Napoletana-Style: House Pizzeria, Austin, TX

In our previous blog, we discussed DOC Napoletana Pizza certification and its rising trend here in the United States. I have to say that it really got me excited to try some authentic Napoletana Pizza.  Unfortunately, my search for local DOC pizzerias near  Austin, Texas turned up without fruit. I would have to travel to Dallas or San Antonio.

So barring the fact that I could not find a local DOC pizzeria, I narrowed my search to a couple of “Napoletana- style” restaurants in the local Austin area: House Pizzeria and the Backspace.  Notice I make no claim to DOC Napoletana and neither could these two pizzerias. Regardless, I have heard wonderful things about both places, and knew I had to try them both.

So for our first stop on our Austin Pizza Tour, we decided to go to House Pizzeria.

When you walk into House Pizzeria you are transported to a space with a modern appeal. Angular banquets flank dark wood farmhouse tables. A little Kitschy mixed with 1970’s lighting; it definitely has an eco-hipster vibe: a perfect fit for its Hyde Park location. An itty-bitty bar and a wood-burning oven in the back behind the counter pique one’s interest.

The service here is on point with prompt and courteous attention from the wait staff. While the pizza menu was limited it wasn’t lacking variety. This is not your average pepperoni and cheese pizza establishment. With combinations ranging from the Salami (Genoa Salami, red onion, and White Cheddar) to the Eggplant (eggplant tapenade, capers, kalamata olives, and Parmesan), House Pizzeria goes beyond the typical pizzeria fare.

For our selections, we decided on the Salami, which seems to be an emerging trend in premium pizza toppings, and is a step up from pepperoni, at least in my opinion.  For our second pie, we choose the Subterranean (caramelized onions, Fontina, mushrooms, rosemary, sliced potatoes, and basil).

The Salami was a really well balanced pizza, the saltiness and tang of the White Cheddar a nice complement to the slightly crisp and spicy Genoa Salami, with the red onion providing a sharp contrast in flavor and texture, rounding out the flavors of the pizza. House Pizzeria does a great job of making the crust as well. The edges have a great puffiness with blister marks to add that smoky note we all associate with wood-fired pizzas.

A red pepper infused olive oil made in-house is a delicious dip for the puffy crust edges.  It’s a little bit fancier than the standard cracked red pepper flakes you typically see at a pizzeria and a nice touch.

For our second pizza, we decided to try one of the 2 potato options on the menu. Since I don’t often see potatoes as an option for toppings (I am an Irish girl, after all!), and they just happen to be one of my favorites, we had to try it. House pizzeria offers two different versions, the Subterranean, and one with potatoes and goat cheese. 

Since I am not a fan of goat cheese (I keep hoping that will change), we opted for the Subterranean.  This pizza comes without sauce, so it reminded me of a potato gratin on a pizza crust. It was a pretty mild pizza. The potatoes were good, but I craved more caramelized onions.  House Pizzeria does a great job on their crust.

Overall, it was a decent attempt, and rather beautiful I might add….but I couldn’t help thinking…..would this be the perfect pizza if we put bacon on it?

On our way out the door, we stopped to thank the pizza makers, Lucas (on the left) and Herbert (on the right) for making us some seriously good pizza. Thanks guys!!

Check back soon, when we visit Backspace Pizza!

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