I’ve had it with Sliver’s bougie vegetarian pies and absurd (though delicious) minty dipping sauce. Don’t even get me started on the pinnacle of self-righteous foodism that is the beloved Cheeseboard. All I want is a downright saucy and unapologetically cheesy meal, one that is both sturdier than a Chemistry textbook and tastier than your average Chicagoan fare. You guessed it: I’m talking about Zachary’s. This place has been cranking out delectable deep-dish pizzas for over thirty years and in the process, has secured a loyal and regular customer base.
The secret to their famous Chicago-style deep dish lies in their soft and fluffy, yet also curiously crispy crust, liberal dousing of cheese, and classic Chicago sauce-over-cheese approach. I either buy a whole pie and live off the leftovers for a week, or split one for a night out with the new floor-mates for some floor bonding of deep-dish level proportions. Due to their bulk, Zachary’s deep dish pizzas take around 45 minutes to prepare. I typically come up with some clever talking points ahead of time for those inevitable conversation lulls, or call ahead so as to shorten my wait time.
But that wait that might have seemed like an eternity all melts away the moment my server comes out, struggling to lug the massive pizza from the kitchen to my table. All my anxiety and stress about that Rhetoric 20 reading I didn’t do somehow vanishes the moment I lift the first perfect slice from that tin pan and onto the plate. Cheese oozes out from that sweet and steamy topping of tomato sauce. I devour the delectable first bite and instantly feel warm and comforted, as if wrapped in the loving arms of Zachary himself. Two slices in I momentarily debate whether or not my body can handle a third, let out a chuckle, and shovel one more slice onto my plate.
Following a borderline spiritual feasting, I glance at the other patrons and exchange knowing looks of satisfaction and mutual respect with them, since we both made the noble decision to eat at Zachary’s. I walk home that night fat and happy, knowing without a doubt that I’ll be back. The question, readers of the Clog: are you with me? Or are you against me?