Austinites might not always agree on the best BBQ or best TexMex, but if there is one thing they do agree on, it’s that Pieous serves the best pizza. This food group (yes, it’s its own group) was something I saw on every street corner the last 8 years of my life in NYC. It was actually pretty hard to find a bad slice, but everyone knew the top 10 places or so. In Austin, it seems like most of the pizza is served at breweries or bars or random chains. I now lead you to Pieous which is out towards Dripping Springs, but if you leave South Austin at 7 p.m. on a weeknight, you’ll arrive in under 20 minutes promptly. The space isn’t too large, YET, as they have a new restaurant in the works currently, so the line seems to get backed up on the weekends, when pizza connoisseurs want to have their way here.
As you pull up, right off the highway, the cute little house/cottage of a restaurant is super casual and kid-friendly. The inviting red wood screams Italian inside, and the walls are covered in chalkboards with statements like, ” Food is our religion,” “Life is uncertain, eat dessert first.” l. Step up to the counter and order pies, salads, pastrami, and homemade desserts. The pizza is made right in the middle of the restaurant, so you can see the boys kneading, prepping, and cranking out the pizza. It’s Neapolitan style, so doughy and soft as hell. There is no crunch, but because the bread is so fresh and labored delicately with love, I didn’t even miss it. Also, you should know that they have been recognized by L’Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana which is an international organization established by a group of Neapolitan people representing some of the oldest families of pizza makers and the most famous pizzerias. They give out this award to restaurants who meet strict requirements that respect the tradition of the art of Neapolitan pizza. How much more legit can this place be?
Well, everything is made from scratch including the tomato sauce, mozzarella, sourdough bread, house-smoked pastrami, dressings, desserts, and pastries. For starters, I was (embarrassingly) blown away by a freaking salad. Salad is usually something that you just need to eat to make yourself feel better before you coat it with carbs, However, the Pieous Choppy with Romaine Hearts, Fresh Mozzarella, Fire-Roasted Garbazno Beans tossed in their homemade Honey Vinaigrette sealed the deal right off the bat. When you can make a salad memorable, you’re A-OK in my book. Also, by the time we ordered our meal at the counter, filled up our drinks, and found a table, this guy was already delivered. Service is quite speedy!
Now onto what you really care about- the pizza. You can go with any of the Classics like Marinara, White Pie, Margherita, Cheese, or Signature like Bacon Bleu, Brussels & Jam, or Meat Pies like The Fat Queen or Smoky Italian. You can also make your own with toppings such as: Salame Calabrese, Hot Sopressata, Artichoke Hearts, Gorgonzola, Jalapeños, Capers, Bacon Marmalade, etc. We went with the Vegetarian Eggplant pizza that included Tomato Sauce, Fresh Mozz, Roasted Eggplant, Sauteed Onions, Parmesan and added Basil. I loved this pizza and it’s really all about the dough here. I could have used some extra tomato sauce, and since they make it fresh to go on each pizza, you have to wait to order an extra side, so make sure you order extra the first go round. Eggplant on a pizza is also fun, and each pie is cut into four extra large slices. It’s not buttery like a fast food joint which makes you feel guilty after. I felt amazing, satisfied, and truly happy walking out that door.
Don’t forget that they make their own smoked pastrami. It’s very different than traditional Jewish deli. It tastes more like BBQ but in a good way. Go for both.