Detroit-style pizza is making its debut at Robert’s Pizza & Dough Co. in Chicago’s Streeterville neighborhood, thanks to a partnership between owner Robert Garvey and Chicago native Billy Zureikat, the creator of the locally famous Tripping Billy Pizza, that will benefit the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA).
“We’ve wanted to add a Detroit-style pizza to the menu for a while so we’re incredibly excited to be able to partner up with Billy for our first,” Garvey said. “It’s been a long time coming!”
The Tripping Billy Pizza ($29) features a shishito pepper cream sauce, corn, pickled jalapenos, mozzarella, cheddar, scallions and roasted shishitos on Robert’s Detroit-style pizza crust. Fifty percent of the proceeds of each Tripping Billy sold throughout March will be donated to the MDA, which helps children and adults living with muscular dystrophy, ALS and neuromuscular diseases.
The Tripping Billy is just the first Detroit-style pizza that Robert’s Pizza will offer. Beginning in April, the pizzeria will serve up a Detroit Pizza special every week on Tuesdays. Guests can expect some of their favorite Robert’s Pizza recipes along with a few new ones that Garvey is experimenting with in the kitchen.
Related: The Tripping Billy: Billy Zureikat’s runaway pizza hit
Zureikat was profiled in the March 2023 issue of PMQ. After experiencing problems—such as frequently tripping and falling for no apparent reason—that ultimately were diagnosed as limb girdle muscular dystrophy, Zureikat had to give up playing basketball for recreation and sought solace in the kitchen. Working with a Detroit-style dough, he created what became known as the Tripping Billy Pizza after buying too many shishito peppers at a local farmers market. In 2022, he began collaborating with pizza restaurants across Chicago, adapting his recipe to different pizza styles as well as sandwiches and burgers. Through these partnerships, he has raised more than $37,000 for the MDA and hopes that, through his partnership with Robert’s Pizza, he’ll raise that number even higher.
Garvey and Zureikat originally met back in 2020 on Robert’s Test Kitchen, a weekly series during the COVID-19 pandemic where a select few fans of Robert’s Pizza got to join Garvey for a Facebook Live streamcast while trying one of his pies. Zureikat tried the Smoking Goose Meatery Pizza with duck prosciutto, Calabrian chiles, roasted cherry tomatoes, roasted mushrooms, mozzarella, and trillium (triple cream) cheese pizza.
Since then, Zureikat and Garvey have been waiting for the right moment to work together. They reconnected in 2022, while Garvey was developing a Detroit-style pizza dough recipe, and it seemed like the perfect opportunity to bring Zureikat in.
“If you’ve tried Robert’s dough before, then you know it’s truly special,” Zureikat said. “He and I decided to take it to another level with the true Tripping Billy experience by offering it to you in its original form.”
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