#100 Il Forno

November 4th, 2017

San Antonio, TX

We managed to get a bit of sleep after our first late-night pizza stop in Texas, but we couldn’t sleep too late because we had to make a detour to San Antonio before heading a bit further upstate to the wedding. It took us a little over an hour to drive to San Antonio from Austin and we showed up at Il Forno just after noon.

This restaurant is a newcomer to the 2017 list, and it has only been open for about a year and a half. We were a little skeptical that it would live up to the others (especially since Via 313 was taken off of the list in 2017), but we were really surprised here.

Il Forno is located in a quiet part of San Antonio, a little bit south of downtown and away from the crowds visiting the Alamo. From the outside, you couldn’t tell it was a pizza place because it is painted lime green and has an overgrown looking garden out front. As soon as we walked in, though, we saw the massive wood burning oven and we knew we were in the right place.

Although it has only been open a little over a year, Il Forno already produces their own sage and basil, and will expand the garden as the years go on. They have kumquat trees planted out front that will take a couple more years to produce fruit! All of their ingredients come from local Texas farms, and even more impressively, they cure all of their own meats in-house.

When we heard that, we had to order the Entero, which came with a “chef’s selection” of three meats. There was a spicy sausage, a spicier pepperoni, and a third pepperoni-ish meat as well. Sorry that I am not very good at meat identification – whatever it was, it was tasty! We also ordered a butternut squash salad that was topped with pistachios and goat cheese. We had to balance out that meat with some vegetable!

The crust on this pizza was awesome. Eric commented that it rivals some of the best Neapolitan crusts that we’ve had in NYC or San Fran. The cheese wasn’t loaded on too heavily, so all the flavors really shone through. We really approve of this addition to the 2017 list!

And since we ordered only one pizza here, we still had plenty of stomach space to enjoy an evening full of delicious wedding food 🙂

To visit:

Il Forno
122 Nogalitos St
San Antonio, TX 78204

#74 Via 313

November 4th, 2017

Austin, TX

This past weekend, we took a break from the NYC scene here to spend the weekend down in Texas. Texas has a few pizza places that have made the lists the past three years, and while we had hit a handful of them last August, there were two more additions in 2016 and 2017 that we still hadn’t made it to. Luckily, my cousin was getting married not too far outside of Austin, so we had a good excuse to fly down for the weekend!

We had a late flight into Austin, and landed around midnight. We really wanted to try Via 313, but of course their main restaurants close at 10pm. Lucky for us, they also have food trucks (trailers)! We drove straight to one from the airport.

Usually when a pizza place has more than one location, we try to go to the original one. We happened to be on a tight time frame this weekend, so we were willing to make an exception. Then we found out that the original Via 313 was opened in 2011 in a trailer! So we essentially WERE going to the original. This made us very happy.

The pizza here is Detroit-style inspired. If you read my previous post from our pizza road trip, Detroit style pizza is really unique. The brothers who started Via 313 grew up around Detroit, so they based the pizza here off of the style they were most familiar with. At the main locations, you can get pizzas in 4-slice or 8-slice sizes, just like Buddy’s, but the trailers only serve slices in 4’s. After having been to Buddy’s, we can say that this is pretty close to authentic Detroit-style pizza, even down to the crispy cheese edging.

Four slices was plenty for us, since we had eaten a small dinner before getting on the plane, and one slice was plenty to keep me full. That left three slices for Eric. We ended up ordering the Four Cheese Blend, and it had more cheese on it than almost any other pizza that we’ve had, so it was super filling. The sauce that was globbed on top was delicious. We waited 40 minutes for this pizza to come out of the oven, but we thought it was worth it.

The lines stayed constantly long here the whole time that we were waiting, since the truck is parked right out front of a bar. This was pretty smart planning by the Via 313 folks! It was also highly entertaining for us, as sober people-watchers.

To visit:

Via 313
1111B E 6th St
Austin, TX 78702