|624 W. 34th St.
Austin, TX 78705
Salvation Pizza has been one of the most pleasant surprises to come out of central Austin dining in quite some time. This snug little house on West 34th St. near Guadalupe is a great place to enjoy some real East Coast style pizza. In fact there are Connecticut roots at Salvation and that says it all. This is Neapolitan pizza from Naples, Italy. It’s a thin crusted pie and it is terrific.
Most east coast pizza joints are pretty much just that: pizza joints. You might get a soda, or some beer and wine, perhaps a small salad. But pizza is the king. So let’s take a look at some of my favorite pies.
The #9 or Clam pizza is the best that I’ve tried in Austin. The topping is simple: whole baby clams, bacon, and lemon. The key to this pie is that the crust has to be almost texturally perfect and Salvation nails it. The pie has a richness that is characteristic of clam pizzas and it works coming out of the fridge the next morning as well. And then we must examine the #6 or Sausage, Onion, Jalapeno and black olive pizza. I usually hold the black olives because the commingled flavors of the Italian sausage, the onions, and the jalapenos are beautiful in their own right. But the first bite of this pizza hits the roof of your mouth and your palate with an explosion of flavor. The crust is crispy but not in that thin matzoh-bread style you see at inferior chains. It has real texture and crunch, long after its come out of the oven.
Another beauty is called The #1 White Pie. This is devoid of red sauce but packs a lovely punch with cheese, fresh basil, fresh garlic, and sliced roma tomatoes. Another favorite is the #4 or the Hamburger, Mushroom, Onion and Jalapeno. Pizza fans always argue as to whether or not hamburger is preferable to sausage as a primary topping. The key in my opinion is whether the ground beef is somewhat moist or very lean. Moist always works better and this is a very good pie. The #2 Pie is the Asparagus, bacon and Jalapeno. It’s hard to imagine asparagus as the star of a pie until you actually take a bite. Trust me: it really works. The flavor is unique and blends better than you might at first think.
Of course you can customize your pies at Salvation as well as I often do. My wife and I like a Bacon, Onion, and Cheese pie. Man oh man we are talking about some crackling flavors in this baby. The bacon and the subtle tomato sauce were made for each other. The crust is crisp and just lasts. So does the flavor.
I could go on but I think you get the idea. Salvation Pizza is aptly named. In a town that just a few short years ago seemed to be destined to be pizza poor, Salvation was one of the first great places to step up and show us what a real Connecticut pie could taste like. And they haven’t lost any ground here at all.