Food and travel go almost hand in hand so it was a bit surprising to find an authentic Chicago-style pizza, Giordano’s stuffed pizza in Orlando.
Admittedly, I have never had a real Chicago-style deep dish pizza so when I saw Giordano’s World Famous “stuffed pizza” flash on a 192 billboard in Kissimmee, Florida, my wife and I were intrigued. Our recent visit to the Disney area produced some pretty bland food, thanks to Bob Evans for reminding me why I rarely eat breakfast at chain restaurants.
I was a bit hesitant about trying this “pizza”. I will get to why I put it quotes shortly. The price tag for this cheap old man was a bit high for me but since I have never ordered this type of pie, I didn’t quite know what to expect. A large pizza started at $29.00 and I scoffed all week every time my wife brought it up. As I said, I’m cheap when it comes to food which doesn’t make much sense considering I have a very good palate.
On our last night at our resort, my wife convinced me to order it.
Giordano’s is located in Kissimmee, Lake Buena Vista, and another location near Universal Studios parks. They have a rich tradition and a recipe they say has evolved over 200 years. It all started in Torino, Italy and their first pizza shop opening in south Chicago in 1974.
Having started to branch out around the United States, Giordano’s can be found in 10 different states but the bulk of the locations are still in and around Chicago. Sadly, there are none in North Carolina but their website says they can ship their stuffed pizza frozen to you. Might have to try that.
Let’s talk about the “pizza”. I don’t consider this a pizza by any means. It tastes kind of like a pizza but not really. The crust is completely different than a traditional pizza and it does seem to be more of what one might consider a pie, which is perfectly fine.
I found that the two can live in the same world together despite being in two different worlds. Earlier in the week, we had traditional pizza and it was good too. If I am in the mood for pizza, I’m probably not ordering Giordano’s because, again, I don’t really see it as pizza. On the other hand, I’m far more likely to be in the mood for this “stuffed” gem.
The layers are wonderful and whatever you choose to have it stuffed with, mostly traditional pizza toppings, you will be surprised how well it holds together. In fact, the leftovers I have (one slice remaining) are still perfectly formed.
There were two layers of cheese that seemed to do well to keep it together. The top layer was a sweet marinara sauce with parmesan cheese. There wasn’t a lot of it but the flavor was bold enough that it mixed well with the stuffed peppers, onions, sausage, and pepperoni we had shoved into ours. The dough is firm enough to hold up to the grease of the meat without getting soggy. Even a day later it was still wonderful to eat and didn’t fall apart.
Giordano’s may seem to be pricey, especially if you have never had a stuffed-style pie. Despite my reservations at the cost, I was more than surprised and happy my wife forced my hand. The “pizza” was not only good but it was different enough to call it a cousin of real pizza, maybe in some ways, a prettier cousin.
Overall this was a great way to end our vacation and we will be looking into getting a frozen one shipped to us. Giordano’s lives up to it’s reputation as being one of Chicago’s best pizzas. I highly recommend it if you get the chance.