If you are a consistent reader of this site then you know that second to nut butter, and a close second, is pizza. Not just any pizza though, it has to be New York style pizza. Not that Chicago stuff that is nothing other than an open faced stromboli (sorry Chicago pizza lovers, but its the truth.)
If you think I am a snob about pizza then you’d be right. It has been through trial and error and recommendations that I have just about sworn off ever finding New York pizza in Texas. Every shop owner says his name is Joe or Paulie and they are from Brooklyn, but slice after slice folds over and all the toppings fall off. Slice after slice went by to no avail. I thought I found one at Napoli’s in Euless, Texas but there was something missing: the pizza bubble. Any good New York style pizza has the pizza bubble.
Everybody down here claims to have found THE New York pizza and well…..they’d be wrong. First off, if you don’t refer to it as pizza pie then there is a good chance it won’t be any good. If you don’t sell it by the slice…..good chance it won’t be any good.
Well, my Texas friends, I have found it. I have found New York style pizza in Texas. It took me nearly 3 1/2 years and a 3 1/2 hour drive but it does exist. This weekend I am racing the 70.3 Longhorn in Austin, Texas and on Friday night Karen and I needed a place to eat.
She went to Yelp! to find a pizza joint near our hotel. Yelp! told her about Little Deli & Pizza which was less than a mile from the hotel. She showed me the phone with a smile and said: They refer to it as a pie and you can get it by the slice. Done and Done I said.
We drove there and immediately I knew this place was going to be good because the parking lot was packed and people were waiting to get in. As soon as we walked by a table and saw what looked like a white pizza with artichoke hearts I knew we were ordering that. Before we walked in though I noticed that the pizza even had a bubble to it. Really? A pizza bubble? Oh my word this place is going to be great.
We picked up the menu and found the white pizza and ordered a medium. We also ordered a Greek Salad and before we could say dressing on the side, they said that the dressing was served on the side. We went outside to sit down and wait for our food.
The salad came out and was fresh and tasted great. Then the longest 5, 10, 30 minutes or 3 days took place. I honestly don’t know how long we waited but smelling the aroma around us I just could not take it anymore. The couple that sat next to us had a Rueben sandwich and the rye toast and mustard wafted over to us and I could have eaten the picnic table.
When the pizza came out the talking stopped and the eating began. All my dreams came true. I was eating the pizza without adding crushed red pepper to every slice because it actually had taste. Did not need to hide the pizza. The dough was thin and crunchy. It did not fold over and you could hold it with one hand and enjoy every bite.
I am beyond thrilled to have found this pizza joint in Austin and will be sure to come back a lot more often. Maybe for lunch tomorrow I will get the Vegetarian Sandwich.
When you go there tell Tony that Jason from New York who race the Half-Ironman sent you.
If you were wondering if I am hallucinating, here is the About Us from their website:
Little Deli & Pizzeria is a locally owned and operated, northeastern style deli and pizzeria. We offer the best of both worlds – great deli sandwiches and authentic New Jersey pizza.
Our sandwiches are made on fresh baked breads, using the best quality meats and cheeses. All of our soups and salads are homemade and our variety of desserts are made either in-house or come from a local bakery.
Our pizza is made using our homemade dough which is prepared in the artisan style the old fashioned way. We hand toss our pies and bake them on two inch stone hearths. They are sold by the pie or by the slice.