October 19, 2011: I ate at Pizzeria Uno for the first time in years, and found the experience completely underwhelming. I had a so-called "deep dish" pizza with mac and cheese, also deep-dish. After the past several months of eating mostly home-cooked meals in cast iron, the food I ate there simply could not compare, especially considering how much I paid for the meal. The "deep dish" pans used at Pizzeria Uno are seven-inch aluminum pans, clean on the inside. The outside is coated with a baked-on or burned-on seasoning that gives the pan a blackened look. The "deep dish" is perhaps two inches deep. The pizza crust tasted had a dry taste of flour, whereas the toppings were skimpy and light. The mac and cheese wasn't bad, though all through the meal the thought kept repeating in my head, "…even I could cook better than this!" I gave a standard tip to the waiter because he wasn't the one who'd cooked this; in fact, I doubt there was an actual cook at all in the restaurant. More likely, they just heat pre-made dishes delivered to them by the chain. If nothing else, this has made me determined to top Pizzeria Uno – no great feat, I'll admit – and produce a more satisfying deep-dish pizza.
I could go on about the wonders of pizza, but why bother? If there's one food that everyone knows, it's pizza – and if there's one dish that comes out absolutely wonderful when made in cast iron, it's pizza! By far, the most popular dishes on the Cast Iron Cooking group are pizza, chicken, and cornbread…with pizza almost certainly beating them all. The secret to a good pizza is to make it in a cast iron pan…because once you discover how easy it is to make a wonderful tasting pizza in cast iron, you'll find that delivery pizza just doesn't compare. It's more expensive, smaller, and far less tasty than homemade pizza. About the only advantage of delivery pizza over homemade is the convenience: it does take a while to raise a good dough, heat your oven, and cook the pizza. But if you have the patience, you can make an outstanding pie at a cost far less than a small takeout pizza.
Without a doubt, the vast majority of pizza made in the United States is the New York style of pizza: a huge, flat pie, with tons of sauce and mountains of toppings in every food type and flavor imaginable. Anyone can live on this kind of pizza for the rest of their lives, and they would be happy just changing the toppings every so often. But there are other options available, and all of these differences are worth trying.