I’m convinced that Montreal is going through a pizza renaissance. A revival or renewed interest in something; a cultural rebirth if you will. In this case pizza. There was a time when the only pizzas available in Montreal were the classic corner 2-for-1s, American chains, local Italian restaurants and fancy pants pizzas places that sold more attitude than they did pizzas. You know what I’m talking about. The few places that sold Neapolitan pizzas with thin leoparding crust and gave you an extra dose of upturned noses if you would order anything other than a margarita pizza.
In recent years the proliferation of styles of pizzas have grown exponentially. Obviously from traditional spots like, Gema, Fiorellino, No. 900 and Rita to gigantic New York Style slices at La New Yorkaise, Pizza Toni. And now for something different, Fungool Pizza. The newest pizza pop-up serving Detroit Style pan-pizza in NDG.
I love pizza. I don’t know many people who don’t. I’ll eat it hot, cold, on a plane, on a boat, with a goat. So regardless of where it’s from, I’ll eat it. Fungool pizza has been on my radar for a while and I finally decided to check it out.
What makes a pizza a “Detroit-style” pizza? Some say it’s all about the order of toppings – cheese first and sauce last. While others will say it’s the crust. But I say it’s the gift to the pizza world from the city where Robocop was born. It has a thick base with an unmistakeable frico – lacy, crispy, browned cheese crust that forms along the edges where the pizza meets the pan.
What makes a pizza a “Detroit-style” pizza? Some say it’s all about the order of toppings – cheese first and sauce last. While others will say it’s the crust. But I say it’s the gift to the pizza world from the city where Robocop was born.
“Le Veg” Pizza
Fungool offers seven different kinds of Detroit-style pizza. “The Veg” (vegetarian) features a house cheese blend, grilled red onion, mushrooms, zucchini, and red peppers. It’s topped with their house tomato sauce and parmesan. The grilled vegetables had a great char that added a smokey aroma to each bite. The dollop of sauce on top is the move. The move in which I didn’t know was a move, but I’ve come to appreciate.
The sauce presented itself as a player in the game. It’s not just a forgotten ritual of being slathered on the dough, but an element to the construction of the pizza. It stands out and demands to be recognized.
“The Reuben” Pizza
The Reuben pizza is an ode to Montreal and the fact that fatty smoked brisket juice courses through our veins. The same house cheese blend topped with Swiss cheese, smoked meat, finished with sauerkraut, pickles, Russian dressing and a drizzle of mustard.
If you’re ever going to have a smoked meat sandwich as a pizza, this is the one you want. Montreal smoked meat collabing with Detroit to give New York a big eff you on multiple levels. Genius. The rich flavour and experience of a genuine Reuben sandwich in pizza form. Delicious.
The crust. Not enough can be said about the crust. Beautifully crusty, latticed cheesy edges frames the four-sided pie. The dense and chewy (but pillowy) crust is mildly sweet and is a dream to eat.
Operating out of Pigeon Cafe in the Monkland Village, Fungool Pizza is a popup project by Jordan Biberkraut that served Detroit-style pan pizza from Thursdays to Sundays 5pm-9pm. The pizza is different. Something I welcome with open arms and an empty stomach. The pizza was delicious and was a pleasant surprise. They also have a bunch of sides (that I didn’t try) like Isreal fried chicken. pigs in the blanket, and waffle fries. I’m going to go on record and dare to say that this Detroit style pan-pizza at Fungool might be one of my Top 8 favourites in Montreal.
5625 Monkland Ave