To make it short, Little Star Pizza is better than Zachary's Chicago Pizza.
Of course, it isn't that simple. For scientific purposes (tongue in cheek), we have to be clear on what is being compared.
First, both serve Chicago style pizza. The New York crown is a separate issue.
Second, I ordered a small at each place (9" at Little Star Pizza and 10" at Zachary's). This is an important consideration as the crust on the 14" at Zachary's is frequently undercooked.
Third, and most importantly, I'm comparing the sausage pizza served at each. If you go to Zachary's for the Spinach & Mushroom special as many of my friends do, nothing in my argument is going to persuade you--if it was ever going to.
Little Star wins hands down. It's beautifully rich, like a pie crust. The way Chicago pizza is supposed to be. The crust provides a little sweet buttery undercurrent in every bite. On the other hand, it doesn't overdo it, like, say, Pizzeria Uno--the mediocre chain, not the fantastic original.
Zachary's crust is serviceable, nothing more. It's bread. It doesn't fall apart. It doesn't taste bad.
A push. The cheese at both places is good and ample, as it should be.
This is a tricky one. If you asked me who I thought had the fresher tomatoes, I'd say Zachary's without hesitation. But in this case I'm not sure that's a good thing. Zachary's tomatoes are very tomato-y, rather than pizza-y. Little Star's might lack some of the freshness of Zachary's, but they're still good quality and the folks there have done you the excellent favor of SAUCING them. So while Zachary's might have an advantage in the raw ingredient, the sauce that comes out of Little Star's Kitchen is right on--full of flavor, spiked with with a little parm, and a nice balance of herbs (not the pound of oregano you get some places).
A second point about the sauce. What the...heck, Zachary's? Why all the sauce? It's poured on to the point where it overwhelms the pie. Sauce is good, but there's got to be a balance.
My favorite--may not be relevant to you.
Little Star's is truly perfect. Savory, not too fennelly. Zachary's is good too, but a little on the bland side.
So that's my vote. What's yours?
If you're planning on going, I'd check the link. Little Star is closed Mondays and is only open for dinner.
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