Il Mascalzone - 2 Houston locations

Hey ya’ll! My first post on Hungry Onion! Do I get a badge?? :sunglasses:

And it all started with the Houston folks’ outing to Coltivare. Yes it was good, no - and I think we agree - not a “stand in line” place but thanks for doing that for our fun outing, Jaymes!

The better pizza is nearby at Il Mascalzone on Shepherd Drive, and there’s another location in the Energy Corridor on Westheimer near Dairy Ashford. I talked at length to the manager, and she said the demographics are much different, as one would expect, many families at the West Houston location, more happy hour and night life on Shepherd Drive.

Il Mascalzone came to Houston earlier this year, a product of an Italian Olympic Boxer who opened 3 successful restaurants in London and now 2 here in Houston. Why Houston? Probably because the food scene is so explosive here and people eat out a lot, if gasoline prices stay stable and the creek don’t rise, both of which are failing right now.

There’s a dearth of business at the Shepherd location at lunch, don’t understand that since the food is outstanding, haven’t been to dinner. Recently had lunch at Shepherd and were presented with the appetizer they called “garlic bread,” (gratis this time) which was a small thin pizza with nothing more than a tomato topping rife with garlic and olive oil and steaming from the wood oven. Outstanding crispy thin crust with freshest of tomato topping, utterly addictive in the “you can’t eat just one slice” variety. A basket of rustic bread is offered to all and comes with a small jar of olive oil, jalapeno and habanero mash up for dipping. I do believe the adage that spicy food raises endorphins, and this certainly made me happy, but beware for your first few bites, and adjust to your tolerance.

I had the Pizza Special, topped with parma ham, mozz, that fresh tomato base and arugula (aka rocket in the Queen’s language) and it was outstanding, pictured.

Literally the next day (today) I took several more people there for lunch and I had the pasta dish, tagliatelle di Mamma Teresa, house made pasta with thinly sliced pancetta, a parmesan cream sauce and topped with radicchio. Must love garlic. Also pictured.

For those low carbing it, they have fish, chicken and beef dishes with fresh veggies, today was asparagus and artichoke hearts, be still my heart. Something for everyone and everyone loved it.

By the way, Tuesday is 1/2 price wine day and today is Tuesday. It being a work day, we did opt for a tad bit of wine for the 6 of us, but the ice tea was also deemed Texas worthy.

In sum, I highly recommend this place.

Take good care and post your experiences!

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Good report. I think you and I have similar preferences in pizza.

I passed this place by when I was headed up to the Heights the other day but couldn’t remember what I’d read or heard about it…there are so many new places opening (and closing).

Good looking menu. I see Antipasto Misto (imported cured meats and cheeses) and some mussels that look good.

As reported a long, long time ago,on a website far, far away…

We’ve been to the far Westheimer edition of il Mascalzone twice. The first time they covered my mother’s pizza with unreported onions. She couldn’t have been more revolted if they had…had… well, let’s just say, she didn’t take it well. Love her dearly. She hates onions, ( except hungry ones).

I had soup and salad and they were good. Lil bro had lasagna and he liked it. “Silky” is what I believe he said about the handmade pasta. Oh, and they comped the pizza which she gamely nibbled after picking off all of the alliums.

And they graciously gave me a take home sample of that pepper sauce. I LOVE THAT STUFF!

The second time I went with buddy and he got fettucine alfredo and I had spaghetti and meatballs. Both of our dishes appeared to have had the pasta pre-plated as they were both gummy and stuck together. The alfredo sauce was the blandest I’ve ever tasted. As usual, aside from the pasta, my dish and especially the meatballs were VERY good.

So all in all, il Mascalzone has been hit-or-miss for us. I see and greatly appreciate the vision, and I very much hope they get it together. I want them to succeed. Really.

I’m overdue for a return, so I’ll rectify that as soon as possible and hopefully it’s everything they, (and I!), want it to be. I’ll let ya’ know.

Let’s eat!

Oh yes, now I remember the Oniongate visit! My pasta was a little sticky but everyone at the table had their fork in it so it was a hit for sure.

Great photos. (At our next get-together, I need a primer course on posting photos. Embarrassing that I’m so ‘last millennium.’

Had lunch with the momster at the far west location yesterday.

She’s suffering with allergies and just not feeling very well. She was wanting some fettucine alfredo and I suggested Mascalzone. She didn’t remember our earlier onion laden visit until we were already in so we ventured on with numerous reminders to the staff about “No onions”.

So we both ordered from the Quick Lunch Menu, (“Guaranteed in and out in about an hour!”).

Mom got the Alfredo with a house salad in lieu of the accompanying soup. (“No Onions!”)

I got the Napoli Fettucine with added Meatballs.

So, first they bring the soups for each of us. Remember mom wanted a salad instead. We later discovered the soup is considered gratis so the salad was just an add on. No problem, but the Carrot Ginger Soup was garnished with chives. Maybe not technically onions, but as far as mom is concerned…well, let’s just say it’s a distinction without a difference.

So her soup went back and she urged me to go ahead and eat while she awaited her greens. So I did. It was OK, but not outstanding. Not very flavorful frankly. In fact after finishing it, I had to ask the server again what exactly it was. Seriously. It wasn’t bad at all - nice creamy texture - but just not very flavorful.

Mom’s salad finally came quite a while after I’d finished my soup. The first thing she did was to pull out a thinly sliced white crescent and laid it on the bread plate, all the while harboring that “Can-You-Believe-It?” look on her face. Quick as a flash, our server was back tableside to assure her it was fennel not onion! Haha! That was pretty funny.

The salad was dressed with the house balsamic vinaigrette. Mom thought it didn’t have much flavor, but splashing a bit of the table vinegar brightened it up a bit.

A little too shortly after her salad arrived, we were presented with the entrees.

Mom pronounced her Alfredo as lacking flavor. By this time I was getting dubious so I helped myself to a fork full and I thought it was excellent. Very buttery, creamy and decadently rich. Just delicious.

I’m pretty sure Mom’s allergies had her taste buds neutralized.

My pasta with meatballs was likewise very good, (but not as good as mine!).

Overall, the best visit I’ve had there. The housemade pasta is nice and the sauces basic but well executed.

Last note: In an earlier post, I had mentioned the hot sauce they provide with the bread. They’ve changed it slightly in that they’re now using habaneros and straining out the solids. I think I liked out old style better, but I like this one also and used it on the soup, the bread and the pasta.

Love my hot stuff.

Ciao’ y’all.

Let’s eat!

I love that hot sauce, and when I was there in December I bought a jar. I noticed that the formula is different although the taste is the same. It is actually creamier than the prior recipe. I’ve had that Alfredo and enjoyed it quite a lot. I love their pizzas though, and generally order the four seasons.

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I tried. I really did. I booked our company Christmas lunch here, twice. I took inumerable friends here. I HO raved every chance I got.

RIP Mascalzone

This second and last location closed on the last day of February 2019. The owner is back off to London and Italy for the remainder of his life.

And so I was surprised to see a new business already in its place here at the Westheimer outpost on March 5, Less than a week after the last meal served! It’s not open quite yet, but the signs are up.

You’ve got big shoes to fill, Creed Italian Restaurant and Bar.

Same here.

I liked it but found it inconsistent.

So Creed is keeping the same menu, including my personal favorite 4 seasons pizza. Also the same chefs!


Dear Mascalzone guest,

This is a message on behalf of Creed Restaurant:

As you may be informed, Creed Italian Restaurant & Bar has taken over our old location at 12126 Westheimer Rd 98, Houston, TX 77077.

Creed Restaurant & Bar is an authentic Italian restaurant with the same chefs and recipes under the management of Elena di Stefano and Ali Delavari.

Elena has been at Mascalzone Restaurant Houston since the restaurant opened in 2014 and will continue to welcome all guests old and new in the best Italian fashion.

Ali is a fifth-generation restaurant owner, who has a lot of experience in hospitality and restaurant business. His specialty is Italian cuisine with lots of passion.

Most of our staff is the same as before. Creed aim to provide customers with supreme service and dining experience, offering authentic Italian food and a bigger selection of wine and drink menu.

As a valued and loyal customer to this restaurant, we would love to see you supporting Creed with their new venture.

Thank you,

Elena & Ali

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Have you ever tried Lasagna House on Eldridge or Piccolo at Westheimer and Windchase?

I haven’t been to Lasagna House in a while, but I’ve been to Piccolo a couple of times in the last year and thought it was a great little mom and pop.

I have been to Lasagna House a few times, but haven’t heard of Piccolo, I’ll have to check that out, love the mom and pop places. The waiter at LH once told me that there is broccoli in all of their lasagnas. I have no idea if these is authentic in any way, but I suspect not. I’m not a big broccoli fan for the most part AND I can’t even taste it in their lasagna, I just find it odd.

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