Michigan: Detroit-Style Pizza at Buddy’s Restaurant, Auburn Hills, MI

Thursday, May 15th, my flight landed in Chicago, and I scampered outside around 8:00PM to hop in the car with Co-Pilot Brandon and Co-Pilot Viona the mutt, and we were Flint, Michigan bound. 5 hours later, we wandered into a house that I’d never been in, and we were promptly greeted by this guy!

Michigan-Reggie

It was around 2AM, so Reggie (above) was in his crate, and Brandon was adamant that I not let him out. For once, I complied with his wishes. The next morning, I was allowed to free Reggie from his crate, and he promptly thanked me showing me his gratitude and enthusiasm by pissing all over my feet. Brandon quickly said he must need to go outside and volunteered to take him, which I thought was sweet until I realized that he was sticking me with cleaning up the Yellow River of China.

On to the journey—

Brandon is from Flint, Michigan, so we were there for him to see his family, and for me to meet them for the first time. I recently saw an article naming the 10 Most Dangerous Cities in the US, in the categories of small, medium, and large cities. My hometown of Albany, Georgia made the small list; Brandon’s Flint made the medium, and my new home of Milwaukee made the large cities. Apparently we’re #&$*%@& SURVIVORS.

Anyway– While we were there, we stayed with his friends Mike and Rachel and their two sweet boys. Explaining my pizza journey to others, especially those I don’t know, is always uncomfortable for me, but luckily, with two boys, Mike and Rachel were completely down for Friday night pizza dinner. I didn’t meet Mike and Rachel until the next day. We all went to grab a drink at happy hour, and then Co-Pilot Brandon and I went to get the pizza. Buddy’s Pizza has several locations all over the state of Michigan, and I was lucky enough that there was one in Auburn Hills, Michigan, just 20-ish minutes from their house.

I called in the pizza, and Brandon and I set off to go pick it up. This was one of those damn-you-Zagat-for-being-so-vague-moments, as this is the only direction I had from the article:

“What exactly is Detroit-style pizza? Well, it’s square, deep-dish and features the sauce atop the cheese and other toppings in healthy blotches. We realize many of you NY-style pizza fans may be cringing at this point, but the pies at Buddy’s are truly delicious. The rich, buttery, but not too heavy crust is perfectly crispy and chewy, and the sauce is the perfect balance of sweet and savory. If you happen to be in the Detroit Metro area, you should give these Midwestern pies a whirl.”

Well, thanks Zagat. My go-to pizza is pepperoni and jalapenos, but given that I’m the only person who likes to sweat when I eat, we went for a cheese pizza and a pepperoni pizza (with a container of jalapenos on the side for my fire-breathing purposes). I start humming with energy when I get near my pizzas. I get excited. I get nervous. It’s almost like I’m meeting  a Match.com date, and I’m worried that they won’t live up to their profile… I’m also worrying this opposite… What if they don’t like me?? I know this is ridiculous, but have we met? I’m not exactly normal. You should see what happens with sloths at the zoo! I digress…

As I approached the pizza that I knew was waiting just for me, I took this candid shot. As you well know at this point, I hate taking photos of my food in public because I just know others are judging me and wondering what the little blonde girl is going to hashtag her #yums. I did it anyway:

Michigan-Boxes

The boxes alone were promising! Look at that!! Look at all of those awards!! After riding in the car for 20 minutes with the wonderful pizza warmth in my lap, I was ready to get down to business and do the damn thing. I had my almighty pizza conquering face on, and Detroit was going down… Too soon?

We enter the house with Co-Pilot Brandon carrying the pizza because, well, I spill. As soon as we walked into the house, Mike and Rachel’s youngest also came running and took a spill. Out of nowhere, a maternal instinct came out, terrifying me to my core, as I scooped up this child who had just eaten in right in front of my feet, and I told him he was fine. He hugged me, and I’m pretty sure we’re going to be best friends for life. Well, definitely were for the rest of the weekend, but I’m sure we’ll make it in the long-run.

Boo-boos were avoided and it was pizza time. Let’s check out Zagat’s:

Michigan- Detroit-Style Pizza at Buddy's Restaurant, Multiple Locations

WAY TO GO ZAGAT! You have finally posted a photo of what my pizza will realistically look like when I get it. I was starting to feel like I do every time I leave the Taco Bell drive-thru expecting a massive new burrito concoction and it’s the size of my palm. I have a love-hate relationship with Taco Bell (just like the rest of America), but this isn’t the place for that.

Now my matching photo!

Michigan-Open Box

Mine was smaller, but that’s the closest to accurate that we’ve seen yet. We all dug-in in shifts, and I have to say it was a pretty darn good pizza. It’s no 10 on the food scale, but the CSR was good. What’s the CSR? Well, I’m so very glad you asked. I recently took a pizza TOUR. Yup. A pizza TOUR in New York City, where I met Scott Weiner, “Pizza Enthusiast” and he taught me more than I ever thought I could know about pizza.

So, CSR… Cheese to Sauce Ratio. So many places mess this up! When you have a thick, fluffy pizza like this, it’s hard to get the right amount of sauce and still get the crust to be crisp and the dough and cheese to be fluffy. Buddy’s NAILED it by adding those big heaps of marinara sauce on top. This is the perfect pizza for a family takeout Friday like that night or for a football game or other sports gathering (though I don’t know why anyone would gather for anything but football, but whatever). It’s also a great late-night pizza, which we all quickly found out after a bonfire night and a few adult beverages. It was amazing how the extra slices hanging out on the counter disappeared one by one until we all finally admitted sneaking “a slice or two” when going inside for refills.

Perfect pizza for a night in!

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