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Pizzeria Taqueria (Por Mis Cazuelas Taqueria)

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Pizzeria Taqueria (807 Telephone Road, 713-921-9250) is tucked behind a Jack in the Box, in a nondescript building with a red roof. When we walked in, we felt a little awkward -- the only other people there were making out in the middle of the dining area.

The menu was written in Sharpie on boards hanging above the counter. All pizzas were $6.99 (one size); most pastas were $6 (the shrimp pasta was $7); and most of the taqueria menu was $3. There were 12 different choices of pizza, and they all sounded good. Since we were sharing, we had the luxury of getting a few items -- vegetarian pizza, barbecue pizza, and an order of spaghetti and meat sauce. After a few minutes, the place started to smell amazing -- garlic, beef and onion started to waft over the seats, and our mind kept drifting from our companions to the sounds sizzling from the kitchen. The bill was just more than $21 for two medium pizzas and a big portion of spaghetti. The gracious owner told us to come back anytime.

When we got back to school, we were immediately drilled about where we'd gotten the food - and everyone wanted a slice.

We happily shared, as this was more pizza than we were expecting for the price. The barbecue pizza was topped with barbecue sauce instead of the red stuff, white meat chicken, a mozzarella cheese mix, and fresh cilantro. It was a nice combination, and the crust was nice and fluffy, not the thin crispy stuff or the greasy junk you get at Pizza Hut. The chicken was a little dry on top, but that is expected with white meat. We think the crust was homemade, but we're not sure. Whatever, it was good. The vegetable pizza was topped with a thin layer of marinara, lots of cheese, and lots of sweet, tender vegetables. It wasn't the most authentic pizza out there, but this stuff was good.

The spaghetti was more like Mom's spaghetti - hot, meaty, fresh, and very flavorful, with chunks of beef, onion, peppers, and carrot. It came with a few slices of boring bread; even so, we wished we had a little more sauce to sop up with it.

Overall, this place is a keeper. They serve quality ingredients for inexpensive prices, plus it's about two minutes from the University of Houston campus. We'll be back next time to try the taqueria menu.

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