|Margherita. Click on any image for full-size resolution.|
After a visit to Enchanted Rock (17 miles away), we swung through Fredericksburg for a quick tour and a late lunch on a warm September Sunday.
|Nearing the peak of Enchanted Rock|
Seeking pizza, of course (what else would you do in a German town known for bakeries and wine), we found West End Pizza Company. Our friendly waitress was the only person covering the floor, but handled our large party of 7 with aplomb.
|West End Pizza Co|
|The quaint Main Street of Fredericksburg|
|Out on Main Street|
There is a nice outdoor patio seating area, but we chose an indoor escape from the heat to enjoy our order of garlic knots, one signature Margherita pizza, and a pie with half pepperoni and half spinach as toppings.
The garlic knots - six for $6 - came quickly, with a bowl of mild but tasty tomato sauce for dipping. They were Texas-sized; nicely browned outside, dusted with aged cheese, soft inside and a little crisp outside. They were fine if you dig garlic knots, even being a little soft and a little light on the garlic. Our waitress said that they are made from the same dough used for the pizza.
She also told us that the chef makes the dough himself - so it's house-made and unique to West End Pizza Co.
The large pies - a generous 16" size - arrived soon after. The Margherita was beautiful in form, topped with fresh mozzarella and some sliced Roma tomatoes in addition to the sauce. The crust was NY-style thin, but a little more dense and firm that you would find in a classic NY pie. It had its own subtle flavor and was enhanced by a decent char underneath. The pies sported the midwest style square "party cut" but the squares were pretty big.
Topped with fresh basil, this Margherita pie was a winner, and it beats 95% of the East Coast mom and pop pizzerias. If there was any room for improvement, it would be to add some oomph to the crust for a bolder flavor (salt?) and likewise to boost the flavor of the excellent but mild sauce. Overall, a well-constructed and well-balanced pie, baked to perfection.
|Authentic char underneath. Bravo!|
The half-pepperoni and half-spinach topped pie share the same good crust, even though it got a little mangled on one end. The conventional aged mozzarella was fine - but the fresh mozz on the Margherita was better (and a little more expensive).
|Half pepperoni, half spinach|
The pepperoni was generic, but still added the proper greasy and salty note. The spinach was an excellent topping. Unlike many pizza makers who make the pie soggy by overloading it with wet veggie toppings, this was applied sparingly in a way to add color and just a touch of additional flavor. I think we might have improved it with some garlic topping, had I thought of that.
|Pepperoni slice, lots of cheese|
|Another look under the hood|
So we have this delightful tourist town (the kind of town that could easily feature some uninspired tourist food), a nice ambiance, genuinely friendly and thoughtful service, and some crisp thin crust pie well assembled and well executed. Win, win, win, win.
|Joyce and Joshua approve!|
West End Pizza won't change your life, but it will make your belly very happy while you visit. Worth the calories!