The new location of Russo's Coal Oven Pizza on I-10 near Echo is not afraid to char the crust a little. The oven was running at 660 degrees when I stopped in at 3:30 in the afternoon. I ordered a large size pie with Italian sausage. The hand-thrown dough was cooked directly on the stone floor of the oven for a few minutes until it got a little blistered. Then the pizza man moved it onto a steel pizza pan to keep it from getting any blacker. I wanted to stop him when he burst the yeast bubbles with the cutting tool, but I kept my mouth shut.
The resulting pizza was incredibly crisp with a lightly blackened crust. The Italian sausage was very spicy with a nice fennel aroma. At $18, this ain't a cheap pie, but for coal oven pizza lovers, it's worth every penny. To get the full effect, eat it at the restaurant while it's still piping hot.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW