Slightly greasy Detroit-style pizza is an art form. At least, it is if you grew up in the city from which this region-specific style of pizza hails.
So, when we heard Jet's Pizza, a popular Michigan chain known for its Detroit-style pies, was setting up two outposts in metro Phoenix, we were optimistic ... albeit cautiously.
On the one hand, we couldn't wait to get a taste of our home state's gooey, crispy deep-dish pizza. And on the other, we still remember when Little Caesars once brought a gravely disappointing form of Detroit-style pizza (if you can even call it that) to the Valley. That sad imitation left a bad and skeptical taste in our mouths.
Well, the Chandler location of Jet's opened up earlier this month, and we jetted over — sorry — on a Friday night to grab a pie.
Inside, Chandler's store is identical to a lot of Jet's locations you'd find in The Mitten, with blindingly white tiles covering the walls, photos of the chain's smiling and mustachioed mascot, and friendly employees sporting bright red T-shirts. Our only quibble is that the restaurant is takeout or delivery only and offers no seating other than a bench to sit on while you wait for your order.
The menu is also pretty much the same as what you'd find in a Michigan location, offering subs, salads, cinnamon stix, deep-dish Detroit-style pizza, and round pies —if you're into that sort of thing. Sub options include classics such as Italian, ham and cheese, and meatball.
We ordered an antipasto salad and a basic pepperoni, square deep-dish pie, waiting around 15 minutes for our order. (Luckily, Jet's Pizza travels well, and our large pie stayed warm on the long drive back from Chandler.)
Our salad was pretty ordinary as far as antipasto salads go, including crisp iceberg lettuce, ham, salami, shredded mozzarella cheese, olives, tomatoes, and Italian dressing. The dressing had a nice, vinegary tang to it, and the salad had plenty of meat.
More important, the pizza didn't disappoint. The "premium" mozzarella atop the pie didn't slide off when we broke off a corner slice, which had crisp, slightly burnt edges. The middle of the pizza was enjoyably chewy and featured a well-seasoned tomato sauce. The restaurant also didn't skimp on the pepperoni, which was crunchy on the outer edges.
And in case you're wondering, Jet's isn't just for those raised on Detroit-style pizza. Our dining companion was not a native Michiganite, but enjoyed the pizza all the same — even noting that a leftover slice was just as good the next day.
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We're pretty excited for another location in metro Phoenix to open up on the corner of Tatum and Shea Boulevards, which is still being built out.
All in all, our Jet's dinner tasted like Friday night in the Great Lakes state. All we were missing was a Vernors ginger ale.
4245 South Arizona Avenue, Chandler