September 8, 2010

Giovanni's Pizza Stand

- Location: Southside - 2900 S. Lamar - @Manchaca
- Hours: Monday - Saturday: 7 AM - 10 PM
- Telephone: 512-656-7033
- Website:
- Cuisine: Tacos for breakfast. Pizza & pasta for lunch and dinner. 

Julio Rangel might not be the first person you would expect to be running a high quality Italian style food trailer.  He says smiling, “I’m from Mexico – but my diet is more than beans.”  His menu is more than beans too.  From pizzas and pastas, the Giovanni’s concept uses fresh ingredients that tantalize your taste buds.  After 20 years of making pizza, he says he still eats it as if it were the first time.  Julio also loves the scampi, which includes shrimp with mushrooms, spinach and sun dried tomatoes in a garlic butter sauce with Romano cheese.

When Julio came to the states from Guanojuato, he said he didn’t even know how to cook an egg.  He started working in construction and then got a job at Mezzaluna, where he saw men in the kitchen for the first time.  He determined being in the kitchen is what he really liked to do and instead of going to school for a title, he decided to be a street chef.  He says, “You keep practicing til you get better and hopefully someone likes your stuff.’

When he first started out in 2007, he had a 14 x 7 trailer with a wood burning oven.  Julio tells the story: “Can you believe inside I had a 1500 pound oven? It was our family homework for me, my wife and our two children to get the oven in place.  She would tell me ‘you’re crazy.’  But you need to be a little crazy to make this happen.” 

He has some advice for new entrepreneurs as well: “I know its hard at the beginning, but everyday you gotta keep feeding the dream. If you don’t, you forget, you get frustrated and you keep working.  Everyday do a little bit to keep the dream alive.  If I had an extra $10 I would go buy a spoon.  My wife was like, why is this guy buying a spoon when I need milk.  You don’t have to spend $2,000 every time, but spend $5 to keep the dream alive.  It will be there, it’s just waiting for you to make it happen.”