Let’s explore the rise of Detroit Deep Dish in Omaha. Urban Slicer’s Matt Frampton dishes on Omaha’s Pizza Renaissance and his love for the iconic Detroit-style deep dish pizza.

In this article, we’ll explore several Omaha area pizza joints that specialize in Detroit Style Deep Dish.

  • Urban Slicer Pizza Worx
  • Izzy’s Pizza Bus
  • Backlot Pizza

As we celebrate National Pizza Day, Omaha stands out as a burgeoning epicenter for pizza lovers, particularly for the Detroit-style Deep Dish. This city, known for its vibrant culinary scene, is now home to several pizzerias mastering this unique style. The story is the same across America.

five pans of Detroit Deep Dish pizza stacked on a counter.

Image Credit: Izzy’s Pizza Bus

Move over Chicago-style, a new leader is taking America by storm. Leading the charge in Omaha is Matt Frampton, affectionately known as the Head Pizza Dude at Urban Slicer Pizza.

Before delving into Matt Frampton’s passionate journey and innovative approaches at Urban Slicer Pizza, it’s essential to turn back the pages and explore the roots of what makes Detroit Deep Dish so uniquely captivating. This brings us to the heart of its rich heritage and the craft that has elevated this style to more than just a culinary choice – it’s a symbol of a city’s history and ingenuity.

The Heritage and Craft of Detroit Deep Dish Pizza

a stack of blue steel Detroit deep dish pans in black and white.Detroit Deep Dish Pizza is more than just a foodie’s delight; it’s a piece of Americana, steeped in a rich history that dates back to the post-World War II era. Originating in 1946 in Detroit, this style of pizza is distinguished by its deep-dish rectangular shape, characteristic thick, chewy crust, and a unique layering technique with Wisconsin brick cheese extending to the edges, creating a deliciously caramelized border.

What truly sets it apart is its preparation in the iconic blue steel pans – originally used as automotive parts trays in the 1930s and 1940s – which contribute to the pizza’s distinctively crispy and airy crust.

This style, initially popularized by Gus Guerra at Buddy’s Pizza, has evolved over the decades, combining the heartiness of Sicilian influences with the industrial spirit of Detroit. The result is a pizza that’s as much about its flavorful, cheese-laden bite as it is about the city’s innovative spirit and resilience.

Little did Gus Guerra know that he would be inspiring pizza lovers like Matt Frampton nearly 100 years later.

Crafting the Motor City’s Iconic Dish

Detroit-style pizza isn’t just a meal; it’s a piece of culinary art with a story as rich as its cheese,” Frampton says.

“What initially drew you to making Detroit Style Deep Dish Pizza, and how does its history influence your approach?” we asked.

“In 2014, I was inspired by pizzaiolo Brad Rocco and Shawn Randazzo’s work,” Frampton recalls. “Their passion for Detroit-style Detroit pizza and its rich, fascinating history captivated me. It’s not just about making pizza; it’s about keeping a tradition alive and sharing it with others.”

The Art of Detroit Style

a bearded man in a gray hoodie holding a pepperoni pizza Detroit Deep Dish style.

“Could you describe the unique characteristics that set Detroit Style Deep Dish apart from other pizza styles?”

Frampton elaborates, “Detroit style is a Sicilian offshoot but with its own identity. It’s all about the fluffy, spongy dough and the caramelized cheese crust – a culinary equivalent of a perfect grilled cheese around each edge. The corner piece? That’s the holy grail.”

Image Credit: Omaha Food Magazine

Behind the Scenes at Urban Slicer

Delving into the preparation process, Frampton emphasizes the importance of time in dough making. “Time is a flavor in dough making,” he says. At Urban Slicer, we focus on a slow fermentation process, ensuring a light, airy crust, a signature of Detroit-style pizza.

Ingredient Mastery

a bag of Wisconsin whole milk mozzarella cheese

“How do you select ingredients, particularly the cheese and sauce?”

“The right cheese must have high-fat content for perfect melt and caramelization,” explains Frampton. “We use whole-milk mozzarella, sometimes adding Wisconsin brick cheese or white cheddar for extra flavor. Our sauce is robust and thick, designed specifically for this style.”

Grande Shredded Whole Milk Mozzarella Cheese, sourced from Vern’s Cheese, is a popular choice among aficionados crafting Detroit Style Deep Dish pizzas. However, this is just the beginning of the journey in perfecting the art of this iconic pizza style.

Frampton’s Personal Twist – Au Jus Kidding Me’ Pizza

“What personal twist do you add to your Detroit-style pizzas?”

“It’s all about fusion,” Frampton says proudly. “We love experimenting with different cuisines on our pizza canvas. Our ‘Au Jus Kidding Me’ pizza, a Detroit style turned French Dip, is a testament to our creativity.”

Challenges and Innovations

Frampton acknowledges challenges like achieving the perfect crust. “Par-baking is our secret weapon against soggy crusts,” he shares. “It ensures a crispy base and helps in maintaining the structural integrity of the pizza.”

Teaching the Art of Pizza

In his classes, Frampton focuses on proper dough proofing, the right pan and cheese selection, and the par-baking technique. “Then, let your imagination run wild with toppings,” he encourages.

Detroit Style’s Future in Omaha

“Where do you see the future of Detroit-style pizza in Omaha and nationally?” we inquired.

“It’s on an unstoppable rise,” Matt confidently predicts. “Omaha’s pizza game is robust, with a plethora of top-tier pizzerias adopting this style. Detroit Style pizza, once a regional jewel, has blossomed into a national sensation, and it’s an honor for us to be integral to this movement.”

The editorial team at Omaha Food Magazine has been closely monitoring the city’s burgeoning interest in this pizza style for over a decade. A notable highlight was Brick Oven Pizzeria on South 72nd Street, a place where the legacy of Detroit-style pizza flourished for years. Embracing the heritage, they used the original blue steel pans, a legacy of Detroit’s automotive era. These pans weren’t just tools; they were relics of a rich pizza tradition. They crafted some of the best Detroit-style pizzas anywhere near Omaha. However, in a turn of events reflecting the ever-evolving culinary scene, Brick Oven Pizzeria has ceased serving this iconic style despite its impact on creating a love for Detroit Deep Dish in the metro area. Brick Over is still open and continues to serve sensational pizza and has a wide variety of options to choose from.

Backlot Pizza

Meanwhile Backlot Pizza, with its duo of establishments in Omaha, is swiftly becoming a culinary hotspot. Known for their signature Detroit-style pizzas, they have captured the hearts of pizza enthusiasts and gourmands across generations. These pizzas, lauded for their authenticity and flavor, are just part of the allure.

A Cinematic Culinary Experience Backlot Pizza offers more than just a meal; it’s akin to a Hollywood spectacle, where every detail contributes to an unforgettable experience. Set against a backdrop that is as dramatic as it is inviting, they present their star attraction: the authentic 313 Detroit Style Pizza. Complementing this Detroit inspired masterpiece is a world-class whiskey bar, complete with an array of top-shelf selections.

The attentive and knowledgeable staff complete the scene, ensuring that every visit is worthy of a rave review. At Backlot, they’re not just serving delicious Detroit Style pizza; they’re creating a dining experience that’s sure to earn two thumbs up from anyone who walks through their doors.

a picture of a peperoni Detroit Deep Dish style pizza on a wire rack.

Izzy’s Pizza Bus

Izzy’s Pizza Bus: A Mobile Revolution in Detroit Style Pizza

A handsome male eating a slice of Detroit style pizza.And then there’s Izzy’s Pizza Bus – a name that’s become synonymous with Omaha’s Detroit-style pizza narrative. With a brick-and-mortar establishment on the horizon and a devoted fan base on social media, Izzy’s stands out for its unique flair, delectable Detroit-style pizzas, and arguably the most creative pizza boxes in the trade.

Izzy’s Pizza Bus is redefining the concept of mobile dining with their specialty in Detroit Style Pizza. Far from being just another food truck on the streets, they’re on a mission to craft the ultimate Detroit Style Pizza experience. Their dedication to quality is evident in every slice, using only the finest ingredients sourced from top local food distributors. This commitment extends from the choice of cheese and sauce to the flour used in their dough – each component chosen for its excellence and the shared passion of their suppliers.

Izzy’s Pizza Bus isn’t just serving pizza; they’re delivering a Detroit Style experience…every single time. Each pizza is a masterpiece, starting with a pan base that’s lavishly adorned with Brick and Mozzarella cheese. This cheese blend creates the signature caramelized “crown” along the edges, a hallmark of authentic Detroit Style. Toppings are generously added because, well, that’s in their name. The final touch is a robust sauce drizzled on top, accompanied by an array of delicious extras that each pizza demands. Izzy’s isn’t just about feeding the masses; it’s about elevating the mobile pizza game to a whole new level of deliciousness.

As much as we love following Izzy’s around town, we can’t wait for their brick and mortar to open up!

a Detroit Style Pizza on a wire rack

Omaha’s Pizza Landscape

When asked about his favorite pizza spots in Omaha, Frampton lists Virtuoso, Izzy’s, Dante, Backlot, Roman Coin, Lacasa’s and others. “Omaha’s pizza scene is dynamic and diverse. We have everything here, and it’s all about respect for the craft,” he says.

Final Thoughts from the Urban Slicer

“Pizza making is about community and creativity,” Frampton concludes. “At Urban Slicer, we’re not just selling dough and sauce; we’re sharing a piece of culinary heritage. And on this National Pizza Day, we celebrate not just Detroit Style, but all the wonderful styles that make up America’s pizza landscape.”

Urban Slicer’s Easy Home Kits

an image of four bags of pizza dough on a counter.

Finally, he mentions Urban Slicer’s home kits. “Just add water and mix. We want everyone to experience the joy of making professional-quality pizzas at home,” Frampton says. “Whether you’re a seasoned chef or a home cook, pizza making is for everyone.” Consumers can find Frampton’s Epic Deep-Dish Dough on his website Urban Slicer Pizza Worx. 

Urban Slicer is available in stores across all 50 states, Canada, Germany, Australia and Bermuda. We love the void they’ve filled, bringing professional quality ingredients to homes across the country and beyond, which you couldn’t previously find in stores.

Matt Frampton and Urban Slicer’s journey with Detroit Style Deep Dish is a testament to the ever-evolving world of pizza. In Omaha and beyond, this style is more than just a trend; it’s a culinary heritage being lovingly carried forward, one delicious deep-dish slice at a time.

As one of the founding members of M.O.P.A., the Metro Omaha Pizza Alliance, Frampton is proud of the pizza game in the Omaha metro area and encourages everyone to get out and try a new pizza joint.

Whether you’re searching for Detroit Deep Dish in Omaha or one of the best new restaurants in the metro area, we’ve got you covered!