Chicago pizza owners sound off on Jon Stewart's pie diss
UPDATED 7:35 P.M.: Windy City pizzeria owners say Jon Stewart showed poor "taste" in dissing the city's famous deep dish pizza on "The Daily Show."
Using his best New York accent, Stewart joked in a seven-minute segment during Wednesday night's episode about how New York pizza is superior to Chicago's.
During the bit, which was made to lampoon the debate over the heights of the Willis Tower and One World Trade Center, Stewart made several vulgar several jabs at the Chicago style, at one point calling it an "above ground swimming pool for rats."
"It's not pizza, it's a f------ casserole," he said to his cheering audience.
Owners of some of Chicago's popular pizza places were not amused.
"When you compare yourself to someone, you have to choose the best. Everyone compares their pizza to Chicago's," said Mindy Kaplan, a spokeswoman for Chicago's Lou Malnati's pizzeria restaurants.
Kaplan said she found the bit filled with exaggerations, especially when it came to the photos the show used to illustrate the two different styles. She pointed out that Chicago-style pie featured was actually a stuffed pizza and the New York-style image was far from flattering.
"That's what represents New York and he thinks that's better? That looking like a piece of cardboard with cheese," she said.
The office of Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel even responded, tweeting “We also sent @TheDailyShow some real pizza for lunch today. No hard feelings?” with a picture of a deep dish with “dead fish,” aka anchovies, on it.
For a manager of one of the Big Apple's Chicago-themed pizzerias, the debate simply comes down to personal taste.
Peter Cuffaro, of Big Al's Chicago Pizzeria in the Financial District, said each customer has their own preference and in the end it's all good food to someone. "I don't believe a customer who really likes deep dish pizza won't eat it because of Jon Stewart," he said.