After watching the season 4 premiere of Top Chef: Chicago, where our colorful contestants tackled deep dish pizza (what else in the Windy City, right?), I find it necessary to express my outright disdain at all things chewy and doughy and loaded with with cheese.
Behold: thin crust pizza.
Hands down the best on the planet can be found on the Jersey Shore at a little place called Pete & Elda's in Neptune City. Wafer thin crispy crust is the norm and if you manage to eat an extra large pie all on your own, you get a free t-shirt. I have yet to attempt the challenge (perhaps this summer?) however my boyfriend has upwards of 15 shirts, go figure.
Locally, the best thin crust I've had is at Stone Hearth Pizza, with locations in Belmont, Needham and Sudbury. A little more upscale casual then divey Pete and Elda's, but well worth the few extra $$'s for a pie. Plus, they use all local ingredients and have the option of regular dough or whole wheat, for those of you watching your figure! One suggestion, if you like your thin crust crisp, make sure you ask for yours well-done, or you might find yourself with a soft bottom crust. If you're doing takeout, a quick reheat in a 500 degree oven right on the rack (or if you have a pizza stone) will crisp everything up nicely.
For those of you brave enough to do thin crust at home, and with Spring upon us, try making thin crust pizza on the grill. Delish. Just hit the grate with a good amount of Pam and toss the rolled out dough directly onto the grate. Once one side gets nicely marked, flip it over, lower the heat to low and give it a drizzle of olive oil. Then add on all your toppings (I recommend freshly sliced tomatoes, carmelized onions and crumbled goat cheese); once the cheese starts to get soft, jack the heat back up to high to crisp up the bottom. Perfect warm-weather pizza without dropping the cash on take-out or heating up your kitchen.
Bet you want to go get yourself a slice right about now...