Look at that giant brick of cheese. Just look at it. Under that dazzling layer of cheese, prosciutto, and balsamic goodness lies all sorts of delectable toppings and a thick, chewy crust. What is this? Detroit-style pizza! I’m sure some areas of the country are more familiar with this treat than I am, but allow me to gush for a few minutes.
After a particularly long day/night at SXSW, I was grabbing a beer with some friends at a beer bar called Craft Pride when a food truck in the backyard caught my eye. Via 313 has a reputation for being some of the best pizza around Austin, but I’d never checked it out before. I’m not always a huge pizza person—I have to be in a certain mood. That night, after walking miles around town to different festival events and drinking a few brews, I was definitely in that mood. I wandered up to the window and ordered the most rich, indulgent variety I saw. The Cadillac: gorgonzola cheese, fig preserves, shaved prosciutto, shaved parmesan, and balsamic glaze. “For $16, it better be as good as people say,” I thought to myself.
When the pizza was carried out to our table, I was kind of surprised by how thick and…square it was. This is deep-dish like I’ve never seen deep-dish before. Generous on the toppings with the sauce (in this case, balsamic instead of tomato) as the very top layer, this was a bit daunting to bite into but gloriously greasy and satisfying once I took the plunge.
What makes Detroit-style pizza so decadent and special? As the Via 313 menu explains:
Detroit-style pizza features a semi-thick but light and airy crust (similar in texture to focaccia bread). The pizza is baked in industrial steel pans from the Motor City that were traditionally used to hold small machine parts in automotive assembly lines. The pans allow for the cheese to be baked all the way around, creating a delicious caramelized cheese edge.
While I generally eat more thin crust pizza, I really looove me some deep-dish and this one takes the cake (or pie?) Those crispy corners with the caramelized cheese and crunchy-on-the-outside, soft-and-chewy-on-the-inside texture are probably the best part. I’m definitely a Detroit-style convert.