La Malnati’s: The Best Pizza In Chicago?

La Malnati’s: The Best Pizza In Chicago?

A Review Of La Malnati’s Pizza

Location:4 out of 5 stars (4.0 / 5)
Atmosphere:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Service:3 out of 5 stars (3.0 / 5)
Food:1 out of 5 stars (1.0 / 5)

Last week my family and I visited what is supposed to be one of the best places to get deep dish pizza in Chicago.

Surprisingly, even though I’ve done a lot of traveling, I’ve never had deep dish pizza and neither had anyone else in my family.

As we bumped across the city on the train (which is not my recommendation unless you sit in the car behind the conductor) my mom and I checked reviews of several pizzerias and we kept finding La Malnati’s.  

La Malnati’s had great ratings and several locations across Chicago including one near the Chicago Downtown Hilton where we were staying.

So the very first night we were in Chicago, we walked the 700 feet from our hotel to have our first deep dish pizza experience.

How Long It Took:


Time We Waited For A Table: Over An Hour

Time We Waited For Our Pizza: Over An Hour


Upon arriving, we had a wait time of about 45 minutes before being seated.  They offered to take our order before we were seated so that it would be ready when we got a table. 

I didn’t keep track of the time that it actually took, but our wait time was longer than the 45 minutes we were quoted and then we waited probably an hour (maybe longer) once getting a table for our pizza to come out, even though we’d ordered while waiting. 

What We Ordered:

*Pepperoni Deep Dish

*Gluten Free Thin Crust With Olives and Mushrooms- No Cheese (our attempt to make a vegan pizza).


What We Got:

Pepperoni Deep Dish

Gluten Free Thin Crust With Olives and Mushroom AND Cheese


We had read online that there were vegan options for my sister who is vegan, but upon arriving there weren’t any indicators of vegan options on the menu.  The place was so packed that it was difficult to talk to someone about the pizza options especially since they told us to place our order with the very busy host while waiting in the lobby, and not with a traditional waiter.  

After scoring the menu, my sister decided on a gluten-free crust because in her experience those were more likely to be vegan.  This decision was also based on the fact that the deep dish crust was called a “butter crust”.  We later found out that the butter crust was vegan, and the gluten-free was not… which is what you would call irony!

While we specified no cheese for the gluten free pizza at least twice, when it arrived it had lots of cheese.  The confusion might have come from the fact that the crust wasn’t vegan so it was an unusual order. 

When they checked the order, it did show no-cheese, so they made it right by letting us keep the messed up pizza, making a new one and not charging us for either. 

The downside of them making a new one, was that we had to wait an additional hour to get it and my sister ended up having to eat her dinner back at our hotel room and not with the rest of our family.

The Food:

While I can’t really judge the gluten-free pizza my sister ordered, I personally was disappointed with La Malnati’s deep dish pizza. 

The crust was bland.

The sauce was acidic and lacking in flavor.

There were HUGE chunks of stewed tomatoes (like actual halves of tomatoes) randomly on the pizza.  On my first piece there were three halves of stewed tomatoes that pretty much took up the whole slice and it was actually difficult to eat. I almost didn’t have a second piece because of the stewed tomato situation. It’s possible stewed tomatoes are a thing with traditional deep-dish, so I can’t say if this is normal or just something I didn’t like.

The pepperoni on our deep dish was also sparse and weirdly distributed. Like there would be a pile of four pepperonis stacked in one place, and the rest of the piece of pizza would be without.  Once again, I don’t know if this is common because the pizza is so deep that maybe the toppings move around as the pizza cooks?

Overall Thoughts:

My overall experience at La Malnati’s was basically indifferent.  I didn’t HATE it, but I also wouldn’t go there over somewhere else.  Maybe it’s because I don’t really like traditional deep dish over regular pizza… but it WAS a good deep dish? I don’t know.

 Whatever the case may be, my entire family doctored it with the red peppers and Parmesan because it was “blah” and we all preferred The Art Of Pizza down the road… like 5 out of 5 stars would go back there… but once again, it could be because the one sells a more traditional deep dish and I just don’t like it?   

Our experience could have also been due to timing.  We were there the day after Lollapalooza and as the Hilton next door to the restaurant was filling up with two different large conferences.  Maybe this influx of people caused our pizza to be rushed.

Either way, the service we received in light of the large crowds was good.  Our water went without being filled a couple of times (not a big deal) and everything took forever (annoying, but not their fault). Regardless of those issues I would give them a higher star for service for the way they handled the crowds of people and the messed up pizza.

The Big Question-Would I Go Back?


If I had exhausted all other well-rated deep-dish pizza offerings (all the 4.5+ stars) in Chicago I would definitely give them another chance, or try another location.  But, time being what it is, I didn’t get to that point on my trip. 

Would I  Recommend You  Go?

I would say DEFINITELY try The Art Of Pizza down the road from La Malnati’s for takeout, but if you want to try a sit-down restaurant, sure, give La Malnati’s a go and then let me know your experience!  The service was good and with all the good reviews on Yelp and everywhere else there’s a good chance you’ll have a decent experience. Maybe call ahead and book a table to ensure you don’t have the wait time we did!

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5 Steps To Really Manifest Your Dreams

5 Steps To Really Manifest Your Dreams


Life is a wild landscape of lessons, from hardship to abundance we are all striving for a sense of meaning and personal power. Every year we collectively grow and learn more about how to create the world we want to live in – and become the people that we want to be. The key to this process is effective manifestation. And Its probably not what you think!


SO many people feel disillusioned, frustrated and annoyed that it seems easy for some to ‘manifest’ what they want, and it just doesn’t seem to work right for them. With so much BS misinformation out there, it is tough to discover what actually WORKS.


So you want to start manifesting and get results in the real world, am I right?



Most coaches will tell you that manifestation is 90% mindset and 10% action. I’ve been hearing it for years now in the spiritual community!  Well I’m here to call BS on that outdated and full of holes strategy for creating abundance.

As a yoga teacher and long time fitness advocate I have learned, along with millions of other fitness and wellness professionals, that in order to get the results you are looking for you have to take action.

Dreaming about a healthy, vibrant and strong body is not going to deliver. This is just as true for any type of goal, ESPECIALLY abundance goals. If you want results you have to take action and DO something about it – that’s a spiritual fact.

The truth is you cannot create results without taking action. In fact it’s a law of the universe I’m sure you’ve heard about called karma. –Karma is a little bit different than what the main stream tells us it is. Karma is a neutral force that returns to you the energy that you put out in the world.

Now the key here is that that energy is returned in the same energetic form as it was created. So if you are trying manifesting tools using affirmations and positive thinking, the law of karma will return to you more affirmations and positive thinking. If you want physical world results like money, a new job and a better physique, then you have to take physical real world action. 



Having a clear and focused mindset is a wonderful foundation to building any action based results off of. But it is the FIRST step in goals achievement and dream creation, not the ONLY step. Our minds are powerful things but they are built to generate ideas that are meant to motivate you and turn into action.

So many people get caught on this step it is insanely frustrating. And OH I have been there! I have searched and studied for the perfect ‘mind hack’ meditation-manifestation tool out there that will magically create the most abundant life that I can dream of. Let me tell you, it does not exist!


The real hack here is taking action on aligned ideas. Although learning what is aligned for you takes practice, It is WAY simpler than you might think. It is as simple as aligning to your inner truth or soul and then taking action.



What Really Is Aligned Action?


Its is an action that takes us further into becoming who we truly desire to be, and also therefore the person who is leading the life we want to lead.

So how do you discover what would be an aligned action?

Luckily, THAT is the meat of this article my friend.

I have created a five step process that helps you hack into your own mind, discover the alignment you are currently desiring to manifest and figure out how to begin taking actions towards that goal. This is true PRACTICAL manifestation that has 100% chance of delivering real world results. Because action=results.






Identify YOUR desire, goal, thing or experience that you want to manifest.

Having a clear idea of exactly what you want is the first step in creating results. This is where mindset is relevant. In order to have a true desire you have to know what it is that you want, and be willing to take action to get there.

That means generating confidence, as well as understanding yourself enough to know what it is that you really want. This doesn’t have to be a big and crazy goal either.

Sometimes it is best to start small. As you develop confidence that you will receive results from your actions, you can begin to work on bigger and bigger goals.





Identify the feeling of having that desire. What would it really feel like to have the dream? Be honest! What does it really feel like to have/experience and be living fully into the manifestation goal that you are moving towards? Get specific! Is it Success? Joy? Satisfaction? Remember – “Happy” sounds like something that everybody wants! And is therefore the least specific feeling. Lots of different things make you happy – this is not a strong or specific enough emotion for the exercise. The goal with this step is to give power behind WHY you want the goal, as well as be truthful about the reasons behind achieving the goal in the first place.





 Identity a new and specific action that makes you feel the same way as your True feeling from step 2. This is a vital step in the system! And another great opportunity to be totally raw and honest with yourself.

What is something that you can actually DO that also generates the same type of feeling that is aligned with the manifestation goal? This is a multifaceted step because there are many different types of actions.

There are direct actions – like doing something that obviously assist you in achieving the goal. As well as indirect actions – that support you in other life area supporting you in energetically achieving the feeling.

You want a fair mix of both types of actions. So for this exercise it is best to pick two actions.

One direct action, and one indirect action.


EXAMPLE: Say your true desire is creating your own thriving business. And the true feeling of that desire is success. The true alignment to that feeling would be something that also makes you FEEL successful. Such as; building a beautiful website (Direct action), working on fitness goals (indirect action). Both of these things are aligned because they carry the same energetic quality in your experience.






Do the actions discovered in step 3.

I know, I know, it seems so obvious now. But in truth this is the hardest part.

Because we are so used to hearing that all we have to do is generate a positive mindset, we have been programmed to expect that things will happen if we just think about them, read about them, and then let them simmer down.

Alas, that is not what will get results. ACTIONS get results.

So in this step it is vital to step a little bit outside of your comfort zone and kick it in gear! If there is a time to trust in the universe, this is it my friend!

Know that once you begin to move into action, especially new, exciting, aligned action, you will begin generating results aligned to your goal. Sometimes it can be over whelming to create change in your life. But if you truly want it (TRUE DESIRE) then you must take TRUE ACTION.

Doing things that are ALIGNED with the energy or the feeling behind the desire will lead you in its direction. Follow the energy of the desire and become the person who experiences that feeling and live your best life!






Keep your eyes open! Watch what happens when you take action on the things that you want. This is the final step in the process.

Not only does this step confirm this TRUE MANIFESTATION method, it also allows you a birds eye view of manifestation for yourself.

This is the quickest way to build confidence!

The proof is in the pudding.





Doing this process and getting results will stimulate more ideas and actions that are aligned to the desired goal. Which will inevitability stimulate more ideas about other actions you can take to get what you are looking to manifest.

Continue to act on these ideas! This is where mindset comes in play again. If you start getting results that you like don’t get in your own way and stop acting! These positive results are signs that you are doing the right thing to get to your goal, KEEP IT UP.

HOWEVER if you start to get results that are NOT aligned to your end goal or do not make you feel the way you want to feel, It is time to reconsider why you want that goal.

Do you really desire the thing you are trying to manifest? Is it truly what you want? Start back at step one and get REAL honest with yourself. This process is not for anybody else but you babe.



Here are some additional guidelines about manifestation to keep in mind to make sure you experience fun, uplifting and TRULY abundant results :

ALWAYS keep in mind that manifesting someone else to do something for you is not true manifestation. We are always at free will and choice and as such we cannot control what others do or create. Trying to do so will create immediate negative results and ends up reflecting poorly in our experience.

We are all unique and built differently. The key to all of this manifesting business is having a sense of who you are and what makes you unique. Do it your way. Weather that looks like someone else s scene or not, if it feels right to you go with it! Regardless of what others say and think.

Finally, Trust your own process. Yes mindset is important. But you have to take action in the physical world to get physical world results. Take it from a fitness instructor. Dreaming about a lossing weight and envisioning that is a fun thing, but unless you step up to the plate and do the work to create that reality, all it is is a dream. That said, you can’t do it all in one day. Taking it one step at a time and being willing to allow yourself to rest and reflect is what builds lasting changes.

To your infinite joy!



Zan Dean

Zan Dean

Owner Of Shakti Visions

Zan Dean is a certified yoga teacher, fitness professional, and spiritual consulting entrepreneur. Through her work with Soul Realignment and Buti Yoga Zan offers a grounded perspective on movement and spirituality. Her mission is to aide women in discovering how to effectively create their dreams in the world through practical real world action. Check out Zan‘s website for more information on creating practical aligned action and discovering in depth transformational information about your soul.

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Social Media Burnout: How To Fix It

Social Media Burnout: How To Fix It


By: Katie Skinner Herr



“Social media is so fake”

“Facebook is just the highlights of everyone’s life”

“I never know what to post…”


If you’ve ever caught yourself saying something along these lines, it is likely that you are frustrated and overwhelmed by social media and how fabricated it can all seem. The vacation pics, the life events, relationships, booty pics, all of it. It can be very easy to get distraught by not feeling like you have anything exciting to share on social media compared to what you see posted every day.

Even if you are a conscious of the comparison game and try to avoid it, “when you’re all alone in the wee hours of the morning, the tall tales people tell on social media can make your own life seem insignificant by comparison”, according to Psychology Today.

Fortunately, a simple switch in perception can help you get back to enjoying social media, instead of resentful for it.


Social media is a tool for connection and entertainment, it is not inherently good or evil. Is it possible to curate a more meaningful social media experience that creates better connection with others… without having to flex, brag or lie.

Here’s a couple tips on how to completely transform the way you use social media and the results you get from it. Spoiler alert: It’s all about forming deeper, meaningful & more transparent connections.


Share Your Realness

If you are frustrated that everybody uses social media just to be fake, brag, or sell something, challenge yourself to fix that! At the very least, in YOUR immediate circle.

Share your realness! What’s fresh for you? What have you been thinking about? What are some of your successes AND some of your failures?

If you’ve ever talked to anyone who has a successful/viral following, asking them how they accomplished it, they usually answer with, “I’m not sure! I just shared my story and people started following me!”

A good example of this is founder of IFBB Pro Body Builder, Kaelin Tuell Poulin, who shares her story that she made it her mission to lose 65 pounds and was completely transparent of that journey on her social media.


She posted everything she ate and a #gymselfie of every workout, however that looked. This lead to her large following and her ultimately creating LadyBoss Lifestyle – a global weight loss and support system for women.

Likely being fed up with fabricated television and weight loss product ads, thousands were attracted to her realness and vulnerability.

To this day, Tuell is still transparent about successes, setbacks, trips to the gym and days she eats donuts and doesn’t get out of bed.



It can seem daunting to be vulnerable on social media, but as humans, we need that connection with others!

Most of us scroll through Facebook looking for something new/different – but are often greeted with the same old, same old on our timelines.

Be willing to go first in the realm of authenticity on social media….you might just make a friend or two.


Express Your Talents/Be Of Service

Every person has something unique to give in this world – and that’s no different for social media. In the same realm of sharing your realness, you will enjoy social media more if you feel like you are contributing something meaningful to you.

This inevitably attract others with similar interests. Are you a good writer?

Share your latest work. Do you make funny internet videos? I hear those are pretty popular… Are you handy/craftsy?

Share that skill with others!

When expressing yourself on social media becomes daunting, it may be because you’re thinking of it as “open mic night” where the whole audience is staring at you and you have a microphone in your hand.

What can be helpful is to instead visualize your community seated in a circle where a collaborative effort to educate and appreciate is made.

What you put into social media (as well as with most things in the world), is what you get out of it.

Share your voice with your community because I guarantee it’ll help someone.

Be Kind

I shouldn’t have to explain this one too much.

Social media gets a lot of flack about being a narcissist’s playground or a place where cyber bullying can breed. This is true, if narcissistic and bullies use it.

Whatever you share, be authentic and be kind at the same time. It’s possible. I believe the world can be a better place when good, kind people use platforms to share their ideas.


At the end of the day, social media can be an incredible tool for socializing, learning and having fun. However, be aware of what is called “social snacking” online. This is where you scroll though small interacts or read other’s, but never fully engage in genuine conversation yourself.

If you ever feel lonelier after using social media, it could be because you are attempting to use it as a replacement for genuine, in-person connections, according to Psychology Today. It is a great supplement to your every day life, and you have the power to change the way it is used.

You have an impact on the world simply by having internet access.

Believe that!


Contributing Author

Katie Skinner Herr

Owner Of Guts And Glory Coaching

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I Was A Disney Princess For Ten Years: Here’s Why I Quit

I Was A Disney Princess For Ten Years: Here’s Why I Quit

By: Jessica Dinius



The most shocking, frightening and amazing thing about this whole thing, is that my story isn’t unique.  It’s the story of dozens of girls all over theme parks!  We share a narrative of what its like to have to try to be perfect every day of our lives, what that looks like and how we got out.



Once upon a time  in a kingdom much like yours, minus of course the giant fake castles, over the top entertainment and clusters of tourists, I was a hopeful young girl who just wanted to act and sing.



My first paid acting job in Orlando was as a princess..

The audition was bizarre,  I remember being so excited to try on the costume and to BE a princess instead of watch them. 

I wasn’t fancy or girly, but I had a tiara and was soooo popular. 

I got to live the dream of being a princess.  It was cool, and for 19 years old, it paid really well. 

Not to mention that it was my first paid acting job!  I had arrived, and was on my way to being a full time professional actress!

From that point on, I spent most weekends (while in college) dressing up, eating cereal and watching cartoons. 

It was pretty much the dream. 



Until it wasn’t…

In 2010 I was disapproved from my character for no longer “fitting the silhouette”. 

What does that mean?  Essentially my body wasn’t “princess” appropriate, and to keep my job I was required to drop 4 dress sizes.

(2 sizes smaller than the other performers my height).

The final 10 pounds was required to be lost in a week, yes you read that right –1 week.

  Was this done in a healthy way? Nope!

And even after that, I was pushed to continue to lose weight.

At my smallest I was a 00 and I’m 5’7”. 

I was often asked if I “really needed to eat that”, referring to the one meal a day I would eat typically consisting of a single packet of tuna with 1 packet of mustard (because fun fact: mustard doesn’t have any calories).

As my weight dropped further, and my costumes were taken in, I was praised on how amazing I looked.

The mental manipulation was insane.  I had let someone else’s view of what I should be determine my worth… 

My disordered eating wasn’t a secret, everyone knew I wasn’t eating!

Yet, I let a theme park tell me my weight determined my worth as a person. 

My job determined my value.



I watched them say the exact same things to someone else verbatim and it was like a scene from a movie. You know the ones where light begins to tunnel signalling a flash back.  And I knew in those moments that I couldn’t let them tell me how to treat my body anymore. It was a job, and not a great paying one at that! 

To this day, I still have moments where I think about the things that bothered me from my time in the park. 

I was part of the problem. The role I played wasn’t building up girls and young women…  I remember one little girl, who was maybe 6 at the oldest. Her parents were shouting out for her to do sexy poses.  She had a full face of makeup and I remember thinking and knowing it was off when I saw it.  I now appreciate how wrong it really was. 

I don’t want to shove those types of negative messages down anyone’s throat, or even passively stand by.

Instead, lets teach everyone to embrace the body they have and teach them that they are beautiful the way they were born… after all, no one is ever going to look like a cartoon.



Fast forward to today, I still perform, but not at theme parks and I feel so incredibly blessed to work for the people I do.  

They would kick my butt if they saw me eat nothing but packets of tuna daily-a food to this day I avoid. 

Disordered eating is something that will never leave me, but at least I can say my worth is no longer determined by a scale and a theme park.


Contributing Author

Jessica Dinius

Jessica Dinius

Owner Of: Life After The Glass Slipper

Jess spent over 10 years working as a professional theme park princess eventually opened her own company, in 2017 she retired completely from the industry. She now writes about her experience from the inside as well as her favorite beauty and fashion tips she’s picked up from her time inside. You can hang out with her on her Blog, Facebook, or Instagram.

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