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Restaurants & Bars 5

il Mascalzone

DoobieWah | Mar 9, 201512:41 PM

This is an Italian spot that opened in the former Portugalia space across Westheimer from Phoenicia Market.

OBD and I had ducked into there for coffee one day a couple of weeks ago and vowed to return.

I won't go into the backstory, as it's available here, ( http://www.ilmascalzone.com/ ) and here, ( http://www.ilmascalzone.com/usa ) but it's worth the read.

Anyway, OBD our mom and I decided to give it a shot yesterday before the ballet, (Romeo and Juliet, last performance, you missed it). Mom wanted pizza so I agreed to share one with her. We got the Capricciosa which lists its ingredients as "mozzarella, ham, peppers, anchovies, egg and tomato base". My family loves anchovies. Mom used to lace our salads with them straight out of the can forty...fifty years ago. (Can't get enough of those salty little bastards!).

Unfortunately, what they didn't list were lots and lots of red onions. And my mom, who will eat an anchovy off of a fork, will not eat an onion. So when they set that pizza down it was immediate, sheer revulsion. She gamely picked off as much as she could and ate a couple of slices but alas, the die was cast.

OBD ordered the lasanga with freshly made pasta and offered to swap with her, but she refused.

Mom also ordered a green side salad and yours truly ordered the zuppa del giorno, (soup of the day), a rich thick and hearty mushroom.

Mom didn't love her salad either, unfortunately. The salad was pretty basic - a little lettuce, a little frisee, some cucumbers and green bell peppers. They were just chopped a little too large for her little mommy mouth. And let me tell you about their house dressing - a homemade creamy balsamic. Just delicious.

On our way in the door, I noticed a shelf with oils, etc, and several serving jars of orange condiment. Such a bright orange, it immediately caught my eye and I was delighted when they brought a jar of it to the table unbidden. Visually, it was very reminiscent of the chili oil served in almost every Chinese restaurant except it had a much brighter fruity flavor along with the heat. I LOVE THAT STUFF!

OBD's lasagna was great also. Made with homemade pasta, OBD called it "silky".

So let me sum up.

Pizza was great but had unannounced onions, so it was gratis. They kindly offered to remake it, but as we were a bit pressed for time, we declined so instead they took it off of the bill.

We had two slices of pizza left over which they boxed up for us. I asked for some of the spicy stuff which they also happily gifted me, as well as a ramekin of their salad dressing.

Let me interject here to say that "Shit happens". It's what you do afterwards that makes the difference and they did it right. Kudos.

The pizza was great. (Oh I forgot to mention the pizza oven. Big ass monster robot looking thing that spins inside. Read the press stuff on their website if you want to know more about the hardware.). If I have a complaint, it's that they put too much stuff on the pizza. That style of pizza shines best with a few quality ingredients in my opinion. The onions and anchovies would have been enough for me. Sorry mom!

The homemade pasta was excellent.

The homemade salad dressing was excellent.

The homemade pepper oil condiment stuff was beyond excellent.

Y'all should give it a try if you're in the area. I don't think I'll get mom back in there, but OBD and I will make it a regular stop.

Let's eat!

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