It's one of the most iconic foods in Chicago: the deep dish pizza. Several pizzerias make their own version, and now there's a walking tour where you can try three all in one day.
- So when it comes to food, Chicago is known for so many menu items. We're talking about beef, of course, Chicago style hot dogs, you name it.
- A whole lot of others too, but maybe most famous of all this thing right here. Yeah, Chicago deep dish pizza. And now there's a new walking tour where you visit three iconic Chicago pizza places, Lou Malnati's, Pizzeria UNO, and Gino's East.
- And Donald Contursi is the founder of Finger Licking Foodie Tours. And Donald, good morning. Welcome.
DONALD CONTURSI: Good morning [? Stacy. ?] Thank you for having me.
- Yeah, so this is exciting. You decided to choose Chicago. For us, it seems like an obvious reason, but what were your driving factors?
DONALD CONTURSI: I am from Chicago, so I grew up there. I lived there 18 years. I'm in Las Vegas now, and we do these amazing culinary experiences in Las Vegas, and I wanted to bring it back home and serve the quintessential deep dish pizza. Because everyone that comes to Chicago, they want to know where to go for the best deep dish.
- Yeah, so when you think about deep dish, why is that like, the iconic thing you wanted to highlight and expand? Are you thinking about expanding to other foods too?
DONALD CONTURSI: We would love to. We would love to showcase the different neighborhoods throughout Chicago, the different cuisines, and our amazing restaurants. We're starting with deep dish pizza. It's a two hour experience. You get to try half cheese half sausage from each.
- Oh, yeah
DONALD CONTURSI: And by the end of the two hours, you get to decide which is your favorite and why. They all have different crust, different dough recipes, tomatoes, cheese. They're all quite different. And when you get to taste them all in a short amount of time, you get to tell those nuances and decide for yourself.
- Oh, because there are absolutely nuances. If you talk to any of us here in Chicago we're like, oh, yes. You know how it goes, right? It's like, oh, no. I like this place, that place.
- Sauce is big too. The difference in the sauce is huge.
- The sauce, the crust, the sausage, you name it.
- The toppings.
DONALD CONTURSI: Yes.
- So the tour, you explain how it works, but it's also a walking tour. Is that right?
DONALD CONTURSI: That's right. So they're available every day. They're offered every half hour, so the guest lets us know when they'd like to go. And they get a virtual guide that shows them how to get from pizzeria to pizzeria. They're only about a five minute walk near Magnificent Mile, so you get to see the area. The virtual guide will point you in the right direction.
They have your table reserved, so you check in with the host at each restaurant. You're seated immediately, and the pizzas are already in the oven. So rather than waiting 30 to 45 minutes for your deep dish, it only takes about 5 to 10. And then once you're done eating, you just get up and leave. Everything's included. Gratuities, we have an optional Chicago beer package to go with it.
- That is so cool. I love this idea. That's great. OK. Especially just you get in, your pizza's ready nice and hot out the oven. And we're going to go to a commercial because I got to dig into this. Thank you so much for joining us. We're going to post more information about how to book a tour at ABC7Chicago.com. And we will be right back after this.
- Go for it.
- I'm going for it, mhm.