in the Bay Area, maybe even better than what I’ve had in Texas. That was a good steak. But I still think the best food in Chicago is the sandwiches at Potbelly’s. I dunno.


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