Thursday, January 20, 2011
I've realized, after having several Neopolitan style pizzas, that I've been a bit spoiled working at House; I find it hard to put aside my bias and preconceptions and just enjoy the pizza. With that said, this pizza was definitely in the good, but not great range.
We got the "Pugliese"* which had "tomato sauce, mozzarella, sausage, pan roasted mushrooms & shaved
sweet red onions". The star of this pizza was definitely the sausage. Everything else seemed to lend its flavor to the sausage, enhancing it instead of creating distinct flavors. The sausage was fantastic. It had lots of spice and a wonderful texture.
As far as the crust, sauce, and cheese went, they were ok. The crust was crisp and rather flavorless; the sauce was scarce and at least once I distinctly tasted some sugar in it; and the cheese wasn't really noticeable though I'm sure it contributed to the sausage's taste. I know this description makes it sound terrible, which it wasn't. It was actually pretty good in aggregate, but not so awesome when broken down into its elements.
Mandola's itself was cute. I would recommend it as a good first date place. Not only do they have a nice selection of Italian food, but they have an awesome desert selection with a few cases devoted to cakes, gelato (I had the cinnamon gelato and it was heavenly), and other pastries. It's also in a good location, right across from Flying Saucer and in the same shopping center as Kick Butt Coffee, so if you and your hypothetical date hit it off over pizza and cake, you could head across to Flying Saucer for a few beers (you're dating someone who likes beer, right?).
*Remind me sometime to rant about having to awkwardly order pizzas with names I can't pronounce.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Why downtown? Why at the SFC Farmer's Market? Why at 11am? We'll let their homepage copy do the convincing: "As good or better than just about any pizza you can buy in a 500 mile radius of Austin." - Addie Broyles, Austin American Statesman. How could these pizza adventurers turn away an opportunity to test such a bold pronouncement?
Enough with the rhetorical questions! On with the pizza. We had the Pep Star: Peppadew peppers, Pancetta, Goat Cheese, Mozzarella, Tomato Sauce, and High Self Esteem. Bola makes a point to emphasize their use of only local ingredients. This doesn't matter much to me (gasp!) What does matter is the tremendous quality of these ingredients, leading to a sum that was a good as the parts indicated. Special praise goes to the pancetta, which was like eating delicious crispy fat, and the sauce, which was simple and effective. The only thing not outstanding on this pie was the crust -- it was merely good.
Best pizza within 500 miles? I'm not convinced. Worth a trip to the farmer's market on Saturday morning? You bet your mule.