Splurging on calories is an understatement when eating a deep-dish slice at Gino’s East, but you’ve got to do it. Thick, golden-crusted, drowning in cheese, and smothered in tomatoes (which are on top of the cheese), this casserole-style dish, served in a hefty, cast-iron pan, is as Chicago as it gets. Gino’s East has been engorging bellies since 1966, and while there are four locations around Chicago (and more in the suburbs), I recommend going to the original, where chalk graffiti covers the exposed brick walls, and generations of families have waddled out those very front doors. But if you’re not in that area, the food is just as good at the enormous three-story River North location, 500 N. La Salle (at Illinois St.), tel. 312/988-4200. Keep in mind that because the pizzas are so thick, they take about 45 minutes to cook, so don’t arrive here with a family that’s hungry and ready to eat. Not ready to say goodbye? Gino’s is so popular that you can actually order a frozen pizza via the restaurant’s website and have it shipped home, ready to heat.