Marooned in a neighborhood now bereft of industry and commerce, Elmer's old-fashioned, deliciously basic burgers with onions show why it's still going strong
'Detroit' on Serious Eats
In a world where so many pizza creation stories are debatable (if not outright myths), the history of Detroit-style pizza is surprisingly clear. There is no dispute that Gus Gurra introduced the city to its signature pizza style when he added pizza to the menu of his bar, Buddy's. Guerra sold his business in the early 1950s, but went on to found Cloverleaf.
Back before "slider" became a term to describe any small burger made out of any kind of meat, the word referred to small beef patties, steamed and seared on a griddle and served with a grilled onions on a cheap white bun. These delicious bits of nostalgia are all too rare in most of the country, but the tradition lives on in Detroit.
The 48209 zip code of Detroit is a hot bed of delicious taco activity, as I found out on a one-day whirlwind tour of 11 taquerias and trucks in the city. Though Detroit's Mexican Town is located in the area, the tacos we tried from the several joints located directly in Mexican Town were uniformly sub-par compared to some of the exceptional finds at the trucks, supermarkets, and loncherias nearby.
Detroit doesn't exactly have a style of barbecue it can call all its own, which is why Slow's, an institution-in-the-making on the main strip of Michigan Ave doesn't really have a style of its own either. Instead, you'll find their own versions of staples from around the country like Texas-style brisket, Carolina-style pulled pork, or St. Louis ribs.
You wouldn't expect to find a great burger on a 6-lane strip of commercial property sporting mostly strip clubs and Lebanese restaurants, but it's there, and it's worth stopping at.
There's a lot going on in Detroit. After years of decay, excitement is growing around urban gardens. Previously abandoned lots are being turned into food producing centers. In this video, we follow Greg and Olivia from Detroit Dirt and Brother Nature Produce. They have an acre of empty lot land that they've turned into a small farm.
Squabbles between stands and manufacturers aside, I think the Detroit Coney should be considered one of the great American "Heirloom hot dog styles" that has stood the test of time—as important a part of hot dog history as the Chicago dog and New York Kosher style, and just as delicious.
When many people hear the words Michigan and pizza, chances are they next think of Domino's and Little Caesar's. While those massive chains and a couple smaller local ones do play heavily into The Wolverine State's pizza scene, there's more to Michigan pizza than that, and a ton of good locally-owned pizzerias all over the state. Here's our guide to a few Michigan favorites.
Next up in our search for America's Best Hot Dog (we've so far told you about the East Coast and down South) is the Midwest, another heavyweight hot dog region where frankfurters were introduced by Austrian immigrants at the Chicago World's Fair in 1893. Since then, Chicago has rivaled New York as the hot dog center of the universe, although Detroit isn't far behind.
Management at Motor City Brewing Works in Detroit is so concerned that customers come in for their beer rather than pizza that they actually took a couple of their most popular pies off the menu. The word's out, though: the pizza at Motor City Brewing Works is good.
New York is a legendary pizza town. New Orleans has some serious sandwich credibility (po' boys and muffulettas). Check and check. But when searching for the best bites all over the country this year, we found some surprises—mind-blowingly tasty foods thriving in regions we didn't really expect at first. Breakfast pastries in Salt Lake City, hot dogs in Tuscon, and more.
Originally founded as a White Castle in 1929, Motz's Burgers in Detroit may not be the oldest continuously operating burger joint in the world—that distinction still goes to Louis' Lunch in New Haven, which has been serving burgers since 1900. On the other hand, Motz's Burgers best Louis' in one significant way: They actually taste good. Really good. As in, in the running for the best sliders I've had anywhere.
October! National Pizza Month! This month we'll be bringing you Daily Slice, quick snapshots of slices and pies all of us at the Serious Eats empire have been enjoying lately. —The Mgmt. [Photograph: Maggie Hoffman] You can order whole pies at Brooklyn Pizza in Birmingham, Michigan, but everyone seems to be here for a quick thin-crusted slice, a pitstop near the Anthropologie or on the way to the movie theater. Slices are reheated in a wood-burning Renato oven—when we asked about it, the cashier said it was about time to put another log on the fire....
It's unofficially Michigan Day on SE pizza site Slice. First Buddy's, now Loui's. The pizza at this Hazel Park, Michigan, joint is hefty and rectangular, meant to get you through a frigid winter evening like a giant pan of lasagna would.
Reaching in to the Slice mailbag, we've got ... Supino's eponymous pie. The Supino features roasted garlic, black olives, chile oil, ricotta, red sauce, and mozzarella. [Photograph: seekoh on Flickr] Adam, Summerfield here. After reading the link about pizza in Detroit, posted on Slice in August, I've had two eating experiences at Supino, which was rated No. 1 by the Detroit Free Press.Supino is the real deal. Its pizza is pretty near a New York–Neapolitan style. The crust actually seems slightly thinner than what I remember New York metro pizza to be (it's been nine years since eating a pie...
"The balance of sweet, buttery bread, tangy pickles, oozy cheese, and salty meats is a kind of Motor City Muffuletta." [Photograph: Michael Nagrant] I usually write about all things Chicago, but when my grandfather, a very influential foodie role model for me, recently passed away, I found myself back in my hometown of Detroit. As you can imagine, such rough circumstances call for massive carbohydrate comfort, and so I spent plenty of time chowing down on local favorites and childhood touchstone eats: Lafayette Coneys, Olga's Snackers, Buddy's Pizza, and Better Made BBQ chips. The thing is, I can find a decent chili dog, barbecue chips, and great pizza in Chicago. I, however, have never found the 3-D Special Sandwich in...
"Like any hot dog style that's been around for almost 100 years, the Detroit Coney has migrated far and wide." [Artwork: Hawk Krall] Past Weeks' Dogs Seattle Style DogHalf-Smoke24-Hour DogThe Philly ComboTijuana Dog Detroit's Coney Island hot dog phenomenon has almost nothing to do with Brooklyn's Coney Island (similar to its cousin the Texas Weiner, which has absolutely no relation to Texas). At first glance, the Coney might just look like your average chili dog—but don't say that to anyone in Michigan, Ohio, upstate New York, or any of the other far-reaching places where the Coney has migrated. In Detroit, a "Coney" is a natural casing beef and pork dog covered in ridiculous amounts of Coney Sauce, yellow mustard, and...
[Credit: Detroit Free Press] In May Alan Richman dropped his Top 25 Pizza List in GQ magazine and in a related story somewhat counterintuitively declared Detroit the No. 3 pizza city in the U.S. The Detroit Free Press now seems to be reacting to the pizza spotlight—a little late but better than never. What's interesting, though, is that the Freep story focuses not on the Sicilian style that Richman praised as being "flawlessly executed" consistently throughout the region but on the up-and-coming pizzerias in the Motor City. The paper rounds up 25 places to check out. View the list,...