Thursday, March 5, 2009

St Louis Style Pizza Mocks Me

At the risk of offending my new St Louis neighbors... St Louis style pizza sucks. And yes, I realize this is a matter of preference but damn... Provel?
Imo's Pizza
For readers outside of St Louis (which according to Google analytics are about half!) what you must know about St Louis style pizza is that it's as if your local pizzeria ran out your usual delicious/traditional ingredients so they threw together whatever they had. Forget Mozzarella or Provolone... Hell, forget yeast in your crust! This pizza is cracker thin and is topped with Provel cheese of all things. What's Provel cheese you might be wondering? I know I did. Apparently it's a special mix of 3 cheeses that is made in Wisconsin specifically for the St Louis market. 3 cheeses = provolone(good), swiss(on pizza?) and white cheddar(ok?). The resulting taste is fairly different. It's not horrible, but certainly will take some time to get used to IMO (people in st louis will get this joke, no?).
What you get in the end is an extraordinarily thin crusted pizza shaped object that is topped with a sweet sauce (presumably to counter the sourness of the cheese), your regular toppings, and a cheese that blankets the entire pizza. And you can't get this cheese anywhere else in the nation! 100's of millions of people might be wrong!
I am, of course, half joking here. Like I said earlier everyone's tastes are different and, although I don't really have an opinion about St Louis style pizza yet, I can confirm it's not horrible and I do eat it. I mean it's pizza.
But it's hard, damn hard, not to harken back to the delicious buttery crust of a Chicago style deep dish pizza. Now that's a pizza. I've been told by many a people that there are makers of this style in St Louis. One such place was Pi in The Loop. The place was very cool and the pizza had obviously fresh ingredients but it wasn't authentic. I found the crust too crunchy and not nearly buttery enough. I'm looking for the Giordano's style doughy on the inside crust and pounds of cheese. Thrown on top of that a heart attack waiting to happen and I can barely type proper sentences. I know it's here somewhere... Damn you internets! Point me in the right direction!

P.S. I love the fact that the Wiki page shows the Hoosier entry as a "See Also".


Anonymous said...

You need to go to Black Thorn on Wisconsin.

Anonymous said...

For real pizza try Black Thorn and Cicero's. I recommend Black Thorn, but make sure you have the whole evening to kill. For the ultimate in STL Style try Fortel's.

Saint Louis is basically a pizza wasteland.

CBR said...

STL pizza is an abomination. After spending 7 years on the IL side of the river, I never understood how people could stand it. And, I'm definitely with you one the Chicago style. Give me that buttery deep dish any day of the week.

Good3 is right about cicero's. They're alright and have a monstrous beer selection. Never tried black thorn or Fortel's

Anonymous said...

Blackthorn is fantastic deep dish. For St Louis style pizza that doesn't make you gag, try Riely's pub on Arsenal and Louisiana. It's half price on Mon/Tue and is decidedly better than Imo's.

kfourcat said...

This post is hilarious, I used to hate St Louis style pizza and now I wouldn't have it any other way. It will grow on you.

RP Dannan said...

Agree with Blackthorn on Wyoming in Tower Grove South Neighborhood, (just west of Grand and south of Arsenal) for the best deep dish in St. Louis and like the earlier comment be willing to wait awhile.

I can't say that I have come to truly love St. Louis style pizza but I am used to it now. I have only found one other recipe for provel and that is for a topping on Zucchini.

Anonymous said...

St. Louis Style pizza does grow on you mold. You need to try Farotto's. There's one on Manchester at McKnight in Rock Hill and there's Villa Farotto at Boone's Crossing. The pizza is great (for St. Louis Style) and you can get it with whole milk mozz if you ask for it.

Anonymous said...

St. Louis style pizza does grow on mold. My mom loves it when she visits, but it is a constant battle on pizza night...Imo's or real pizza. sucks.

Try Farottos. There is one at Manchester and McKnight in Rock Hill and Villa Farotto in Boones Crossing area. They have great thin crust pizza (St. Louis style), but you van get it with real mozz if you ask for it. .


Anonymous said...

Lemmon's on Gravois serves Black Thorn Pizza. It is a Black Thorn Sister pub.

Anonymous said...

I suggest you quit dreaming and stop eating pizza altogether. You'll only be compromising your taste buds and slowly forget how great pizza is supposed to taste. I feel sorry for you man.

Anonymous said...

After reading this I have a craving for Imo's!

Liz said...

Hmmmm.... I went through this struggle a few years back, too.

There used to be this place on the Hill called Pizzaria Della Piazza, but I'm pretty sure they closed down. Their pizza was very good, IMHO.

I can vouch for Cicero's. Also, I know it's a chain, but Dewey's pizza (one in Kirkwood and one in U City) are pretty freaking amazing. Not Chicago style. But still good. Never had a bad pie there.

stlsportsgirl said...

If you want good pizza go to The Black Thorn. Don't let IMO's set the standard.*:IE-SearchBox&rlz=1I7ADBR_en&um=1&ie=UTF-8&q=the+black+thorn,+st.+louis,+mo&fb=1&split=1&gl=us&view=text&latlng=6474760285105065776

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you and your review on Imo's. I can't imagine how they stay in business. You have to wonder if folks have taste buds to be able to eat that stuff. And you're entirely correct about the provel. It wraps around your teeth and the only way to get it off is to dig around with your finger. Don't even try to develop a taste for it. And I don't like Farrottos either. I'm interested in trying Black Thorn and Dewey's but I'd take Pizza Hut and California Pizza Kitchen over Imo's any day. I love pizza but I won't waste my calorie intake on Imos.

Anonymous said...

lemmons on gravois serves blackthorn pizza. wanna know something else? it's FREE on monday nights. most of it is st. louis style, though. still tasty, since it's mozzarella & the smoky sauce. chicken wings are killer.
louie's pizza (limited south city/county locations) has a great st. louis style AND chicago style. the chicago style is OK. Pi is still my favorite Deep Dish. The cornmeal crust gives a nice crunch without the grease. Blackthorn will satiate your cheese craving.
Pizza-A-Go-Go should be visited. Good luck!

Hatefist said...

I LOVE STL pizza. I also LOVE Chicago. Speaking of which, here's a recipe for Chicago style, now go cook instead of complain:

3½ cups All-purpose flour
1½ cup Water
½ cup Yellow cornmeal
½ cup Canola oil
1 teaspoon Sugar
1 teaspoon Salt
2¼ teaspoons Active dry yeast

DGC said...

My brother used to describe it as a saltine with ketchup and fake cheese. I thought that was pretty accurate.

And I disagree with good3 - Fortel's isn't STL-style. It's actually GOOD, and does not use provel. Mozz only, baby. It's also ridiculously expensive and they have horrible customer service. But good pizza. :)

Unknown said...

Love St. Louis style pizza. Have been away for years and pick one up every time I get into town. Not sure what is wrong with you provel haters!

Anonymous said...

YES! Dude I know this thread has been dead for a while but I just had STL style pizza for maybe the... third time? The first couple experiences I thought were a fluke... but man. This pizza is shit. It's the provel. Grainy shit. No stringy cheese in STL. I was so shocked at this realization that I Googled "STL pizza is shit" to make sure it wasn't just me. St. Louisans... there's something you need to know. Pizza is not supposed to taste this way. Melted cheese is not supposed to have the texture of wet sand.

Jim Barnthouse said...

I'm ok with it as a thing other than pizza. It is not pizza.