Given my Chicago roots, I started off as a thick-crust aficionado. In college, thick crust was about volume over quality (and being able to dine off of a couple pies for a week). I was introduced to thin crust pizza and NYC punk rock at Joe’s Pizza in Clinton, Iowa. The bride does not abide by thick-crust pizza, so NYC-style thin crust it was for us for many, many years. And then Via 313 rolled into our life.
We’d heard the buzz about Via 313 and their Detroit-style pizza, 313 being the area code for the former center of the automotive industry. Detroit-style pizza is deep dished in aluminum pans once used for cleaning auto parts, parbaked with liberal amounts of butter, and lathered with tomato sauce on top. After walking the boardwalk around Lady Bird Lake in downtown Austin one afternoon, we stopped in at Craft Pride to partake in the Via 313 trailer parked out back. We ordered the Detroiter (smoked pepperoni under the cheese with natural-casing pepperoni on top).
It. Was. Epicly. Epic.
The pizza is so savory, buttery, crunchy-thick, pepperoni-y, and tomato-y, it was one orgasmic life-changing bite after another. Stunningly delicious. Every day over the next month, I thought about that pizza. The next slice I had was at their then-new new brick-n-mortar in southwest Austin, and it was as good as I had romanticized it.
I liked it so much, I risked life and limb and went to Detroit to try the original Detroiter, stopping in at Buddy’s Rendevouz where they invented Detroit-style pizza in 1946. Via 313 was just as good, and perhaps a touch better, than the original (I sat at a table next to a grilled up then boarded up then bricked up window).
Via 313 has done well in Austin with two trailers and three brick-n-mortars, and for good reason: This pizza is a must eat, even if you are a thin-crust snob. Due to cholesterol concerns, I try not to go more than once a quarter with the one near the university being my fave locale where they rock PIL, MC5, Devo, and Iggy Pop tracks. Perfect music for perfect pie.