From the street, Pequod’s looks like a normal sports bar. When you enter, probably after a bit of a wait, you find a lively dining room and an expansive upstairs level, both floors full of TVs playing local sports and diners anticipating or currently gorging on deep dish pizza.
The pizzas take close to an hour to arrive, and the appetizers look pretty ordinary. If you arrive famished, the wait will be agonizing, and filled with rubbernecking at other people’s food. If you need a first-course, consider getting a small thin-crust to help time pass. It isn’t the best thin-crust pizza in town, but it’s made from the same basic building blocks of the incredible deep dish pizza that you’re waiting for, so a little slice makes for a tantalizing sneak preview.
The deep dish here is among the best in town. It contains five important elements that make it an icon of Chicago-style pizza. First there is a thick crust that is soft on top and crispy firm on the bottom. Next, there is a thick but not overwhelming blanket of mozzarella that melds seamlessly into the soft top of the crust. Then comes the generous layer of whichever toppings that you choose. Next there is a warm pool of zesty tomato sauce that fills out the pan. Finally, and uniquely, there is a ring of baked cheese that crowns the top of the crust, giving it a caramelized appearance and providing an incentive to finish every bite of crust. The two elements that make Pequod’s Pizza a star among Chicago-style deep dish joints are that caramelized crust and the generous application of sauce, both of which conspire to help enliven a pizza style that can seem awfully bready to us coastal types. It may not be for Chicago-style purists, but these touches make it a pleasant surprise when exploring the Midwest’s most famous form of pizza.
Pequod’s pizza is so good that we eat more than our normal one-slice-and-done deep dish performance, and we wish that we had more pizza when it was over. Since ordering another will take an hour, we recommend that you err on the side of gluttony. After all, deep dish pizza travels and reheats better than most styles.