Crazy About Pizza

“If you like pizza, you have it delivered. If you love it, you go to a pizza place. If you’re crazy about it, you take this tour.” Jonathon Porter

That’s a truism if I ever heard one. Jon’s talking about Chicago Pizza Tours, a brilliant business he founded after learning, surprisingly enough, that Chicago didn’t have any. Now we do, and he’s right – you definitely need to be crazy about pizza! In about three hours he takes you to four different spots for a slice. There’s thin crust; there’s thick crust; there’s the First Lady’s favorite, and there’s my favorite. 

I’d never had a coal fired pizza before, and for good reason. The aptly named Coalfire Pizza is the only place with a coal fire oven between here and Detroit – and the guy in Detroit learned from them! The oven gets up to 1800° and cooks the pizza in about 2 1/2 minutes (I timed it)!

At each stop we had at least one piece of pizza, most of them two. My ravenous teenage son ended up eating half of mine and I still haven’t eaten a slice since! Lest you think you can walk off some of that cheese and dough, this is a bus tour. Jon has carefully selected these restaurants, and let me tell you, they ain’t all downtown.

Along the way we learned some of Chicago’s history. In the middle of the tour we stopped at the spot where the Chicago Fire of 1871 originated to stretch our legs a bit. That destination wasn’t just chosen because it’s about halfway between stops two and three. The way Jon put it is he wants to salvage the name of poor Mrs. O’Leary’s cow. He tells the real story of what happened because he figures we owe it to her. After all, cows make milk, which makes cheese, and without good cheese you can’t have good pizza.

Now that is one guy who is crazy about his pizza.


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