Fat Pie Pizza: Deep dish desire

by Aaron Apple and Aaron Kayser

After a brief hiatus, we are back and hungrier than ever! Sorry to be cheesy, but we are reviewing pizza this month. Before we get into the saucy details, we want to thank Ike Sewell, the creator of deep dish Chicago-style pizza that originated in his restaurant, Pizzeria Uno. After some experimenting to make his pizza unique, Sewell debuted the deep-dish style in 1943 in the Near North Side neighborhood of Chicago. The pizza wasn’t an immediate hit, according to the Chicago Tribune, and Sewell even took to the streets to tell strangers about it. Luckily for all of us, deep-dish pizza caught on and spread across the U.S.
Here in Bellingham, after months of anticipation, renovations and construction, the big neon sign on Harris Street finally has a purpose; to get you through the doors and eat delicious pizza that’s not available anywhere else in town.
Fat Pie also delivers dual-level rooftop seating—a first for Bellingham. Unfortunately it was locked during our visit due to the weather, but it was still easy to imagine enjoying our pies in the skies, overlooking the bay and islands. The interior does offer a second level of seating as well, complete with a bar for everyone’s convenience. They offer cocktails, beer and wine, including a happy hour menu featuring $2.50 wells, $3 house wine, $3.50 pints and $6 martinis and manhattans. Happy hour also includes food, and is served daily from 2 to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to close.
Now to get to the meat of it! Deep-dish pizza is known for being more of a thick pie than a flatbread. The flaky cornmeal crusts of the Chicago-style pizzas at Fat Pie are roughly two inches tall with a sweet, almost biscuit-like quality. Because of the high temperature and lengthy baking time, toppings are added to Chicago-style pizzas in reverse order with the cheese on the bottom, followed by meat and veggies, and then topped with a tomato sauce. Our pie was topped with cheese instead, so they may have added it partway through the cooking time. Because of this, the pizza was more than a tad runny. It may have helped if the cheese had been baked under the sauce and toppings (see instructions above).
Three of us split a large Uno pizza (now we get the reference!) from the Chicago-style menu ($25.99) and it was more than enough for three beasts of men. For those with lighter sensibilities, the menu also features Detroit-style pizza. This style is baked in a tray-like pan with a tender and crispy crust, almost like focaccia bread. Diners can create their own pizza in either style, choosing from a large selection of meats, veggies, cheeses and sauces – or choose from the combos on the menu. Gluten-free options are also available for those in need.
After 70 years, Ike Sewell’s creation is finally available in our fair haven of Bellingham and you should go eat it. Fat Pie Pizza is located at 1015 Harris Street between Rocket Donuts and A Lot of Flowers. They are open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday, and Sunday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. For more details, see the website at http://fatpiepizza.com/.