Pizza Two Ways

The Marinara PIzza at The Backspace

Does two of something in a row constitute a pattern? I think so. I tend to notice patterns. It’s not too hard to notice one, like, when I tried two new pizza locales within 24-hours last weekend. And, pizza is not something I take lightly. I’ve very picky about when I’m going to pick up a slice of a cheesy and savory ‘pie’ that has been a personal favorite food since I was a little girl. But, last weekend, I decided to dive in full force without any preconceived notions or inhibitions.

The first spot was a unanimous favorite among my fantastic company of Jason, Todd, and David (Yes, me and the boys. Lucky me!): The Backspace, situated in the ‘back space’ behind Parkside on 5th and San Jacinto. It’s been on my to-go list for a very long time. And, I was so thrilled with our experience! I love how quiet and under-the-radar it feels. It was like we were in a back alley in New York City dining in a hidden gem of a wood-fire pizza shop.

The Marinara Pizza (pictured above), was fantastic. To me, the sauce is a major factor when I evaluate pizza. This one was flavorful and light – loved it! I appreciated the garlic on this pizza, the simplicity, and the toasty crust. Notice I said ‘toasty’ versus ‘crispy’. To me, toasty describes the thicker crust edge that was also airy with bubbles and when baked in the wood-fire oven added a nice toast to the exterior. Crispy to me describes pizza with a crunchy thinner outer edge and dough on the base of the pizza. This pizza had a softer dough base. Winners all around. The mushroom pizza was fantastic too! I think the simplicity (one beer on tap) of the concept and the way it makes you feel like you know about a little best-kept-secret is what drew me in. What a great place for a date or an intimate friendly gathering!

The Rocket Pizza with Cheese, Soppressata, Arugula, and Shaved Parmesan at Via 313.

*Excuse the low lighting but it depicts the rustic nature of this Detroit-style pizza trailer experience.

I wish I could remember which friend of mine recently looked me in the eye and said, “You HAVE to try Via 313 pizza.” They proceeded to tell me that it’s Michigan-style (Via=from, MI area code=313) pizza and square-shaped. I responded with, “Is all Michigan-style pizza square?” The answer is no. When my friends Rachel and David and I found ourselves hungry for a bite between a drink at Eastside Showroom and a concert at ND Studios, that advice rang in my head and we walked across the way to the food truck started by two brothers from Michigan at E. 6th and Waller just outside of Violet Crown Social Club. I got to meet co-owner, Brandon, who mentioned their square pans are industrial metal trays that were used to carry automotive parts in Detroit, also known as the ‘Motor City’.

The pizza we ordered, The Rocket, was thick (not as thick as Chicago pizza I’ve experienced), savory, cheesy and cut into square quarters. We added mushrooms, which I appreciated to add another hearty texture to break up the cheese.They even delivered it to us on the back patio of Violet Crown Social Club, which I love, 1) because I love to see local businesses partnering and 2) I appreciate bars with tasty food. It was flavorful, filling, and the cheese was the star of their pizza show. It’s not the typical pizza-type I go for (I’m usually a thin-crust girl), but it was hot out of the oven, had a thick layer of cheese, a crispy crust, and hit the spot for an evening snack. Plus, now I know what Detroit-style pizza tastes like!

I’m glad I stepped outside of my pizza box and usual favorites to experience two very different, and both great slice-y finds. Austin’s pizza scene is expanding, any way you slice it!

If you’ve read my blog before, you probably know that I’m a BIG Salvation Pizza fan. What are your latest local pizza favorites?

One thought on “Pizza Two Ways”

  • Marcos April 23, 2012 at 9:57 am

    I went to Backspace pizza right after they opened to the public. It’s my favorite pizza place in Austin ever since. Their crust is great.

    I will have to give VIA 313 a try, but have two reservations: 1) WTH is Detroit-style pizza? 2) What kind of oven can they fit inside a trailer? We shall see.

    Last: Instagram for food photos? Yuck! Please don’t! We want to see the real colors of the food!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *