Austin's Bola Pizza
There are few meals that I like more than a good pizza. And why not? It is one of the simplest and tastiest things around: a piece of flatbread with some type of sauce, cheese, and maybe a few toppings, baked until the cheese melts and the bread turns a nice golden brown. As far as I’m concerned, the simplest foods are usually the best.
At Bola Pizza you get everything that makes pizza great, served off the back of a trailer. While primarily a catering outfit, the Bola crew shows up just about every Saturday for the farmer’s market on 5th and Guadalupe and do what they do best: make fresh pizza to order and cook them off in their portable wood fired oven.
Dave and I showed up not long before closing and were just lucky enough to order two pies. We started with the Godfather. The Godfather comes with fennel sausage, smoked scamorza, caramelized onions, and tomato sauce. A first glance this one may appear to be classic American pizzeria fare, but it is much better than just about any pizza you’ll find in your local pizzeria. The spicy sausage plays very nicely with the smoky cheese, sweet onions, and tangy sauce. A real must-try.
Next up: the truffle daisy. You know how whenever you go out to a pizza joint with friends there’s always that one joker who says, “Oh, I don’t like sausage and pepperoni, can we just get a cheese pizza?” Yeah, we all know that guy. In this case, you might actually thank him. Unlike the usual “mozzarella and not much else” cheese pizzas, the truffle daisy takes things to a new level. Still featuring the clean simplicity of mozzarella, you also get a very nice tomato sauce, truffle oil, and shaved garlic. Everything combines nicely to create one of the better cheese pizzas I’ve had in a long time.
At most chain pizza joints they try distract you from their sub-par pizza with an abundance of low quality toppings sitting atop a shoddy pizza crust. Personally, I have always felt that great pizza starts not with a ton of silly toppings, but with a great crust. At Bola you get one of the better crusts you’ll find anywhere.
They use a three-day cold ferment dough that makes for a great thin crust, and is perfectly tender, chewy, and a little crispy out toward the edges. Not that there’s anything wrong with the toppings and other ingredients that they use. Much of what they put on top of their pies is sourced locally. Their cheeses come from Antonelli’s Cheese Shop. Having been to Antonelli’s many times I can tell you for a fact, they are the best place in town for cheese. Dave and I are now confirmed Antonelli’s addicts. Seriously, I think they know us by sight now. The sausage is provided by the Koucerek Family Charcuterie, and their herbs are provided by their own garden.
If you’re interested in trying them out, and I can’t imagine that you’re not, you have two options available. First, they are primarily a catering outfit. So you can hire them to come out with their oven on a trailer and make pizza for your next party. Second, you can do like Dave and I did and visit them at the farmer’s market in downtown Austin between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. So how much will a pizza at Bola set you back? Not much, only $12 for a 12-inch pizza with the freshest ingredients you can find. Bola is one that we’ll certainly be heading back to.
Austin Food Junkies' Rating: Three of Four Lone Star Points
The Austin Food Junkies are Alex Artibee, Matt Braley and Dave Braley, "Two guys who love food, and one chef, trained at the Texas Culinary Institute." Check out their reviews of other Austin area restaurants on their blog, Austin Food Junkies.