1809 W. Anderson Ln.
Austin, TX 78757
1401-B Rosewood Ave.
Austin, TX 78702
5312 Airport Blvd. Ste. G.
Austin, TX 78751
Not that long ago, Austin was pretty much a dry, tasteless desert with regard to East Coast style pizza. There was Brick Oven and little else. But Noah and Michael, a couple of pizza loving dudes opened up a tiny shop on Rosewood called East Side Pies and the rest, as they say, is history.
We’re here today at their newest store on Anderson. As usual, you walk in the door and if you’re a pizza aficionado the aromas alone will tell you you’ve made the right decision. This is a basic pizza joint, a few salads and some garlic knots and the rest, as it should be is apizza (as they say in New Haven).
Michael and Noah have a sense of humor and the names of the pies are whimsical and sometimes a bit edgy. But the tastes and the crusts are spot-on. I am a big fan of the Buscemi. You would think it’s named after the Fargo and Boardwalk Empire star Steve Buscemi, but it’s actually named for Motorcycle dude Brian Buscemi. It has Italian Sausage, Onions, Jalapenos, Red Peppers and Cilantro. If it were named after Steve Buscemi, the first bite would make Nucky Thompson open up a pizza joint on the Boardwalk. And let’s not overlook the Damon, not named after actor Matt but a friend of the store’s. It’s got a spicy cotto salami, green chiles, red peppers, and red onions. Very interesting and tasty combination of toppings, and the crust on the bottom is slightly charred as it should be. Seriously cool pizza.
More interesting names and pies abound at East Side. Consider the Homer which draws inspiration from the animated Simpson’s star. This is a robust affair with habaneros, onions, and delightfully, homemade meatballs. Great texture and flavors on this one. And then there is the classic Marge named either after Homer’s wife or perhaps my lovely wife. This is as good as a Margherita as you’ll find in Austin. Simplicity with cherry tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and basil form the taste profile for this pie first conceived over 100 years ago in Naples, Italy to celebrate a royal visit. Then there’s the Old 97’s, named after one of Noah’s favorite bands. It’s topped with Beef Smokies, bacon, green chiles, and jalapenos and the disparate combination of ingredients absolutely work together. This pizza makes sweet music!
There are veggie pies, white pies and gluten-free pies at East Side as well. Going on their 7th year they are a fixture in my Top 4 Austin pizzas, and justifiably so. See if you don’t agree.