Tag Archives: Pizza

Olivella’s provides crisp pies, rustic atmosphere

Thin crust pizza is everywhere lately, so when one place serving Neapolitan-style pizza has a line out the door almost every night, it’s doubtful you’ll walk out disappointed. Southern Methodist University is lucky to be across from Olivella’s, a small restaurant serving up crispy pies topped with fresh tomato sauce.

The regina margherita pizza at Olivella's. Photo by Taylor Adams

This isn’t your hearty, greasy, guilty-but-pleasing pizza, but it’s one that has a light satisfaction, with less guilt and more than enough flavors. The menu has enough pies to choose from, as well as salads, pastas and sandwiches.

The margherita is a good choice here, though the regina margherita, for $1 more, is worth the small investment for the blend of housemade cheeses, rather than the housemade mozzarella in the classic.

Even in the winter, these tomatoes seem fresh enough to make your pizza soggy with tomato juice (which is one reason you don’t take your time eating a pie here with tomatoes on it).

Some other pies load the thin, bubbled crust with meat, any of which are satisfactory, but whichever piece you pick up from the metal pan will have a stream of grease coming from it.

Salads are typical and a good intro for your pie, but they aren’t worth filling up on before your meal.

The cramped restaurant of mismatched, wobbling tables gives you a feeling you’ve stepped into a pizza joint outside of Dallas, and there’s a good chance you’ll start your wine before the meal. The wine list is a short one, listing domestic and Italian wines, any of which typically come out a bit too warm.

The pizzas are also available for carry-out if you don’t feel like waiting for a table in the restaurant or on the sidewalk in front of it.

Olivella's is located at 3406 McFarlin Blvd. in Dallas.

3406 McFarlin Blvd., Dallas 75205, 214-528-7070 (The second location, Neo Pizza, provides a rather different experience in Victory Park)
11:45 a.m. “until the oven closes,” which is listed between 10-11 p.m., daily
Ambiance: Indoor and sidewalk seating. Wobbling, wooden tables that provide minimal elbow room with a pie and drinks on them.
Attire: Casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Wine and beer


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Uptown in a slice and a glass: Coal Vines

In my recent trip to New Jersey–the one where I tasted a life-changing cannoli–we tried a number of pizzas to find the one that would change our perception of cheese-covered bread. While most of it was fine, nothing made us think, “what will I do without this at home?” In fact, when we tried one recent place after we got back, we were  quite glad to be in Dallas.

White special pizza with basil at Coal Vines.

Coal Vines is consistent in serving up a fine duo of wine and pizza. The white special is our favorite, a thicker, doughy crust topped with mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan, sliced tomatoes and garlic, though it’s always better with added basil. The ingredients, on this one or any other pie, are simple but combined to make a pizza better than many others in this city (and in Marlton, New Jersey).

Zucchini chips at Coal Vines.

Before you have a chance to choose your wine, you’re brought zucchini chips–little bites of a salty and slightly greasy vegetable that you’ll quickly find addicting. The caesar salad is usually  a safe order for an appetizer, though this last time we got it, the copious amount of anchovy was too much to bear–so much that we actually sent it back…

The wine list is always great to peruse; and while we debate going crazy to get a Cakebread or Silver Oak, there are always a couple of bottles on special for the evening. If it’s below 105 degrees, the patio is a nice spot, overlooking the intersection of Cedar Springs and Maple, but busy with uptown socialites and pizza lovers alike.

Wherever you sit, skip over the entrees on your first visit and go for a pie. The dough on this pizza is a perfect medium for carrying toppings covered in cheese. This doughy crust makes some pick up the silverware, or make others do the pizza fold. Available toppings are fairly traditional (and, unfortunately, lacking truffle oil) and the set pizzas are all good starting points. The marinara and white pizzas are good basics, or try the bolognese to upgrade your American pie.

Do go for the entrees eventually–after you try three kinds of pizzas, the lemon sole piccata is worth a shot.

Coal Vines
Location: 2404 Cedar Springs Road, Dallas, 214-855-4999
Hours: Monday through Wednesday, 11 a.m to 12 a.m. Thursday and Friday, 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Saturday 11 a.m. to 1 a.m. Sunday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. (Brunch is available Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
Price: $$
Service: Prompt, though not terribly friendly
Ambiance: Uptown hangout
Attire: Business casual
Payment Information: Major credit cards accepted
Alcohol: Beer and wine served
Seating: Indoor and patio

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Some perfect pizza found in a Dallas dive

It has one door. It holds one bar that reaches down one side of the small room it has for dining. It has a few windows that never get to let in light. It doesn’t even have a website. What it does have is a retro interior that serves as the ideal setting for martinis and pizza.

Louie’s is known for its pizza in Dallas, which explains how this small building on the side of the road gets adequate business on a Monday night.

After walking through the miniature entryway, we waited to be seated (which, by the way, you don’t need to do) and already heard the bartender taking martini orders from three arriving customers.

And just a slight warning for you while you’re waiting on your meal to arrive: the bartender serves his drinks generously strong (at least it was for my Cape Codder).

The small Caesar we ordered was more than an appetizer to split, but acceptable considering it was $7. Had the dressing recipe used half the amount of anchovy that it did, this acceptably-sized salad would have been gratifying–and I’m a true appreciator of anchovy flavor in a Caesar. But some sparse croutons and just a light dusting of Parmesan couldn’t save the overwhelming fish taste in this one.

Thankfully, my main meal wasn’t near the disappointment of the Caesar. I prefer a thin crust on my pizza, as do many Dallasites, according to the full tables in this establishment. But Louie’s has the crust that is both crisp  enough to make a loud bite and sturdy enough to hold your toppings of choice.

My pizza last night had pepperoni and jalepenos (which my date proceeded to tell me makes a nacho out of a pizza). I appreciate a copious amount of cheese on my pizza, and the Wisconsin cheese layer on this one simply made me eat more than I should have.

Next trip, I may jump on the crab claws for appetizers and try one of Louie’s sandwiches. But I may take a pizza home afterward, just in case.

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