Thursday, March 21, 2013

Adventure #58: Hill Country Ranch Pizzeria

Hill Country Ranch Pizzeria looks small from the outside, but occupies a deceptively large corner spot in the HEB shopping center.  The beer comes in jars and the pizza menu is full of interesting combinations.

Mmmm, Shiner

We started with pizza balls and it became clear at this point that Hill Country Ranch Pizzeria has a loose definition of pizza.  You won't be able to count on a pizza consisting of tomato sauce, cheese, and toppings (though they have plenty of that type of option). Instead of going for anything on the fringe, we stuck with traditional pizza balls, pepperoni and cheese on the inside with tomato sauce for dipping.  They were amazing! The crust was perfectly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.. Knowing that the bread on these is perfect, I can't wait to go back and try the other varieties (like Squealers, with cheese, pulled pork, and red onion).

We went with the Wham Bam! and the Farmer John.  Consistent across both pizzas was a crisp crust with absolutely no give to it. We agreed that, alone, it tasted like a saltine cracker (without the salt), and that wasn't a bad thing.  The sauce (or pesto) goes all the way to the edge, so we were never stuck with crust that had to be eaten by itself.

The Wham Bam! came with pepperoni, italian sausage, bell pepper, mushroom, and jalapenos. Typing that description I though, "Wait, there were bell peppers on that?" It's going to sound weird, but this doesn't bother me at all.  The jalapenos and mushrooms were very fresh, meshing with the sweetness of the sauce and italian sausage (neither were overly sweet) and the saltiness of the pepperoni and cheese. The bell peppers, whether they were there or not, weren't missed.

The Farmer John consisted of basil pesto, corn, asparagus, artichoke hearts, diced tomatos, black olives, and cashews.  The basil pesto was very thinly spread (I would have liked a little more, but it wasn't bad as it was).  The star of this pizza was the asparagus, which brought all of the other flavors together.  This is a great option for something lighter (or if you're into California style pizza).

Ian being confused at the uneven slicing.
Overall, Hill Country Ranch Pizzeria is a big improvement over the restaurant that used to be in this space (a pho crawfish place) and when I'm in the area will definitely be eating dinner here.  I am glad that a new pizzeria opened up exactly where it was needed (the other pizzeria in the area is Pizza Paradise, which is good, but does not have dine-in).


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