Allandale needs another pizza pad like it needs another mattress store (What in tarnation are y’all doing out there where you need so many mattresses?). Undeterred by the local competition, enter DeSano Pizza Bakery, just north of Burnet and Anderson. Having started in Nashville, DeSano is another neighborhood restaurant in the fast-casual category where you order quality food at a counter and then eat at a self-selected table. The dining experience evokes barbecue: a pile of wood out front, ordering at the counter, and eating at a table adorned with rolls of paper towels. However, instead of partaking of fretted-over briskets, you partake of fretted-over pizza. Unlike many barbecue joints, the restaurant is open, airy, and bright.
DeSano follows the strict pie-making standards of the authentic Italian-sounding Associazione Verace Pizza Nepoletana when conjuring its Neapolitan pies. Impressively, nearly everything you order is from Italy: the flour, the sauce, the salt; all from Italy. Even the mozzarella is flown in weekly from the Campania region of Italy to Austin. As required, the medium crust pies are baked in enormous three-ton Italian pizza ovens. DeSano has four of these brick beasts that grace the back of the restaurant’s open kitchen, each one literally blessed by a priest and bequeathed with its own name (San Felice, San Gennaro, San Paolino, and San Matteo). DeSano also makes meatballs, calzones, and generous salads. For dessert, they offer biscotti, gelato, cannoli, and a Nutella dessert pizza.
While there, an owner (who also owns Bob’s Steak and Chop House downtown) stopped in to chat and regale us with the list of ingredients he ships in from Italy. “We try to take you to Italy for 45 minutes,” he said. Similar to the owner, the manager and staff were all friendly and easy-going. Desano started in Nashville and has restaurants in Los Angeles and, soon, Charlotte.
And the food? Quite delicious! The Pomodorini (Vesuvian cherry tomato, basil, garlic, scamorza, mozzarella di bufala, pecorino romano) is our favorite pizza with whole tomatoes dropping as delicious cherry bombs of flavor. And with four ovens, the food moves quickly from ordering to devouring. Italian wine is available on tap and by the bottle, Italian beer is available by the bottle, and, as a rare non-Italian offering, Coke products are available. One disappointment in the dining experience was drinking wine from plastic cups. I didn’t realize I was a snob about that until it happened (college was a lloooonnggg time ago…). DeSano does take-out, something we did for the National Championship game (and those pizzas were available for pick-up quick!). Google suggests you can use doordash.com to get a pie delivered.
So if you find yourself hungry after buying a new mattress (or wearing out your old one…), consider DeSano as a worthy place to call-up. As Dean Martin crooned, “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore!”
I wrote this review for the Allandale Neighbor
web&where: interwebs; 8000 burnet road; (512) 323-2426
what’s the deal? Italian style pizza down from blessed ovens; fast casual
overall: *** (food***; drink*; atmosphere**; service***; instagrammability**)
– meh [think twice]
* OK [it’ll get the job done]
** good [solid neighborhood joint]
*** damn good [we’ll definitely be back]
**** yippity-yikes that was amazeballs [fantastic; one of the best]
***** holy sh!t [transcendental; best of the best]
DeSano Pizza Bakery