Thursday, August 11, 2016

Vagabond Pizza--Wood-Fired Delight

Vagabond Pizza now has a brick and mortar location in downtown Abilene. No more tracking down their food truck for some pizza pies coming from the mobile wood-fired oven. My husband and I were lured in by a Facebook post featuring one of their pizzas with Hatch green chili.  It is chili season!

Caprese salad
The new location has a lot of history according to one of the the owners, Jessica Adams. Most recently it was a jewelry store, before that it was a movie theatre and in the late 1800s, it was Abilene's livery stable. The restaurant opened two months ago and has been doing a booming business. Hence why this write-up didn't occur earlier.

Bar area with features for the week on the board
The decor is exposed brick and wood with open ceilings and industrial style lighting. The oven is at the end of the bar. I imagine it will be quite a draw for people to sit on that side of the room when the winter months arrive. Plus, kids like to watch the fire. It is a medium-sized space for a restaurant and I surmise that there will be a wait during peak times but at 7:30pm on a Wednesday night we were seated at one of the two empty tables. Our server was attentive and very knowledgeable about the menu and the beverage options.
Wood-fired oven

The menu had four items for starters/salads. There was also a very extensive bottled wine list. There was a smaller selections of wines by the glass. My husband was happy that they had a local craft brewery's beer on draft, Pappy Slokum's Local Yella that week. The server said they have a tap dedicated to Pappy Slokum brews. There is also an eclectic selection of bottled soft drinks (no soda fountain) such as Hank's Root Beer ($3), Pellegrino bottled water, and Key City Coffee. The menu does change with the availability of seasonal ingredients and owner/chef's inspiration so there will always be new things to try.

We started with caprese salads ($7) of creamy fresh mozzarella, roasted grape tomatoes, fresh basil and a black garlic balsamic. I enjoyed it very much. The other options were bread and butter, a wedge salad and a green salad.

There were eight pizzas on the menu, including the traditional Margherita ($12), and one weekly special option up on the board above the bar. My husband ordered the Hatch chili pork pizza ($14) that also had pickled onions and a green chili salsa verde as the sauce. I had the "Rosalie" ($14) which was Italian sausage, roasted mushrooms, mozzarella and tomato sauce.

Pork, Hatch green chili, and pickled onions
The crust was tender but had a chew to it. I enjoyed the bit of char from the oven. If you are a person that prefers a crisp crust or a deep dish style crust this is neither. It is hand-made and a bit soft in the middle. I loved the flavor profile of the Italian sausage (fennel is my friend) and the mushrooms on my pizza. If I closed my eyes, Tuscany appeared. There were no "pizza bones" left on my plate.

Italian, sausage and roasted mushrooms
My husband enjoyed his Hatch Chili Pork but his palate likes very strong flavors so he added red pepper flakes, salt, and Parmesan to his pizza for an extra kick. He felt the pork did not have enough seasoning. I had a bite and thought the green chili and pickled onions were perfect together. I didn't get a piece of pork in my bite so I can't speak to the flavor but I certainly enjoyed the chili. The pizzas are about 13-14 inches and big enough to share for smaller appetites.

There were two options for dessert and the name "Saturday Morning Cartoons" ($4) for one of them just begged to be explored. The server described it as a panna cotta that tasted like the milk left over from a bowl of Fruity Pebbles or Fruit Loops. That description nailed it. My husband RAVED about about it. It was garnished with Fruity Pebbles. He devoured it. It may have been his favorite dessert ever.  The server also recommended their honey pie.

Saturday Morning Cartoons dessert
We enjoyed our evening but be forewarned that this is gourmet pizza and priced accordingly. The ingredients are exemplary and the menu is creative. As the saying goes, "you get what you pay for" and Vagabond is worth it. I'm going to follow them on Facebook so I can keep up with new offerings. Oven baked pasta someday, maybe?

I also love how downtown Abilene just keeps getting better and better!

1056 N 2nd St.
Abilene, TX
Open Tues-Sat for lunch and dinner service


  1. She is mistaken about it being the movie theatre. That was where Vera Minter park is now. I can try to find out more about it if you like . . . And yes, it is yummy stuff!

  2. She did mention something that had been on the corner where the park is now. It may have been me that misunderstood about the theatre.

  3. Agreed!!! We loved Vagabond!! I'm kind of sad I didn't order dessert! Sounds amazing.