Louie’s: Yet Another Take On Tavern-Style Chicago Thin Crust Pizza

In the (hopefully) never-ending quest to find good tavern-style Chicago thin crust pizza in North Texas, we turn to Louie’s, a Dallas institution that according to word-of-mouth and various social media outlets purportedly serves up the best thin crust pizza in the area. Consider this a companion piece and update to our recent exploration of this style of Chicago pizza. And who know? One day perhaps Rosati’s will be added to this ever-growing sampling of local thin-crust offerings.

At around 7 on a Wednesday night, Louie’s was already pretty crowded. It has a more traditional sit-down area on one side that was not used, but there was ample seating on the bar side. Indeed, it did have that vibe of a Chicago tavern, albeit much cleaner and with better lighting. While there was an Old Style sign on one of the brick walls, there didn’t appear to be any actually on the menu.

They did have some local brews such as Revolver’s Blood and Honey, and some domestics such as Fat Tire and Goose Island. Thoughts went to trying to imagine a couple of south siders at some corner tavern in Berwyn arguing about Stan Mikita over a bottle of Goose Island, but this seemed highly improbable. Time marches on, as do old, obscure sports references.

click to enlarge

No Old Style beer here and we’re not upset about that.

Hank Vaughn

We ordered a large (14-inch) sausage and onion pizza, which is our go-to when trying new pizza somewhere. This at least gives us a somewhat comparable frame of reference; let’s not judge one place’s pineapple and prosciutto pie against another’s pepperoni and sausage, right? It took about 15 minutes to make it to our table, and in the meantime, the bar filled up even more with young hipsters, older sports fans and middle-aged couples. The server warned us it was hot from the oven, and indeed it was.

The verdict? Well … pizza preference is a personal thing. One man’s trash is another’s treasure. This was of course not trash, but neither was it treasure for us. The pros: the sauce was wonderful and complex, clearly cooked with time and care and made in-house. The sausage was good and in chunks rather than the less appealing loose ground variety. The crust was the proper thinness and was not undercooked.

click to enlarge thin slices, including the coveted corner piece - HANK VAUGHN

thin slices, including the coveted corner piece

Hank Vaughn

The cons? Unfortunately, for us, there were some. This is still a really good tavern-style pizza, but it does not sit at the top for us. The crust was perhaps a bit overcooked, which I’ll take over being undercooked, but still. The toppings and sauce did not go all the way to the edge of the pizza, but rather stopped an inch away. The toppings were a bit sparse, and oddly distributed as well, with the majority being in the center, which caused the otherwise lovely corner pieces to be almost devoid of any topping save a bit of sauce. Furthermore, the pizza was not cut into squares but rather long rectangles, much in the manner that Campisi’s or i Fratelli cuts their pizzas. Not a huge deal, and this of course does not affect the taste, but call me a traditionalist.

click to enlarge the slices were more rectangular than square, for those into geometry. - HANK VAUGHN

the slices were more rectangular than square, for those into geometry.

Hank Vaughn

We were glad we finally got to try Louie’s pizza, and we’ll probably be back, but for us, it just didn’t live up to the hype and hoopla. We really wanted to love this pizza. They provide a great atmosphere and a decent pie, and it’s obvious why it has such a strong (and vocal) following. We were just hoping for more.

Louie’s 1839 N. Henderson Ave. Dallas 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m.  Tuesday, Wednesday & Sunday; 5:30 p.m. – 11 p.m. Thursday – Saturday

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