It’s sort of embarrassing, but I sit around and reminisce about food some times, reading old blog posts and looking at photos, thinking about how much I love great butter or a pan of rice. It’s even more fun with friends, like at a get together last night where I was talking about a barbecue trip I took with my brother last year, where I ended up showing a stranger pictures of short ribs on my phone like they’re my children.
When I talk about that BBQ trip, I inevitably think of Via 313, a food truck outside of a bar on the east side of Austin serving Detroit style pan pizza that knocked me for a loop. It was THE bar pizza of my dreams, greasy and crispy in all the right ways – pan pizza done exceptionally well. It was also a reminder that just about any style of pizza, created properly, can be special for certain reasons, and that a scrappy surprise can be more satisfying than hype and pedigree.
Though I have been hearing a positive buzz about O4W pizza amongst peers, it certainly has not received the attention of the typical pie house during the golden era of the Atlanta pizza wars, a crusty time in our food history rife with mean blog comments, arguments over forks and knives, and charry upskirt candids. Owner Anthony Spina recently moved down from New Jersey and in January opened in the Irwin Street Market, a welcome respite from nearby Krog Street Market, and he’s been quietly making excellent pizzas. I finally visited a couple weeks ago and have since been eager to return.
The menu offers Jersey and grandma style by the pie or the slices. As this was lunch stop #2 after a visit to KSM, we shared three slices, which were pulled from whole pies on display, and appeared to be recently made. Two were Jersey style (thin, sort of like NY style) and the other a grandma slice, which is like a thinner Sicilian (this version quite thin) but gets a great greasy crust which I expected to be a bit crunchier but could be a function of us ordering by the slice.
I don’t want to oversell it, but it’s a kind of pizza we don’t really have, unpretentious and delicious with beautiful and plentiful sauce (I love a ton of sauce but it doesn’t work well on Neapolitan styles) and a great mix of cheeses and vegetables like plump artichoke hearts and mushrooms. The grandma pie has the potential to be one of my favorite pizzas in town, and I plan on ordering a whole pan next time ($23.50 for 12 slices) to see if the crust is a little firmer. I expect it will be, and I love that this style offers some of the traits of a pan pizza, without being overly filling.
O4W is definitely worth a visit, and a perfect new spot to try if you are heading to KSM and have a panic attack. Or if you want to enjoy some delicious, uncomplicated pizza.