A Day’s Encounter by Debwood
Jefferson City,Missouri—the destination you travel through on the way to The Lake—can now be a destination in and of itself. If you like pizza,Jefferson Cityis where you have to go–it has the best Chicago style pizza in the USA and the worst. No kidding.
My son and I went to Kate and Ally’s NY Pizzeria (1418 Missouri Boulevard Jefferson City, MO 65109 573-893-8855) and we received one of the biggest surprises of our pizza tasting lives—their Chicago style pizza was fantastic. How can such a small town where most of the food to restaurants is delivered by truck and then micro waved, where a cook is someone who specializes in defrosting this prearranged processed food, where the food is so bad restaurants have to sell beer to go with it—have such a great pizzeria? And don’t let the name fool you. Kate and Ally’s Chicago style pizza is fantastic.
My son and I visited Chicago shortly after—not because of pizza—and we tried a few pizza places including two that have quite a reputation: Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria and Pequod’s Pizza among others.
Let me tell you a story: I told the waitress about Kate and Ally’s Chicago style pizza and said, “No pressure. According to Google, you have one of the best tasting deep dish pizzas around. We’re here for a taste test.” The pizza we received—twice as expensive as Kate and Ally’s pizza—was bland, the sauce had the taste and smell of a can on it, and the crust did nothing for either one of us. The waiter who came to us to give us our check admitted the sauce came out of a can—though it was Lou Malnati’s sauce–and he told us much of their reputation is built on advertising—if you advertise enough, they will come no matter how bad the food is—and then he said, “If you want a great Chicago style pizza, check out Pequod’s.” I couldn’t believe my ears. He was directing us someplace else.
So we went.
Where Lou Malnati’s had a classy interior, Pequod’s lacked style and class—but it had atmosphere. The restaurant, in the suburbs of Chicago, had the feel and look of someone’s living room rearranged into a restaurant. Let me tell you, their pizza came close. Very close. The inside was choke full of meat and cheese, but once again—what’s with the sauce? And though the edges of the pizza were what they called “caramelized,” the rest of the crust offered no new insight to my taste buds.
So we came back to Jefferson City to try Kate and Ally’s again—and we were not disappointed. For half the price their Chicago style pizza was very good. The crust had a savory taste that actually felt like someone who really cared made it, the inside had diced tomatoes and just a touch of sauce, and the filling was rich in cheese and meat—a very satisfying meal. We fed three for about thirteen dollars—not including the tip—and we left the table satisfied and happy. By the way, Kate and Ally’s is in a mall and its atmosphere is more like Pequod’s—but isn’t that what you want when you eat out? A place to laugh and let go and enjoy?
OK, so where is the worst pizza in the USA? It’s also in Jefferson City. The pizza was limp—what’s with that?—the crust didn’t even feel right—and the green stuff (yes, green stuff that took me back to mystery meat in school lunchrooms) was spread around chunks of cheese that did not even want to melt. I still cannot identify this green slop. Stomach aches for the family, diarrhea attacks for me—once is enough. I don’t want to give out the name of this terrible gastronomical disaster—it’s a popular spot in Jefferson City—but I can tell you for a fact its food comes off of a truck and the people they call cooks who work in its kitchen are really just microwave technicians. They are the only brewery in town—so plan on getting a few beers to wash down the horrendous taste.
Wait a minute! Maybe that’s why their pizza is so bad—you have to order drinks to survive its taste.
Anyway—Kate and Ally’s Pizzeria really is the best deep dish Chicago style pizza I have ever had—my son concurs—and my daughter didn’t even think about her figure once: she left nothing on her plate. Finger licking good.
Last thing—I posted this on adaysenounter.com and have no relationship with Kate and Ally’s whatsoever. I just love their pizza. Nuf said!