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Author Topic: Neapolitans in Austin: Desano and Bufalina Due  (Read 455 times)

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Offline Gene in Acadiana

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Neapolitans in Austin: Desano and Bufalina Due
« on: September 18, 2019, 01:12:44 PM »
I spent a long weekend in Austin and tried two new (to me) pizza joints - both located on the north side of town and both specializing in Neapolitan style.

Desano, which I later learned is a small national chain, seems to have taken a cue from the Five Guys burger chain model and have their inventory of ingredients on full display as you walk in with stacks of 55# bags of Polselli 00 flour and boxes of San Marzano tomatoes lining the entrance way. They want you to know they are all about using traditional Italian ingredients and are serious about making authentic Neapolitan pizza by baking under VPN guidelines, so our hopes were very high. We ordered a 16" Margherita Classica VPN ($22) to test the waters. After about a two-and-a-half to three minute bake (the first sign something was not quite right), our pizza comes out and it looks good but not exactly the way a true Neapolitan should. It was also much crispier on the bottom and had a much more dense crust. The crust actually leaned more toward New York style than Neapolitan, which I thought was very odd for a Neapolitan place striving so hard to be "authentic." Another puzzling thing was the cheese. Although mozzarella di bufala is listed as being used on just about on every one of their pies, it didn't taste like it and was not creamy and soft like you would expect. All in all, the pizza was good, just not great. It was also a bit overpriced. 

On Saturday afternoon we tried Bufalina Due hoping for a better Neapolitan. Pressed for time, we were forced to break the golden pizza rule and ordered it to go, but even after a 10 minute trip back to the hotel in a cardboard box, it did not disappoint. Again we went with the classic margherita ($14) and it was everything we wanted from a Neapolitan - soft, pillowy crust with good flavor, excellent but simple sauce, and creamy mozzarella (how Desano's should have tasted). The bake was also a little over a minute - just where you want it to be. This was the pizza we were expecting at Desano after all of their VPN hype. Thankfully Bufalina Due delivered, without all the pretense.   

Offline TXCraig1

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Re: Neapolitans in Austin: Desano and Bufalina Due
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2019, 01:40:14 PM »
Is Desano related to Antico in Atlanta?
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Offline jsaras

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Re: Neapolitans in Austin: Desano and Bufalina Due
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2019, 01:53:47 PM »
Desano in Hollywood cold ferments their dough, and I donít recall them boasting about the VPN.  That may be a new-ish thing for them.  I agree that their pizza is middle of the pack.
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Offline Gene in Acadiana

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Re: Neapolitans in Austin: Desano and Bufalina Due
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2019, 02:10:36 PM »
Desano in Hollywood cold ferments their dough, and I donít recall them boasting about the VPN.  That may be a new-ish thing for them.  I agree that their pizza is middle of the pack.

It might be a new angle for them. Their homepage states "At DeSano Pizzeria, we follow the strict guidelines of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana (VPN), preserving the centuries old craft of making authentic Neapolitan pizza." This is what initially caught my attention when searching for a new pizza place in Austin to try and the sole reason we went.   

Offline Gene in Acadiana

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Offline thezaman

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Re: Neapolitans in Austin: Desano and Bufalina Due
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2019, 02:11:49 PM »
Is Desano related to Antico in Atlanta?


  Craig, I'm pretty sure Desano bought the rights or concept from Antico.

Offline Tscarborough

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Re: Neapolitans in Austin: Desano and Bufalina Due
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2019, 06:40:36 PM »
Desano isn't bad, but it is on the very edge of Neapolitan at best.  Bufalina Due is Bufalina, the best in town, not counting Pieous in Dripping Springs.

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