Words & Deeds

New Detroit-style pizza restaurant opens in Boise. Mmm. (Wait, what’s Detroit-style?)

The Detroiter ($11/$21) comes with smoked pepperoni under the cheese and natural casing pepperoni on top — along with a pile of red sauce.
The Detroiter ($11/$21) comes with smoked pepperoni under the cheese and natural casing pepperoni on top — along with a pile of red sauce.

Despite Detroit’s ties to the auto industry, you aren’t required to drive an American-made car to Spitfire Craft Pizza & Pints.

“We’ve got bike racks galore over here,” co-owner Joe Sanders says.

And although the first Detroit-style pizza supposedly was baked in industrial parts trays, Spitfire uses rectangular cooking pans.

But Boise’s new Detroit-style pizza destination serves the real deal. That’s why Sanders is confident the blend of Motor City pies, craft beer and sports on TV will succeed in a town already packed with pizzerias.

“I think we’re going to have a niche,” he says. “I mean, every single table is like, ‘Tell me about the Detroit style.’ So we’re happy to explain, ‘Here’s what it is, here’s our kind of niche of being different.’ ”

It’s all about the crust at Spitfire, which opened this week at 2450 S. Vista Ave. Sometimes called square pizzas, Detroit-style pies are Sicilian descendants. They’re baked in deep pans. Scoop up a hot slice and admire the thick crust — airy inside but extra-crispy on the bottom. Grab a coveted corner slice. Behold the char on the side.

“It kind of looks like a sunset almost,” Sanders says. “It’s real dark on the edges and as you go down, it’s lighter.”

Cheese is spread wall-to-wall. “It kind of caramelizes on the sides,” he says. “It makes for a tasty pizza.”

You might wait 20 minutes for your feast to arrive. This ain’t a thin-crust quickie blazed in a zillion-degree oven. Sanders describes it as “a little bit of a temperamental style of pizza — a little harder to make.”

“You’re sorting out dough, you’re doing prebakes on all the dough,” he says. “It’s a little more intensive.”

More important, the traditional Detroiter Pizza at Spitfire has a layer of pepperoni under the cheese and another on top of the cheese. Oh, and oceans of red sauce ladled on top, which is how most of the pizzas are served.

Hungry yet?

Spitfire’s Detroit-style pizzas range from $9-$14 for an 8-by-10-inch pie (feeds two to three) to $17-$25 for a 10-by-14-inch pie (feeds three to five).

Spitfire also offers hand-tossed pizzas, sandwiches, calzones and salads.

And don’t forget about beer. There are 16 tap handles focusing — also “squarely” — on local and regional brews.

Looking for a Bud Light or Coors? Too bad. Spitfire only does craft, Sanders says: “No InBev.” That exclusivity also applies to sodas. “So we’ll do Bucksnort and Jones soda,” he says.

If Grandpa complains, just shove another slice of pie in his face.

That’s the thing about Detroit-style pizza: Few people walk away unsatisfied — or with their bellies growling.

Sanders says he’s usually good after two pieces, but he’s conquered three.

“I’ve only seen one person so far eat a whole 8-inch (pizza),” Sanders says, laughing. “And he said that he was carb-free for the whole month, and this was his one day — then he was doing the Spartan Race.

“I was just, ‘Oh my god, you ate that whole thing? I’ve never seen anyone do that.’ ”

Hours: 3 to 11 p.m. daily. (Earlier hours are planned for the future.)

Online: Facebook.com/spitfireboise.

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