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Tuesday, May 20, 2008

My Pie [Meeting #58]

My Pie
2417 N. Clark Map

The Chicago Pizza Club invaded My Pie on 5/20/08.

All of the Pizza Clubbers in attendance tonight have walked by My Pie numerous times, but none of us had ever been there (at least not to this location - a couple had been to the much smaller place in Bucktown). The first thing we all noticed was how much bigger the restaurant is than we expected. From the outside, it seems like it would be primarily a take-out place with a few tables. But it's actually a nice, large restaurant with brick walls and heavy wood tables.

My Pie is a family-owned chain that has opened 23 locations in 9 states. They claim to be the first Chicago deep dish pizzeria to open outside of Illinois. It's unclear how many My Pies currently exist since the claim about other locations is in the past tense, but the only two mentioned on the website are both in Chicago. I shall try to solve this pizza mystery someday.

We ordered four pizzas: a deep dish sausage and mushroom; a deep dish pepperoni, onion and garlic; a thin crust roast beef; and a stuffed spinach soufflé. My Pie says that is makes its dough daily and that it uses different dough for the three different styles of pie. In fact, they say they use different cheese, spices, sausage and tomatoes for each of the three types. After about a 40 minute wait, our pies were all delivered to the table.

The thin crust with roast beef had no characteristics that really stood out. The crust drooped when one held up a piece, but there was some debate whether that was because of a flaw in the crust or because of the weight of the beef. There was definitely not a shortage of roast beef on the pizza, but the amount of cheese made it less than easy to taste the roast beef. Indeed another possibility for the lack of sturdiness in the crust may be that the oil that came out of the cheese during cooking softened it up. One thing to note about the crust is that it is thicker than a typical Chicago thin crust like the one at Pat's or Vito & Nicks.

The deep dish pizzas were noticeably different from typical deep dish pizzas in that their crust was not particularly thick. In fact, it seemed no thicker than the crust on the thin pizza. The crust seemed to have a garlic flavor to it and it definitely had a lot of butter, so it wasn't entirely unique for Chicago deep dish, but the crust/cheese breakdown was different. A couple of notes on the toppings: the sausage had a higher fat content than most sausage. Also, while My Pie is generous with the toppings, the chefs are not particularly careful about even distribution. On one slice of my pepperoni, onion and garlic pie, I counted six pieces of pepperoni on top of one another and I had a couple of bites with no pepperoni at all.

The stuffed spinach soufflé was definitely the most unique pizza of the night. Like a traditional stuffed pizza, the cheese and toppings sit between two layers of crust. But while the top layer of crust is normally paper thin, here it was about as thick as the bottom layer. Furthermore, while traditional stuffed pizza has only sauce on top of the top layer of crust, this one seemed to have a little more cheese on top of the crust and under the sauce. It's hard to say what the cause is, but the result is that the stuffed pizza at My Pie does not feel nearly as heavy as a traditional stuffed pizza.

Finally, a word about the sauce. This may have been the chunkiest sauce that I've ever had and there was not even a hint of acidity to it. I could not tell a difference between the sauces on the different pizza, but one reason for the lack of acidity could be, as My Pie claims, that their tomatoes are vine-ripened and only single-cooked, while most canned tomatoes are double or triple-cooked.

For those who are planning on driving, My Pie is on a busy street in a busy neighborhood - parking is sparse. My Pie offers discounted parking just two blocks north at Children's Memorial Hospital for $3.

Petey Pizza Gives My Pie a 6.2/10.

Serving up some deep dish...

The Roast Beef thin crust pizza...

Limp crust makes El Presidente sad...

The Spinache Soufflé

Who knew it was so big?

Where it went down...

My Pie Pizzeria on Urbanspoon


  1. I enjoyed My Pie. My favorite element was probably the very buttery and flaky crust on the deep dish pizzas. On the thin crust, the crust was browned around the edges and quite crispy, which I like. The cheese was pretty standard in flavor, texture, and amounts. The chunky sauce was good but not terribly special. I liked the pepperoni/garlic/onion pizza the best, because that is a great combination and because those toppings were tasty at My Pie. By contrast, I really didn't enjoy the sausage and mushroom pie. The sausage looked and tasted like McDonald's breakfast sausage, and the mushrooms tasted canned (though cooked). The spinach souffle was basically just a stuffed pizza, which always means lots and lots of cheese, but it was good though quite salty. The thin crust was good, though in my two slices I got the flavor of the roast beef more than big chunks of roast beef. I give My Pie a 5.8.

  2. I also give this place a 6 (though, not because I found the crust flavorless as the rating guidelines suggest). I actually enjoyed the Roast Beef thin crust pizza the most, I thought the roast beef flavor stood out quite well, though I was a little disappointed in the less than crispy crust, it still had a nice flavor to it. As did the deep dish pizzas and the soufflé... though, I'm still not quite sure why this was called a soufflé and not a stuffed pizza despite the many times it was explained to me last night. I don't remember anything about the cheese standing out a whole lot, but I did like the chunky pizza sauces, and I do think I noticed some differences in sauce between the pizzas, especially on the deep dish pizza.

  3. I thought My Pie was a tasty pizza place, although unlike Kate and Stu, I really didn't like the Spinach Souffle. Could've just been the slice that I got, but there wasn't much tomato sauce, which left just a lump of cheese and spinach (and some crust on the top and bottom). For a few bites it was good, but it seemed like a chore to finish a whole piece.

    On the other hand, I really enjoyed the thin crust pizza. This was the first time I've had roast beef as a topping, and I was surprised at how natural it tasted. I liked the crust, cheese and sauce, as well, so I imagine more pedestrian toppings, like pepperoni or sausage and peppers would also make for a good pizza.

    Overall I'd give My Pie a 6.5

  4. I thoroughly enjoyed the pizzas. The sauce was particularly good, but as erik noted, it was too sparse on some of the slices. I also liked the sausage a lot too. Kate thinks it tastes like McDonald's sausage. I haven't been to McDonald's in 6 or 7 years, but unless they've significantly upgraded their quality, she's just plain wrong.

    The crust was good, but not great. The pepperoni was no different from virtually every other pepperoni out there - more salt than anything. The spinach seemed fresh, which is always good.

    All of the pizzas had a good blend of spices.

    I will eat there again, but I won't get thin crust. I give My Pie a solid 7.

  5. go to McDonald's tomorrow morning and get a breakfast burrito. as far as i can recall, it's the same dang fatty, salty thing.

  6. Despite my complaints of saltiness and excessive butteriness to the crust, the sauce was transcendent. As dan pointed out, it had the right amount of acidity without causing heartburn and was in nice, refreshing chunks. I also agree with him that the distribution of ingredients and seasoning was not even. I had one bite that tasted like an oregano bush.

    Of all the types of pizza we had, I ended up enjoying the thin the most despite huge crust failure because the roast beef and saice worked well together. I didn't really notice the purported lightness in the pan or souffle - I thought they were bricks.

    For the record, the pepperoni was adequate and had a combination of salt, spice, and fatty piggy flavor. Maybe you have to be a supertaster to notice all those components.

    My job has conditioned me to speak in moans and grunts, so putting my thoughts into words is difficult. I really can't say what it is about this place that made me feel like eating pizza was a chore. I was hungry, I was ready for pizza, but somehow after sampling the fare I got very bored. And tired.

    I give it 5.5 out of 10.

  7. The mere mention of McDonalds sausage is leaving me feeling groggy...

  8. I'll start with the thin crust. Because it was close to me I had more than a few slices. The outer pieces of this pie were much better than the inner pieces. The outer pieces had a crispy, buttery crust. I was skeptical about the roast beef, but was pleasantly surprised when it did not overpower the slice. The inner piece, however, is a different story. The crust, though still buttery, lost all crunch and was simply flaccid, and worse -- greasy.

    The souffle pie was an interesting way to do a deep dish style pizza. It was layered as follows: crust, cheese/spinach "souffle", crust, tomato sauce. The top layer of crust melded into the souffle part and was not as heavy as a traditional deep dish.

    The pepperoni, onion, garlic pan pie was quite good. Evenly spaced ingredients and a nice, flaky buttery crust. The sausage pie wasn't much to write home about. The sausage was fatty and bland. The mushrooms were weak and as kate-d. noted, were obviously from a can. I'm not a huge mushroom fan, but canned mushrooms are particularly offensive.

    I give My Pie a 6.5.

  9. My Pie on Clark greets you with a unique large solid wood door with the symbol "pi" as it's handles which opon entering leads you into a dimly lit dining area. The spinach souffle pizza stood out first on the menu because I had never had a pizza souffle before. The souffle is created by mixing cheese into the dough and then having cheese on top of that. This creates a refreshingly light pie to eat. In fact, all their deep dish pizzas had a noticeably lighter crust and general density. I would say this is the biggest difference between My Pie and it's competitors. The sausage was on the spongy side but had a satisfactory taste. The chunky sauce didn't excite me as much as other reviewers but it certainly gave the pie a fresher appearance. Thin crust was average. Overall, I had a good time at My Pie, but perhaps an extra boost because the Bulls drew the number one pick in the draft. Go Bulls!

    My Pie: 6.5

  10. I'm shocked, stunned AND appalled. How is it humanly possible that Marla Collins' Husband gave My Pie a 7 and Pequod's a 6.5. THAT, my friends, is a load of crap!

    The crust at My Pie was delish, I'll give them that. It was buttery and flaky and not too greasy. Unfortunately, as you can see in my photo of el presidente holding the limp, sad thin crust, it doesn't really 'hold up' under thin crust pressure. I felt like everything else was canned and salty and fatty. Usually, this is a wonderful combo, but I wasn't feeling it that night.

    My fav was the pepperoni, garlic and onion pizza! One cannot go wrong with that combo! I'll agree with Mr. Chocolate that the Spinach was a little off the mark. Just a bunch of cheese and spinach, it was a little too rich and heavy for my liking. The thin crust roast beef was very good, although that's where my salty taste buds started to get worn out. I was trying to abide by Ryan's famous 'Don't Be Ridiculous' diet and skip the sausage, but was forced to have a bite by my fellow CPC members. Thanks, but no thanks next time. I'll agree with Kate-q on the canned mushroom, McDonald's sausage comments.

    All in all I was pretty disappointed by My Pie. I had never been there, but heard people talk it up for years. I felt let down. Then I tried to call and verify the statement that My Pie has 23 restaurants in 9 states business. The poor college kid I got on the phone was like, "Huh?" and obviously had no idea what I was talking about. I'm a researcher. I do research. I'll get to the bottom of it sooner or later! I'll give My Pie a 5.9.

  11. Wow. seriously. did dan rate this pizza higher than pequod's? that just totally discredits anything he may have to say on pizza and shames us all.