Excellent | Worth a Detour
Cloverleaf Restaurant and Bar | Detroit Pizza At Its Best
Review by: Maggie Rosenberg & Trevor Hagstrom
Detroit pizza currently enjoys a renaissance. It has earned long-overdue national attention. A thick square with an airy crust, lots of cheese, dollops of sauce on top and a ring of burnt cheese around the edge define it. In spite of being cooked in a deep dish pan, it bears little resemblance to Chicago-style pizza. It more closely resembles what some might call a Sicilian slice.
No one knows for sure how it came to be. Most agree that Gus Guerra invented it. He developed it at Buddy’s, but then spent most of his career as a pizzaiolo at Cloverleaf. The original Cloverleaf differs from the counter service branches around Detroit. You actually can sit down here. We recommend it as the best place to try the original Detroit pizza.
Eat It Here
Most people buy Detroit pizza to take out. But you’ll enjoy it more sitting down at Cloverleaf. First off, you can have a surprisingly fresh and tasty antipasto salad. You can sip tall glasses of cheap beer to stimulate the appetite. Most important, Detroit pizza tastes best hot from the oven.
Crust, And More Crust
The crust puts Detroit pizza among the nation’s best. Whereas Chicago deep-dish pizza offers dense, crisp crust, Detroit defines its crust as spongy and airy. Diners covet Detroit crust. They prize corner pieces, which provide more edge and more inches of toasted cheese.
Cloverleaf salad comes with bread sticks made from strips of pizza dough that have been coated in sugar, butter, and Parmesan cheese, then baked until slightly crisp. Known as Crunchy Bread, you need to eat some even if you don’t order a salad.
We think the cheese-to-sauce ratio on Cloverleaf’s pizza could use adjustment. Our pizza had so little sauce on some slices that we borrowed sauce off more sauce-rich neighbor slices. This quibble aside, crust on Cloverleaf pizza works magic. Even among other great Detroit pizza, it stands out for its lightness and perfectly caramelized edges.
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