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Coal Vines? [Dallas] Pizza

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I just read the Coal Vine's review on Guidelive.

Two questions:

1) Who is that reviewer? I'm not familiar with her work.

2) Is the pizza anything like Fireside Pies? Better? Worse?

TT

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  1. In my opinion it's the best pizza in Dallas by far. Much better than Fireside Pies, although a very different style. NY style thin crust baked in a very very hot coal fired oven.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mfindfw

      If you want to ea overprized pizza and/or meet blonde chicks with enhanced body parts go to Fireside Pies or Coal Vines. If you want to eat excellent pizza ther is (sadly) only one place to go in DFW: Campania.

    2. Well I went here recently to find every waiter running around like they couldn't find the tables; no hostess; manager that couldn't look you in the eye; no pizza dough!; and worst of all, an owner(Joe Palladino)who arrogantly introduced himself as if proud of a pizza joint that has no dough. What a Napoleonic jerk!

      1 Reply
      1. re: dgdallas

        Our first time there, we waited and waited to order then grabed the wrong Asian waiter. (Apparently the Asian girls are the only ones that fit inside.) Anyhow, she helped us with our orders and questions. Been back almost 11 times now (sometimes just my husband and I, and 2 times with 6-7 people) and Andria always serves us. Ask for her and you can't go wrong. She won't try to rush you out.

      2. Frontburner posted an email conercing Coal Vines:

        http://frontburner.dmagazine.com/arch...

        1. Went there on Friday for lunch. Service was polite and attentive (despite the fact that the interior and most of the patio were full). The pizza took a while to arrive--maybe a half hour. But it was good pizza. Thin crust, bubbled and charred in places, crisp all the way across, and with a nice chew. (One of the two pizzas got a little cracker-like in a couple of spots. Not too bad, though.) Toppings didn't overwhelm the crust. Easily in the top tier for pizza in Dallas. I'll definitely be back, though perhaps I should wait till some of the post-review madness dies down.

          Scott

          1. Have eaten there 4-5 times & picked up to go a couple of times. Each time service has been very friendly, although the lack of a defined host/ess area as you walk in can be a bit confusing. Have only tried two of the pizzas, the original & bolognese, both were excellent although I prefer the original. Salads were also good, although the star is clearly the pizza. Crisp crust, charred just right in a few spots from the hot coals, excelllent sauce to cheese ratio. You can actually feel the heat radiating from the oven as you stand at the bar. On one occasion when picking up to go I called ahead, the pizzas wasn't ready when I arrived. I paid & waited at the bar a few minutes before heading outside to wait. A few minutes later the chef brought out my pizza with an apology that the oven was not as hot as he would like so the crust was not up to his standard, still good just not as good as he would like. He insisted on refunding my money. It was still one of the best pizzas I've ever had in Dallas. A class act. Also worth noting that prices for the pizza are very reasonable, you could easily spend the same for a far lower quality pizza. I think they may be having some service issues as a result of increased traffic after the recent review, but I'm hopeful they will recover. I'll certainly be be back.

            1. I just don't get it. I want to, but I don't. I have been there 4 times now and ordered different items. All not impressive to warrant the huge crowd and slow kitchen. Yesterday, the parking lot was full of people standing around with beer and wine waiting in 100 degree temperatures. The heat might get to them before TABC. Help me understand why this place is so great!!! I love the concept-not the food.
              As for the staff, many are Dallas vets in the biz. With that in mind, I was remembered by several employees who worked at other fav spots so, I have never had an issue with service.

              1. I'm a transplanted NY'er with an affection for good pizza. I tried the sausage and roasted pepper pizza at Coal Vines the other day. It was just ok. There was nothing particularly notable about it. I thought the dough was a too thin and bland. The sauce, cheese and toppings were solid, definitely above average, but as a whole, it is not a pizza I would go out of my way for. Oh well ... the search continues.

                1. So snatex, what do you think about some of the other Pizza places in town? Fireside Pies, Taverna, Pastizos, Campania?

                  TT

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: TexasToast

                    Pastazios has about the right thickness I like in a pizza but I am not a big fan of their sauce. Campania screwed up my pie my first time there so I need to give it another try. I think the first pizza chef they had has gone back to Italy. I ordered a pie with fresh buffalo mozzarella and instead of cooking the pie and adding the mozzrarella at the end, he cooked the pie with the fresh mozzarella from the beginning so it was a soggy, soupy pizza. Pretty bad. I've only had Fireside once, and it was awhile back, but I remember not liking the truffle oil that they put on the pie. Again I need to give it another try. It sucks they don't do lunch. Taverna is on my list of places to try as well.

                    Sal's is probably still my favorite in town.

                    1. re: snatex

                      Sal's is actually quite good, but not as good as people make it out to be. Judging by what you've written, you'll probably like Taverna. How can you NOT like truffle oil on your pizza? What we need is more Truffle oil . . . on everyday things, like French Fries (like at GEORGE, R.I.P.)

                      TT

                      1. re: TexasToast

                        I love Taverna's pizza.

                        I think Fireside Pies is completely overrated. The last time I was there, the pizza was completely soggy from grease and they were charging 6 bucks for a Shiner. We had several pies there that were greasy and decided not to bother again.

                        My absolute favorite pizza in Dallas is Louie's, but it's sort of different. Very thin cracker crust. Delicious.

                  2. I think Patrizio's deserves a nod for their pizza as well.

                    I've never had Taverna's pizza but I love to order their "Taverna Focaccia", served thin crust pizza style and topped with pancetta, pine nuts, arugula, and parmesan.

                    Snatex, have you been back to Campania? You can taste the freshness of their ingredients and the toppings are not overly rich like (in my opinion) Fireside Pies.

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: interference

                      I have been back to Campania since. It has been excellent every time. It has definitely surpassed Sal's and is probably my current fav.

                      1. re: snatex

                        Snatex - Glad you gave Campania another shot. I love that place, although I've been meaning to try out Coal Vines as well. It is definitely worth mentioning that Campania is BYOB... they bring wine glasses and an corkscrew without batting an eye. I'm hoping they don't ever bother to get a liquor license, because we have far too few BYOBs in Dallas as it is.

                        1. re: interference

                          Believe it or not, one of my favorite things to order at Campania is the tuna salad. I guess it's like a Nicoise, but without potatoes. That and a slice (or 2) of my husband's pizza makes a great, not too heavy dinner. The salad is so good that even he has to have a few bites of it.

                          If you're in the mood for something different, try Coal Vines for Sunday brunch. They have some unusual pizza toppings such as lox and eggs. I LOVE the crust. My only complaint was that I wished they had used smoked salmon instead of plain lox. It was actually too salty for my taste, but my husband enjoyed it. We also discovered that when the menu says "Personal" size pizza, it really means "Medium".

                          The French Toast was also surprisingly good and was a fairly large portion. Their Frittatas also looked really good on the table next to me, but we I haven't tried them yet.

                          For the best service, try to get there when they open (11:00 AM) and make sure you aren't in a hurry. That place is VERY small and fills up quickly.

                          1. re: Webra1

                            Webra, I'll definitely have to try Campania's tuna salad. Their house salad (insalata basica) is usually flawless. Perfect tomatoes, romaine lettuce, awesome mozzarella, and a very light vinaigrette. That's it. Nice and simple. Well-balanced so you can taste each ingredient.

                      2. re: interference

                        Yikes, I need to remove my previous endorsement for Patrizio's. It was gone way down hill since it was sold last year to one of the largest operators of McDonald's franchises in N. Texas.

                        1. re: interference

                          Yep I found the same thing recently, I was very sad to see the downhill slide.

                      3. Coal Vines is my fave when considering atmosphere and service, After living in NY I think it's close as I've had to the REAL thing. Have asked why they don't sell slices since they market themselves as a neighborhood joint. They said they did at first....They are opening new stores in Frisco and SLake soon. Had the pasts special (porcini rav w truffle cream) and it was excellent. This place is hard to beat. MH

                        1. I went to coal vines in Southlake tonight. I thought it was very good. The dough had crispiness and chewiness. Plain flavor. Just thick enough to hold the toppings, which were very good. We had a bolognese and a white special. Overall the pizzas had a nice balance to them. The atmosphere and service were pretty lacking, but it's just pizza, i don't need those things.

                          1. I've been on the great Pizza quest since eating at Grimaldi's in Brooklyn and Patsy's in Harlem a few years back. I've nailed it at home and have tried many on the way. I think Coal Vines is probably the best in Dallas. Yes, Joe's a twit, it's too hot and crowded with the fickle 50 many times. We go on off times and it's really good and reasonable IMO. $14 for a large and wine that's just one tick over retail which you will not find in Dallas. I've been to everywhere else mentioned many times with the exception of Campania. Can some give me a little more detail re: the decor and crowd/scene? BYOB is a big plus.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: J.R.

                              By way of disclaimer, I have only tried Campania once, and it was near when they opened. But, it was not very good at at all. We ordered their version of the margareta (sp?) and, while the toppings were good, the crust was flat out terrible. Very soggy, despite explicitly asking for a tad well done. Honestly, if it were not for the glowing recommendations from this board, I would not go back. But, I am willing to give it another try.

                              1. re: DFWGuy

                                Agree with DFWGuy, we recently tried Campania and found both the service and food to be quite bad.

                                1. re: offthemenu

                                  I have had plenty of bad service at Campania but, never a bad pie. I would try it again and forget about the service.

                                  1. re: sl1

                                    I would call the service at Campania "minimalist." All they really do is bring glasses and a corkscrew for your BYO, jot down your pizza order, and bring it out to you. The servers don't tell jokes or strive to be pizza sommeliers. Without alcohol sales they're not making much on tips anyway. It's perfectly functional, in my opinion.

                                    We continue to enjoy the pizza quality there.

                            2. I like Coal Vines but I looove Marco's. It's only been around about 40 years and have been eating there that long. The crust is thin and crispy, sauce has just enough tang to make your mouth water when you eat it and keep you addicted. Also has just the right amount of grease sitting on top, not too much, to be totally satisying. It's just a tiny take out with a smattering of two tops at the corner of Preston & Royal. I think they just started excepting credit cards. Used to be cash only.

                              1. Coal Vines and Fireside really depend on the location...the Uptown locations of both Coal Vines and Fireside are both pretty good. I haven't been in awhile to either - but I've seen some discouraging things as both have expanded. Swapping out original wood (fireside) or coal (coal vines) burning ovens for gas fired ovens. Really affects the quality of the pizza.

                                Campania in West Village can be good - but there it depends on who is making the pizza. They just have regular deck ovens - but they do use nice fresh ingredients. The one in Southlake is better with wood-burning ovens.

                                In Dallas, Olivella's is your best bet. I've also heard good things about Pulcinella just a bit east from Fireside on Knox/Henderson. Grimaldi's in West Village is gross. They are a chain from Phoenix that bought the name from the Grimaldi family in NY. On the way to the airport, try Cavalli Pizza just off Beltline and 635.

                                1. We've been to Coal Vines several times and its always crowded. Pizza is good but not spectacular. Service is very efficient since those girls have practically no where to walk. My fiance tried to close our tab at the bar and the manager helped her. I came out from the toliet as he took the wine to the table after her and heard him say dirty comments about wanting her. Young guy server, okay. But middle-age man and manager at that? No thanks. Now we order take out on occasion, but Fireside is better.

                                  1. Yum to Coal Vines Bolognese Pizza. Instead of Fireside Pies try Pulcinella on Henderson. Same type of pizza plus a larger, more diverse menu. I don't understand the lines at Fireside.