Eatery unites authentic Italian, Austin flavors
Local pizzeria The Pizza Bistro remains true to its Austin roots by incorporating Texas flavors with imported goods from Italy.
The restaurant uses Italian imports such as olive oil, plum tomatoes, sausage and other meats, as well as a special type of pepperoni from New Jersey for added authenticity to its menu. The Pizza Bistro—located at 12001 Burnet Road— sources locally grown produce and cooks up pastas, pizzas, paninis, soups, salads and burgers with a Central Texas spin.
"We say it's Italian with an Austin flair," owner Kress Childs said.
Childs said he has held many positions in the restaurant industry, including bartender, district manager and owner. He owned his first pizza restaurant in San Antonio when he was 24 years-old and said he enjoys the creativity of the business. Childs is also the owner of the Dickey's Barbecue Pit franchise in Bastrop.
"I like [that] it's basically a new challenge every day, [doing] something unique and fun," he said. "I like the fact that people in Austin are loyal to local businesses and particularly to restaurants."
Patrons can also enjoy the region's flavors at The Pizza Bistro's bar, which is stocked with Central Texas liquors, including Deep Eddy Vodka, Pepe Zevada Z Tequila, and Waterloo Gin from Treaty Oak Distilling.
Bartenders infuse liquors in-house with fruit, coffee and basil for the bistro's signature cocktails. The Deep Eddy Crush uses Deep Eddy Vodka infused with berries and basil. The bar is stocked with about 11 different wines and has six Texas beers on tap, including Live Oak, Thirsty Goat and seasonal Shiner beers.
In September, The Pizza Bistro celebrated its one-year anniversary and has plans to introduce a new menu some time in the fall as part of its tradition to keep its cuisine fresh. The newest addition to the menu, The Notorious F.I.G. pizza, was a suggestion from a customer. The restaurant held a competition for customers to come up with its next pizza creation, and the winner received Austin City Limits Music Festival tickets.
Childs said some of the popular menu items include the Caesar salad doused in house-made dressing and the Texas BBQ Brisket pizza made with smoked ground brisket, barbecue sauce, cheddar cheese, jalapeos, red onions and cilantro.
When Childs decided on the atmosphere he wanted to create at the restaurant, he said a slogan emerged that seemed to fit the overall theme of The Pizza Bistro—"Food is love."
"We wanted not only for it to be a fun place for people, but we wanted [to relate] our love for food, our love for our employees, our love for our customers," Childs said.
Create your own pizza
New York thin
Select a sauce
Choose among seven cheeses, 13 meats and 22 vegetables
Live music Friday and Sunday
The Pizza Bistro, 12001 Burnet Road, Ste. D, 512-832-5550, www.jollypenny.com, Hours: Sun.–Thu. 11 a.m.–10 p.m., Fri.–Sat. 11 a.m.–midnight