Buddy's Pizza - Detroit's #1 square deep dish pizza
OK -- stay with me on this. This is my all time favorite deep dish pizza. I'm passionate about several things in life and one of them is food. I have lots of favorites, but the single overriding criteria is that, to make my list, it has to be "true" -- true to it's history, true in its ingredients, true in its execution, true in its taste, true in its...you get the idea. Pizza is a particular favorite because its an honest, true food. What makes pizza interesting is that it's so often compromised. There are tons of ways you can get pizza, not all of them true --in fact, most are not I 've found. Here's a pizza that's true. Now, I know lots of food snobs that will say a deep dish pizza isn't really pizza, and in some ways they are right. But let's not confuse authentic with true. Because Buddy's Pizza, while not authentic in the traditional thin-crispy-crusted, less-is-more way, it is true in a critical way: it created a fantastic tasting, deep dish execution that has people -- like me -- coming back year after year. Hell, I haven't even lived in Detroit in 30 years and I keep coming back. How do they do it? First, it is unique -- at least it was when they started in the 1940's. And second, they execute extremely and consistently well. It's unique in several ways. They use a black-steel pan (I know I'm losing the pizza snobs out there with this one but stay with me). The cheese is unique. They use something called "brick" cheese I've only seen in parts of the upper Midwest; it has a very high butterfat content, and they use a ton of it, and spread it right to the edge of the pan with no crust showing -- this turns out to be an important detail. They put the cheese on first, then the tomato on top. They bake at a very high temp -- 800 degrees. What happens is the cheese melts quickly and gets soft in the middle, golden on top and crispy around the edges -- almost like fried cheese, and the butterfat from the cheese finds its way under the crust, so the crust gets a delicate crispness to it on the bottom. When you eat it, all the flavors -- the creamy golden cheese, the simple tomato sauce (no oregano), the soft but crunchy crust -- come together in a most incredible way. And the best part, perhaps the truest testament to its excellence -- is that when you think you're done, when you know you've eaten your very last bite, you'll still crave that last little piece of crispy-fried cheese crust that's left on your plate. If you're ever in Detroit, you gotta go. Make it to the original location at Six Mile and Connant(they've expanded locations over the years around the metro Detroit area) -- they have a bocce ball court.