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I am a PR pro, marketer and fundraiser. I enjoy writing about food, wine, and craft beer. I'm a social media junkie who is always looking for the next great app. Follow me on twitter.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Buddy's --even when you don't feel like pizza!

Everyone knows that Buddy’s makes Detroit’s best pizza. It’s a Motown original, dating back 67 years.  I recently had the pleasure stopping at the original Buddy’s, near six mile and Conant, for something out of the ordinary.  Straying from my comfort zone, I explored other offerings off the menu and discovered something special.

Where’s the Beef?

It’s in Buddy’s made from scratch meatballs!  This is an appetizer meant for sharing, but you could also experience this as a main course lunch or dinner.  Four meatballs tossed in marinara or meat sauce, topped with melty mozzarella and served up with grilled garlic toast. Divine. Buddy’s meatballs are made from fresh ground beef and veal, and taste like, well, BEEF! There’s no mistaking what these are. It’s not a bunch of filler or chemicals or turkey parts, etc.  Buddy’s chefs knock these out fresh daily. If they served this up with some fresh warm pizza bread, I’d probably just move in.

Not Your Kids’ Nuggets

Chicken tenders. That ubiquitous food which kids everywhere seem to inhale on a daily basis. Buddy’s makes these good enough for adults—fresh strips of white meat chicken dipped in buttermilk and then tossed in seasoned flour and fried in canola oil.  Another item off the app menu, which can easily become a meal.

Soups On

Buddy’s minestrone is thick like a chili. Some places serve minestrone that’s disappointingly watery, but this is thick, and choc full of tomatoes, carrots, zucchini and pasta. All Buddy’s soups are homemade, down to the dumplings in the chicken and dumpling soup.

Not Quite Poutine

Buddy’s takes a generous helping of seasoned thick wedgecut fries and layers them with a blend of mozzarella and cheddar, and bacon-- because everything is truly better with bacon. This is a hearty side dish that you’ll want to share.

Finally a main course

Buddy’s makes several baked pastas, including mostaccioli, cheese or spinach lasagna, mac and cheese, and two types of ravioli.  Choose pasta pillows stuffed with a creamy ricotta cheese or hearty meat filling, topped with marinara or meat sauce, and then baked with fresh mozzarella.  The pasta is just past al dente, and the filling, like everything else, made from scratch. Buddy's meat sauce is made with fresh ground beef, veal and pork--for those who need to know.

So there’s the travel log of Buddy’s non-pizza items.  Comfort food, made by chefs, and served up by staff who have been around for the long haul.  At the original Buddy’s, General Manager Dennis Kot counts 37 years with the company, starting out as a pizza cook! Several waitresses and kitchen staffers have been at this location for 10 or 20 years. In the turnover prone restaurant industry, this kind of longevity speaks volumes about management and ownership.

For more about Buddy’s, find them on the web and Twitter.

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