BY EMMA SLONINA, Staff Columnist

Supino Pizza had been on my “to-visit” list for over a year before I finally made it down to Eastern Market to try the raved-about pizza. I had read blog posts about it, seen numerous pictures, pored over the online menu, heard testimonials from friends – the works – but I simply never made it.

So I took advantage of a free Saturday to go down to the market with my mom and check it out. Sandwiched between A Taste of Ethiopia and Mootown Creamery, this tiny pizzeria was buzzing at lunchtime. Families carried huge slices of pizza in and out of the door, couples patiently lined up inside to order, and groups sat around the crowded dining area and at picnic tables just outside, all chattering away and eying each other’s pizza.

They have a variety of specialty pizzas, notably including a selection of “white” pizzas – without sauce. They also seem to offer salads and pastas, but everyone I saw ordered pizza. Most people taking theirs to go bought large individual slices, stacked on top of each other on paper plates, rather than messing with an entire pie.

We ordered the “San Gennaro,” topped with onions, roasted red peppers, and sausage, though I was desperate to try the “Bismarck,” topped with prosciutto and an egg. Mum refused, however, and we sat at a communal table with a family of eight (seven kids, one guardian) and a few patrons who had spilled their pop all over the table and floor next to us.

The half hour wait felt like forever, even with ample warning from the cashier. Our eyes wandered from quickly disappearing pizzas to the recycled kitchen utensil artwork on the walls, and then to Guy Fieri’s (of Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives” fame) spray-painted signature on the wall above the pop machine.

I sat looking into the kitchen, watching the cooks stretch and spin the dough, top it, and throw it into the little pizza oven along with a few other pizzas. There’s no way it could hold more than half a dozen at once. It was well worth the wait once we got it, though.

Supino manages to make a thin-crust pizza that doesn’t taste like burnt cardboard. It’s thin and chewy under the toppings, but the crust puffs out just slightly at the edges. And it tastes good. Of course, most crust doesn’t taste bad, but on the same token, it often doesn’t taste like much of anything. This was just a little salty, compelling you to eat more.

The family next to us ordered a Margherita pizza (tomato, mozzarella, basil, parmigiano) and the Primavera (tomato, onion, eggplant, spinach, artichoke), but only the Margherita went down well with the group of little kids, who still picked the basil off of it.

Another perk to Supino is their involvement in Detroit’s food community. They open their kitchen on the occasional Sunday afternoon for the Detroit Zymology Guild’s use. This group of picklers and preservers can, jar, and generally preserve batches of produce with the help of interested locals who in turn collect the fruits of their labor based on hours worked and with donations to the guild.

Supino Pizza is open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner. Visit http://supinopizza.com for more info, or call 313-567-7879.