Monday, May 24, 2010

Adventure #9: Little Deli

Little Deli, closeted away in a wonderful retro shopping center on Woodrow Avenue, off of Burnet, is apparently well known for their sandwiches. HOWEVER, they also make a 'true Jersey shore pizza' AND have 'Pizza' in their logo, meaning they were fair game as Karin's pick this week. So, is the pizza worthy of fist pumps?

We availed ourselves of The #7, consisting of pepperoni, garlic, and cherub tomatoes.
The picture here tells you a lot of what you need to know - this pizza is very authentic/homemade/rustic (the website advises that they make all dough from scratch and hand toss it,) and it has huge chunks of garlic. Both these things, in my opinion, work in the pizza's favor. Every bite had a good amount of flavor - the sauce is noticeable, but not overabundant.

I was a bit surprised by the crust - from the top, it looked to be a crispy and rigid bottom, but the grease/liquid from the ingredients and sauce weighed the middle of the slice down a bit. This made for a softer bite that gushes with flavor. I actually preferred to fold this one, which really allows the crust and sauce to work in harmony.

I feel that Karin and I had a bit of distance on our opinions of this pie. She was a fan of the cheese, I thought it was ok. I thought the pepperoni was alright, but she made a comment about it having a decent fat content (which I agree with - the 'roni was a bit crisp on the edges, but retained it's moisture and flavor.) One place we agree is that the crust really does taste homemade, and it's a big advantage to this pizza, which has enough sauce to make those last bites of crust worthwhile even without the toppings.

My favorite part of the pie - the garlic. Large portions of garlic cloves were on this pie, and they added texture and taste to the pie (and to my burps, hours later.) Garlic lovers, this is your pie. Outdoor patio lovers, this is your venue, with picnic tables in the shade and lazy scenery. Jersey-style pie fans? Pump your fists for this deli, where the tastes aren't little at all.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Adventure #8 - Conans Pizza

It would be easy to say upon walking into Conans that it's all about the decor. There's wood paneling everywhere, an arcade of sorts, and tons of pictures on the walls of beast warriors (both the warriors riding on beasts and the warriors that are beast variety), scantily clad women (whose clothes surely must have been ripped during an epic rescue by previously mentioned beastly warriors), and battles between ax and sword wielding muscle-men.

You would be wrong if you said it was about the decor, because the pizza is fantastic. They say they make "a unique Chicago-style deep pan pizza" and it's true. We decided to go for "The Savage", which is essentially everything on a pizza. When I say everything, I mean it; Sausage, Hamburger, Pepperoni, Black Olives, Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Onions, Jalapenos, and Anchovies. The counter dude asked us if we wanted the jalapenos and anchovies on it (they're listed on the menu as part of the specialty though mysteriously the online menu lists them as optional) and we were almost insulted at the thought of taking them off. Taking off the jalapenos and anchovies would be like taking one of those muscle-man warriors, confiscating his ax and cutting his hair; he'd just be another pretty but dumb dude, in other words, not savage. Apparently it's the hobby of many Austinite to neuter warrior pizzas because Counter-Dude said almost everyone does.

Speaking of the pizza, it was pretty damn awesome. The crust was thick enough and sturdy enough to eat the pizza without a fork but wasn't as bready as I've found some pan pizzas to be (this is a good thing). The toppings were abundant and delicious. The advantage of The Savage is that just when you've taken two or three bites full of olives and sausage and mushroom you'll get a jalapeno or a salty bite of anchovy. It was so good that there was nothing left.


Friday, May 14, 2010

Adventure #7: Home Slice Pizza - Ian's Half

Our Adventure to Home Slice has resulted in a delicious DOUBLE POST! Due to the dietary needs of our host and Karin's insatiable desire for multiple meats, we split our large pie into halves - on one half, the Eggplant Pie (#3 on the menu), on the other, a custom mix of Meatballs, Pepperoni, Black Olives, and Mushrooms. It is my task to discuss the Eggplant side.

To me, there is nothing about the pie at Home Slice that particularly stands out - it's as if all parts of the pizza are communing with your mouth, taking equal precedence. The crust isn't super crisp, but it has a good taste, and ably handles even the heavy toppings on Karin's side of the pizza. The sauce, which seemed overly sweet with the garlic knots, just enhanced the crust and other toppings. The toppings? I'm here to discuss the Eggplant Pie, which is, as far as I can tell, chunks of eggplant parmesan. I was surprised at how sparse the pie was, but it made no difference - I was wowed. The mouthfeel of the eggplant might throw some people off, but the taste and overall 'savoryness' should bring even non-vegetarians into the fold. I ate too much (more than two slices = too much, for the record,) but I don't regret it.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Adventure #7: Homeslice Pizza - Karin's Half

This week Seth, winner of Homeslice's "Hands on an Eggplant Sub" contest two years running and man behind Year of the Pizza offered to take us to Homeslice for free pizza (we buy the beer). Who could turn that down? So we went and enjoyed what was a really great pizza.

Since Seth doesn't eat meat, we went with a half-and-half pie (and broke the rules on always getting a specialty). On half we got the specialty #3, an eggplant pie and on half we had meatballs, pepperoni, mushrooms, and black olives. I don't know why, but I had it in my head that meatballs and pepperoni would be the perfect combination. The mushrooms were to balance that a bit and the olives were, well, I don't know why the olives got on there, mostly because Ian wanted them there (not that that turned out badly and I willingly acquiesced since he was skeptical about the meatball/pepperoni combo).

Before the pizza there were garlic knots. They were chewy and pretty good; not an essential part of the experience, but they kept the raging monster that was my growling stomach at bay until the pizza arrived (while waiting outside a pizza dude walked out the front door and past us with a delicious looking and smelling pizza three times, making me very very hungry). The sauce was a bit sweet though, a lot like Spaghetti-O sauce. That same sauce though was amazing on the pizza.

By the way, the meatball and pepperoni was awesome; a little beefy, a little salty, all tempered by the veggies. The important stuff was there too though, the crust was crunchy and chewy and the sauce, while still being the spaghetti-o sauce from previous, somehow worked perfectly on the pizza.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Adventure #6: Eastside Pies

Nestled in the rapidly gentrifying East Austin, Eastside Pies has the stature to be a hidden gem:
There are about 5 tables, all outside. The ordering space is fit for about 4 people standing like sardines, the rest of the line stretches outside. It seems only three people were working.

All of these things seem to indicate a tiny shop with a tiny following, but this pizzeria is a mighty mouse! We had a 5-7 minute wait in line (with others stuck behind us;) seating took some standing around and glaring to come by, and the activity was frantic. Without having a taste of the goods, I was speculating that these people were here for some damn good pie, and Eastside delivered!

I'm not certain that Karin was as ecstatic about the pizza as this review sounds, but she was in agreement with the following:

- Awesome crust: the crust was thin and crispy, but still flexible. It had an almost crackery taste to me, which worked very well with the. . .
- Delicious sauce: the sauce was more sweet than spicy, with a definite personality. It was also well distributed on the pie.

Now, we're assuming that those two features hold constant across all pies here, which is enough reason for a hearty endorsement, but let's take the time to talk about our specific pizza, the Buscemi.

The Buscemi comes with sausage, jalapeƱos, onions, red peppers, and cilantro. Sounds spicy, you say? You'd be kind of right, but the peppers are sweet where the jalapeƱos are spicy, and the sausage is bland where the sauce is bold.

Wait, what? Yes, dear readers, we experienced a sausage fail. There just wasn't much taste to it, or, as Karin so eloquently put it: 'The pizza lives up to it's name - the sausage is Buscemi's snaggly teeth!' This is where Karin and I differ - she felt this was a significant detriment to the pizza, while I ate more than my fair share and wished there were about 3 more pieces. This combination of crust, sauce, and (mostly) quality ingredients is hard to come by, so get over to the east side for some Eastside.

(And bring a chair. And some paper plates.)


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A New Beginning

Welcome to our new site. We've recently moved from Tumblr to Blogger and so here's a rundown of the places we've been so far (with links to our write-up of the adventure):