As anyone that has ever made pizza at home can tell you: it's all about the crust, more specifically the dough. In my recent series of posts about our trip to Texas and New Mexico I neglected to mention the transformative pizza experience we enjoyed in San Antonio, Texas.
In town visiting family, we discovered DOUGH Pizzeria Napoletana by reading a feature in the San Antonio Express-News that profiled five local restaurants and their chefs. The article was not about DOUGH per se, but the article asked the chefs where they liked to eat and three of the five said DOUGH was one of their favorites. That was all I needed to hear. Eat where the eaters eat.
Defying its location in a plain-jane strip mall in North San Antonio, DOUGH greets its diners with a hip, yet casual dining room while the huge wood burning oven and kitchen dominate the environment. This place is clearly taking this whole pizza thing seriously. How serious? Well, they make the dough, of course. But they also make all the cheese, sausage and just about everything else. If they didn't make it in the back, it probably came from Italy. In fact, the oven did - shipped over brick by brick.
From the first whiff of the toasty-fresh-baked-garlicky-goodness that emanates from the front door, to our first bite of our appetizer of grilled mozzarella and flat bread we knew this was going to be something so much more than good.
DOUGH's pizzas are subjected to temperatures of 1,000 degrees for a mere 90 seconds; and what a difference some fire and 90 seconds can make. Not only do these pizzas look beautiful, but they deliver the perfect-pizza triple-threat of toasty aroma/crunch/chew that separates the amateurs from the pros. Damn.
Wanting to try everything on the menu, I decide to keep it pure; to let the dough, the cheese shine through - with a small amount of pork product, please. Sopresetta, thank you. This arguably stripped-down pizza spoke with a clear Italian accent and every chewy/crunchy/slightly salty bite delighted. Again, I started to think about how the pizza in front of me was going to go away...and what I might do with a leftover (as if?) slice. Breakfast...warmed slightly, with a over-easy fried egg on top. Ooohhhhhhhh......
Should you find yourself say....not in NYC or Naples, Italy, but San Antonio, Texas: get to DOUGH and eat as much as you can.