POSTED ON MARCH 19, 2008:
For delivery or carryout only, hidden gem won't reveal its secret recipes
Since 1984 D'oro Pizza has been making food deliveries around town to the satisfaction of many customers. Manager Michael Miller said this family-owned and operated business not only has the best prices in town, but makes the claim that it is "the best pizza in town. You just cannot beat it."
I was up for the challenge.
I discovered there is no dining in at D'oro's--only carryout or delivery with a $1.95 delivery charge for each order. Closing in on its 25th anniversary, D'oro Pizza is in a very conspicuous location. Located on the south side of the street just west of 31st and Sheridan, D'oro's occupies a tiny narrow spot just big enough to prepare some very good pizza.
Recently for dinner some friends and I sampled a large pizza with mushrooms, onions, pepperonis and black olives and a medium Chicken Alfredo Pizza ($8.99) and a Ham and Cheese sub. I also sampled the one dessert item, a medium Apple Pizza ($7.99).
The pizzas were prepared within 20 minutes, and I picked them up piping hot. My friends and I first sampled the pizza with the assorted ingredients. There was a decent amount of toppings, all very fresh, except the mushrooms were canned. What we found different with D'oro pizza was the taste of the tomato sauce and the crust. The sauce was red, rich and a little sweet, which Miller said was a result of the "special combination of herbs and spices." "We use 15 spices, which really bring out the robust flavor in our sauce," he said. Naturally, he was no where near divulging what those spices might be.
They tout their pizza as "Chicago Style Pizzeria," which immediately connotes thick crust. I'm a fan of thick and fat crusts at times, and this one passed my test. The deep dish-type pizza surfaced out of necessity during the Great Depression when eating meals in one pan, such as pizza, was the easiest form for feeding many mouths. These casserole-like meals were very popular and are in demand for the family today, too.
This pizza was not as deep dish Chicago-style as some I have had, but the crust is definitely thick and hearty. I would deem it as focaccia-type bread, of medium thickness and of a spongy texture. As for the sauce, Miller is very tight-lipped about its ingredient legacy, saying only "it is a light colored crust with a secret ingredient to make it rise thicker and fluffier to a golden brown." Fair enough. I'm not as interested in replicating the crust as I am with consuming it.
The Chicken Alfredo Pizza was actually very good with its tastes and textures. Green olives, tomatoes, artichokes and chicken worked very well together with the Alfredo sauce. There was a tartness to it because of the pickled artichokes. It was a nice deviation from the red sauced pizzas.
Besides pizza, D'oro has Hot Oven Sandwiches, Pasta, Appetizers, Chicken Salad and Tossed Green Salad. The Ham & Cheese Sub ($4.99) came highly recommended and I was definitely pleased. I recall lots of cheese. A hot toasted sub-shaped bread enclosed several thin slices of good ham with a generous serving of melted cheese. Each bite was excellent--something I would order again.
The Apple Pizza is made with red apples (skins on), lots of cinnamon, sugar butter and mozzarella cheese. It was interesting; it satisfied my sweet tooth.
While customers may select their own pizza creation, others recommendations are the Supreme Knockout Deluxe, described as a "mouthwatering combination of Pepperoni, Sausage, Onions, Mushrooms, Green Peppers and loads of Cheese!"; Hawaiian Feast (pineapples and ham); Loaded Pepperoni; All Meat Extravaganza (pepperoni, Canadian bacon, sausage and beef); and Veggie Delight (green peppers, onions, mushrooms and black olives).
While Miller said D'oro's was soon to revise the menu new items, the current menu offers a fine range of pizza and pizza-related dishes.
D'oro Pizza is worth a call and delivery charge for lunch or dinner.
6380 E. 31st
Mon.-Thurs. 11am-1pm; 4-10pm
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