More than 25 years ago, Cosmo Kramer on TV’s Seinfeld had an idea for a pizza business where customers “make their own pizza.” In 2013, it is finally a reality. Characters Jerry and George weren’t impressed, but South Florida resident Justin Gould and his father, Ronald, were. So they have made Kramer’s half-baked business venture a reality. They call it Pizza Dude, and it's located at 451 W. 41st St. in Miami Beach.
The idea is simple and follows their motto, “U make it, Pizza Dude bakes it.” Customers have two customizable choices: the “Kramer Experience” or traditional style (starting at $7.99).
For the “Kramer Experience,” the dudes deliver raw pizza dough and your chosen ingredients to the table and leave the rest to you. When you’re finished, your creation is whisked away to a high-speed conveyor oven. It's ready to eat in about five minutes.
If that sounds like too much work, the dudes are happy to make a pizza for you from beginning to end — all you have to do is tell them how you want it, and the Dude staff will build it.
"We don’t premake any of the food,” explains Gould. "When people come in and ask for a slice, that doesn’t exist. We make everything fresh to order.”
With white, wheat, or gluten-free dough, six sauces, and more than 40 toppings to choose from, the combinations are plentiful.
If decision-making isn’t your thing, don’t worry — Pizza Dude also offers signature pies. From the “Big Lebowski” ($9.25), with grilled Angus steak, olive oil, mozzarella, blue cheese crumbles, tomatoes, and balsamic glaze, to “The Dude’s Buffalo Chicken” ($9.25), with spicy Buffalo and tomato-basil sauces, mozzarella, grilled chicken, and homemade ranch dressing, there’s a pie for everyone’s taste buds.
But if pizza doesn't get your mouth watering, the dudes offer customizable salads ($7.99), a variety of subs (starting at $6.89), appetizers, and desserts. The strawberry Nutella pizza ($5.99) hits the sweet spot.
Though Kramer and the rest of the Seinfeld cast haven’t visited the eatery, the dudes are more than ready for the day they finally do. "Jerry Seinfeld did a stand-up show a few months back. I tried to tweet him that we’d love to have him check it out," Gould laughs. "I never heard back, but I’m still hopeful!"
One last thing: If you're wondering what the connection is with the word "dude," the show Seinfeld, and making your own pizza, well, there isn't one. "The name has nothing to do with the episode, but one of my father’s favorite movies was The Big Lebowski, which documents the entire 'dude' movement," Gould explains. "It's just a fun word, and we tied it in with a lot of the decor in the restaurant.”
Across Pizza Dude’s walls are "The Dude Chronicles," showing every memorable time the word was used in popular culture from the 1800s to present.
So whether you're a die-hard fan of Seinfeld, a devotee of DIY pizza, or simply a lover of the word "dude,” this Miami Beach hole in the wall has a little something for everyone. And whether you’re just looking for a fun place to go with the family or trailing in during the wee hours of the morning, these dudes are ready for you.
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