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PizzaPlex, Detroit’s Bonafide Neapolitan-Style Pizzeria, Is Delving Into Filipino Barbecue

Co-owner Alessandra Carreon is drawing inspiration from her Filipina-Italian identity

Two skewers of meat, white rice, a clear bowl, a white plate set on top of a wooden surface
Filipino barbecue is now served at PizzaPlex.
Taylor Sikorski
Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

PizzaPlex made a name for itself when it opened in 2017 as the only spot in Detroit at the time to serve Vera Pizza Napoletana-certified. Co-owner Alessandra Carreon, who is half Italian and half Filipina American, drew inspiration for the menu of thin crust pies with charred, chewy crusts, and fresh ingredients from her upbringing in Naples, where her extended family ran a pizzeria.

Now, Carreon is leaning into her Filipina roots by introducing Filipino barbecue to PizzaPlex’s offerings. According to a media release, the “Inay’s inasal” (mom’s barbecue in Tagalog) menu includes skewers of chicken, pork, or tofu marinated overnight in a sweet, savory, and tangy blend of spices that are chargrilled in the pizzeria’s wood-fired oven.

“Char-grilling Filipino [barbecue] in a Neapolitan-originating brick oven reflects the mission of PizzaPlex to connect people and cultures through the shared techniques related to, tools to prepare, ingredients in, and love for food,” says the release.

Each plate comes with two skewers with a bed of rice and garlic sauce. Chicken and pork go for for $9, while tofu is $7.

Vinsetta Garage parking

Vinsetta Garage has won a decade-long battle with the city of Berkley and residents and is now allowed to add parking in a residential area behind the Woodward Avenue restaurant.

The ownership had initially bid to demolish some neighboring homes for more parking when it opened in 2012. According to the Freep, the city of Berkley ordered on Tuesday to allow for restaurant parking in a residential area. The lack of parking at the restaurant had been a point of contention for years among customers.

New digs

After almost two years of pandemic-induced delays, popular neighborhood pizza spot Sicily’s Pizzeria & Subs this week unveiled its expanded dining area. Owner Ali Beydoun told Eater in 2021 that he held off on completing construction too quickly amid staffing shortages and economic uncertainty.

The newly expanded space features indoor seating for about 40 and fanciful gold-framed mirrors on exposed brick walls.