13450 N. Hwy. 183, Ste. #230
Austin, TX 78750
As many of you know, my roots are firmly planted in New England. I grew up in a Connecticut neighborhood that was predominantly Irish and Italian. And my formative food years were spent at the likes of Pizza icons like Pepe’s and Sally’s on New Haven’s legendary Wooster Street.
It is normal to pine for one’s lost food treasures when one moves to a part of the country where those are not readily available. And pine we did when we first came to Texas. Where was the Baked Ziti, the pizza, the sweet Italian sausage and peppers, the lasagna? And then, when all seemed lost, we found Reale’s.
Bob & Gino Reale have a family-style Italian restaurant on Highway 183 not far from Anderson Mill. They are one of the few restaurants that have not been devastated by the construction madness in that area. Why? Because they’ve got a loyal following of customers who just love this place. Hard to blame those customers.
I love the Pizza at Reale’s. I first tried the pepperoni and it was wonderful. The crust was perfect and it reminded me of vintage East coast pizza. Then I gravitated to the sausage and mushrooms with onions. Another slam-dunk on the taste front. Crispy crust with that instant rush on the first bite. Their pizza has consistently been among the top three in Austin. You must try it.
And I am equally enamored of Reale’s pasta dishes. The Baked Ziti has not been dumbed down, as so many Texas Italian restaurants attempt to do. The blend of ricotta, Romano, and mozzarella cheeses blends beautifully with the rich marinara sauce. And the ziti is al dente. I also adore the Eggplant Parmesan. The flavor and the texture of this dish are quite compelling. The eggplant has a wonderful flavor and is not overcooked, as can often happen with this dish. Another favorite is the Sausage and Peppers plate. This is vintage. Sautéed sweet Italian sausage with onions and roasted red and green bell peppers. Served with fettuccine noodles but for my taste, just give me a good chunk of Italian bread to eat with it. Mangia! And don’t forget to try the classic Italian comfort food, lasagna! Reale’s nails it with classic East Coast flavors infused into the delightful layers of pasta.
Their meat and seafood dishes are also faithful to their heritage and quite good. Try the grilled Pork Chops topped with onions and mushrooms. This is a dish for the ages. The Shrimp Scampi is equally good; not heavy with garlic and with perfect complements of butter, olive oil, and white wine.
And I absolutely adore the Chicken Cacciatore. They sautée chicken tenders with onions and mushrooms with a lovely marinara sauce. The flavors are authentic and immediately satisfying.
Reale’s is open for lunch and dinner and is at 13450 Highway 183. Come say hi to Gino or Bob and become a part of the Reale family. They won the 183 battle where many lesser restaurants have floundered. And there’s a reason. The food is reasonably priced, consistent, and flat out good.