I was lucky enough to be invited to a pre-opening tasting evening at Patrizi’s, a brand new Italian food truck living in the backyard of the Vortex on Manor. Well, let me rephrase: the truck is new but the food and recipes aren’t exactly brand new. Proprietor Nic Patrizi (you might recognize him as the owner of Jalopy) is picking up where his family left off – all his recipes and cooking methods come from over fifty years of family tradition. The Patrizis originally owned an Italian restaurant in Beaumont, TX and now he’s carrying the torch in Austin, thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign and a whole lotta heart.
While the food is coming from a truck, the entire concept itself feels like an enchanting sit-down Italian restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised by the ambiance and seating area. It’s seriously charming. What can I say, I’m a total sucker for twinkle lights.
Patrizi’s utilizes basic Italian touches – red and white decor, old-school oval white platters – and the result is a cozy, relaxing space, perfect for enjoying a meal with friends and family. Unlike some trailers where I feel like I want to pick up my to-go food and get outta there, Patrizi’s is a place where I would happily wile away an evening over good conversation and a couple bottles of wine.
No matter how pretty a space is, though, it doesn’t matter if the food doesn’t live up to expectations. No worries on that here, though. I have to call it right now: Patrizi’s is one of the best, if not the best, Italian restaurants in Austin. The handmade noodles are a revelation. You can taste the care and quality in each bite. Patrizi’s pasta reminds me of one of my favorite Italian restaurants back in Seattle, Il Corvo, and that’s no small praise. The name of the game here is FRESH. Fresh pasta, fresh cheese, fresh vegetables and herbs. Everything that could possibly be homemade is made homemade. They’re growing a herb garden behind the trailer, they make their own garlic confit and infuse their own garlic olive oil, and of course all the sauces are made from scratch with only the most fresh, natural ingredients.
I lovelovelove pasta in theory, but I don’t eat it on a regular basis. For me to indulge in a big plate of pasta, it has to be worth it. Fresh, toothsome, drenched in a delicious sauce, etc. This pasta, my friends, is worth it.
Can we talk about those meatballs, by the way? Probably the best meatballs I’ve ever had. They’re HUGE, but not too dense… and perfectly seasoned. That ricotta on the last photo (Patrizi’s Pomodoro) is homemade, too. Obviously.
Great food in a great location, made by great people with a huge passion for upholding family culinary traditions and sharing their love with the hungry people of Austin… what’s not to adore about this place? I have a good feeling I’ll be heading towards this Italian oasis every time I get a pasta craving from now on. (Plus, I have to mention, all the entrees average around $10 for a generous portion, so I won’t be breaking the bank. Way cheaper than those fancy downtown restaurants that charge double the price for plates with a fraction of the heart and flavor.)
Major thanks to Nic Patrizi and the rest of the gang for inviting us out to such a lovely evening. I can’t wait for everyone else in Austin to check ’em out! They’re still in the soft opening phase right now, but should be officially up and running the first week of June according to their Facebook. I mean it – next time you’re in the mood for pasta on a warm spring evening, grab some friends and a few bottles of wine and head to Patrizi’s. This is the kind of restaurant that Austin deserves.