Lions Tigers and Squares Detroit Pizza - New York, NY

Detroit Style Pizza in New York City? Yes Please!

Lions, Tigers, and Squares Detroit Style Pizza in New York City has a tasty array of great Detroit Style Pizzas to choose from!  They bake their pizzas in these unique "Double Detroit" pans.

The people who brought you the wildly popular Artichoke Pizza, now bring you Lions, Tigers, and Squares in the Chelsea section of NYC.  It's a small pizzeria that packs big time flavor into their thicker crust Detroit Style pizza in a city known for it's thin, foldable, round NY style pizzas.  I received a ton of recommendations from my readers to try this pizza so while in that area of the city, I dropped by with my family.

Let's start with the inevitable question I receive every single time I post about DSP - "What is Detroit Style Pizza?"  Detroit Style Pizza is a pan pizza with essentially a focaccia or Sicilian-type crust and has generous amounts of cheese applied directly to the crust and very liberally along the edge of the pan to create a raised caramelized cheese edge.  The cheese is typically a blend including brick, mozzarella, cheddar, or other types of cheeses.  And a traditional DSP is made with a "red top" meaning sauce is ladled on top of the pizza.  Many times the sauce is precooked and heated and applied hot to the pizza after it has finished baking (but not always).  I've heard the term "fancy cheesy bread" used to describe Detroit Style Pizza and I believe that to be an accurate description of this delicious pizza varietal.

A look at the crunchy caramelized cheese edge crust and vibrant red top sauce on the DSP at LT&S in NYC.

When you walk into Lions, Tigers and Squares, they have a counter full of ready-made DSP's on display in their really cool and unique "Double Detroit" pans.  The selection on display when I arrived included red top, cup n char pepperoni, vodka sauce, white, and a unique mustard pizza that they specialize in to name a few.  I went with the more traditional route and selected a red top, pepperoni, and a vodka sauce.  The pizzas are small, roughly 8" x 10" rectangles sliced into four pieces.  Don't confuse a small pizza as one that is not filling and satisfying!  If you successfully ate four slices, I suspect you'd be extremely full, and perhaps in some sort of discomfort with a need to be wearing the Thanksgiving day stretchy pants.

The pizza is priced affordably, around $9 for a full traditional pie with an added charge for toppings, of course.  You can order a full pie or half pie so getting a nice variety won't cost you a fortune.  As an aside, I received some pretty strongly correlated feedback from a number of people who tried the LT&S pizza delivered as well as some who tried it in person (like me) saying that the in-person experience is far superior to the delivery experience as is the case with almost all pizzas.  I didn't try the pizza delivered, but the feedback was pretty distinct and the stories shared with me were universally similar in each of the instances so I'd encourage you to try it in person as I did.  I'm not saying the delivery pizza is not good, but I'm providing information from some very reliable foodie sources regarding their delivery experiences.  Every pizza has a shelf-life, and some of the best pizzas I've ever eaten, aren't necessarily all that great after sitting for just 10 to 15 minutes - again, I'm not saying that is the case here, but my sources' conclusions make some sense.

Check out my video review of Lions Tigers and Squares below!

I'm also on record many times saying that "peak pizza" for me is a fresh pie taken out of the oven, cooled and rested for about 5 minutes, and then reheated to crisp up the bottom and maximize flavors.  That was the scenario in which I ordered these DSP's, and my goodness were they deliciously crispy and fresh!

The crusts on all four of the pizzas I tried were light and thick like a Sicilian, were crisp and slightly fried on the bottom to provide great flavor and texture.  There was definitely some grease present, which I enjoyed because if you're eating DSP, you're not looking for health food - you're fully committed to carbs and calories (and flavor) when you dive into one of these tasty squares.  The star of the DSP was the caramelized cheese edge in all 4 pizzas I reviewed.  It provides such a crunch, intense flavor with some sharpness and incredible texture.

Of the four pizzas I tried, my clear favorite was the DSP topped with vodka sauce primarily because it was a great vodka sauce - creamy and smooth with a few chunks of tomato and presumably pancetta or bacon.  The flavor melded perfectly with the thicker crust and the cheese blend.  It was truly wonderful.  The red top was also delicious, as the smooth sauce brought some sweetness, a little bit of spice, and real freshness to the top of the pizza. Because it's generously ladled on top, you really get a chance to fully experience it, and it is very good.  

The cup n char pepperoni slice I tried was built on the same Detroit Red Top as described above, but with the most popular add-on to a DSP - PEPPERONI!  They are using a thinly sliced, smaller pepperoni which is so crispy and flavorful with a hint of spice, but not an overpowering amount.  The white pizza, featuring ricotta was quite heavy, with a very generous amount of cheese was also quite tasty.  It reminded me of the white pizzas back in NEPA where they are sometimes referred to as a "giant grilled cheese."  It was a beast of a slice, but a tasty one and if you are a fan of cheese this one is for you.

Overall, this was a great stop and one of the more memorable stops that I've had in NYC because of how unique it is in the city.  I would definitely recommend you give it a try!  Have you tried LTS DSP yet?  Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

The Ratings

Restaurant: Lions Tigers and Squares
Location: 268 W 23rd St, New York, NY 10011
Date: July 2021
Eat In/Take Out: Take Out

Pizza Ordered: Detroit Style Pizza - Red Top
Price: $$$
Crust: 7,8
Sauce: 8.1
Cheese: 7.5
Overall Taste: 9.1
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 7.8
Overall Value: 7.5

Pizza Ordered: Detroit Style Pizza - Red Top w/Pepperoni
Price: $$$
Crust: 7.6
Sauce: 8.1
Cheese: 7.5
Overall Taste: 8.9
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 7.4
Overall Value: 7.5
Similar to: Vesuvio's, Nearra's

Pizza Ordered: Detroit Style Pizza - With Vodka Sauce
Price: $$$
Crust: 7.8
Sauce: 9.1
Cheese: 7.6
Overall Taste: 9.5
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 7.7
Overall Value: 7.5

Pizza Ordered: Detroit Style White Pizza - With Ricotta
Price: $$$
Crust: 7.4
Sauce: N/A
Cheese: 7.4
Overall Taste: 7.2
Crispy/Cooked Properly: 6.9
Overall Value: 7.4


NYC 8754911146856422553

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