Had a leisurely dinner at CraigO’s Pizza & Pastaria in Lakeway Friday night. Since they do a lot of takeout there, they’ve reduced the overall square footage. But no matter – the food still mostly rocks.
I saw a tray of pizza rolls headed to the table next to ours. I’d always thought of these as something for kids, but they looked so damned good we got an order. And we were glad we did. The dough was crisp yet had a perfect texture and after a quick bite we couldn’t stop the noshing.
Next I tried the antipasto salad which was a very decent variation of a standard antipasto platter. I could find no fault with it and the balsamic vinaigrette was the ideal complement. It was so large I couldn’t finish it!
My wife tried the Greek salad and was also quite pleased. They didn’t overload it with feta as can sometimes be the case and the greens were crisp and tasty.
I then moved on to the sausage roll which looked quite a bit like stromboli. Again, the crust was spot-on and the peppers and caramelized onions were tasty. But the sausage did not possess the taste or texture of traditional Italian sausages we’re used to. It wasn’t a send-back-to-the-kitchen faux pas but the sausage needs fixing.
My wife tried the baked spinach ziti which was a pleasant surprise. The pasta was nicely al dente but the Bellalinda sauce was the star of the dish. It was a bit on the sweet side yet also had a savory quality to it that made each bite a pleasure. We’ll order this again.
And finally the eggplant parmesan. As usual this one rocked. Along with Numero 28 downtown, Craig O’s has one of the top two eggplant parms in the city. The eggplant was sweet and tender and served with precisely the right marinara sauce.
So don’t be fooled because they have pizza bites on the menu. This is not some toss-away, prefab strip mall joint. This is a place where, for the most part, authentic flavors and tastes await. Put it on your list. In addition to the Lakeway location, there’s also one over on 290 near Brodie that’s got more seating capacity and that’s equally good, as well as two more locations at Onion Creek and Balcones.
2501 Ranch Rd 620 S
Austin, TX 78734
Sunset Valley location:
4970 W US Hwy 290 Service Rd
Austin, TX 78735
Onion Creek location:
11215 S I H 35
Austin, TX 78747
5501 Balcones Dr
Austin, TX 78731