Careful - Thunderbird Pies have sharp edges.
Thunderbird Pies available for pick up or delivery only.
Cane Rosso and Zoli’s founder and owner, Jay Jerrier, Executive Pizzaiolo, Lee Hunzinger, and Chief Culinary Officer, Jeff Bekavac decided to try their hand at Detroit style pizza.
Cane Rosso's newest Arlington location, in former Joe's Radiator space, will open before Thanksgiving.
Thunderbird Pies has launched a Detroit style, takeout-only ghost kitchen restaurant in Addison.
With time on their hands due to coronavirus lockdowns, the trio of Jay Jerrier, founder and owner of Cane Rosso and Zoli’s Pizza; Lee Hunzinger, the brand’s executive pizzaiolo; and Jeff Bekavac, who serves as chief culinary officer, got to work cracking the code on Detroit style pizza. Yes, Detroit has its own distinctive pizza style.
If anyone could master Detroit style ― known for its crispy cheesy edges ― these three could. After all, Cane Rosso was one of the first to bring true Neapolitan style pizza to the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex when Jerrier opened the first Cane in Dallas’ Deep Ellum neighborhood back in 2011.
Zoli’s, on the other hand, is their ode to New York style pies. Where Cane Rosso pizzas are a decidedly knife and fork experience, Zoli’s slices stand up to the folding method.
With the debut of Thunderbird Pies, which is being run as a ghost kitchen out of Zoli’s Addison location, diners can now enjoy an entirely different pizza sensation ― doughy squares of bliss. The rectangular pan pizzas are cooked in a traditional seasoned steel pan, topped with shreds of Wisconsin block cheeses with the sauce on top. When turned out of the pan, it’s the crispy caramelized cheese crust that some pizza devotees covet.
Each “pie” is a more like a slab in reality. They measure 10 by 14 inches, and feed three to four people. For instance, the pizza named Luca Brasi ($27) is as thick as the bodyguard from The Godfather movie it’s named after. Picture large meatballs, chunks of melty ricotta, topped with tomato sauce, bread crumbs and a chiffonade of basil.
“With the reduced volume and staff, we thought it was a good time to experiment,” Jay Jerrier tells PaperCity Fort Worth. “And, with everybody ordering online, we thought we’d see where it would go.” Come to find out people like Detroit style pizza too.
Currently Thunderbird Pies are only available for pick up at the Addison location of Zoli’s, or for delivery within an eight mile radius. If you want to score a Thunderbird Pie you can only do so from Sundays through Thursdays and from 3 pm until they are sold out.
But Jerrier is opening a second ghost kitchen soon to feed the demand for Detroit style pizza. He is signing a lease in East Dallas this week, which will cover (for takeout and delivery) Lake Highlands, Deep Ellum, Downtown, Uptown and “maybe even into Oak Cliff.”
Arlington’s Own Cane Rosso
The long-awaited first Arlington Cane Rosso restaurant will be opening this month. With Cane Rossos already in Frisco, Carrolton, Fort Worth and two in Dallas proper (with Austin and Houston Heights neighborhood outpost as well), this pizza is spreading. The Arlington pizza place will inhabit the former Joe’s Radiator Service building, at 200 N. East Street in Arlington’s Urban Union ― which had all the quirkiness you’d expect from a Cane Rosso pizzeria.
The signage and prerequisite red concrete piggy (Cane Rosso’s defacto mascot) were installed last spring, which means toes have been tapping and nearby neighbors have been imagining the smells of fresh pizza for month now.
“We were hoping to have it open by the opening day of baseball, but COVID delays pushed the opening. We will for sure be open before Thanksgiving, if not before,” Jerrier says.
This Arlington Cane Rosso boasts a huge, partially covered, crushed granite lined patio and the three garage doors from the former radiator repair shop will come in handy as well. Near this newest Cane Rosso, you’ll find Legal Draft Brewing, The Tipsy Oak and Hurtado BBQ.
The success of Thunderbird Pies has the Cane Rosso team thinking of other potential delivery model spinoffs as well.
Jerrier says they are working on a casual burger and chicken concept to be called Side Hussle, as well as an East Coast style hoagie and cheese steak concept to be named Gipsy Danger ― after one of Jerrier’s dogs. There is probably a follow up question that needs to be asked about that relationship.
“Most of these new concepts will start in Dallas and grow from there,” Jerrier says.
In the meantime, Cane Rosso is now also shipping its authentic Neapolitan pizzas nationwide through a partnership with Goldbelly. More kitchen space will need to be acquired in order to see all these dreams and expanding restaurant visions become a reality.
“We are looking into smaller locations going forward,” Jerrier says, “But really waiting to see what the dining landscape looks like in the new year.”