A Look at Pizzerias Across America
Wheated | Brooklyn, New York
Opened in 2013, Wheated is a cozy spot with an elegant bar featuring a classic cocktail program and 700-plus whiskeys. “I wanted to create a pizza place with a cocktail focus,” says owner David Sheridan. “We have stayed true to that vision over the years. I try to keep our menu small and allow us to focus on producing a well-crafted drink and pizza for all who visit. Over the years, we have grown and evolved, but the pandemic really accelerated the changes here. Most noticeably has been the pizza. We went from smaller personal pie that was cooked at a higher temp, to a larger, sharing size cooked lower and longer. It helped us grow a to-go side of the business and survive the last couple of years. I like to think what we are doing now is a throwback to a prior age of pizza from NYC coal ovens. What defines our pizza is the crust. It is sourdough leavened that we focus on fermenting well, but not allowing the flavor to go far into the sour end of the spectrum. When you taste it, you know something is different, flavorful, but might not call out the sourdough aspect. What really sets us apart with the large pizzas is my appreciation for a pizza cooked to well done. There is something magical when the crust gets caramelized without being burnt and the bottom is crisp with some char. I believe our customers appreciate the simple things we do well. By far our most popular pizza is our margherita. We call it the Bensonhurst. Details like doing sliced low moisture mozzarella under the sauce, or the blend of three tomatoes for that sauce, combined with our crust and how we bake add up to a sum greater than its parts.”
Sfumato Pizzeria | Alton, Iowa
This rural pizzeria recently celebrated its 10th anniversary. With a reputation for some of the best wood-fired pizza in the region, it’s still a hidden gem in the state. The cozy little restaurant resides in a beautiful timber building in the foreground of a massive grain elevator. The menu is simple. Sfumato serves Neapolitan-style pizza. In addition to the Margherita, Bianca and Marinara, the pizza menu features Fig and Caper with olive oil, garlic, mozzarella, hot sauce, figs, capers, prosciutto, and topped with arugula. There is also the Bar-B-Que with barbecue sauce, mozzarella, red onion, pineapple, cilantro and a choice of either Italian sausage, pepperoni or prosciutto.
Detroit Beach Restaurant and Pizzeria | Monroe, Michigan
This no-frills, small Italian restaurant and pizzeria has a huge following and has garnered a reputation as a destination location for pizza. A stone’s throw away from the Motor City, the nostalgic old-school spot first opened in 1964. Detroit Beach has a full Italian menu featuring appetizers, soups, salads, pastas, entrées and even party trays. The menu features no specialty pizzas. Instead, customers order personal six-inch, 12-inch or 16-inch pies with their choice of toppings (pepperoni, hamburger, ham, bacon, Italian sausage, black olives, green olives, mushrooms, green peppers, onions, hot peppers, sliced tomatoes, pineapple, garlic and anchovies).