Crispelli's Bakery & Pizzeria, Berkley
The Free Press’ picks for the 10 Best New Restaurants of 2012 range from a contemporary modern-American dining destination and a high-end steakhouse to an affordable pizzeria and an ultra-casual joint known for its massive beer selection. Only venues that opened between Dec. 1, 2011, and Dec. 1 of this year were eligible for the list. Second locations of existing restaurants were not considered.
Scratch-made, hand-crafted food, prepared to order, ready in minutes and affordably priced isn't easy for diners to find -- or for restaurants to produce. But that's the whole idea at Crispelli's, where excellent thin-crust pizzas are built at your direction and take less than 4 minutes to bake. The sandwiches and panini -- on breads made from scratch every morning in the store -- are assembled while you watch. The same goes for the half-dozen kinds of bountiful made-to-order salads. Customers order and pick up at the counters and dine in or take their food home -- so there's no tipping. Self-serve isn't for everyone and the payment system could use a bit more fine-tuning, but there's no arguing with Crispelli's fresh, terrific food. Its outstanding bakery even does European-style breads, pastries and desserts daily. With everyone wanting easier, faster, high-quality dining options, Crispelli's feels like a very timely -- and tasty -- new idea.
(Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Deli and panini sandwiches $8-$9; pizzas $8-$15; entrée salads $8-$9. 28939 Woodward; 248-591-3300 and www.crispellis.com)