On a recent return from a weekend in San Antonio, I decided to avoid I-35 and take the back way along 281 north, through Blanco and the rolling hills of the Texas Hill Country — beautiful country. The trip eventually landed us on Highway 290 just east of Dripping Springs. And that put us just a few miles from the reason for the side trip on our way back to the Lake Travis area — a stop at Pieous.
Pieous has been showing up on my radar since they opened back in early 2013. Friends that live in Dripping Springs are excited to have one of the best pizza places in Austin right down the road. Austinites have been raving about Pieous since they opened. It’s not a place that I consider within the boundaries of the Lake Travis area, but more of a destination that is worth the trip when you have an opportunity to be on the southwest side of Austin. And after eating here, I do believe that I’ll be finding more reasons to visit this side of town.
My family and I visited Pieous on a Sunday evening and started at the end of a long line of other people with the same idea — Sunday night pizza. The line never got shorter as we got closer to placing our order at the counter. For every order placed, a new group of people would walk in the door and to the back of the line.
You might feel that waiting in line for 45 minutes (or more) to order is a long time, but here’s the thing … once you place your order and grab a seat indoor or out, your food arrives in about 5 minutes. That’s because Pieous cooks a scratch-made Neapolitan style pizza. It’s best described as a 12″ pizza with a thin and puffy crust that is baked for less than 90 seconds in a 800–1000 degrees wood fired oven.
But what really separates Pieous from the rest are the ingredients. Everything is made in house daily! From the fresh mozzarella to the sourdough bread. And that’s not it. When the husband and wife duo took over the property, formerly occupied by Cartwright’s BBQ, a smoker was left behind. So instead of getting rid of it, they decided to put it to good use and add a house cured and smoked pastrami to the menu. All I have to say here is don’t go to Pieous without trying the pastrami. But don’t take my word for it — here is what Daniel Vaughn, BBQ Editor of Texas Monthly Magazine, has to say about the pastrami at Pieous:
You’ll want to taste the meat at Pieous because it’s some of the best pastrami I’ve eaten, and that includes a few famous places in New York. -Daniel Vaughn
After savoring the burnt ends and tender slices of our pastrami appetizer, our pizzas were quick to arrive. We went with a Bacon Bleu, Margherita and plain ole cheese (for the kiddos). Every pie was amazing and perfectly matched the description of a Neapolitan style pizza.
And just when you’re thinking it can’t get any better than this, it does — homemade desserts. A friend and frequent visitor of Pieous recommended the banana cream pie, and this was obviously one of the more popular choices for the day as they were sold out. But not to worry … we decided on a slice of blueberry cheesecake and tiramisu. It didn’t take long for four forks to devour each one.
You just have to love the name Pieous and how pizza, pastrami and pie came together.
And you just have to love how the owners took what was left behind and decided to roll with it. It says a lot about their character and what you can make with the choices this life hands you.
Their choice to make pizzas, pies and throw in a side of pastrami turned out to be an excellent one. Don’t be afraid to use what you’re given and go where life takes you. Even if it’s a drive a little out of your way every now and again to visit Pieous.