Today I joined the new Food and Drink Editor for Creative Loafing Tampa, Jenna Rimensyder, for lunch at Paul’s Chicago Pizza in St. Petersburg to kickoff Tampa Bay Pizza Week. Tampa Bay Pizza Week is now happening until March 31st, 2019. Pizza specials are happening at over 30 locations and there is also $3 Peroni’s around town.
As a starter we ordered a Chicago Tamale, which I have never heard of in my life. It’s essentially cornmeal stuffed with meat. The presentation was a little weird since it was packaged in a plastic wrapped that seemed microwaved, but I had this feeling that we were embarking on some journey that we did not quite understand. I proceeded to add some hot sauce to this…probably breaking several condiment laws in the process.
We ordered the Spicy Italian Pizza ($10) that includes sausage, pepperoni, and giardinara. The pizza is a Chicago-style thin crust pie. This style has been vastly overshadowed by deep-dish pizza in recent years, but the minute I took a bite of the pizza I realized I have had this before.
The flavors reminded me of an old chain in Tampa called Windy City Pizza that served this exact pizza. Memories of my step-dad, step-sister, and IBC Root Beer came to mind almost immediately. This wasn’t a fancy pizza, but it was satisfying.
Personally, I did not find the pizza to be truly spicy at all (and I am somewhat weak), but actually just an enjoyable pizza. The portion was big enough for two people to share as a medium pie. I do recommend trying it.
Paul’s Chicago Pizza was a good experience and I would go back to try the deep-dish in the future and maybe switch-up the ingredients for the thin-crust pizza. They also have a location in Clearwater on North McMullen Booth Road that I would like to checkout.
Service was great and the pizza came out in timely manner. Our waitress was a sweetheart and very attentive. She gave honest opinions about menu items which was appreciated.
If you need ideas for where to eat pizza in Tampa checkout my guide to Top 7 Local Pizza Spots in Tampa and also check out Tampa Bay Pizza Week at TampaBayPizzaWeek.com.
Restaurant Name: Paul’s Chicago Pizza
Address: 11002 4th Street North, St. Petersburg, FL 33716
Phone Number: (727) 346-5180