Pizza Today - October 2017 - 18

Man on the Street
SCOTT WIENER

Motor City's Finest
The popular pizza style is making Detroit a pizza destination

A

fter I hung up the phone, it
took a few seconds of delightful
distraction before sheer terror set
in. The folks from Pizza Expo had asked
me to moderate a panel discussion about
Detroit-style pizza at the 2018 event in
Las Vegas. Detroit style has been all the
rage lately and it definitely deserves some
spotlight. I moderated a panel last year at
the Brooklyn Historical Society featuring
three Brooklyn-based pizza makers and
had a real blast doing it. What seemed
like a perfect gig suddenly jarred me back
to reality with a very real concern: I had
never been to Detroit.

1 8 / P I Z Z AT O D AY. C O M / O C T O B E R 2 0 1 7

Since the call came just before an
expected dip in my NYC pizza-touring
schedule, I took steps toward solving the
problem by booking a round-trip ticket
to the Motor City. I mapped the must-hit
spots that would give me some perspective
on the city's indigenous pizza history and
style. Detroit has trendy imports like New
York style, and the neo-Neapolitan format
that has become so popular as of late. But
the one I traveled to eat is different. To
locals, it's only pizza. But to a dedicated
pizza enthusiast, it's something special.
The style of pizza that's making Detroit
such a popular destination for pizza

lovers is a rectangular, pan-proofed dough
topped with a mix of white cheddar
and brick cheeses that caramelize along
the perimeter of the pie, producing a
perfectly crunchy border at the edge. This
style began with a recipe from the Sicilian
mother-in-law of Gus Guerra, owner of
a Detroit bar called Buddy's Rendezvous.
He modified the recipe using ingredients
that were locally available, like the brick
cheese he found in the mostly Polish
Hamtramck neighborhood just north of
the bar. Even the deep steel pans were
local, rumored to have been the type used
by the auto industry to store and clean
tools.
Buddy's started serving this style
of pizza in 1946, but Guerra soon left
the business and opened a bar/pizzeria
in 1953 called Cloverleaf. His family still runs the shop to this day and I
could barely tell the difference between
their pizza and Buddy's. Before leaving
Buddy's, Guerra taught Loui Tourtois
how to make pizza. He remained the pie
man there before helping open Shield's
Pizza and eventually his own spot, Loui's
Pizza, in Hazel Park in 1977. If this
whole thing sounds familiar, it's because
famous pizza cities like New York City,
New Haven and Chicago, all have similar
origin stories.
After hitting about a dozen pizzerias
on my short trip, the takeaway was clear.
Detroit has a dense fabric of pizzeria lore
surrounding a style that is truly unique to
the city in which it is found. It makes me
wonder what other rocks have yet to be
overturned. Like discovering an island or
finding water on Mars, it only means that
there's more out there than what we think
we now know. It reminds me that our
definitions are set only by what we can
see and experience ourselves, but education and experience will always widen our
perspective. ■
SCOTT WIENER is the founder of Scott's
Pizza Tours in New York City and
SliceOutHunger.org.

JOSH KEOWN


http://www.SliceOutHunger.org http://www.PIZZATODAY.COM

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Pizza Today - October 2017

Pizza Today - October 2017
Commentary
Contents
Contributors
Expo Spotlight
Interact
Conversation
Man on the Street
Respecting the Craft
At Your Service
Destinations
Knead to Know
A Front-of-House Manager
Bbq Types to Menu
For the Love of Linguine
Lobster
National Pizza Month
Fundraisers
Road to Pizza & Pasta
Hot 100 Independents
Rebranded
The Pies of Providence
Preferred Suppliers
Pizza & Pasta Ne Exhibitor List
Pizza Today Yellow Pages
The Marketplace
Reader’s Resource
Mike’s Monthy Tip
Pizza Today - October 2017 - CT1
Pizza Today - October 2017 - CT2
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Pizza Today - October 2017
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Cover2
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Commentary
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 4
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 5
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Contents
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 7
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 8
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 9
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Contributors
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 11
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Expo Spotlight
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 13
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Interact
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 15
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Conversation
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 17
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Man on the Street
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 19
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Respecting the Craft
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 21
Pizza Today - October 2017 - At Your Service
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 23
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Destinations
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 25
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Knead to Know
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 27
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 28
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 29
Pizza Today - October 2017 - A Front-of-House Manager
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 31
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 32
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 33
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Bbq Types to Menu
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 35
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 36
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 37
Pizza Today - October 2017 - For the Love of Linguine
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 39
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 40
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 41
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Lobster
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 43
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 44
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 45
Pizza Today - October 2017 - National Pizza Month
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 47
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 48
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 49
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Fundraisers
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 51
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 52
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 53
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Road to Pizza & Pasta
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 55
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Hot 100 Independents
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 57
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 58
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 59
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Rebranded
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 61
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 62
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 63
Pizza Today - October 2017 - The Pies of Providence
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 65
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 66
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 67
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 68
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 69
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 70
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 71
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 72
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 73
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 74
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 75
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 76
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 77
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Preferred Suppliers
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 79
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Pizza & Pasta Ne Exhibitor List
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 81
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 82
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 83
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Pizza Today Yellow Pages
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 85
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 86
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 87
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 88
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 89
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 90
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 91
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 92
Pizza Today - October 2017 - The Marketplace
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 94
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 95
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 96
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 97
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 98
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 99
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 100
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 101
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 102
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 103
Pizza Today - October 2017 - 104
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Reader’s Resource
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Mike’s Monthy Tip
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Cover3
Pizza Today - October 2017 - Cover4
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