By Mike Murphy
The Review Special Writer
New York-style pizza has come to town and NY Pizza Baby and Burgers and Shakes owner Marju Chowdhury is hoping that the Empire State variety will win out when Hamtramck residents pick their pies.
“New York pizza is rare to find here,” Chowdhury said. “Everyone is into deep dish. Thin crust is something different to offer. In the south, it is very famous. But, in Michigan? Well, why not?”
For the past seven years, the former Hamtramck High School student has been busy growing his business in Orlando, Florida, where his single NY Pizza Baby location blossomed into four.
Since then, he’s sold one of the Florida locations and launched another right here in Hamtramck where he wants to make a mark on his hometown with his relatively rare pizza pies.
What distinguishes New York pizza from pizza concoctions made outside the Big Apple is its ultra-thin crust. Dished up in large slices, New York pies are also generally baked in brick ovens. Chowdhury’s got all those bases covered, and he offers a deliciously authentic New York-style pizza.
(Editor’s note: You can bank on that, writer Mike Murphy lives in New York City.)
But that’s not all he’s offering.
The restaurant, which primarily serves as a take-out location but has several booths for dining in, features pizza, several specialty pizza pies, Italian-style pasta dishes, as well as shakes and burgers.
Chowdhury is especially proud of his gourmet halal burgers, which he says are made fresh, seasoned, and never frozen.
The same is true of the pizza. Chowdhury said pizza dough is made fresh every morning.
“You don’t want to keep it too long in the cooler,” Chowdhury said. “And when we stretch our pizza, it’s completely hand tossed.”
Chowdhury, a self-taught pizza-maker and chef, said he learned the pizza business by doing it himself.
“It took a long time to learn this stuff,” Chowdhury said. “The trick is to keep it affordable, and I want to offer it to my hometown. It’s another option.”
Chowdhury, who still maintains the Orlando locations while he’s kept busy with all of the duties that come with opening his Hamtramck restaurant, jets back and forth between Michigan and Florida, hoping to keep an eye on everything concerning his burgeoning pizza empire.
“I’m very busy,” Chowdhury said. “But that’s the way to go. If you want to keep your quality, you have to be there.”
New York Pizza Baby and Burgers and Shakes is located at 11401 Jos. Campau. Call (313) 332-0362 for more information.