Restaurant Review: Southwest Austin Dining
Reviewed by Virginia B. Wood, Fri., June 4, 2010
Sun.-Thu., 11am-9pm; Fri.-Sat., 11am-10pm
Brick Oven Restaurant9911 Brodie, 292-3939
Sunday-Thursday, 11am-9pm; Friday-Saturday, 11am-10pm
The newest Brick Oven in southwest Austin offers large, comfy dining rooms with curved windows and stone arches that mimic the curved shape of the signature brick oven in the kitchen. Pizzas and baked pasta dishes emerge from the big oven, complemented by a selection of fresh salads, a hearty minestrone, sauced pastas with some spicy Southwestern influence, homemade desserts, and a small, affordable wine and beer list. The bonus at this particular location is a full-scale gluten-free menu, designed by general manager (and celiac disease sufferer) Christine Moore, who developed the menu and trains the waitstaff about how to assist celiac customers before they work the floor. She is currently adding a few gluten-free items to the menus at Brick Oven's other two outlets.
The gluten-free menu here offers everything from appetizers and Redbridge or Bard's beer to rice-based pastas and mac and cheese for kids, plus brownies and carrot cake, all for a small upcharge to the regular item prices. The menu star, however, would have to be the pizzas, based on crusts provided by a local company called Gluten Free Kneads. The medium-sized raw crusts are partially baked, then covered with your choice of toppings, and returned to the oven to finish. Cheeses, sauces, and toppings don't become one with this crust in the same way they do with raised-yeast pizza dough made with flour, but the crackerlike crust holds up well and more than fulfills a craving for pizza. Our spinach and artichoke Alfredo pizza (menu price, plus $4 upcharge) was delightful, and the crust remained crisp throughout the lunch hour. For celiac disease sufferers who miss pizza and pasta and restaurant nights out with the family, this place is made just for you.
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