Pizza

453. 313 Pizza Bar – December 28, 2019 – Lake Orion, MI

December2019313PizzaBar1 (2)December2019313PizzaBar2 (2)December2019313PizzaBar3 (2)Detroit-style pizza = my heart. I love that doughy, crispy, greasy, cheesy, saucy stuff! So of course I had to visit the recently opened 313 Pizza Bar in downtown Lake Orion.

Full disclosure: I’m related to one of the owners of this place. But familial bias aside, my conclusion after my visit is that 313 Pizza Bar is proffering up some very tasty pizza!

The restaurant is in downtown Lake Orion, on the site of the former Lockhart’s BBQ. The building is bringing the industrial vibes, all brick walls and bare-bulb lighting and exposed ductwork. There’s a cozy bar area on the first floor, with strands of twinkle lights strung above it. During my visit, I sat in the second-floor dining area, which has its own bar area and a wall of windows offering views of the cityscape outside.

Besides offering signature and build-your-own pizza options, 313 Pizza Bar serves appetizers such as bruschetta, cheese bread, and meatballs, plus hearty sandwiches (here’s looking at you, Muffuletta and Philly Cheesesteak!) and salads (so you can counterbalance the doughy, crispy, greasy, cheesy, saucy aspect of the meal with some greens).

While the appetizers and sandwiches sounded appealing, I was at 313 Pizza Bar for its namesake dish, so I zeroed in on that Signature Pizzas section. Many intriguing choices were showcased there: see the Spicy Sausage and Peppers with its mix of hot Italian sausage, banana peppers, green peppers, and red onion and the Tangy BBQ Chicken with its Tangy Carolina BBQ Sauce – both prime options for revisit meals for me. But it was the Chicken Pesto pizza that captured our collective attention during this meal, along with individually-sized salads (the Green Garden for me, the Antipasto for my fellow diners).

Our salads came out quickly, beds of greens loaded up with ingredients. The Antipasto salad was especially stacked with goodies: salami and ham and cheese and chickpeas, artichoke hearts and cherry tomatoes and cucumber and black olives and banana peppers. I enjoyed my Green Garden salad with its crispy croutons and spicy banana peppers.

Then it was on to the main course! The Chicken Pesto pizza arrived in all of its cheesy, crispy-crusted glory. The large-sized pizza contained eight pieces and was essentially two, four-slice pizzas, meaning that every piece was one of the much-beloved corner pieces (WOO-HOO!).

With its crust that was both doughy and crispy (YEAH, Detroit-style pizza!), its flavorful pesto sauce and thick layer of mozzarella cheese studded with chunks of chicken breast and fresh garlic dusted in Parmesan and pecorino romano, this Chicken Pesto pizza was delicious! I savored several pieces of it, gorging on its rich, carb-and-dairy-laden goodness.

Oh, Detroit-style pizza, how you sustain me during these stark winter days! Thank you, 313 Pizza Bar, for being a purveyor of this much-beloved local delicacy!

37 E. Flint St.

Lake Orion, MI 48362

www.313pizza-bar.com

 

412. Pie-Sci Pizza – June 6, 2019 – Detroit, MI

June2019PieSci1 (3)June2019PieSci2 (3)Pie-Sci Pizza!!! Thank you for making such damn good pizza – and for making my summer that much sweeter to recall!

As I continue to catch up on posting here on 100 Places in the D after an unplanned 5.5-month hiatus (procrastination is an insidious devil), I’ve arrived at my summer-season visits – just as summer has ended.

At first I found this fact depressing, but I soon reframed it: through my blogging for 100 Places in the D, I get to relive a bunch of awesome Summer 2019 moments  – such as my trip to Pie-Sci!

I visited the pizza shop in the Woodbridge neighborhood of Detroit on a Thursday night in early June. (BTW, Woodbridge has been added to my growing list of Detroit neighborhoods I can see myself living in. Every time I’ve visited that area, I’ve gotten good vibes!)

The restaurant’s interior may be small, but it’s serving up some BIG flavor. Pie-Sci’s signature pizzas incorporate some delectably creative topping combos.

Take the pizza I ordered during my visit: the Pear Necessities, a pie with bacon, spinach, sliced pear, feta, mozzarella, and a honey drizzle. This is not your typical pizza-topping orchestration, but MAN! it was phenomenal! The toppings melded together perfectly to form this well-balanced, richly flavored, totally tasty pie. Pie-Sci’s Pear Necessities pizza was, hands-down, one of the best dishes I consumed all summer.

Alas, the Pear Necessities pizza is not on Pie-Sci’s current menu featured on its website. However, the pizza ordered by my friend who accompanied me on this visit, the BLT, is – and let me tell you, that bad-boy was pretty damn delicious, too (she let me try a piece of it).

A pizza topped with lettuce and mayo would not typically be my scene. But that BLT pizza crafted by Pie-Sci’s hands is topped with mixed greens that are fresh, not wilted, and a mayonnaise that is herb-infused – plus crispy bacon, meaty tomato, palate-pleasing mozzarella, a garlic oil drizzle. . . all manner of YUMness!

Pie-Sci’s current menu boasts a multitude of such YUMified pizzas. It’s separated into sections that play off of the restaurant’s chemistry-related branding. For instance, “Basics” – a.k.a. “Pizza Elementary” – is the area denoted to more classic pie varietals such as the Margherita and Meatlovers, while the “Graduate”/”U of Pizza” section contains such intriguing inventions as the Cashew Rules Everything Around Me pie, which is described on the menu as being a vessel for “vegan cashew cheese, mushroom, balsamic braised leek and citrus marinated kale with a raspberry emulsion drizzle” (a grad-level culinary concoction, indeed!).

Each of Pie-Sci’s signature pies is marked with symbols denoting it “meaty,” vegetarian, or vegan (with many pizzas holding the possibility to be vegetarian or vegan per modifications, if they aren’t inherently); gluten-free crust is available for large-sized selections. Additionally, there’s the option to construct your own pie from an assortment of toppings as well as to opt in on a “drizzle addition” of a sauce such as herb-infused vegan mayo, buttermilk ranch, or Sweet Baby Ray’s barbecue sauce [cue my mouth watering for the umpteenth time during the writing of this post].

The fun on Pie-Sci’s menu doesn’t end there: it also offers artisanal vegan, gluten-free ice-cream sandwiches for dessert, plus pizzas integrating breakfast-inspired toppings on its Sunday brunch menu.

Reliving my visit to Pie-Sci has been almost as dreamy as the actual visit – almost. I mean, I’m leaving the writing of this post with no Pie-Sci pizza in my belly, so . . . it’s certainly not as visceral as the actual experience of gorging on one of its out-of-this-world pies. I guess I’d better get myself down to Woodbridge, stat!

5163 Trumbull Ave.

Detroit, MI 48208

www.piescipizza.com

379. Brass Rail Pizza Bar – December 9, 2018 – Detroit, MI

December2018BrassRailPizzaBar1 (2)December2018BrassRailPizzaBar2 (3)December2018BrassRailPizzaBar3 (2)Pizza for brunch? YES, please!

On a exuberantly blue-skied Sunday morning in early December, I met friends over drinks and that cheese-bedecked Italian pie at Brass Rail Pizza Bar in downtown Detroit.

The restaurant has a welcoming, decidedly sports-bar-esque vibe with its expansive interior and industrial-chic decor. On that weekend morning, it also had a Bloody Mary bar.

I’m not one for the Bloody Marys (I love tomatoes, but I just can’t get into drinking tomato juice – even when it’s laced with booze), but my friends were down and proceeded to construct some EPIC Bloody Marys, complete with onion rings and skewers laden heavy with various cured meats and cheeses. They nabbed me an onion ring battered with crushed Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, which was awesomeness!

I ordered a Spanish coffee and the small size of the Chip off the Ole Block pizza. It was delicious with its bacon, arugula, onion, and lemon zest nestled on a bed of red sauce and melted cheese and drizzled with balsamic glaze. It was also significantly larger than I’d expected, an excellent value for $11. I took over half of it home.

What an ideal spot for brunch (or lunch, or dinner) this Brass Rail Pizza Bar is! Not only is the pizza delicious and the drink selection on point (there’s a full bar, including a plethora of Michigan craft beers on draft, in addition to the weekend Bloody Mary set-up), there’s also food offerings in addition to the namesake pie: a variety of appetizers, salads, sandwiches, burgers, and comfort-centric entrées such as Fish and Chips, Fettuccine Alfredo, and Chicken Parmesan.

Additionally, vegan cheese and gluten-free crust are options available when ordering pizza, as is a gluten-free bun for burgers and sandwiches. Yay to inclusive ingredient options!

Brass Rail Pizza Bar, you had me at Flamin’ Hot Cheetos-battered onion ring. I would love if you hosted me for brunch again soon!

18 W. Adams Ave.

Detroit, MI 48226

www.brassraildetroit.com

284. Bommarito Bakery – October 7, 2017 – Saint Clair Shores, MI

BommaritosOct2017-2 (2)BommaritosOct2017-1 (2)I’d never visited Bommarito Bakery in Saint Clair Shores until a few weeks ago; however, I did have a memorable run-in with one of its cassata cakes a few years ago.

A friend of mine had a party at which she presented the cake; I tried some, and my mind was BLOWN. It was the best cassata cake I’d ever had – which is saying a lot, because cassata cake is one of those things I’m particular about – i.e., something I’d previously specifically entrusted Vito’s Bakery in Clinton Township to make for me, because Vito’s cassata cake was THE cassata cake. It was its cannoli filling, with those chunks of chocolate and the perfect amount of cinnamon, that sealed the deal . . . my family and I have long seen Vito’s as the winner in the cannoli-filling department. But here was Bommarito Bakery totally dethroning Vito’s in my mind. What was happening????

After Bommarito and its bomb cassata cake shook up my world and earned my respect, I knew I had to visit the bakery so I could cover it for the blog. Earlier this month, I finally did and learned that Bommarito is much more than a bakery; it’s also a pizzeria, grocery, and wine store.

The evening I was there was a busy one, as it was the night of the annual Michigan vs. Michigan State football game; people were loading up on grub for their viewing parties. I myself was there to pick up a pizza I’d ordered. While waiting in line to pay, I was able to scope out the shop in greater detail.

Not only is this place a purveyor of freshly baked breads, cookies, cream puffs, cannolis, donuts, cakes, pies, and the like, it also offers sub sandwiches and gelato – in addition to the aforementioned pizza. Then there’s the extensive wine selection and the rows of dry and refrigerated groceries. Bommarito Bakery really has all of its bases covered! Not only can you stop there and pick up some tasty baked goods for your next office potluck, while you’re at it, you can grab some subs for dinner, some wine to accompany it, that milk you ran out of, the bread for the kid’s sandwiches, that mind-blowing cassata cake. . . it’s truly a one-stop-shop kind of bakery!

21830 Greater Mack Ave.

St. Clair Shores, MI 48080

www.bommaritobakery.com

139. Supino Pizzeria – September 26, 2015 – Detroit, MI

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Detroit Day – woo hoo! Yes, me and my pals had what we like to call a Detroit Day – an extensive jaunt around the city – two weekends ago. On an absolutely gorgeous Saturday afternoon (we’ve had quite a lovely string of weather this fall, haven’t we?), we jaunted down to the Eastern Market area, which was kickin’. Supino Pizzeria sits in a strip of businesses that hugs the perimeter of Eastern Market. I’d heard great things about the place; it was on my to-try list for quite a while. But I didn’t expect it to be quite so in-demand! There was a line out the door to wait just to place an order. Granted, the place is tiny – a tightly-packed little shoebox of hipster eclecticism plus old-school Italian charm (there’s not too much more to the place than what you are seeing in the photo of the interior above – just a few rows of tables), so it’s not hard to form a line that extends out the entrance. But still, we probably waited about a half hour just to place our order. I’ve chalked it up as part of the experience. Because after all of the waiting, we were happy to discover that the pizza was legit! I had Margherita pizza, and it was all cheesy, olive-oily, fresh-basil-and-tomatoesy goodness.

2457 Russell St.

Detroit, MI 48207

http://supinopizzeria.com

90. MiChigo Pizza – December 19, 2014 – Ferndale, MI

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Mmmmm…cheesy goodness…. The Mrs. Robinson’s Motown Classic personal deep-dish pizza.

I’ve been wanting to try this place for months now. MiChigo offers Chicago-style, specialty deep-dish pizzas. Check out the adorably tiny personal deep-dish pizza I got. I absolutely devoured it.

255. W. Nine Mile Rd.

Ferndale, MI 48220

www.michigopizza.com

49. Amici’s – August 22, 2014 – Berkley, MI

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Photo courtesy of http://www.amicispizza.com

I am so bummed, because I took some pictures of Amici’s delightfully flower-festooned patio, but I accidentally deleted them off of my phone, thinking I had already emailed them to myself . . . yeah. So the picture of the patio above is one from the Amici’s website. The restaurant’s interior itself is cute, but as you can see, the patio is where you gotta be on a gorgeous summer day!

I love that this pizza place is a Certified Green Restaurant and that they offer some really unique pies. I ordered the Caribbean spicy jerk chicken pizza, which has a ginger-peanut sauce – quite a surprising flavor for a pizza (I wasn’t really sure about it at first, but it grew on me). I hope to try the black bean pizza when I return.

Probably my favorite part about Amici’s, however, was the two full pages of specialty martinis that they offer. I chose the salted caramel pretzel-tini – yum!

3249 Twelve Mile Rd.

Berkley, MI 48072

http://www.amicispizza.com

27. Bigalora Wood Fired Cucina – May 30, 2014 – Royal Oak, MI

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There are a lot of interesting pizzas offered here, most more unique than the typical pepperoni or barbeque-chicken pies offered at other restaurants. My friend and I shared the margherita pizza, but I do wish we would’ve tried one with more interesting toppings (such as the fingerling potato or prosciutto di parma pizzas). We were having a hard time agreeing on one.

Additionally, I ordered the saffron rice risotto balls – amazing!

711 S Main St.
Royal Oak, MI 48067

(Locations also in Ann Arbor and Southfield)

http://bigalora.com/