By Nikki Schwab, Washington Whispers.
It may be the Obamas' favorite pizza from Chicago, but it's definitely a diss to Chicago-style pizza. That's right, the Obamas' favorite neighborhood pizza place, Italian Fiesta Pizzeria, is known for its thin-crust pies, not the mushy deep dish associated with the Windy City. This was a big surprise for Whispers when we got to sample slices at last night's Ritz-Carlton Inaugural Sneak Preview Show.
While the pizza wasn't Chicago-style, the Obama family seems to be on to something. The pizza was tasty. The thin-crusted slices were heaped with toppings like an Italian sausage and pepperoni combo covered with delicious mozzarella cheese. Even though co-owner Patti Harris-Tubbs (pictured above) and her fellow pizza makers were making the family recipe far from home, she tells Whispers she thought the pizzas made at the Ritz-Carlton tasted the same as they do in Chi-town. "They have the same ovens that we have back in Chicago, and we brought all of our ingredients, so it's worked out just beautiful," she says. Tubbs, whose family has owned the pizza chain (there are five outlets) since 1951, says this is the most media attention they've ever received. Since it was discovered that the president-elect loves their pizza, business has been booming. Booming so much that she might open a pizza place in Washington, too? "That would be a very big undertaking," she says. But those tasting the pizza last night were encouraging her to do so, with one gentleman even offering her an empty Washington storefront.