A lifelong Miami resident and former private chef for rapper Rick Ross, Bullfrog has done it all — from working in some of the most exalted restaurants in the world, including elBulli in Spain and Noma in Copenhagen. Bullfrog's local claim to fame dates back to 2009, when he opened GastroPod, a gourmet food truck housed in a vintage Airstream trailer. It was a move that helped to usher in the Magic City's first wave of food trucks.
The chef also became known for his Miami-based food events, Duck Duck Goose and P.I.G., which bring together local and national chefs to turn out dishes focusing on fowl and pork, respectively. Bullfrog also starred in the Complex Networks reality series Jeremiah Bullfrog Forks It!, in which he eats and cooks his way through U.S. cities.
Now, Bullfrog is making a new entrance into the Magic City food scene with the opening of his latest endeavor, Square Pie City. Here, he'll focus his talents on channeling his own riff on one of the Motor City's most iconic foodstuffs: the deep-dish square pie.
Bullfrog began experimenting with square pan pies in late 2016 with the goal of opening a brick-and-mortar restaurant in Miami.
"We began scoping out locations and in 2017 signed a lease," he says. "The deal fell through thanks to a scumbag Miami landlord. He kept the deposit, our team fell apart. And after that, we decided to put the whole thing on the shelf."
Early last year, Bullfrog resolved to reboot the project, but COVID-19 threw him another curveball. Rather than hunt for a location and force an opening in the midst of the pandemic, he translated the concept into a temporary pop-up, making regular appearances at Boxelder and Babe's Meat Counter.
This week, Bullfrog will finally make good on his promise to bring his square pies to the Magic City masses.
Square Pie City's short and sweet menu includes several salads and Bullfrog's house-made focaccia served with ricotta (also house-made) and chili oil ($7), as well as several oven-roasted mains and sides, priced from $7 to $13, including meatballs, broccoli rabe, and a half-chicken.
The star of the show is, of course, the pizza. Priced between $14 and $23, it's available in the form of half- or whole-pan pies prepared with the chef's 72-hour, double-fermented dough, which bakes up super-crisp. Like most Detroit square pies, it's topped with cheese before being smothered in a layer of sauce.
Two varieties offer takes on both red and white pies, with the option for vegan/gluten-free substitutes. Standouts include the "All White E’rrything," topped with mozzarella, ricotta, Parmesan, and roasted garlic; and the "Many Magical Mushrooms," with cremini mushrooms, porcini dust, mozzarella, asiago, and garlic. Red pies include the "Classix," a combination of mozzarella, provolone, and Parmesan; and the "Red in the Head, Fire in the Bed," made with spicy Calabrian chilies, chili-infused oil, mozzarella, and provolone.
"We're not hyping the pizza or trying make it exclusive," Bullfrog tells New Times. "We're just trying to make the best pizza we can. Not the best square pizza. Not the Detroit-style pizza. We just want people to eat it and say, 'It's the best pizza we had in a long time.'"
Square Pie City officially opens today, Wednesday, July 14.
Square Pie City at Time Out Market. 1601 Drexel Ave., Miami; 786-753-5388. Open Wednesday through Thursday from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m., Friday from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday from noon to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m.; squarepiecitymiami.com.