Detroit-style pizza has been having a bit of a moment nationally, and it’s having a bit of a moment in Boston, too. What began life as a modification of Sicilian-style pizza in the kitchen of Buddy’s Rendezvous in Detroit in 1946 has transformed all these years later into one of the country’s latest pizza trends.
For the uninitiated: Detroit-style pizza is like Sicilian-style pizza — or, sfincione — on steroids. It is baked in a rectangular industrial blue steel pan, which is smaller and has higher sides than the pans used for traditional versions of sfincione, and its toppings are layered in reverse order when compared to the circular pies found at most pizzerias. First comes the pepperoni, then comes the cheese (Wisconsin brick cheese, ideally), then comes the sauce. The result is a pizza with a high crust, airy dough, and lacy, caramelized cheese tracing its perimeter.
A few Detroit-style pizzerias (and restaurants that aren’t strictly pizzerias but that specialize in Detroit-style pizza) have opened in Greater Boston in recent years. There’s Avenue Kitchen and Bar in Somerville’s Ball Square neighborhood; Volo Craft Pizza on the North Shore in Swampscott; the Maine-based Otto Pizza chain, which has been known to occasionally offer a solid version of Detroit-style pizza at its various outposts, including those around the Boston area; Long Cross Bar and Kitchen at Medford’s Station Landing; and the now-closed Tapestry in Fenway, which dipped its toes in the Detroit-style pizza game but mostly focused on the Neapolitan variety.
It’s a small scene and it’s a nascent scene, but it’s getting another member: Square Mfg. Co. plans to open in Natick at 935 Worcester St. sometime this winter. Square Mfg. Co. is “keeping a simple menu,” owner Kris Gullapalli told Eater, that will feature Detroit-style pizza, wings, breadsticks, salads, and a cookie for dessert. And because of the pandemic, Square Mfg. Co. will not offer indoor or outdoor dining.
“Right now our plan is to stick to carry out and delivery,” said Gullapalli. “We made the decision in June to open up a Detroit-style pizza shop because of the pandemic. Without the ability to dine out as we used to, we wanted to create a great dining experience that people could enjoy in their homes. That means our pizzas have a story, they’re delicious, and they also look great.”
Square Mfg. Co. may not be the only new addition to Greater Boston’s Detroit-style pizza scene. Emmy Squared — which is based in New York City and also has locations in Nashville, Philadelphia, and beyond — is still planning an expansion that could eventually include Boston. Emmy Squared’s version of Detroit-style pizza has a thinner crust than is typical — it’s more in line with a grandma-style pie — but it’s the shop that helped introduce the genre to New York City.
A representative from Emmy Squared told Eater said that “while the pandemic hasn’t discontinued our plans into Boston, we are simply focusing on the southeastern part of the country right now.” So while there are no concrete plans for Emmy Squared’s foray into the Boston market at the moment, it’s not off the table either.
• Detroit-Style Pizza Is Having a Moment. But Are Its Originators Getting Left Behind? [E]
• Detroit-Style Pizza: The Definitive Guide [E]
• Lots of Barbecue, Detroit-Style Pizza, and More Updates to Start the Day [EBOS]
• Square Mfg. Bringing Detroit-Style Pizza to Natick [NR]
• Detroit-Style Pizza Hit Emmy Squared Eyes Major Expansion in NYC and Beyond [ENY]
• A Detroit-Style Pizzeria From New York Eyes Boston Expansion [EBOS]