Where: North Pavilion / 2400 Pratt Steet / Durham, NC
When: Monday, November 28th 2011 – 1:00pm
It would be fair to say I grew up fairly spoiled when it came to pizza. Forty minutes to my east was classic New Haven style pizza like Pepe’s Pizza. To the west was New York City an obvious pizza mecca and everywhere in between descendants of Italian immigrants slinging pies. So when I left the northeast for South Florida I was suprised at the lack good pizza. With all the people from New York down there it was like a sixth bourgh of New York but with only a handful of good pizza spots. The pizza situation became more bleak when I moved to North Carolina. This last year is probably the least I have ever eaten pizza in my life because most of the pizza in the tarheel state has been subpar.
I had been following Klausie’s Pizza Truck on twitter for a while now but they really got my attention when my Bronx, NY born and bred fiancee came home raving about the best sicilian style pizza she has had since leaving the Bronx. When I returned from Singapore I made it a point to find the rolling pizza oven and find out if they were really doing special things out of an old truck.
The first thing I found to be interesting was the sign on the the side of the truck that said “Detroit Style Pan Pizza” because I didn’t know a thing about Detroit style pizza. I figured only angy white rappers and Axle Foley came from Detroit.
WHAT I ATE:
Klausie’s Loaded Bread, Sexy Sal – This was five slices of crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside bread loaded up with salami, ham, tomato, pepperincini and italian dressing. When the bread was on its way out the window to me he drizzled some balsamic vinegar over the top and it was excellent.
Super Meatie - This came as one large square piece of pizza topped with pepperoni, sausage and bacon (with mozzarella and tomato sauce). It only took me one bite to realize this was the best pizza I have had since moving and I couldn’t believe it came out of the window of a truck. The crust had the airy and crunchy texture of some greek style pizzas I remember from home but was quickly followed by the fluffiness of the inner dough of a good Sicilian piece. The toppings were great and I was highly impressed with the sausage. I snarfed down the pizza (in a fit of greed I twice mistook my lip for the pizza which Serena found pretty amusing) and couldn’t wait to get home to find out what the deal was with Detroit style pizza and why Detroit is hiding it….in Detroit.
Wikipedia had this to say about Detroit style pizza:
“Detroit-style pizza is a style of pizza, developed in Detroit. It is a square pizza similar to Sicilian-style pizza that has a thick deep-dish crust that is crisp in texture, cooked toppings such as pepperoni and olives, and is served with the marinara pizza sauce on the top of the pizza. The square-shaped pizza is the result of being baked, not in a pizza pan, but an industrial parts tray.”
“The crust of a Detroit-style pizza is noteworthy because in addition to occasionally being twice-baked, it is usually baked in a well-oiled pan to a chewy medium-well-done state that gives the bottom and edges of the crust a fried/crunchy texture. Some parlors will apply melted butter with a soft brush prior to baking.”
One of my favorite things is eating something that motivates me to dig deeper and learn something new about food. I ended the day having found out the best pizza in the Triangle (and one of my new favorites anywhere) is coming out of a truck and discovered there was such a thing as Detroit pizza and it deserves more respect.