Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Rance's Chicago Pizza

Costa Mesa, CA. Staring at the computer screen, readying to place an order for pizza delivery, I thought: wait...I wonder if there's a place that does deep dish?! I ran a couple of online searches and found two or three, but one offered delivery and was a mere two to three miles away. Naturally this left me to think that I'd possibly be eating sooner, but after browsing the menu, noting the 45 minute wait time, I decided to get off that oh-so-uncomfortable desk chair and take a drive to Rance's Chicago Pizza myself.

Don't let the commercial plaza deter you from the pizza. A few tables line the walls and bar-style seating rests toward the front of the shop. Staff members move quickly, filling drinks and carrying the loaded pizzas to the waiting tables. For dine-in, it makes sense to call ahead, place the order, and time your arrival to be within ten to fifteen minutes of the pizza being completed. For take-out, call and plan on arriving when they say - as they tend to be on point. Other than that, get ready to feast!

Garlic Cheese Sticks

Garlic Cheese Sticks - As a first-timer, I selected a traditional appetizer for something to nibble on during my brief return drive. Rance's version paralleled a cheesy flatbread, lightly seasoned favoring garlic (of course) on a soft-baked dough. I ate through half of the batch while it was still hot, but with no ability to re-heat, I accepted defeat and moved on to the main event.

Carnivore Stuffed Pizza

Carnivore Stuffed Pizza - A 'stuffed' pizza, eh? Taking the traditional pizza we know and love, and layering the fixin's immediately on top, covering it with a thin layer of dough, topped with a layer of cheese, and smothered, heavily, with marinara makes for a stuffed pizza at Rance's. I actually ordered a pan pizza, a traditional sort, but upon pickup it I was told with a smile, "Oops, we made an accidental upgrade." I accepted the pie, went into it with an open mind, and...and...and... 

This version has a bit of crunch and the flavors combine for the essence of a pizza. The pepperoni, sausage, and Canadian bacon were a'plenty, fully-cooked, but muted one another when stacked this heavily. I won't deny that I ate the entire pizza, and I could walk away feeling as though I did, but for me there was something missing. I prefer the melted, gooey mesh of ingredients in a traditional pie, but hey, I can see why this works too.

Rance's Favorite Pan Pizza

Rance's Favorite Pan Pizza - Here we are! Aptly named for the meatball blend and heavy-handed bacon and jalapeños, this is certainly a favorite of mine too. A deep-pressed dough, loaded with cheese, toppings, and marinara, oozing out with each slice I picked up. It was sad to see it go so quickly. I ate as much as I could before my stomach caught up with my eyes, but did I succeed? I'll leave that question open (...ok I succeeded).

Venturing out of town for a quick retreat and coming across a deep dish surprise rendered me quite the happy guy. Rance's Chicago Pizza has become my new go-to for the Orange County pizza scene, and a destination I'm now sharing with friends on those much-needed days away from the city of angels.

Rance's Chicago Pizza
1420 Baker Street, Suite B
Costa Mesa, CA  92626
(714) 708-2143

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