The Austin Chronicle

Dear Glutton: Where to Eat Before a Halloween Party

In search of a respectable dinner before a night of costumed buffoonery

By Emily Beyda, October 28, 2016, Food

Dear Glutton,

Where's the best place in Austin to take a cute girl before a big Halloween party, so she can see that I'm a nice guy who knows how to treat a lady before she watches me drink punch out of a garbage can?

– Scaredy Cat

While I can't help but feel that the decision to drink suspiciously brightly colored liquid out of garbage cans usually leads to throwing up suspiciously brightly colored liquid into (hopefully) different garbage cans, it is my civic duty to help you out and so, Scaredy, that is what I will do. When planning your night, keep in mind two key components of pre-bacchanalia dinner: civility and carbo-loading. Civility is easy; there are plenty of places in town that will light a candle, throw a couple of decorative gourds on the table, and call it a day, but what you're looking for is a little more complicated than that. You definitely don't want to go anywhere too formal. The fancy, sit down, hours long dinner is just the wrong vibe for a night of costume partying – too stuffy, too lingering, and she'll probably feel weird dining in her cat/ladybug/sexy Buzz Lightyear costume. You say you wanna show her you know how to treat a lady? Well, there's one thing all ladies love, and that thing,my erstwhile friend, is pizza.

"But Emily," you protest, "Pizza is garbage food! Pizza is what you eat at the end of the night after a couple of ladles of mysteriously hued punch. To that I say, a) shut your mouth, don't you talk that way about my friend pizza, and b) aside from its obvious efficiency as a medium for garbage punch absorption, pizza is the perfect way to show a classy lady that you recognize not only her classy ladyness, but also, also, my Scaredy friend, her essential humanity.

Let me explain. We have this joke as a society about the essential falseness of dating, about how when we first start dating someone, we try to act as perfect as possible, for as long as we possibly can, before we let the facade crack and show them the insecure weirdo that lies within. This is the essential hope and fear behind all romantic relationships, heck, maybe all relationships in general: that someone will finally see us. That we will be recognized and known, and loved. This is the beautiful and essential message of date pizza: I see you, I know you, and I am here with carbs.

So, you're getting pizza. Where are you getting pizza, you ask? Easy: the Via 313 truck in front of Violet Crown. The pizzas served there remind me of those little personal pan pizzas you used to get at birthday parties at Pizza Hut when you were a kid, but all grown up and fancified. The dough is pillowy and rich, with a crispy bottom just buttery enough to remind you that you're being indulgent. My personal favorite topping is the Continental, with parmesan, prosciutto, and arugula (three beloved classy lady diet staples, incidentally), but really, it's hard to go wrong. Sit in the bar, have a few beers, and they'll bring some pizza to you. You might even have enough fun that you forget all about the party.

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