Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Pizza and Ice Cream in Berkley

Downtown Berkley, Michigan
With the trendy downtowns of nearby Birmingham, Ferndale, and Royal Oak dotting Oakland County's Woodward Corridor, it might be easy for visitors to miss out on a small city of only 2.62 square miles like Berkley. Though smaller than these other cities, Berkley has a lot to offer.

The city is full of walkable and family-friendly neighborhoods. Berkley's downtown has several interesting shops, but I always visit for the food. I have never left Berkley disappointed, or hungry (Seriously, this little city has Vinsetta Garage, Republica, and Mr. Kabob within its borders!).

On my most recent visit, I tried Amici's Pizza for the first time. Though I am one of the biggest advocates for Detroit-style pizza, sometimes I need a good traditional round pizza. Amici's feels like three distinct restaurants in one location. Upon first entering from 12 Mile Road, I found myself in Amici's Kitchen, where diners can pick up a pizza to go or sit at a couple of small tables. The Kitchen feels like an old-school pizza parlor where you can watch master pizza makers work behind the counter.

Next door through a small door is Amici's Living Room. The Living Room has a bar and several tables, and it feels more like a traditional sit-down restaurant. At the rear of the Living Room is the Patio, a beautiful outdoor seating area where my family and I decided to eat, since it was a perfect summer night.

Before I get to the pizza, I need to mention the breadsticks. Amici's breadsticks are thick, almost like pizza crust, and they are lightly covered with Amici's pesto sauce and are served with a side of tomato sauce. Not only are they delicious, but they also made it easier to watch other tables get their pizzas while we waited for our two pizzas to bake. 

When our pizzas arrived at our table, it was clear we had made the right choice to dine at Amici's that night. The Portabella Mushroom Pizza has a garlic spread instead of traditional tomato sauce, and it is topped with fontina cheese, portabella mushrooms, roasted garlic cloves, and bacon. My youngest daughter normally prefers pizza with tomato sauce, but she devoured the Portabella Mushroom Pizza.

Amici's Roasted Eggplant Pizza
Our second pizza was the Roasted Eggplant Pizza, which is topped with mozzarella cheese, tomato sauce, sun-dried tomatoes, and roasted eggplant. Everything tasted fresh, and though the portabella pizza was delicious, the tomato sauce gave the eggplant pizza a slight edge for me. The only disappointment of the night was that my wife and I forgot to take four slices that were left over. I am still regretting that mistake. 

Clark's Ice Cream
After dinner, we crossed the street to Clark's Ice Cream & Yogurt. Any good downtown area needs an ice cream shop, especially on a summer night. The real delight of Clark's is the grassy area with picnic tables, where you can watch the traffic on 12 Mile while eating really good ice cream on a beautiful Michigan summer night.

With a stomach full of breadsticks, pizza, and ice cream, I once again left Berkley without any disappointment.

Trust me. Visit Berkley, You'll be glad you did.

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