Andrew Albert, the owner of the now-closed yet still-beloved Picasso’s Pizza & Grill, has brought back what he calls “Dallas-style pizza” at his new restaurant in Plano, Texas.
Andrew’s American Pizza Kitchen opened in December, with a range of pizza styles as well as pastas, burgers, entrees and sandwiches. On the pizza side, the menu features pies made in the Chicago, Detroit and New York styles. But Albert, who co-owns the spacious, high-end pizzeria with his wife, Jennifer, and their son, Justin, is perhaps best-known for the Dallas style that he served at Picasso’s. That landmark spot operated for nearly 30 years and had three locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area before closing during the pandemic.
What exactly is Dallas-style pizza? Albert doesn’t delve too deeply into specifics. “The short answer,” he told PMQ, is “a thin-crust pizza that has a wonderful dough and sauce that accentuate the excellent toppings of your choice—fresh, healthy, creative and delicious.”
“The long answer: Dallas likes things that are high-quality and beautiful,” Albert added. “Our Dallas-style pizza is not heavy. It does not weigh you down. The words that come to mind when you see it and eat it are perfect, fresh, high-quality, delicious, addictive and craveable—everything Dallas and its people are!”
Dallas-style highlights on the menu include:
• The Triple ‘Roni (house pepperoni, grande pepperoni and pepperoni cups, topped with an in-house cheese blend)
• The So Sweet, So Spicy (pepperoni, Italian sausage, red onion, pickled jalapeños, and pineapple)
• The Florentine di Pollo (homemade Alfredo sauce, smoked chicken breast, Roma tomatoes, fresh spinach and artichoke hearts with a ricotta, spinach and garlic stuffed Florentine crust)
• The My Favorite Pizza (sweet Italian sausage crumble, grande pepperoni, mushrooms and white onion with pressed garlic and shallots on a red wine marinara, topped with jack, brick and mozzarella cheeses)
But this is America, where unique pizza styles have sprung up from coast to coast, and customers can sample the most famous ones in a single stop at Albert’s new eatery. In fact, Andrew’s American Pizza Kitchen needs three ovens to cover them all.
“That was the challenge, the concept to see if we could do incredible authentic versions of a U.S. tour of pizza types,” Albert said. “Three years of studying, trips, research and trial and error went into this. That’s after 30 years of making Dallas-style and Chicago at [Picasso’s].”
Particularly noteworthy is Albert’s take on the Chicago deep-dish classic. Deep-dish aficionados know that’s the sort of pie you don’t order if you’re in a hurry. But Albert said he can bake a deep-dish pizza in just six minutes. “Without giving away trade secrets,” he said, the fast turnaround time can be attributed to “a new twist on a higher wind-speed impingement oven.”
“It actually takes two different types of ovens to finish the Detroit and Chicago [pizzas],” he added. “Cook time is under 10 minutes, and internal temperature is flaming, and cheese pull is achieved.”
Three Chicago deep-dish specialty options are offered:
• The Chicago Fire (ricotta cheese, spinach, artichokes, mushrooms, fresh mozzarella and Chicago sauce on top)
• The Chicago Cub Classic (extra cheese and sweet Italian sausage)
• The Chicago Bear (sweet Italian sausage, pepperoni, freshly ground chuck, sweet white onion, fresh mushrooms and green peppers)
In the mood for a little Motown? Albert’s Detroit-style pizza is served in a rectangular pan and made with authentic brick cheese and a homemade Detroit-style sauce. Specialty options include:
• The Detroit Rock City (Wisconsin brick and asiago cheeses, grande deli pepperoni, white onion, fresh mushrooms and Canadian bacon)
• The Detroit 8 Mile (layers of pepperoni and salami, sweet Italian sausage and ground chuck)
• The Detroit Motown (artichoke hearts, garlic, fresh spinach, mushrooms, sweet white onion, sea salt, cracked pepper and basil)
Meanwhile, the tavern-style pizza boasts the prerequisite crispy thin crust and diced toppings all the way to the edges. Specialty pies include:
• The Kitchen Sink (pepperoni, beef, sausage, mushrooms, red onion, green peppers, tomatoes, black olives, jalapeños and pineapple)
• The Tavern Meat Combo (crumbled Italian sausage, pepperoni cups, Canadian bacon and freshly ground chuck)
Finally, customers can dig into large, foldable slices in the New York style, including:
• The Neapolitan Plus (wood-fired plum tomatoes, Fior Di Latte, basil, olive oil, fresh mozzarella, pepperoni, Italian sausage crumble, mushrooms and white onion)
• The Brooklyn Supreme (pepperoni, beef, sausage, mushrooms, red onion, green peppers, tomatoes and black olives)
In addition to small plates and appetizers (think homemade meatballs, calamari and wings), Andrew’s American Pizza Kitchen offers pasta dishes like Spaghetti Bolognese, Fettucine Alfredo, Lasagna Classica, Shrimp Scampi and others.
Items from the grill feature high-quality cuts of meat fire-grilled over hickory wood. Standouts include the Grilled Pork Chop served BBQ style or with herb butter, the Salt & Pepper Ribeye, and Grilled Salmon. Burgers and sandwiches include the Hickory Burger (sauteed onion, American cheese and hickory sauce, served with bread-and-butter pickles); the Ribeye Philly Cheesesteak (shaved prime ribeye with sauteed onions and peppers, topped with provolone and white American cheese); and the Caprese Melt (sourdough bread with pesto, Roma tomatoes, onions and Fior Di Latte, served with garlic aioli on the side).
The main dining room spans 5,000 square feet and seats 200, while an 800-square-foot patio has room for 50.
“At Andrew’s, we want to have something for everyone and, with offering five different styles of pizza, we hope every guest feels they got exactly what they were craving when they walk out the door,” Albert said.