Enjoying a falafel sandwich at Falafill last Monday, I watched as two Lou Malnati's employees put a "Now Open" sign on the front window. Within the few minutes it took me to finish the sandwich, I saw three separate people come up and try the doors. Oak Parkers are eager for this new addition to the Oak Park restaurant roster.
Now, Lou Malnati's has been around a while, but having a good name like this on Lake is apparently welcome to many – even to me, who has many times bemoaned the advent of many franchises to the corner of Lake and Marion.
Years ago, we did a taste comparison of many deep-dish style pizzas, and Malnati's was the winner. I can't say I was sorry to see an outpost of the Malanati's pizza empire move in.
I've written about the predictable degradation that pizza undergoes when it's subjected to delivery, and there's no doubt it's always better to have pizza right from the oven.
The Malnati's deep dish, however, seemed to suffer very little if at all from the time spent in the car.
As Jon Stewart said in his now legendary rant against Chicago deep dish, "it's a f*cking casserole." He's right. Deep dish is a crust container cuddling a pool of tomato, cheese and (usually) sausage. But that very density enables it to sustain a trip in the delivery man's vehicle to our house with very little damage to the pie. Despite the cold weather, the pie survived the trip quite well.
Malnati's "butter crust" is thick as bruschetta, and it's also dense, which means it's not delicate to begin with so it doesn't lose its delicacy in transit because there never was any to begin with.
And casserole is notoriously long lasting: you can keep it in the refrigerator, reheat it, and it's as good as new…maybe better.