Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Review: Salvation Pizza, Austin TX

Recently, a friend asked me to rank the top pizza cities in America. In fourth place was Austin, Texas. Before my first visit there, I wouldn't have imagined any Texas entry in the top ten. But Austin is not only the hippest city in Texas; it rivals Portland and Brooklyn as one of the most diverse and artistic towns anywhere. 
On previous visits, I had enjoyed authentic New York slices at Home Slice, religiously authentic Neapolitans at Pieous, and state-of-the-art bar pies and Detroit-style pizza at Via 313. On this visit, I was drawn to the New Haven style pies offered by Salvation Pizza, with three Austin locations. 
New Haven, of course, is high on my list of top American pizza towns. New Haven style done right is wonderful stuff, and I've experienced it in far-flung places like Portland at Apizza Scholls and San Diego at Basic Urban Kitchen

 The website for Salvation Pizza notes that
"We serve New Haven-style pizza, known for a thin, hand-pounded crust with its distinctive snap and crunch. By using traditional techniques, preparing our dough daily from scratch, and sourcing the freshest ingredients, we craft the highest quality pizzas. With its beautiful dog-friendly patio and spacious backyard beer garden, our little red house is the perfect gathering place to meet your friends and family for an authentic East Coast pizza experience."
By Uber accident, I chose the original location at 624 W. 34th Street, instead of the Rainey Street location that was much closer to my downtown hotel. On this rainy Tuesday night, the restaurant was mostly empty but the friendly staff was attentive. It's worth noting that there was a terrific series of acoustic alt-country tunes playing in the background.
I chose a small 14" pizza with onion and sausage, which came to $15, and a pint of Big Bend Hefeweizen for $6.
The crust was uniformly thin and crisp, right out to the cornicione. It sported an old-school char underneath, with just the right amount of grease stains. Its character was more bar pie than New Haven.  
The sausage, in fairly small crumbles, had properly been applied raw. It was a delightful umami blend of savory, salty, greasy, and spicy. The onions were medium sized pieces that had cooked to an ideal tenderness.
I tried to get a read on the sauce and cheese, but they had melded into an orange role player in all the best ways. Both were applied in ideal proportion to that brilliant crackling crunchy crust; this pie was perfectly balanced. I did detect some evidence of a grated aged cheese applied post-bake.
Beautiful underside of the crust
I ate six of the eight slices and could easily have finished this pizza, partly because it was so thin but perhaps moreso because it was irresistably good. In my tasting notes I recorded "old school all the way" and "amazing value."
I've stood in long lines for lesser pizzas; Austin citizens are fortunate to be able to walk right in and order pies this good with no hassle. Absolutely destination pizza and one of the reasons that Austin is a premiere pizza city.

Salvation Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

No comments:

Post a Comment