Austin, we have a solution: The Meteor has landed with stellar pizza, coffee


Garon Hunt / Hilltop Views

The Meteor, located on South Congress, opened on Oct. 4. The restaurant’s first location is in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Truth be told, I’m a sucker for neon.

On any excursion down South Congress, it’s easy to become entranced by the many neon lights seen outside Lucy’s, Austin Motel and the Continental Club. Starting in early October, a new entrant joined this colorful array in the form of the Meteor.

Shortly after passing Southside Flying Pizza, a towering display resembling an exploding star promises patrons espresso, champagne and chain lube. The mostly glass exterior makes those in the building feel one with the Bouldin neighborhood  and Congress as a whole. 

Since it was originally founded in Arkansas by creators Doug Zell and Chris St. Peter, it was important for Meteor to successfully gel with the Austin atmosphere. The eye-catching architecture certainly helps in this regard; it seems right at home on South Congress. Choosing Austin as the second location for the restaurant seemed like a no-brainer, since the main focus of the business is to sell coffee, wine and bike gear — all of which are extremely popular past times here in Austin. 

When entering, you are immediately greeted by the smell of freshly baked bread. I imagine this is a constant smell, as the small cafe’s menu features a plethora of baked goods. During dinner, bread was baked fresh for the pizza. All pizza sold at Meteor is “Roman style,” meaning it has an airier crust and is sold by weight as opposed to by the slice or whole pies. 

The pies are oblong with a thick but solid crust. I purchased one cut of their pepperoni, their sausage and their mushroom pies. The pepperoni features their tomato sauce, mozzarella and small cuts of pepperoni that cup the grease oh so beautifully. The sausage pie uses a ricotta white sauce for the sausage and red onion to play with, and the mushroom pizza has garlic oil and goat cheese to compliment the mushrooms and broccoli rabe that adorn it. 

Every slice is a pizza lover’s dream and a vampire’s worst nightmare, with garlic notes following every single bite. Typically, I lean toward sausage pizzas as I find pepperoni to be a tad boring and overdone. However, the cuts of pepperoni used in conjunction with their red sauce can give a jolt to the mouth of even the most seasoned pizza eater. 

The mushroom pizza is the most delicious combination of flavors in the bunch. The mushrooms have an almost sweet taste, and the garlic oil gives the crust a similar feel to fresh French bread. 

I walked into Meteor expecting another yuppie Austin establishment that favors their aesthetics over their product. I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only do they balance their products and look, but they do it all while running a bike shop inside. I might even have to start buying their 20% off to-go wine. 

Head down Congress with your homework, grab yourself a slice and order a cappuccino (or a glass of vino if you’re up to it). Meteor will be getting my business and they should be getting yours.