Oddly enough, Blue Pan Pizza’s Detroit-style offering represents the second Midwestern regional style that I’ve had around the Mile High City (City Pizza & Pasta’s St. Louis-style pizzas was the first). Not longing to visit Detroit, I am very happy that my Denver hosts – Gordon and Andrea – did their research and took me to Blue Pan Pizza in the West Highland area. Before getting to how delicious it was, I should share a few important points of their research. One, others know it is delicious. Two, there isn’t much seating. Three, they don’t do reservations. With that said, Blue Pan does a lot of carryout business and recommends calling ahead about 30 minutes prior to dining to at least get put on their waitlist for a table.
Based on our experience, Blue Pan Pizza has not let their success go to their head, and they treat all customers very well. The manager was especially friendly and very helpful in getting us a table as soon as possible (Gordon mentioning his Midwest connections may have helped as well). Waiting is the hardest part, but once seated you can relax and prepare to enjoy some delicious food.
Ready to eat immediately after being seated, we started with their “Good Dog” appetizer. This is their house made garlic cheese bread. While I don’t understand the name, all you really need to know it was very good and carried some of the same dough and cheese characteristics of their Detroit-style pizza.
So what is Detroit-style pizza? It is a thick, square pan pizza known for its crust that is light and airy on the inside yet crispy on outside. Also, the cheese always goes to the edge of the crust and forms a caramelized crisp there. This same crust and cheese process made the “Good Dog” appetizer very tasty, and adding some garlic to it didn’t hurt either.
Continuing to confuse me with their names, Blue Pan’s award winning Detroit-style pizza is named the “Brooklyn Bridge.” It consists of mozzarella and brick cheeses (a blend authentic to Detroit-style), pizza sauce, creamy NY ricotta, natural casing pepperoni, Italian sausage, chopped garlic, Sicilian oregano, and pecorino romano cheese. Again, the taste more than made up for my confusion on the name as this pizza deserves its first place billing in the traditional division at the 2014 International Pizza Challenge. I suppose the name likely comes from the creamy NY ricotta, and that was actually the only part of the pizza I could have done without (just too creamy for my liking). Otherwise, everything about it was delicious. The crust, especially its edges, was my favorite part. A close second was the flavorful and spicy meats.
Blue Pan also serves classic Italian, Chicago cracker thin, and New York-style slices. Plus, the Detroit-style has a gluten free option. All of their other offerings couldn’t sway us from the standard Detroit-style they are most known for though, and we also tried it with pepperoni and extra cheese. Both pizzas were delicious, but my perfect pizza choice from Blue Pan would be the Brooklyn Bridge minus the creamy ricotta.
If you want Detroit-style pizza in the Denver and don’t mind carryout or a potential wait, then I’m sure it doesn’t get any better than Blue Pan Pizza. For those of you in other areas, Jet’s Pizza is chain from Michigan now offering Detroit-style pizza in many states.
What I Ate: Brooklyn Bridge
Blue Pan Pizza
3930 West 32nd Ave
Denver, Colorado 80212