HOUSTON VOICE www.houstonvoice.com
C dining ja chapman
Ingredients are fresh and the toppings generous as
Candelari's Pizzeria expands to the Heights with
with copious garlic, fennel and family recipe sausage.
Pizza at its best
JUNE 17, 2005 19
Wfv dd Sol
Fine South American
Cuisine with a
Argentinian Churrascos a^P
THE CHEESE WAS STILL BUBBLING
when the waiter placed the pizza on the
raised stand atop our table. Garlic and
fennel wafted towards us, and the crispy
yeast crust begged for us to dig in.
We were sitting in the new Candelari's
Pizzeria. I had stumbled across it when a
construction detour sent me for a spin
around the new Washington-on-Westcott
roundabout. A sign that read, "Now
Open" caught my eye. Candelari's had
arrived in the Heights.
Candelari's Pizzeria opened a few
years ago in Beliaire. A storefront pizzeria, with mostly take-out business, it's
been a hit from the beginning. Owner
Michael Mays, the self-proclaimed King of
Sausages, had been making his outstanding sausages from his grandfather
Candelari's secret recipes for many years.
Opening a pizza joint gave him the chance
to serve them to the public.
The Heights restaurant is the second
location for Candelari's and offers much
more dine-in seating as well as beer and
wine. But would the pizza quality hold up
in this fancy new space? I'm pleased to
report it's as good as ever.
Candelari's is a straightforward place. The
menu is on the wall, and you order at the
counter Get your own drinks and silverware
and they'll bring your food out to your table.
Whatever you do, be sure to order something with Candelari's Italian sausage. It's
loaded with garlic and fennel and has a
spicy kick. It shows up all over the menu,
from the pizzas to the pastas and sandwiches. It's simply some of the best Italian
sausage you'll find anywhere.
Candelari's offers the usual collection
of signature pizzas ($14 - $20), which are
loaded with toppings. The Papa Albert's
offers a good mix of sausage, pepperoni
and vegetables, and plenty of mozzarella.
Vegetarians might like the Spinaci, which
comes with a parmesan crust, spinach,
tomatoes, feta and basil, which provides a
bright burst of flavor.
The ingredients are fresh, and they're
generous with the toppings. If the crust
sometimes gets a little soggy, or the
cheese is a bit gloopy, these are minor
quibbles. Overall, Candelari's offers some
of the best pizza in town.
If you're not in the mood for pizza, pastas and sandwiches are on the menu as
well. Try a grinder-a large sub sandwich.
The meatball grinder ($6.95) was served on
a crisp baguette and topped with marinara
sauce. The meatballs were a little plain, but
the sauce was zippy. All grinders come
with mustard sauce or Italian dressing,
which struck me as odd considering the
whole thing was dripping with marinara. I
used my not-too-spicy mustard sauce as a
dip for my potato chips.
THIS TIME OF YEAR, A CHILLED SALAD
is a welcome option. The house salad ($5.95)
is crisp and cool and loaded with goodies.
The robust vinaigrette is a good topper. Or
try the snappy Caesar ($5.95), which is
tossed with plenty of parmesan and a
For a good overview of Candelari's pizza
varieties, try visiting at lunch time for the
all you can eat pizza buffet. For $7.95 you
get a salad, drink and all the pizza you can
manage. They don't skimp on the pizzas,
offering many of their signature pizzas, as
well as some simple one-topping pizzas.
I sampled the Polio Arrosto pizza from
the lunch buffet, and while I'm not normally a chicken pizza fan, I found the
roasted garlic, sun-dried tomato and feta
cheese combination irresistible. The T-
Rex, loaded with meats including the
excellent Candelari's andouille sausage, is
a carnivore's dream.
Candelari's in the Heights is already
busy. It can be packed in the evening and
very loud, helped along by the wood floor
and copper-topped tables. There's a spacious deck on two sides of the building,
but, despite the fans, it's really warm this
time of year. With the first cool breeze in
fall, no doubt it will be prime real estate.
713 520 2128*1 1111 WESTHEIMER
Lunch and Dinner with a full bar 7 DAYS
a week. Early Morning and Late Night
Fort Lauderdale Real Estate
Put Coldwell Banker's
Top Producer to work for You
6002 Washington Ave.
Food: '•' '•' '•' ••'
Value: ••' I* t* •»
»■ = Stay home and eat cereal
m ** = Well, if you really must
I* m m = Fine for all but the finicky
m W m W =Worth more than a
m m m m m =As good as you'll
find in this city
LUTHERAN CHURCH (UCC) \
No matter who you are, or where you are on life s journey.
you're welcome at Bethel, the "Church with Open Arms.''
Visit our Open and Affirming community this Sunday!
1107 Shepherd Drive @ Center Street
Houston, TX 77007 • 7134(14670
Sunday School 9:00 AM
Sunday Worship 10:30 AM
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