Colorado Springs getting new Detroit-style pizza place

·3 min read

Jun. 22—Husband and wife, Tim Dionne and Shaunah Estrin, owners of La Cava Fine Mexican Cuisine, 1755 S. 8th St., are set to open a second restaurant, Steel Pan PNP, 402 S. Nevada Ave., at the end of June depending on the completion of required inspections.

There's an upscale industrial vibe to the new place with tables and chairs constructed of heavy wood with rebar legs. A large bar in the front of the space greets customers. Full-service dining will be available in the back and a side room, formerly the brewing operation for Iron Bird Brewing Co., is being repurposed as a game room.

"We are specializing in Detroit-style pizza," Estrin said. "Tim has a long history of working in the pizza business. We were wanting to find a place to have a neighborhood bar and serve great food. The price and location were right for us here."

Detroit-style pizza is a rectangular pie baked in steel pans, which makes the thick crust crispy and chewy. The cheese is under the tomato sauce, which allows it to ooze out and melt on the sides of the pan and make a crunchy edge.

Then we wondered, "So, what does the PNP stand for?"

"Pie 'n Pint," Estrin said. "We want this to be less formal than La Cava. This is more of a community gathering place where you can get pizza and a beer."

It helps that the couple, from Los Angeles, has worked in restaurants. Shaunah, a native Californian, is a chef. Tim, who was born in Colorado Springs, knows his way around the kitchen, too. With their years of working in the restaurant business they easily switch from working the front of the house to running the kitchen.

"At La Cava, I'm usually in the kitchen during the week," Estrin said. "Tim does the front of the house during the week, but we switch places on weekends. When we get this place open (Steel Pie) we will both be going between the restaurants daily covering whatever needs to be done."

Eat with your hands

The Golden Lotus Foundation will have a Filipino Boodle Fight, at Back on the Boulevard, 2855 N. Murray Blvd., 12:30 to 3:30 p.m. June 20 and July 11.

Never heard of a Boodle Fight? It's a colorful culinary experience of eating with your hands, which was originated by the Philippine military. A big pile of food served in the middle of long table in a mess hall where every hungry soldier eats with their hands, symbolizing camaraderie, brotherhood and equality in the ranks. The "fight" in the name refers to the act of grabbing and eating as much as the soldier can before others grab it.

For the event at Back on the Boulevard, things will be less messy. A table will be dressed with banana leaves. Food on the menu, which is placed on the banana leaves, includes steamed rice, fried rice, steamed bok choy, eggplant, okra, corn, cantaloupe, watermelon, ripe mango, barbecue chicken wings, pork belly, egg rolls, shrimp and fried cod. Cost is $50 per person, $12 for children 12 and under. Limited reservations. Visit goldenlotusfoundation.org to download the registration form.

Dinner and a movie

Date Night Under the Stars at Pikes Peak Patio at The Promeade Shops at Briargate is a fun summer evening out. Make a reservation at one of the eateries in the shopping center and get ready for a relaxing evening watching a free movie. Movies begin at sunset. First in the line up is 50 First Dates June 26 followed by La La Land July 10. Bring your blankets or chairs find a seat on the patio, keeping safe social distancing in mind. Limited seating. Visit thepromenadeshopsatbriargate.com/events/

Contact the writer: 636-0271.

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