Food tastes better when you have to work for it - anyone who’s eaten a lobster knows that. And while you don’t have to crack claws or wear one of those goofy bibs at Dough Daddy, a meal at this new Downtown pizza pop-up still requires a little bit of work on your part. But don’t worry, it’s worth the effort.
Dough Daddy really only serves one thing - Detroit-style pizza. That means rectangular pies with a super-thick, bread-y crust, typically with Wisconsin brick cheese melted on top, and sauce layered on top of that. If words like “super-thick” and “brick” give you pause, fear not: The crust is almost impossibly light and springy, the Wisconsin brick is uniquely salty, buttery, and creamy (and spectacularly crispy around the edges), and the tomato sauce, dabbed into rows on top of the cheese, is bright, sweet, and fresh-tasting.
But if all of that is too much, order one of their excellent cocktails. (Oh, we forgot to mention: Dough Daddy serves excellent cocktails, too.) The options include mai tais, spicy margaritas, and strawberry-and-bourbon Kentucky Bucks, all of which are super-boozy and aromatic, and ideal for complementing and/or cutting through all that cheese and sauce.
Dough Daddy makes both the cocktails and the pizzas out of an apartment kitchen, and the pies only come a few per hour. Which brings us to the hard part: Getting one. Slots are released each week on their Instagram - and they usually sell out within two or three minutes of posting, so in order to grab one, you need to turn on post and story notifications for their IG account. Once the post is live, you have to type very quickly, like you’re a Jeopardy contestant practicing your buzzer reflexes. You then have to follow instructions in the follow-up emails (filling out order forms, making inconspicuous Venmo payments, etc) before finally finding a place Downtown where you can park for pick-up.
Our first few times trying to order Dough Daddy, the slots went too fast for our slow fingers. We got frustrated, and wondered if the pies could possibly be worth the effort to get them. But when we finally placed the order and tasted the pie, it was damn near perfect. Like we said, a little extra effort goes a long way.
OK - so we weren’t telling the whole story when we said they only have one thing on the menu. Dough Daddy has two different kinds of pie - the Real Deal (Wisconsin brick cheese), and the Damn Close (mozz and jack cheese) - but you need to order the Real Deal. The smoky, creamy Wisconsin brick cheese is ideal for the pie, and worth the extra couple bucks over the mozz/Jack blend on the Damn Close. And add pepperonis - they curl up around the edges to form tiny, perfectly salty bites (and little swimming pools of grease). They’ve also got vegan and dairy-free options.
All the cocktails at Dough Daddy are house-made, and the two we tried - the mai tai and the Los Primos De La Muerte (spicy margarita) - were as good as we’ve had at the best cocktail bars in the city. Order one of those, both of those, or, you know, any of the other options, because we’re sure the other ones are pretty good, too.