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Red House Pizzeria adds a chef, changes happy hours

Mike Sutter

Here's some hard news for fans of the Red House Pizzeria's half-price pizza happy hours: They're history. But with that comes some easier news: Red House has dropped its pizza prices, added a late-night happy hour, introduced new cocktails like the Porch Swing and Miss Kitty from Rachael Davis and brought on chef John Galindo to overhaul the menu.

The new happy hours run daily from 5 to 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. to close, with half-price appetizers, $2 Lone Stars, $3 punch and $4 house wine. Under Red House's new pricing, 12-inch pizzas are $7-$9 all the time, and 14-inch pies are $10-$12.

For Galindo, the change will allow the pizzeria to evolve.

"When I came in here, we were doing 16-inch and 14-inch pies, half-price, 5 to 7 every day. The thing was, that's all they were selling," he said.

"I wanted to go to a 12-inch pie and a 14-inch pie, because I want to try to open for lunch, too, and do some entrees and some pasta dishes. But not get too pretentious with the Italian food," he said.

"I like the ‘pizzeria' name, because that gives me the liberty to throw different dishes on, maybe even some specials. Because there's that stigma with Italian restaurants and steakhouses, you automatically think you're going to spend an arm and a leg."

Galindo knows steakhouses and Italian food. He owned the former Cedar Grove Steakhouse in Wimberley and worked at the Italian bistro North at the Domain before opening the Izzoz Tacos trailer in 2008, where the menu ranges from fried avocado to beef braised in Lone Star beer. He ran Izzoz until his lease at 1207 S. First St. ended in December. The trailer has reopened at 1503 S. First St., a few blocks south of its old spot.

Galindo will cook at the trailer occasionally, he said, but most of his time will go into Red House and other ventures from the El Chile Restaurant Group, which also owns the Mexican restaurants El Chile and El Chilito and is planning to open the Flat Top Grill later this year.

Along with Red House's traditional pepperoni and mushroom and margherita pizzas, Galindo is making a pie with chicken, goat cheese and lemon-truffle greens, another with sausage, peppers and caramelized onions, plus one with wild mushrooms, spinach and truffle oil. The appetizer menu includes pesto risotto balls, chicken-fried meatballs and seasonal bruschetta. "I've just completely changed the recipes and refined everything," he said.

Red House Pizzeria. 1917 Manor Road. 391-9500, www.redhousepizza.com. Hours: Open daily at 5 p.m. The restaurant side closes at 9 p.m. Sundays-Thursdays, at 10 p.m. Fridays-Saturdays. The lounge side closes at midnight, sometimes earlier, depending on business. Food can be ordered in the lounge until closing. Lunch hours are in the plans for sometime near South by Southwest in March.