Tag Archives: detroit

Pick 5 | Regional Pizza Favorites

Lou Malnati's, Chicago. Image courtesy goodiesfirst via Flickr.

Lou Malnati’s, Chicago. Image courtesy goodiesfirst via Flickr.

Most everyone knows about the New York-Chicago pizza rivalry that has waged for decades. But did you know that there are other regional pizza styles that are lesser known but equally delicious? We pick five that will get your mouth watering for doughy, cheesy goodness.

Chicago’s iconic pizza was invented at Pizzeria Uno during the Second World War. The crust is deep but thin and resembles a pie more than a traditional flat pizza. Deep dish is assembled upside down, with cheese at the bottom, toppings in the middle and sauce with whole chunks of tomato on top.

Try It: Some say Pizzeria Uno’s founder invented deep dish; others give credit to Uno employee Rudy Malnati, whose son Lou founded Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria in 1971. Still family owned and operated, Lou Malnati’s has 36 locations and can be shipped nationwide.

Pepe's in New Haven. Image courtesy goodiesfirst via Flickr.

Pepe’s in New Haven. Image courtesy goodiesfirst via Flickr.

New Haven
New Haven, Connecticut is home to apizza, Neapolitan-style pizza with a bit of a twist. If you order a “plain” pizza, it comes with oregano and tomato sauce with a sprinkling of grated pecorino Romano cheese. There’s no cheese – unless you ask for it. The crust is unusually thin, charred on the outside and chewy on the inside, and is baked in a coal-fired oven.

Try it: Founded by Italian immigrants almost a century ago, Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana (Pepe’s for short), is a New Haven institution. Their clam pie has no mozzarella, but does feature plenty of garlic, olive oil, oregano and freshly shucked, briny littleneck clams. It’s so good it was named the #1 pizza in America by The Daily Meal.

Image courtesy Papa’s Tomato Pies via Facebook.

Image courtesy Papa’s Tomato Pies via Facebook.

In New Jersey’s capital, a pizza is not a pizza – it’s a tomato pie. These pies have a thin crust and are topped with mozzarella placed before the sauce. For many Italian-American immigrants, the first American pizzas were known as tomato pies and the name is still prevalent today, especially in the Northeast.

Try it: Papa’s Tomato Pies has been family owned and operated since 1912 and claims to be the oldest pizza restaurant in the country.

Brooklyn's Lucali. Image courtesy Ramsay de Give via Zagat.

Brooklyn’s Lucali. Image courtesy Ramsay de Give via Zagat.

New York
Like so many other stories, New York’s pizza history began with an immigrant who taught himself to be a baker and opened a pizza restaurant in Little Italy in 1905. New York’s large, wide, thin, and foldable slices are the most quintessential pizza style.

Try it: Located in Brooklyn’s Carroll Gardens, Lucali has a neighborhood feel. As reviewed in TimeOut New York, “the artisanal intent at the candlelit pizzeria is visible in the flour-dashed marble counter where the dough is punched and stretched, and in the brick oven from which it later emerges crisp and blistered.” Lucali is BYOB and the line can be long, but the pizza is said to be well worth the wait.

Buddy's Restaurant Pizzeria in Detroit. Image courtesy Buddy's Facebook page.

Buddy’s Restaurant Pizzeria in Detroit. Image courtesy Buddy’s Facebook page.

Detroit-style pizza’s square shape is similar to the Sicilian variety, with a thick deep-dish crisp crust and marinara served on top of the toppings. It is often twice-baked in a well-oiled square pan that gives the bottom and edges of the crust a crunchy, seemingly fried texture.

Try it: Originally opened as a bar of sorts in 1936, Buddy’s Restaurant Pizzeria started serving square-shaped pizza a decade later and claims to have been the first of its kind in Detroit. The Detroiter is made with all-natural Wisconsin Brick cheese, pepperoni, tomato, basil sauce, and topped with shaved Parmesan cheese and Buddy’s Sicilian spice blend.

What’s your favorite style of pizza? Which pizzeria serves it best?

Pick 5 | Hot Dogs Across America


Chicago’s Superdawg. Photo courtesy Flickr user LongitudeLatitude.

America is big. Its flavors are diverse. Why, even the quintessential American treat, the hot dog, is affected by geography. Regions are defined by their cuisine, as evidenced by their choice of hot dog toppings. Covered in chili? Detroit is for you! Adorned with onions? Head to New York! Here’s a look at what sets these hot dog destinations apart:

Chicago-style hot dogs date back to the Great Depression and whether you prefer Vienna Beef or Red Hot Chicago franks, the toppings don’t change. Hot dogs are topped with yellow mustard, chopped white onions, sweet pickle relish, a dill pickle spear, tomato slices or wedges, pickled sport peppers, and a dash of celery salt on a poppy seed bun.

Try it: Superdawg | Chicago, IL
Superdawg’s iconic neon hot dogs, Maurie and Flaurie (named after the original owners, whose family runs it to this day), have stood atop the restaurant since it first opened in 1948. Order a Superdawg or Whoopskidawg (Polish sausage) and have it delivered to your window carhop-style.

Lafayette Coney Island coney dogs. Photo courtesy Flickr user Michael Sheehan.

Lafayette Coney Island coney dogs. Photo courtesy Flickr user Michael Sheehan.

Coney Islands are restaurants that specialize in serving Coney Island hot dogs. These beef hot dogs, which originated in Michigan, not New York, are topped with all-meat, no-beans chili, diced onion and yellow mustard. But don’t confuse them with chili dogs – the onion and mustard sets these Detroit dogs apart.

Try it: American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island | Detroit, MI
American Coney Island and Lafayette Coney Island are located right next door to each other and have been competing for customers for almost a century! Most are loyal to one or the other; both are delicious.

Brandi's World Famous Hot Dogs. Photo courtesy AJC.

Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs. Photo courtesy AJC.

Coleslaw is a popular topping for hot dogs throughout the state of Georgia. Whether you prefer just the slaw or a hot dog combination of chili topped with slaw, it’s a unique flavor not readily found in other parts of the country.

Try it: Brandi’s World Famous Hot Dogs | Marietta, GA
Though it underwent a name change a decade ago, this hot dog spot has been satisfying locals for over 30 years. Brandi’s slaw dog is topped with their signature chili, mustard, onions and, of course, coleslaw.

Katz's Delicatessen. Image courtesy Flickr user Shinya Suzuki.

Katz’s Delicatessen. Image courtesy Flickr user Shinya Suzuki.

New York
New Yorkers love hot dogs and there are countless places to get them. There are also many ways to serve them up; one of the most popular is with mustard, sauerkraut and stewed onions (sweet onions in a tomato-based sauce).

Try it: Katz’s Delicatessen | New York, NY
Katz’s was founded in 1888 in New York’s Lower East Side. They specialize in pastrami, corned beef and natural casing all-beef hot dogs covered in chili or sauerkraut. The deli has been featured in countless movies, including When Harry Met Sally, when a Katz’s patron told her waiter, “I’ll have what she’s having.”

Sonoran hot dog. Image courtesy Flickr user Kate Hopkins.

Sonoran hot dog. Image courtesy Flickr user Kate Hopkins.

Sonoran-style hot dogs found in Tucson and Phoenix actually originated in the State of Sonora in northwest Mexico. Hot dogs are wrapped in bacon and cooked on a comal, a cast iron griddle often used to prepare tortillas. They are topped with any combination of beans, onions (both fresh AND grilled), tomatoes, mayonnaise, salsa and mustard, and are usually served in a bolillo, a Mexican-style baguette baked in a stone oven.

Try it: BK Carne Asada | Tucson, AZ
BK Carne Asada has been serving up Sonoran-style hot dogs for twenty years. BK beat out neighboring El Güero Canelo for best Sonoran hot dog on Travel Channel’s Food Wars. While the majority of the menu items are cooked inside the restaurant in an actual kitchen, hot dogs are prepared at an outdoor food cart on their patio, a nod to the restaurant’s former incarnation as a humble taco stand.

Whatever your preference, one thing most of us agree on, is that ketchup does not belong on a hot dog. What are your favorite destinations and restaurants for hot dogs? What did we miss?

ketchup!A former Chicagoan, Jenny secretly, shamefully eats her hot dogs with just one condiment: ketchup.