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Homies, Edinburgh, review - head to Waverley Market for Detroit-style pizza

If you’re bored of thin and crispy bases, try this place

Published: January 21, 2023
Categories:
Food: 
8.5/10
Ambience: 
6/10

I identify with Waverley Market. It’s the older and uglier pal to the glitzy new St James Quarter.

It was once the place to be, for all the cool cats. They even used to have a fountain.

Although it’s tried to update itself, by changing its name - from Market to Mall, then back again - it remains, comparatively, a bit middle-aged. They only want you when you’re box fresh and new fangled. Tell me about it.

I certainly don’t bother visiting, unless I need to go to Flying Tiger for some Scandinavian tat, or to use the loos, which cost a rip-off 30p.

Though I do know some of the rooftop bars, like Cask Smugglers, the selection of basement level food offerings are alien to me.

I suppose this new pizza restaurant, from the team behind Edinburgh’s Butta Burger, which has venues at Quartermile and George Street, may not be in the hottest spot, but it probably keeps their overheads down.

We didn’t let the location put us off. I was intrigued by the idea of Detroit deep dish pizza. After all, we’ve had nothing but thin and crispy-based Neapolitan style ones for years. It seems you can have too much of a good thing.

Homies is a bit chilly inside, since it's near the staircase leading to Waverley Station, but they’re playing Motown on the stereo, and the canteen-style-space is cheerful.

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You order on a screen, so there is no human interaction required. Hooray.

Although deep dish ‘pies’, including a vegan selection, are their main thing, you can also order chicken wings and dips.

While a pizza elsewhere is edging £15, the versions here start at about a fiver. We ordered three, wrongly assuming that the price was relative to the dimension. Nope.

These chunky and chewy-based rectangles were the size of office carpet tiles. I was ready. As Marvin Gaye sang; “Let’s get it on”.

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Each was marvellous.

The edges are crispy and toasted, with lacy cheese, like the stuff that leaks into a toastie machine, and they are thickly upholstered and padded with toppings. In the case of the Philly Cheesesteak Pie (£6.50), that meant sweet sugo, thick mozzarella, dots of mince, red pepper squares, loads of crispy onions and four creamy blobs of homemade cheese sauce, which was as orange as a lollipop lady’s jacket.

If a Neapolitan pizza is like a sharply tailored blazer, this was the equivalent of wrapping yourself in a massive puffer coat.

Warning: Taking a big bite may result in tomato sauce entering the nostrils.

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The Homies Detroit classic (£5) was another springy wad, but this one had sugo, plectrum-sized discs of pepperoni, a thick and dappled layer of mozzarella, parsley, tiddlywinks of jalapeno and blobs of a very hot honey.

I don’t know how the bees coped with making that, but the hive must be aflame.

If you’re not a spice fan, the pesto chicken crunch (£6.50) is a milder affair. It was topped by the prerequisite tomato and cheese, but also generous chunks of buff-coloured buttermilk fried chicken, chopped parsley and, positioned like sentinels in each corner, four large blobs of creamy pesto mayo.

We couldn’t eat all of our orders.

The pizzas come in three sizes, so who knows how big the two upgrades are? I’m thinking of welcome mats and kilim rugs.

We also took away their set of two gooey-centred Belgian milk chocolate cookies (£3). As we wandered the streets after lunch, we could smell their vanilla waft emanating from my tote bag and had them when we got home, along with a strong cup of tea. I think these could even make the Cookie Monster thoughtfully chew and swallow, instead of just flinging them at his Muppet-y face and hoping for the best. 

The leftover pizza was dispatched soon after that. 

In a cost-of-living crisis, this is a rare place to go for a bargain treat. As long as I can afford to splurge a fiver, I feel that I may be there every weekend.

Just make sure to factor in 30p for the toilets.

Unit L8

Waverley Market

Edinburgh

(0131 281 4309, www.homiespizza.co.uk)

Detroit pizza

Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.

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