Get SF Weekly Newsletters

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Eat This: Tony's Detroit Style, aka "Red Top"

Posted By on Tue, May 13, 2014 at 2:41 PM

The corner pièce de résistance of the Red Top.
  • The corner pièce de résistance of the Red Top.

The menu at Tony's Pizzeria Napoletana in North Beach is vast, to say at the least. There are 11 different styles on the menu: the STG Pizza Napoletana, the California, the Classic American, the Classic Italian (which you can get cooked in your choice of either a 650-degree gas or 700-degree electric), the Pizza Romana, the Sicilian, a gluten-free pizza, a coal-fired pizza, a large New York 22-inch, a St. Louis-style and a Detroit-style.

It doesn't end there -- some styles have several different options. The California, for example, has seven in total like the Honey Pie, which is topped with honey from North Beach and calabrese peppers, or The Barcelona, appropriately topped with Spanish chorizo and jamon. And let's not forget the infinite permutations that come with the ability to choose your own additions; the mere perusal of the menu can be an overwhelming experience. But ease your ordering-anxiety (at least slightly) and definitely get the Detroit-style -- it's ridiculously delicious.

The Detroit-style (a.k.a. "Red Top") is cooked in a blue-steel square pan that pizza proprietor Tony Gemignani scored directly from Detroit. These things are hard to come by, as the steel manufacturer is out of business. The pan's bottom is lined with butter, imparting a focaccia-like flavor to the dough, which comes out light and airy despite its thickness and seemingly denseness. The rims of the pan are lined with a white sharp cheddar cheese from Vermont, which after baking caramelizes to a crispy crunch akin to the hardened cheese drippings from a grilled cheese sandwich. And because the corner slices would obviously be the pizza pièce de résistance here, the Red Top is cut into four so everyone gets a corner. Brilliant.

The elusive original Detroit blue steel pan.
  • The elusive original Detroit blue steel pan.

The pizza is topped with a Wisconsin "brick cheese" that is shredded for ease of melting. Only after out of the oven is the pizza then painted with two stripes of an uncooked yet warm and seasoned tangy red sauce that's heartily sprinkled with an oregano-heavy spice blend and a some grated pecorino romano. The result is a truly unique and delicious pizza that must not be missed.

Follow @streetfoodsf for other must-eats.

  • Pin It

About The Author

Omar Mamoon


Comments are closed.

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Like us on Facebook


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"