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February 9, 2015

J. Kenji López-Alt: In Defense of St. Louis-Style Pizza:

"Then we get to the St. Louis-style pizza made popular by their local chain, Imo's , which seems to buck both of these statements. Of the myriad styles of pizza we've got in this country, it's got to be the most maligned.* Its thin, unleavened cracker crust bears no resemblance to the real dough that great pizza is built on. It gets loaded high with toppings that span all the way from edge to edge. It's so unbalanced that it has to be cut into squares just to be able to support its own weight. And let's not get started on that Provel cheese—if it can even be called cheese, am I right?"

Every time I'm back in St. Louis (my home town), I'll have pizza at a couple of places. My favorite is always Cecil Whittaker’s, because the crust seems better and you can choose to substitute real cheese for Provel. Which I always do. And the prices are good.

Imo's is OK. It's not great. Some people think so (because of local pride I guess) but I generally disagree with them.

I can live with Imo's, but… it's all the other places that try and copy Imo's. Your local bar, the various pizza places from south county and over into Illinois. It's an affliction. It needs to stop. Let Imo's be Imo's, and everyone else can learn how to make real pizza. Stop with your mish-mash of Provel and your cheap ass "crust". Learn to make dough, and sell it at a fair price.

Except Cecil Whittaker’s. Because it's really the good version of Imo's.