Pizza Review
The dawn of a new era is breaking at The New Day Bakery and World Cafe in the heart of Eugene’s Whiteaker District. Detroit Style Pizza is on the rise. . . I’ve frequented the New Day on and off for the past decade, but in all that time I never really considered it to be more than a great stop to get a pastry, a cup of coffee, or as a hearty breakfast spot. Well, that all changed the other day when I dropped in around 4pm in the afternoon and discovered that a very authentic “Detroit-Style” crispy edged pizza is rapidly becoming one of their mainstays, and they are open for dinner. Who knew. If you’ve never had a Detroit-Style pie you need to understand one thing- this is not a Thin Crust wedge of New YaaAk grease dripping schlock any more than it is some sort of neutered variation on a Chicago Deep Dish gut-bomb goulash that packs enough cheese to incapacitate an offensive lineman . Detroit pizza is like nothing you’ve ever tasted, and that’s a good, no— a great thing. . . It’s a fluffy dough and done right it comes out about an inch and a quarter to an inch and a half thick, but the key is that the cheese goes all the way to the edge and because it was born in Detroit in the Post-War boom of the auto industry its essence is all about the pan and the way the crust is handled. In 1946 there was a place called Buddy’s and it was essentially a bar when a woman named Connie Piccinato who worked for the owner started making pizza the way her Sicilian grandma had— by pressing out the dough into an auto assembly line square steel metal parts tray that was readily available at local for cheap at the automotive parts stores. But instead of having a bare curb like other pizzas, thin or deep, the Detroit-Style brings the cheese all the way to the edge and the oil (no it’s not motor oil) that coats the bottom of the pan and bubbles up along the edge as it cooks carmelizes the cheese and sauce while leaving the interior of the dough light and fluffy.. This is a revelation here on the West Coast. I grew up in Ohio, I’ve worked in pizza shops when I was in college, but since I had relatives in Wisconsin as a kid, Detroit was always the stopping point and Detroit-Style was the reason. Ok, enough said, get yourself down to the New Day, and grab a slice at lunchtime, grab your friends and go for dinner and jump on a whole tray of the Motor City Miracle that they are serving up.