Thursday, June 24, 2010

Adventure #13: Austin Pizza Garden

Do you see the cheese coming off of that slice? Something about a lot of cheese, stretching long lines from your piece to the plate, makes me believe that the pie I'm about to eat is going to be awesome. Luckily, in this case my beliefs are justified. Austin Pizza Garden, you did a fine job.

Tchoupitoulas. . .let it roll off the tongue. Karin and I had little debate before ordering this nigh-unpronounceable cajun delicacy. Replete with Andouille sausage, Cajun shrimp, red onions, green peppers, roasted red peppers, and fresh garlic, the pizza promised us 'Hot and Spicy' from the menu.

(Side note: A bit of wiki research has shown me that Tchoupitoulas is a street in New Orleans, which explains the sausage and shrimp selections. The word is the name of an extinct Indian tribe, and is pronounced CHOP-it-TOO-luhs)

As usual, we grabbed a garlic bread side to serve as an emissary to the ambassador (the pizza.) This time it was a pesto garlic bread and was delicious, but for the second adventure in a row we thought that it would be better without the cheese.
(Looks good, doesn't it?)

The main event arrived on its pizza tray, the kind that keeps it off of the table and closer to your face. I'm starting to notice a correlation between my favorite pies and this type of serving method, and make no bones about it, this is one of our favorites. I'm going to get the weaknesses out of the way first, so we can focus on the highlights and end on a high note.

The crust serves very well in holding some hefty toppings while still managing to be light, but in doing so sacrifices some taste. Karin found the bones undesirable, but I was happy to scoop them up due to a residue of fantastic Cajun seasoning that must have made it's way from the shrimp. The only other 'deficiency' we could think of is a slight lack of sauce, although when you do taste it, it's light and sweet.

On the flip side, every topping is done perfectly: still-crisp bell peppers, juicy diced red peppers, juicy and spicy sausage medallions, fresh and tasty red onions, and perfectly cooked, wonderfully seasoned grilled shrimp. The taste of garlic was evident, but was mainly a sidekick to the spice of the other toppings. In fact, all the ingredients served as sidekicks - not a single thing seemed out of place on this pizza.

As a bonus, the remote location (Oak Hill) and decorations make this seem like a mysterious destination, especially at night. The overall vibe is that of a country roadhouse, which makes the gourmet pizza coming out of here even more delightful. It's worth the drive! (Because on the way back you'll have time to eat any pizza you carried out with you.)


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