OK, so Coalfire Pizza Chicago, 1321 W. Grand Ave., has gotten all this buzz because the thin-crust Neopolitan-style pizza, covered first with cheese, then with tomato sauce -- a recipe for a crispy crust -- followed by just a few toppings is deliciously simple. No kidding, they don't recommend anything beyond 3 toppings because the added moisture might result in a soggy pie. So tonight, we ordered a Fiorentino pizza and minutes later it was on the table. They're not kidding when they say the pizza is baked in an 800-degree oven. But what was really hot was the calabrese salami covering this gorgeous pizza. Long shavings of the meat, coupled with the roasted red peppers were amazing.
Recipetips.com describes calabrese as an Italian dry sausage traditionally made with pork, but it's the hot peppers in the mix that give this salami its heat. Crisped in the oven the salami had a nice tang to it with a decent kick -- an ideal pizza topper and a nice step above boring pepperoni. Sadly, we dined so late that we didn't have a chance to see whether nearby Italian grocery and meatmarket Bari, 1120 W. Grand Ave., carries the meat. You can bet I'll be on the phone Thursday morning.