Peter Harbison serves Detroit style pizza and Coney dogs at the Angry Peteâ€™s Pizza booth in the Scripps Ranch Farmerâ€™s Market. (photo by John Gregory)
Try a slice of Detroit pizza
Pizza lovers might think they have sampled every type of pizza on earth, and they have their favorites. But it’s possible that some may still be unaware of Detroit style pizza.
Fortunately, there is now a Detroit style pizza booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market.
Peter Harbison started Angry Pete’s Pizza, which is now in its third week of existence. He prepares his food in a commissary kitchen and takes it to farmer’s markets where he finishes the baking process in a fascinating pizza que fueled by propane. It’s a small, round pizza oven on a stand.
Order a pizza from his booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market and Harbison will finish prepping it and then bake it for you fresh.
Detroit pizza, by the way, is a lighter version of deep dish pizza that most are familiar with.
“We do Detroit style pizza, which is different from anyone else’s pizza out here,” Harbison explained. “It is similar to Sicilian pizza. It has light, airy dough similar to focaccia. The cheese goes all the way to the edges … We use a four-cheese blend which is Wisconsin brick cheese, mozzarella, Irish white cheddar and then we top it with parmesan.”
Harbison is from Detroit but has lived in San Diego for 12 years and been a professional chef for 24 years. He most recently worked as a chef for a casino in San Diego until he decided to go into business for himself.
“I just got tired of the casino life and the stress and the headaches … I just wanted to get back to cooking good food,” he said.
When he did, he unveiled his special Detroit style pizza dough recipe.
“Everyone assumes, being deep dish pizza, that it’s going to be like Chicago style, which is really heavy and thick. But Detroit style pizza, it is deep dish, but it’s not heavy and thick. It’s light and airy, so it’s totally different,” Harbison said. “It’s just the hydration level in the dough … It has more water in the dough. It’s a little harder to work with but it makes for a lighter, airy dough when you cook it.”
The Angry Pete’s Pizza booth typically offers four or five types of pizza each Saturday. There is always pepperoni pizza, some kind of cheese pizza and a veggie pizza. Angry Pet’s Pizza will also have some specialty pizzas.
The Reuben pizza features swiss cheese, corned beef, sauerkraut and Thousand Island. There is a pickled pepper pizza. Last week the booth offered a duck confit pizza with tender duck leg shredded, pickled red onions, balsamic glaze and arugula.
The almost Hawaiian pizza includes bacon, pineapple, pickled red onion and red dragon fruit.
The elote pizza features grilled corn, pepper jack cheese, Mexican crema and chili powder.
The Detroit aspect of Angry Pete’s Pizza comes through with a few more offerings. The booth offers Coney dogs with Coney sauce, which is basically beanless chili. Yes, Coney dogs are from Detroit, according to Harbison. Immigrants who travelled through New York brought the Coney dog recipe with them to Detroit, he said.
“We get our hot dogs shipped form Detroit. We get our Coney sauce shipped from Detroit,” Harbison said.
Additionally, Angry Pete’s Pizza offers a selection of sodas made in Detroit, called Faygo Pop. Popular flavors include cotton candy and pineapple watermelon.
At this point, Angry Pete’s Pizza sells any pizza slice for only $3, but that might change once it catches on.
Find the Angry Pete’s Pizza booth at the Scripps Ranch Farmer’s Market, which is open for shoppers from 9:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every single Saturday at 10380 Spring Canyon Road, in the Innovations Academy parking lot. Visit srfm.org.