Pequod’s Partners With a Charity Pop-Up Dynamo on Its First-Ever White Deep-Dish Pizza

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In the 54-year history of Pequod’s Pizza, a white pie has allegedly never appeared on the menu. The deep-dish pizzeria, with locations in Lincoln Park and suburban Morton Grove, is known for its savory caramelized rings of crust that surround the pie. The sausage and pepperoni are the top sellers, but no matter personal preference — even pineapple — the popular pizzeria has never regularly offered a pie without tomato sauce, according to Pequod’s management.

Home cook Billy Zureikat is about to change that, offering a deep-dish version of his Tripping Billy pizza every Thursday in May at Pequod’s in Lincoln Park. Zureikat, known in Chicago’s culinary circles as “Billy Z,” has raised $50,000 to support the Muscular Dystrophy Association through various Tripping Billy pop-ups at Chicago restaurants like Paulie Gee’s, Bang Bang Pie, and Pizza Matta. Those he’s deviated from pizza — he’s sold sandwiches at Tempesta Market, for example — he incorporates a creamy shishito pepper sauce, corn, mozzarella, cheddar, and pickled jalapeños into a special with proceeds going to MDA.

Two dudes with a pizza.
Billy Zureikat (right) and Pequod’s assistant general manager Brian Kaminski.

Tripping Billy is a kind of alter ego for Zureikat. It took doctors eight years to provide a proper reason for why he would trip and fall while playing basketball. Healthcare professionals would later diagnose him with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. A rabid sports fan unable to play basketball due to the rare disease, Zureikat poured his passion into baking. The idea for the pizza came after a few summer visits to farmers markets where he came away with a horde of shishitos. He turned them into a cream sauce which serves as a base for his pizza. He held a pop-up at Paulie Gee’s Pizza in Logan Square in 2021 and has been rolling since, tapping into his contacts from his former gig working radio for ESPN Chicago, WMVP 1000.

Customers wanting to taste the Tripping Billy at Pequod’s can stop by or call the pizzeria on Thursdays starting on May 3 to make a carryout order. The two parties are hopeful of expanding their partnership on other days, but that depends on the demand. Check Zureikat’s Instagram page for more updates.

Pequod’s x Billy Z pop-up for carryout, every Thursday through May.

A shishito cream sauce, corn, and cheddar power the pizza.

The pizza is garnished with green onions and a pepper.

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