Monday, October 16, 2006

Home Slice Pizza

He: We had to skip the beer, but at least we got to eat pizza (and salad to create the illusion that this was a healthy meal) at Home Slice Pizza (1415 S. Congress Ave, Austin, TX). The restaurant is a shack that looks like a rundown diner from the 60. If you are looking for a place to impress your guest, this is not it. But if you are looking for a place that serves a delicious pizza and offers informal but friendly and efficient service, this should be high on your list.

Perhaps the most striking thing about Home Slice Pizza is the wonderful scent of fresh pizza that permeates the restaurant. I wasn't really hungry when I walked through the door, but by the time we were seated two minutes later I was famished.

The House Salad stands out primarily by virtue of the dinner roll that comes with it. It easily ranks as one of the best I have eaten in the US. We opted for a Pepperoni and Mushroom Pizza (House Special #5). Apparently inches are bigger on South Congress Avenue. We were surprised at the size of our 14 inch pizza. Nonetheless it disappeared quickly. The crust was paper-thin and tasted just as good as the dinner rolls. The mushrooms were fresh and must have been marinated in some secret sauce to give them an interesting flavor. Combine this with high quality cheese and pepperoni and a light sprinkling with oregano and you have a winner. In my book this pizza joint trumps all of the other ones we have tried.

Dinner for two without alcohol cost $30 including the tip. It was money very well spent.

She: I LOVE Home Slice Pizza and have been back twice since the first visit. I haven't eaten NY-style pizza in a while (read: years and years), so I really can't compare HSP with the real deal, but as regular pizza stacked up against other regular pizzas, HSP is my new benchmark. The crust was amazing and the tomato sauce very flavorful. As He mentions, the pepperoni, cheese, and mushrooms were all certainly high quality, but the crust and sauce really made the pizza for me.

The salad was also very good. It's big enough to feed two if you're also ordering a reasonably sized pizza, but you may have to duke it out for the roll, which I think is made out of the same dough as the crust. When we ate the rolls, we knew we were in for a treat if the pizza was even half as good as the rolls. We were not disappointed; the pizza was absolutely outstanding.

Admittedly, the service I had on the next two visits was not as good as the first time. I think it's a symptom of sudden popularity, to which I have admittedly contributed. I hope that it's just growing pains and they'll be able to have service on par with their food soon.

If you're ever in Austin with a hankering for a pizza, Home Slice Pizza is your best bet.


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