breaking news

Sources: Trump assistant to be top federal prosecutor in Central Texas

Personal pizzas bring Spanish flavors to Austin

Franchise owner making new life for himself in Austin


When Carlos Tremont helped launch a franchise of the Spanish pizza chain 100 Pizzitas (or Cien Pizzitas) in July, he infused Austin with a taste of Spain while embarking on a new personal journey.

The East Austin eatery, situated in a cozy cottage with a hilltop view of downtown, brings a new twist to the Austin pizza scene. It offers diners 100 personal-size pizza options with more than 60 natural ingredients and over half a dozen cheeses, as well as pasta and salads. It’s the restaurant’s first location outside of Spain, something that Tremont hopes will change soon as he and co-owner Antonio Gonzalez begin to work with other franchise owners interested in building a culinary bridge between the U.S. and Spain.

Spain’s economy has been hit hard in recent years. When Tremont and Gonzalez approached the Spain-based owner of Cien Pizzitas about their desire to launch the restaurant chain in North America, the company saw an opportunity to expand beyond its borders.

Uniquely Spanish flavors, such as salmorejo (a tomato and bread purée), set the eatery apart, although the menu has also been adjusted slightly to include popular regional ingredients such as brisket. One of the restaurant’s best sellers so far has been pizza #33, which features brisket, goat cheese, caramelized onions and a Pedro Ximénez sauce, a sweet sherry-based sauce.

The house specialty, pizza #46, includes ingredients like jamón serrano, foie gras mousse, brie cheese and chanterelle mushrooms. The 6 1/2-inch pizzas make sharing tapas-style possible, and Tremont says the restaurant hopes to refresh the menu with new options about every six months.

A little over a year ago, Tremont, 37, and his family moved to Austin from Venezuela, where the political situation had grown so tense that Tremont needed to start a new life away from everything he knew. His political activism in Venezuela had sparked death threats and kidnapping attempts against him, he said, and now he’s seeking political asylum and starting to shape a more hopeful future in Austin.

“I fell in love with the city,” Tremont says in Spanish. “The people here are incredible, friendly, and now we’re writing a new chapter in our story.”

Back in Venezuela, Tremont helped run his family’s bakery. Although he’s not a chef, he’s passionate about cooking and thrives on the creativity that happens in the kitchen. He hopes to resume the culinary school training he started in Venezuela so that he can one day fulfill his dream of opening a restaurant that’s his own original concept.

Meanwhile, the franchise owners hope that eventually there’ll be more Austin locations of 100 Pizzitas, but until then Tremont says he’s focusing on pouring his heart into the East Austin pizzeria that he hopes the community embraces just as they’ve embraced him.

“When I walk into a kitchen, I feel like I leave this world,” he says. “That’s my heaven.″



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Austin360 Eats

Rosen’s Bagel Co. now serving bagels out of Brew & Brew in East Austin
Rosen’s Bagel Co. now serving bagels out of Brew & Brew in East Austin

After several months of pop-ups, Rosen’s Bagel Co. has found its somewhat-permanent home. The bagel company from Tom Rosen operates six days a week out of Brew & Brew (500 San Marcos St.) in East Austin. The bagel operation is closed on Tuesday. (Credit: Nicolai McCrary) Rosen serves about a half-dozen varieties...
Where to take visiting friends and family for a fun time in Austin
Where to take visiting friends and family for a fun time in Austin

A Lyft driver recently remarked to me that he once drove a college graduate and his mom downtown to celebrate his freshly earned degree in engineering — but hesitated to take them where they wanted to go, Sixth Street, and recommended they try the West Sixth area instead. He ultimately dropped them off at Z’Tejas and still wonders...
How Powerball manipulated the odds to make another massive jackpot
How Powerball manipulated the odds to make another massive jackpot

At $700 million, Wednesday night's Powerball prize is the second-largest lottery jackpot in its history, and the math is working out in favor of lotto commissions. Two years ago, your chances of becoming an instant millionaire were 1 in roughly 175 million. Now, the odds are 1 in roughly 292 million. Tweaks to the game in October 2015 increased the...
The case for a breakfast feast
The case for a breakfast feast

Many of us grab coffee and a quick bite in the morning and eat more as the day goes on, with a medium-size lunch and the largest meal of the day in the evening. But a growing body of research on weight and health suggests we may be doing it all backward. A recent review of the dietary patterns of 50,000 adults who are Seventh-day Adventists over seven...
Eggplant and tomato: It's the pasta sauce of summer
Eggplant and tomato: It's the pasta sauce of summer

Southern Italy is deeply fond of eggplant. Throughout the country - but particularly within the regions around and south of Rome - it is fried, stuffed, layered and baked, smoked and pureed and preserved in oil. It is also combined with pasta in a variety of delightfully diverse ways. In Sicily, the combination of pasta with eggplant is so essential...
More Stories