First you start with a party bus ready to go at about 11:00 in the morning. At the back, you’ll find a keg of beer. At the front, Steven Doyle, our gracious host and organizer. Pack the bus with a bunch of hungry people and you’ve got yourself a Pizza Tour.
Our first stop was the home of Janice Provost. Janice owns Parigi on Oak Lawn Ave and she’s been thinking about pizza a lot recently. We, being the helpful crew that we are, were happy to sample some of Janice’s ideas.
Did I mention that this is Janice’s home? This isn’t the kitchen at the restaurant. This is how she does it at her house. I’m suffering serious kitchen envy. Maybe that’s why I forgot to take a single picture of the pizza. Hand formed, thin crust and quality over quantity when it comes to toppings. I’m not always a huge fan of truffle oil. But, the all white mushroom pizza with just a drizzle of truffle oil was fantastic. The crust of all her pies is exceptionally good, too. Thin, yet crispy enough to support itself. I really like that.
Then, back on to the bus to drive to Rockwall. I have to admit I was puzzled. With so many great pizza joints in Dallas, why were we driving across the lake? Once we got there, I knew why. Zanata. I didn’t look at a menu. They just started turning out the pizzas.
Looks like Chef Ted has done this before. In fact, it looked like he could probably make pizza in his sleep. The ingredients were fantastic. Bacon, Brussel sprout leaves, carmelized onions, housemade sausage, gorgonzola, eggplant… not all on the same pizza mind you. But, all fabulous.
I might even drive to Rockwall again for that pizza. If you live in or around Rockwall and haven’t been… for shame! Ted came out to the bus and had a beer with us. Then back to Dallas.
This time for Coal Vines pizza. I’ve been hearing about how great the pizza is at Coal Vines forever, but somehow I had never been to sample their product. We arrived at the end of brunch and Chef Samir was nice enough to come and talk to us about their restaurant and the pies.
I’m starting to see a trend. Everywhere we go, the pizza is excellent.
Our biggest challenge; saving room for two more places. Good pizza and a glass of wine is a hard thing to get up and walk away from. But, alas, that is exactly what we must do. Back to Deep Ellum, where we started. First we check out newcomer, Serious Pizza just across from Elm Street Bar who supplied our now empty keg. Thanks, Elm Street!
This was probably the most casual pizza place on the tour. It just opened this week. But, that guy in the photo has got to have been tossing pizzas long before last Thursday. They do sell by the whole pie or the slice. Lots of ingredients to chose from.
Notice anything different about this pizza? Use the Parmesan and crushed red pepper shakers for scale. This pizza is huge! And it appears that they fixed this one up with most of the ingredients they had on hand. Very good. Should be a great walk-up place once the word gets out.
Then to Cane Rosso. This is Hub and my current go-to spot for pizza. In fact, despite this full day of pizza eating I would gladly return to Cane Rosso this morning. Unfortunately, they aren’t open on Sunday. We’ve been there pretty regularly since they opened. Check out their menu. They make their own crust, sauce, mozzarella… all of that really adds to the end result. However, this trip we didn’t have to do the ordering. We sat down and they just kept it coming. First, a big plate of fried artichokes and Calabrian chili aioli for dipping. Then, the pizzas.
A huge plate of homemade pappardelle was incredible. That was a new one for me and that’s what I’m really craving this morning. And then some dessert maybe? How about a big s’mores calzone? A dessert pizza with carmelized apples? Or a brown paper bag of zeppole? Just shake to cover the little fried dough balls with powdered sugar. There’s a chocolate sauce for dipping, too.
Did I fail to take a lot of pictures? Of course, I was too busy eating and drinking wine to take a photo of anything more than the one pizza above. Finally, I didn’t have to worry about how much I was eating. Next, we would be going home. Only one thing left to do…
Jim McClure, our tour bus saber guy, instructing Steve on how to open a bottle of Champagne. This has become our traditional sign off for the end of the tour. Thanks to Jay at Cane Rosso for letting us use his patio for a little sword play!
I’m sure you’ll be able to read more about the tour on CraveDFW, Steve’s new food and entertainment site. Check it out!