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Street Food Friday: You've Tried the NYC and Chicago Versions, But What About Detroit-Style Pizza?

March 28, 2014 at 12:45 PM | by | ()

In a new weekly Friday column, we'll explore street food and other culinary specialties from around the world. Last week, it was gyros in Athens. This week, we head to Detroit, Michigan, to see what's cooking.

While our ears are no doubt familiar with New York and Chicago-styles, does Detroit-style pizza have the same ring? Maybe not, but luckily, it’s our taste buds and eyeballs that do the judging. Detroit-style is immediately recognizable by its square, deep-dish appearance, similar to Sicilian in shape but unique in its preparation.

The first and most obvious difference with Detroit-style is that the sauce is put over the cheese. You can almost taste the chewy and crunchy crust you see in the photo above, which is the result of baking it in a well-oiled pan, sometimes twice.

And it's not just any pan, it's a blue-steel industrial utility pan. A few years ago, when the West Virginia manufacturer who made them closed down, shop owners were forced to get creative and even make their own pans. Many reported that the pizza was not the same when made in other pans.

Like New York and Chicago-styles, you can find Detroit-style all over the States, including Pizza Squared in Tampa Bay, Via 313 Pizza in Austin, Brown Dog Pizza in Telluride, Grande & Augy's Pizza in Boca Raton, Klausie's Pizza in Raleigh, Northside Nathan's in Vegas, Pizza Tree in Columbia (Mizzouri), Pizza Shuttle in Milwaukee, Loui Loui's Authentic Detroit Style Pizza in Louisville, and even Little Caesars, among others.

If you find yourself in Detroit and want to try the real deal, Buddy's and Luigi's have been singled out and honored as recently as 2009 by GQ. Some other choices include Niki's in Greektown, Jet's in Sterling Heights, Tower Inn in Ypsilanti, Papa Bella's in Ortonville, Green Lantern in Madison Heights, The Gathering Place & Marinelli's in Troy, and Detroit Style Pizza Company.

We tried it for the first time last week at Brown Dog in Telluride, and were surprised with how light it was despite its intimidating appearance. Chicago-style deep dish usually leaves us holding our gut, but Detroit-style really did have an airy aspect to it that was impressive. Stop by one of the shops listed above to try it out for yourself.

[Photo: Detroit Style Pizza Company]

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