When I’m in a college town, one of my favorite meals is to find a place that sells pizza by the slice. I was in Ann Arbor by myself to shoot a basketball game which means I was going to be on my own for lunch. A few weeks ago, I picked up one of those travel magazines at a rest area. It had a list of restaurants by location in town, so looked for something in the campus area. I found a pizza place and assumed they would do pizza by the slice, so when it came time for lunch, I headed down towards the State Street area to find the New York Pizza Depot.
The New York Pizza Depot sits on the corner of Williams and Maynard Streets. The New York Pizza Depot is a small chain founded in Ann Arbor looking to franchise out. Right now, they have five stores under the franchise umbrella Uncle D’s New York Pizza. Three in Ann Arbor, one in Ypsilanti, and one in Bloomington, IN. To my surprise, the shop was pretty big. There is a main room when you walk in with a glass case full of pizza and a few tables. There’s also another room with more tables down a short hallway. It looks like it used to be two separate store fronts that were put together. The decor is really nice. The booths are cloth covered and it feels more like your sitting on a couch than a restaurant booth.
The variety of pizza also surprised. As the name suggests, there are a number of New York Style slices, but there was also a number of Chicago-style slices. I ended up going with one of each. I got a New York Style pepperoni and a Chicago Style ham, sausage, and pepperoni. They threw the slices back in the oven to warm them up for a few more minutes. The two slices cost me just over six bucks and I passed on a drink since they only had Coke.
I dug in to the New York style first. The slice was thin and really crispy. The crust had a lot of bite. I added on some red pepper flakes to spice things up a little bit. The slice was really good and had a lot of cheese. It didn’t quite remind me of New York slice though. The pizza was good and I would order a whole pizza this way, but the crust was almost too crispy. The thing to do with New York pizza is to fold it over and almost make a sandwich out of it. While I really liked the crispy crust, trying to fold it over just broke the crust.
The Chicago slice was also delicious. It was made in the style of Giordano’s. They topped the sauce off with a little bit of fresh basil. There was so much meat in the slice that I opted for the fork and knife method until I got to the end. Like the New York slice, it was really good and in the style of Chicago deep dish, but it missed on some key components. The crust was not fat heavy. Chicago style crust has a lot of butter or oil. Also, the sauce was cooked before putting it on the pie. Even though it wasn’t 100% Chicago style, it was really, really good. I could have easily ordered a whole pizza like this and enjoyed it for days.
I chose to just take a seat in the front part of the shop and eat my two slices. They were served on a paper plate with plastic silverware. I tore threw my two slices which were just enough to fill me up. That was the only meal I ate all day and it left me fairly satisfied until I got home at one AM. While the New York Pizza Depot doesn’t do either style 100% perfectly, they have a really good product that stands on it’s own without the classification.