After hearing about it from several of you, I met my friend wibia (us bloggers have to stick together after all) for lunch at Ale Emporium so that I could finally try their pizza (apparently I am on a pizza quest now). They have some nice lunch specials with a slice of pizza and a salad, but I really wanted to try the deep dish pizza (that’s what you guys keep telling me anyway) so we ordered a pizza to share (you can’t get the deep dish with the lunch special).
Ale Emporium is an interesting place—much bigger inside than I thought looking at it and extremely casual—it is essentially a bar (don’t bring the kids) with lots of high bar tables. Thankfully they have made one large side of the room non-smoking.I can’t talk about too much because really, all we had was the pizza (well, and a couple of beers, I mean it is called Ale Emporium right?)—it takes awhile to make a whole deep dish pizza, but I was expecting that—and actually it didn’t take as long as what I would have thought. Also, our server was attentive and helpful even though it was her first day.
So on to the pizza, I got spinach and mushroom on my half (which for some reason I have decided is the classic deep dish toppings for me--probably because of Zachary’s pizza in Berkeley). Anyway, it is certainly generous, we shared a small ($16.50) (of course, he had to have sausage on his half, claiming my choices were too girly) and it was a lot of food (at least for me). There were 6 pieces total. So overall, I liked it o.k. It was a little more gooey and sloppy than I thought it would be—but the crust was strong enough to hold up to the toppings. I guess the deep dish pies I have had in the past were more self contained when you put a piece on your plate. This one kind of oozed all over. The crust has a sort of almost thick pastry-like texture and I liked the slight flakiness. I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more spinach and mushrooms in there—clearly the spinach was just some leaves thrown in, not a substantial amount. I couldn’t really taste either of my chosen toppings that much. What you tasted was the pretty thick crust and the significant amount of cheese and to a lesser extent, the sauce, but it was a good sauce with decent seasoning. And at least the crust was hearty enough to stand up to it. Wibia did say that he thought the deep dish pizza was better when it was bigger—that the proportions were better, and I can see that as a possibility. Although, I would need a small army to eat an even bigger one.I am intrigued by the thin crust too though—because the sauce and crust flavors were generally good. I am curious to know what the thin crust is like. Who has had it? And which do you like better?