Four years into my Texas journey, I'm finding that good-to-great pizza places are popping up in and around Austin faster than I can try them all. What a wonderful conundrum.
|The grandma pizza|
Out in the western suburbs, a short drive can take me to legit Chicago pies (thin crust and deep dish) at Lefty's, St. Louis style flatbread pizzas at 'Zza, incredible Detroit and New York pizzas at Brack's Backyard, or a Texas spin on New York pizza at Toss.
|Nick and Larry joined me at Pedroso's|
Beyond the wealth of great pizza options out here in Spicewood/Bee Cave, there's so many more within the city of Austin, and the one that called to me was Pedroso's Pizza or Burnet Road.
|The Margherita NY slice|
The review that drew me to Pedroso's was the well-informed encouraging feature on The Infatuation. (In addition, the "One Bite" Barstool vlogger also went to Pedroso's, but his YouTube review confirms that he's a buffoon that no serious pizza eater should trust.)
I was intrigued about the prospect of getting a grandma pie here in Austin. (Note: I first experienced a grandma slice in Brooklyn at Lenny's in 2011 - the very same pizzeria where Tony Manero bought two slices during the 70's disco era and then gobbled them stacked together while walking down the street to the rhythm of a Bee Gees song in Saturday Night Fever).
|Sonoran hot dog at T-Loc's|
Three of us arrived at lunchtime on a warm but drizzly Thursday in late March, having already enjoyed the incredible Sonoron Hot Dog at T-Loc's, a spectacular food trailer just a few minutes away on Burnet Road. That astounding sandwich on its dense toasted bun should fill any belly, yet we came here to down a few slices.
|The pepperoni slice|
Although I went to Pedroso's more for the grandma pie than the NY style, on that day, individual slices were available only for the NY pizza. I sampled the Margherita slice fresh from the oven and took home a pepperoni slice that I reheated later.
|Terrific hole structure at the cornicione|
This NY style pizza had an exceptionally thin crust that ballooned at the cornicione with impressive hole structure and a crisp crunch all the way through. Much like the superb NY pizza at Brack's Backyard, the pie sports the telltale crisscross markings underneath, indicating that it was baked (or par-baked) on a screen. Spoiler: while I once regarded the screen technique with suspicion, I no longer do. Brack's and Pedroso's are making stellar NY style slices.
The Margherita slice sported excellent fresh mozzarella that wasn't wet or soupy, a brilliant and vibrant red sauce, a crackling crisp crust, and a lovely topping of shredded fresh basil. It was an ideal balance of ingredients, textures, and flavors. A perfect slice, as good or better than 99% of actual NYC pizza joints. It's not a complicated pizza, but it exemplifies the pinnacle of the craft.
|Undercarriage screen marks|
Given a gentle re-heat at home, the pepperoni slice attained the same lovely crispness underneath. Like the Margherita, it was a big slice, and it was covered with good quality cup 'n' char pepperoni. Slices are $4 - $5 and that's a good value.
Because I had to try the grandma pie, I ordered a pizza to go ($18.75 with a meat topping), which cooked while we enjoyed our NY slices. It's difficult to master one style of pizza, but I discovered that (like Brack's) Pedroso's has nailed it; the grandma pizza is legit, authentic, and delicious.
A grandma pizza is baked in a rectangular pan like a Sicilian pizza, but its crust is thinner (but still thicker than a conventional round pizza). This crust had a nicely chewy center and a crispy oiled bottom. Like a Detroit pizza, a generous amount of red sauce is applied to the pizza in stripes after it has baked.
|Crispy oiled bottom of the grandma pie|
I ordered sausage as a topping, and I was delighted to learn that they apply it the only proper way - it goes on the pie raw, cooks on the pie, and gets a lovely browning while sharing its flavor with the pizza. Much like the NY slices, everything on this pizza was ideally balanced.
One small pizza trailer, two terrific kinds of pizza. I haven't yet experienced grandma pizza anywhere else in Texas, and this one was terrific. Even better, though, are the NY slices. With Brack's, they are without peer in Texas and were at least as good as the best slices in NYC.
|Re-heating at home on perforated pan|
Beyond the great pizza here, the gentlemen working there were especially friendly. Pedroso's is adjacent to The Night Owl bar, where you can grab a drink while you wait for pizza *or* take your pizza inside. Two giant thumbs up for Pedroso's Pizza.