Author Topic: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313  (Read 13707 times)

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Offline Ronzo

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Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« on: December 18, 2011, 12:57:38 AM »
http://via313.com

https://www.facebook.com/via313

VIA 313, owned by our own future_itisnow and his brother, opened in Austin a few weeks back.

I know the guys personally, and I can attest to how fantastic their pizza tastes.

Based on the reviews already, looks like they're making a splash!

http://www.yelp.com/biz/via-313-pizza-austin

http://austin.eater.com/archives/2011/12/15/whats-detroitstyle-pizza-via-313-explains.php

If you're in the Austin area, go check 'em out. Tell 'em Ronzo sent ya!

Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

Former NY'er living in Texas
http://newtexianbrew.com - http://ronlennex.com/ - http://pinterest.com/NewTexianBrew


Offline RonnieD

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #1 on: December 18, 2011, 09:42:50 AM »
Thanks for the heads up Ronzo.  I will definitely give them a try in the near future. 

However there are a couple of red flags which make me question the “authentic”.  One of the pictures (below) shows what appears to be shortening for their pan oil.  I don’t believe Detroit Style uses shortening, but I may be wrong or my eyes need to be checked.  The other item is a statement in the article: “The key ingredient isn't so much a special cheese or sauce, but pans that Via 313 gets straight from Detroit”.  The pan defines the “style”?  And it has to be from Detroit?  So if I buy a pan from Chicago, my pizzas are Chicago Style? For me, what defines Detroit Style is the crunchy crust and the way they top the pizzas.  I use Pizza Tools PSTK pans with good results.  Once I try them I’ll have a better handle on it.  The pictures look Detroit style and the menu seems good.  If the dough is at least 75% Detroit, then it should be great.

Since you know them personally, are they from Detroit?  Are they basing their style on Buddy’s, Shields, or Cloverleaf? 

I’ve been going to Cloverleaf in St. Claire Shores for the past 30 years at least once or twice a year because of family visits that has a tradition of meeting at Cloverleaf whenever we arrive.  The following is a link to their site so you can get a visual of their style. 

http://www.cloverleafonline.com/

For my own home baking I use the recipe at reply #199 that comes close to authentic except I use 70% hydration.

http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.180.html

Ron

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #2 on: December 18, 2011, 11:40:33 AM »
RonnieD,

If someone is trying to replicate the Detroit-style pizza, in a way the pan does define that style since just about all the big Detroit-style places use the same type of pans--blue steel pans. I did a fair amount of research on this matter and discussed what I learned at Reply 2 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,13687.msg137295.html#msg137295. You might also read the rest of the thread to put the matter into better perspective.

Peter

Offline RonnieD

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #3 on: December 18, 2011, 02:59:07 PM »
Ronzo,

Just for the sake of credibility, have you been to Detroit and sampled authentic Detroit style?  Have you been to Buddy’s, Shields, or Cloverleaf? 

Thanks
Ron

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #4 on: December 18, 2011, 08:25:15 PM »
 Nice!  I have never had or heard of a Detroit style, but I am going to get one on Tuesday on the way home from work.

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2011, 08:58:08 PM »
Nice!  I have never had or heard of a Detroit style, but I am going to get one on Tuesday on the way home from work.
Tom, I was planning on going down there to hang with the guys for awhile since I'm bach'in it this week while the wife and kids are in Houston. Maybe we can meet up Tuesday and shoot the breeze a little.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 09:22:40 PM »
Works for me.  I leave N. Austin at 5:30, I will probably get there around 6:15.

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2011, 09:47:02 PM »
Works for me.  I leave N. Austin at 5:30, I will probably get there around 6:15.

I'll be leaving N Austin (183/Riata area) about 5-ish and be rolling in a little before you.
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline RonnieD

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 10:04:03 AM »
Peter,

Sorry but I’m just going to disagree with you.  I’m somewhat confused by the last post in the link you provided which suggest the pans are now made in Mexico.  How does made in Mexico and purchased in Detroit fit into the equation?

To me, the pan is only a vehicle which impacts the crust development.  Some individuals with an extra sensitive palette may be able to detect a resulting flavor from the use of using blue steel, but most would not.  I have and can consistently create the crunchy crust of Detroit style without using blue steel.  If I have read other posts correctly, it’s the sum of the parts, not a single component which defines a style.   Your argument is like arguing that only New York water can make authentic New York pizza.   

This Thanksgiving I had a family reunion in which I had been practicing various styles of pizzas from the beginning of July.  Detroit style was my highest priority.  The reaction from my family members was that I was close to nailing the clone.  And the one component that was spot on was the crust.  The sauce, cheese blend, herbs need work, but the crust was right there.  And the pan I used created the crust.  I would bet money, in a side by side test, a real Detroiter would not be able tell the difference between my crust and Cloverleaf’s crust.  The rest of the pizza is a different story, but the crust is rock solid.

The article Ronzo referenced implied it’s the pan.  To me it’s only one component that can be successfully duplicated using something else.  If the reviews were made by Detroiters I’d be on board.  I wonder how a New Yorker would react to someone, who had never been to New York or sampled New York pizza, then announce with acolades a new restaurant making real New York pizza.  Ronzo didn't provide any information about his background with Detroit style.  VIA 313 pizza may be incredible Detroit style, but in today’s world of misinformation, my personal opinion is that the crowning is premature.  When I try it, I’ll report back.     


Best regards
Ron

Offline RonnieD

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 11:28:18 AM »
Well then, lets hear from the Detroit expats.
Ron


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #10 on: December 19, 2011, 12:07:51 PM »
Ron,

I have been involved in many reverse engineering and cloning projects on this forum. And when I do them, I try to learn as much as possible about the targeted product, including how it is made. You can see some examples of how far I typically go in Replies 1-3 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,6758.0.html (Papa John's clone), Reply 26 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,8247.msg118161.html#msg118161 (Jet's), and Reply 126 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg81436.html#msg81436 and Reply 318 at http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3783.msg136795/topicseen.html#msg136795 (Buddy's). The above posts are only examples. There are many more such posts in the threads referenced above.

As you can see from the above, I usually am not looking for something similar or equivalent. I am looking for the real deal. In the case of Jet's and Buddy's, one of the unresolved areas was the pans. I can't tell you how many hours I searched for the same size pans as used by Jet's and Buddy's and to identify sources of such pans that our members might use. I had hoped to find blue steel pans, especially since I had read reports where such pans were considered to be important for the Detroit style pizzas, but I was open to any other material being used for the pans provided they were of the same size as used by Jet's and Buddy's. For example, PizzaTools makes some very good PSTK Sicilian style pans, and I have one such pan, but the PizzaTools Sicilian style pans are not of the sizes used by Jet's and Buddy's. So, naturally, I was pleased when I was able to solve the pan mystery and to identify sources of such pans. Moreover, the pans are of relatively low cost, especially in comparison with the PizzaTools PSTK Sicilian style pans.

In my last post, I did not mean to suggest that other pans cannot be used to make a Detroit style pizza. If someone wants to use some other pan, or of different sizes, or to do side by side comparisons, that is their prerogative. I have never had a Detroit style pizza but if I were to contemplate making a clone of such a pizza, I personally would go with the types of pans that Jet's and Buddy's are using and have been part of their operations for many years. Naturally, I would have to figure out how to use my standard electric oven to do so, since both Buddy's and Jet's use conveyor ovens that operate differently than my home oven.

Peter

Offline RonnieD

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2011, 01:09:11 PM »
Thanks Peter.  I have a better understanding where your coming froml.  I appreciate your response.
Ron

Offline future_itisnow

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2011, 05:32:22 PM »
@ RonnieD,
I'd like to personally invite you (and anybody else on the forum for that matter) to come down and have a pizza with us.  We can eat, talk shop and reminisce about all things Detroit.  We love meeting fellow Detroiter's and getting their own expert opinions on Detroit Style Pizza.  Please shoot us an email at via313pizza@gmail.com or call us on our business line if you want to set something up. 

Regarding the story's implication that the pan is what makes the pizza...we discussed many aspects of what makes Detroit Style Pizza unique and special.  To us, it is the proper cheese blend, the caramelized cheese crust, the dough, the sauce, etc.  It's a total product that has great balance.  That holds true no matter what your preference is for Detroit Style Pizza, whether it be the more refined Buddy's, the thicker and heartier Cloverleaf, the always greasy and cheesy mess that is Loui's, or even the extra yeasty crust at Niki's in Greektown.  They all have their own spin on the Detroit Style Pizza, however the pans that each of these places use (and even Jet's too) is the classic blue-steel pan. 

We spent quite a bit of time with the reporter discussing the unique traits that make Detroit Style Pizza what it is, she choose to play up the pan angle.  In a perfect world we would have preferred all of the items mentioned above, but that was what she deemed important to her audience.  We are appreciative of any attention our little pizza trailer can get, and it was a very positive article in an oft-read site here in town. So again, we appreciate it. 

We've had a steady stream of ex-Michiganders and ex-Detroiter's since opening and the feedback has been nothing but positive.  The repeat business from them as well as from the UofM and MSU Alumni groups here in Austin has been terrific. 

Again, please contact us and come down when you can.

All the best -
Via 313 Pizza
1111 E 6th
Austin, TX  78702

Offline RonnieD

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2011, 07:49:06 PM »
future_itisnow,

Thanks for the invite.  As I've said before, it is the sum of the parts and not one component.  Detroit style pizza is great pizza and Austin can use a good Detroit pizza place.  I will give you a fair shot.

Interesting.  Your favorite pizzeria is Cloverleaf.  

All the best
« Last Edit: December 19, 2011, 07:56:17 PM by RonnieD »
Ron

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2011, 09:00:45 PM »
I can't speak for the authenticity, but it is fricken great pizza.  Nice crust, pillowy on the inside crunchy on the bottom, crunchy cheese on the edges and a balanced sauce with those lovely little cups of pepperoni.  My only regret is that I didn't have time or stomach space to try more kinds.  These guys got it going on, and are nice to boot.  I got to meet Ronzo as a bonus.  The bar next door is pretty good too, for that matter, the Violet Crown Social club.

I recommend it if you are in the area, and I am certainly going back soon.

Thanks!

Offline Ronzo

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #15 on: December 20, 2011, 10:44:07 PM »
Tom, it was a pleasure finally getting to meet you and talk pizza with you, buddy.

I'm with you, the Brothers Hunt are doing a great job out there in their LBT (Little Black Trailer). Next time you go back out, ask them if you can try some of their meatballs, or the Italian sausage. For a few minutes, I thought I was reliving my childhood back home in NY with that sausage - reminded me of the sausage and pepper sandwiches I used to get at local festivals and fairs up there. Killer.

Their pizza is damn good, regardless of who does or doesn't think it's "authentic".
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline Ronzo

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2011, 10:45:53 PM »
The trailer...
Fuggheddabowdit!

~ Ron

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Offline RonnieD

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #17 on: December 21, 2011, 09:14:16 AM »
Ronzo you should just let this thread die.  Your doing VIA 313 a disservice.

I didn’t say the pizza was bad.  I didn’t say it wasn’t authentic.  I objected to the premature crowning, and the misinformation you provided stating it was “authentic”.  I was questioning the credentials of the people declaring “authentic”.  With the exception of a “she said, he said” comment not one individual was familiar with Detroit style.  
 
Apparently you haven’t been to Buddy’s, Shields, or Cloverleaf.  You don’t have the “street cred”. Yet you’re putting in a lot of effort promoting this place as “authentic”.  If Scott123 announced a trailer selling NY pizza I wouldn’t question his statements.  I do question yours.  That guy knows what he is talking about.  You don’t.  

Let VIA 313 earn their reputation from ones truly familiar with Detroit style.  Let them declare “authentic”.  Not you.
Ron

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #18 on: December 21, 2011, 05:53:32 PM »
You should go try it, RonnieD, I would be interested in your opinion.

Offline scott123

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Re: Detroit Style in Austin... VIA 313
« Reply #19 on: December 21, 2011, 06:10:11 PM »
RonnieD, as much as I appreciate the very kind words, and can fully appreciate someone doing their best to protect the integrity of the pizza they grew up with, I think, in this instance, any beef you might have really should be directed towards Zane, and not Ronzo. From what I can tell, Ronzo never implied that he was an expert or that VIA 313 was authentic, he was only relaying claims from Zane and expressing his enjoyment of the product.

In other words, don't kill the messenger, or, in this instance, don't make life difficult for the messenger  ;D

Now, as to the authenticity of the pizza in question, I know that the pan issue seems to have been covered, but I'd like to hear Zane's feelings on the shortening.  Is the shortening a dealbreaker for you? I know that cold ferments are inauthentic for NY style pizzeria, but I still recommend them because the end result is superior.  Is there any chance shortening might make a better Detroit Style pie? I know shortening makes a flakier pie crust.


 

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