Most anything tastes good when tossed onto a pizza, but for Palio's Pizza Cafe, that's not an excuse to work with subpar ingredients. The chefs make all their dough from scratch and layer pies with all-natural sauces, 100% real cheese, and produce fresh from local farms. They use these elements to build pizzas as varied as they are delicious. There's The Scorcher with spicy sauce and fresh jalape?os; the Hawaiian Sunrise with pineapple and sun-dried cranberries; and the Nutty Chicken with spinach and roasted cashews. Just like at a dream DMV, though, pizza's not all that's on the menu. The menu also abounds with pasta entrees and sandwiches paired with kettle-baked chips.
Many restaurants claim to serve Neapolitan pizza, but few can back up that claim with corroboration from the Italian government. Clara and Paolo Cavalli’s pizza meets a long list of requirements that touch on everything from the ingredients to the cooking process. It’s no surprise that their pies are up to snuff, as they’re both first-generation Americans with a long history of baking pizzas at home. Their secret is an oven stoked to 900 degrees, the temperature necessary to bake a perfectly crispy crust or burn two copies of Fahrenheit 451. In this veritable inferno, they fire Neapolitan pies made from flour and mozzarella sourced directly from Italy.
In 1969, Colonel Eure opened the first Mr. Gatti's Pizza in Austin. The small pizza shop?which received its moniker from his wife?s maiden name?focused on handcrafting pies using real cheese, yeast-risen dough, and a signature tangy sauce. Today, more than 40 years later, the Mr. Gatti?s Pizza has expanded into 140+ locations across 13 states. But despite the brand?s growth, its mission to make quality eats remains the same.
At one of Mr. Gatti?s appetizing outposts, patrons can build-their-own pie with fresh toppings, or select favorite pizzas such as the bacon double cheeseburger loaded with smoked provolone, beef, and bacon. Sides including four-cheese breadsticks and spicy chicken wings round out plates, and dessert pizzas topped with apples and streusel offer a sweet end to a savory meal. The restaurants also provide hot and cold buffet bars, allowing guests to sample every item on the menu without having to sneak into the kitchen.
With parents hailing from Sicily and Naples, Anthony Russo enjoyed an Italian upbringing. By age 12, he spent much of his time in the kitchen, learning to prepare Old World recipes with his family and family friends. And from the flurry of Italian phrases and conversation, one quote of his father's stuck with him most: "If you can't make it fresh, don't serve it!"
Several decades later, Anthony has hand-tossed his own Italian restaurant franchise and, true to his father's words, employs fresh ingredients in the same family recipes that were passed down to him. Amid exposed brick and walls the warm hue of marinara, skilled chefs craft New York?style brick-oven pizzas with toppings such as spinach, sundried tomatoes, and eggs. Servers stand ready to answer questions about the restaurant?s wine lists, letting guests know which wines pair best with the pizzotto sandwich or whether pinot noir can really turn dogs invisible.