Pity not, poor Detroit. Oh sure, the city had it’s share of catastrophic collapses and rampant corruption. But its still got great pizza. And now, so does Austin.
Never had Detroit-style pizza? You’re in for a treat. A few years ago, Detroit-born brothers Zane and Brandon Hunt moved to Austin and brought their hometown recipe with them. What makes this pizza so unique — and awesome — is its tasty contradictions. The crust is thick yet airy. Cheese is crispy on the edges but gooey in the middle. Sauce is a topping, not a base. And it’s called square pizza, although it’s really a rectangle.
Where can you try this glorious pie in Austin? Until recently, only at one of the Hunt brothers’s humble food trailers. But like the meteoric rise of a Motown hit, their success has led to a full-fledged brick-and-mortar restaurant. Named after Detroit’s area code, Via 313 now has a spacious new outlet in Oak Hill. While the original trailers still serve only pizza, the new outlet allows for a broader menu. Now diners can sample Detroit-style pizza, plus Bar Style (more on that later) and an array of appetizers, salads, and desserts. There’s also a full bar, including an impressive beer list.
But don’t get distracted: the star is the Detroit-style pizza. Created in 1946 after World War II, it’s a mash-up of both cultures and ingenuity. As a flood of soldiers returned home craving the global flavors they had experienced abroad, Sicilian immigrants living in Detroit began cooking pizza in blue steel pans discarded from the assembly lines of nearby automotive factories. With that, a star was born.