At Grandma Bob’s, they like to really mix things up when it comes to pizza. Have you ever tried a Big Mack pizza before?
“I just like to do things I’ve never seen done before,” says Dan DeWall, the Chef and Partner of Grandma Bob’s. “We have a lot of fun. There’s a lot of great Detroit-style pizzas in Detroit, obviously, we just wanted to take the concepts and the foundation that was laid for us, and push it to the limit.”
This blending of the old and new is something that is in the very foundation of the place. The Corktown location was originally an auto shop called Duncan’s Speedometer. Then the owner’s mother purchased it and turned it into an antique store before her son took it over and made it into a family-owned pizzeria. The colorful outside of the building will be sure to grab your attention, as will the name. Grandma Bob is an homage to the owner’s own grandmother named Roberta.
“Everybody called her Bobbie,” explains DeWall. “She was a restaurant server, pretty much her entire life.”
The inside is open and airy with long wooden communal tables. The ceiling is high, with a modern chandelier made of hanging wires and circular bulbs dancing among the rafters. The bar is welcoming with a large open shelving system that they can reach via a mobile yellow ladder. Amongst the alcohols are various vintage cookware, again blending the old and new.
On the menu, they predominately serve Detroit-style pizzas, but they do have some tasty appetizers as well, like their chorizo quesadillas and their cashew Ceasar salad. They wanted everyone to feel included on the menu, so they can make almost any pizza they have vegan, or gluten-free. Popular choices are their vegan Big Mack with Impossible Burger, vegan cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, with lettuce, pickles, and sesame seeds sprinkled over top. If you are looking for something a bit more classic, try their Sausage and Pistachio pizza with Italian sausage, red onions, pistachios, ricotta cheese, and fresh rosemary. They also like to offer specials and some seasonal items like their brand new Birria Pizza. Just like the tacos that have taken over Instagram, it’s made with slowly stewed beef and comes with consommé to dip it in. They also topped it with cotija cheese, pico de gallo, and lime juice.
Just like the pizzas can be made vegan, so can their popular boozy milkshakes. One popular vegan choice is the White Blossom with vegan vanilla ice cream, Valentine’s White Blossom Vodka, lavender syrup, almond milk whipped cream, and it can be topped with Fruity Pebbles (though the cereal is not vegan). For those who want the rich dairy, they have a chocolate custard they can blend into a variety of tasty milkshakes as well.
If you would like to try Grandma Bob’s, it is located at 2135 Michigan Avenue in the Corktown area of Detroit.