Indie Pizzas II

The return of indie pizzas!

Tony C's Coal Fired Pizza

12800 Hill Country Blvd., 263-3473
Sunday-Thursday, 11am-10pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-11pm
www.tonycs.com

Tony C's is located in the Hill Country Galleria (northwest corner of Highway 71 and Bee Caves Road), right next to the Cinemark Theatre. It's a two-story affair, with limited seating upstairs and most of the tables downstairs where the bar and open kitchen are. Tony C's advertises its coal-fired ovens, which it says cook at 1,000 degrees (although the hostess said 800 degrees). In NYC, where original coal-fired pizzas still exist, your pizza is ready in a couple of minutes. I do know that if pizzas sat in a 1,000-degree oven for as long as ours did, they would be reduced to pure carbon. If that oven was even 600 degrees, we would have gotten them much sooner. And oddly enough, the pizzas seemed to be started in one oven and finished in another.

All of that bitchy temp complaining aside, the dough finally emerged properly cooked but tough and dense, with little flavor. The tomatoes are in a sauce form, with small chunks present. The sausage is homemade but yields very subtle flavor (add more fat and spice please). The cheese is high-quality and is applied at the proper rate to not dominate. We also ordered the Mulberry Meatball ($17), with meatballs, red peppers, caramelized onions, "pizza sauce," and fresh mozzarella. What could have been delightful was almost devoid of onion and adorned with homemade meatballs that were afraid to have much flavor.

Pizzas come in 14- and 16-inch sizes and range from $11 to $21 (unless you go crazy with the $2-4 add-ons). Appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and pastas round out the menu, but pizza is the big thrust. If you go thinking Patsy's, Lom­bar­di's, or Grimaldi's, lower your expectations.

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