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Home Slice pizza in Austin - no slices?!?!

  • j

So it turns out that everyone in Austin is falling all over themselves for this new pizza place on South Congress. I'd given up on finding decent slices so after a few beverages further up South Congress my pals and I wandered down to try it out.

We were turned away after being told they don't make slices during their 'busy hours' from 7ish to 9:30! What the hell?? Their busy hours are when they should be making slices the most! It seems pretty lame to make a place with 'slice' in the name and then decide they don't want to sell you one.

Also, there's no sign, note or anything that tells you this... nice surprise. Yet another overblown South Congress endeavor. All moustache and no slice...

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  1. On the "Austin" scale, I like Home Slice pizza. But... that no slice policy is ridiculous.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Mike B

      Thanks for saving me from the irritation of finding that out for myself.

      Typical.

      1. re: Seamus

        Yeah, I just moved here from New York and have been dying for a good ol fashioned slice. I went over there the other day for lunch, the slices weren't bad. But I had to wait 15 minutes for them! Plus they were $3 a slice!

        Ahh, it's fun to complain about Austin's lack of good pizza. But on the whole, this was probably the best slice I've had in town, which isn't saying much.

        1. re: Teddy

          I know- $3 a slice is a bit insulting and i'm not so impressed with the cheese they use. it tastes processed.

          1. re: abell

            Come on. When I start bitching about finding great breakfast tacos in Manhattan, we can talk. It's decent pizza, albeit expensive. It's better than Papa John's or most else I've in Austin. They DO sell slices opportunistically during First Thursday. No, it's not your beloved Ray's. Ironically, the best pizza I'VE had in Texas was in Marfa... Of course, I am not from the East Coast, so I might be disqualified to judge that contest.

            1. re: Rhinelander
              s
              Seamus Mitwurst

              Yeah, you are, ya schmuck!
              Living in Chicago left you forever tainted.

              And I think the old "breakfast taco in Manhattan" canard is a little too much, Rhinelander. I once had a delightful Mexican meal in Norlina, North Carolina in an old diner attached to a dilapidated hotel. The chips were homemade and fried, the beers were all Mexican and the beans were made with lard. We're talking Mexican food that put most in Austin to shame and in Podunk, USA. Why? 'Cause an immigrant Mexican family lived there and there is a community to support them. Is it likely that an immigrant Mexican family might move to an urban area with insanely high rents like Manhattan and find the same sort of support? Possible, but not as likely as the agricultural South, or West, or Midwest or...
              Is it more likely that someone who knows how to make pizza moves to a city of highly paid techies (ahem)?
              Except for the fact that no one in their right mind intentionally moves TO Texas, yes it is more likely. In fact, the absence of excellent pizza in this town is yet another stain on the facade that Austin is a wonderful city. FOR SHAME, AUSTIN, FOR SHAME!

              No one's arguing that there isn't decent pizza in Austin. We're all arguing that there isn't excellent pizza. (And we're also arguing about what the best pizza is, isn't, should be, shouldn't be, wasn't, and won't be. Plus probably a few other things too.) Sigh, I still haven't tried Homeslice, so what am I really adding to this discussion besides idiotic sarcastic vitriol? Perhaps tonight is the night.

              And to add another odd excellent pizza sighting, the best pizza I've had in Texas was in El Paso.

              And finally, Rhinelander, welcome to Chowhound. I wondered how long it would be before I could argue with you here. And for everyone else, I was being hyperbolic, except for that part about pizza in El Paso, it was damn fine pizza. And from now on, ignore anything Rhinelander says about food. He's from Oklahoma ;-).

              1. re: Seamus Mitwurst
                s
                Seamus Mitwurst

                I may have to try eating it there.
                Did the take-out thing and was less than impressed.
                Besides being cold...
                Their margherita was supposedly made with fresh mozzarella. They must mean "freshly" pulled from the plastic package because it melted like the plasticky typical mozzarella, and not some good fresh stuff.
                Probably better than most take-away places in town.

                1. re: Seamus Mitwurst

                  We got hit with the no-slice home-slice rule when we went there recently. Bummer too, since we'd had some very tasty slices there before, and were craving them. And we were headed somewhere that night, so we couldn't take the whole pizza. Another time we did get a whole pie take-out - and had the same experience as Seamus. When we got it home, it just wasn't very exciting.

                  One thing though, I definitely had pizza there that had fresh mozarella on it. It was very creamy, so it didn't seem like the regular stuff.

                  The place I like to pick up a whole pizza is Niki's in Dobie Mall. You get it home, you stick it back in the oven and let the crust crisp back up a bit, and it's some good s$%^!! I'm surprised more ppl don't mention it when talking NY style pizza. When niki's is on, they're really good. And to get that experience, i recommend taking home a pizza.

                  Aside from the pizza, you get a grumpy italian guy giving you a weird head trip while he rings you up. If you're a guy, you get the upsell - "what, no drink?" "just one piece? (unspoken: you cheapskate)" if you're a girl, you get "anything for you!" Sometimes if you're a guy with a girl, you get "how did you get this lady, look at her! Now look at you! unbelievable!" My bf had a falling out with the head dude over the free side of abuse, and boycotted them for a while. But then he started going back. He couldn't stay away forever. I think that's saying something! And he's from Pittsburgh, where they have their own style of great pizza (places in Squirrel Hill - similar to NY style, but the slices are small. So they don't flop around as much.)

                  BTW - was in Philly last month and went to a place that's supposed to be some of the best pizza in Center City. It was decent, but was loaded up with cheese. I thought Home Slice was better.

                  Anyway, my 2 cents.

              2. re: Rhinelander

                Home slice is excellent .reales up on 183 is good also.I consider myself the formost expert on apizza ( new haven conn spelling ) I have been everywhere andd the best still is wooster street apizza , sally's, frank pepe's, the spot . Depalmas in east haven .Tolli's East Haven , Antony's Guilford Conn. I used to carry apizza's, (pronounced Abeets ) on the airlines to bring back to Austin. Till we were stuck in Dallas over night and I had 20 lbs hummels frankfurters and a large apizza from Peppe's. these people were hungry and were looking at me like a panther to a wildebeast . No place to run .I had already consumed my trveling wiskey stuck on the runway in laguardia but I made it back to austin a few slices short and a day late

                1. re: beefbarley

                  I wouldn't call Home Slice excellent... I, too, am from Connecticut and grew up on Pepe's and Sally's pizza. It's no comparision. With that said, Home Slice is okay... and way better than most of the pizza joints in Austin. Even better, for Austin, is Brick Oven on 35th. Not the chain, Brick Oven.

                  Link: http://www.brickovenon35th.com

        2. re: Mike B

          They're a business. Why would they waste labor on $3 a slice pizza when they are packed selling $20 pizzas with a 1 hour wait. Their policy makes perfect sense to me.

        3. s
          Steve in Austin

          Try Saccone's on Research or US 183 in Leander. NY style thin crust.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Steve in Austin
            g
            George Pearson

            Seems to me Saccone's on 183 has a no slice policy on Friday and Saturday nights - don't remember what hours it applys though.

            1. re: George Pearson

              ... thanks for the warning, I'll call ahead. I can't believe the hoops it takes to get a slice. To hell with it, next time I'll just go to Pizza Patron. It won't be great but it'll be cheap!

              1. re: George Pearson
                s
                Steve in Austin

                So what? There's a 50% off coupon in the Entertainment Book that gets you a whole stinkin pizza for about $6.00. That will feed three hungry or four normal folks easily.

            2. Hey Flokes,
              Visiting San Franciso right now.
              Followed their local CHs' advice and tried one of the "best" pizzas in North Beach (the Italian section of town).
              Compared to some of the better stuff in Austin, it was pretty bad. Thin soggy crust, too much sauce and too much cheese. (L'Osteria del Forno if you're wondering. Don't jump on me SFers, I don't live here, I just take advice.)

              Maybe I will make my wife happier and tone down the bitching whenever we eat pizza.
              I think I may have to try Home Slice next week.

              other food has been excellent.

              1. Can't say that I've never ordered a slice of pizza, but I would never judge the quality of a pizza place without ordering a whole pie. It just isn't the same. I realize that this doesn't directly apply to your post, I just wanted to point that out.

                Having said that, the best pizza I've ever had in my life was a single slice of pizza near St. Marks and I think Third, in Manhattan. A place that you would never just walk into because it looked too cheezy. That really doesn't count because I went with a local and we were feeling ~groovy~ after a tete-a-tete in Washington Square Park - my tastebuds were "enhanced." But my god it was the best pizza experience in my life.

                I've also tried the coal fired oven pizza at John's pizza, but there wasn't enough sauce on my pie. I'll go back to John's next time I'm in NYC and tell them to put some damn sauce on the pie. Some pizza snobs say that you can only get good pizza if you have a coal fired oven.

                OK - my favorite pizza in Austin? Conan's! not just any Conan's - specifically, a large thin, white crust, pepperoni and double onion, enough sauce but not "extra sauce" (you have to say this), cooked crispy, at the Conan's on Burnet and Anderson. They have Michelob on tap also for $8 a pitcher or something.

                I've had acceptable pies at Reale's - the best thing about Reale's is that they grate their own really good parmesean cheese. Not many people realize that, but you can taste the difference. I think that's what makes their food taste so good sometimes.

                And I'm still disenchanted with Saccone's. They changed something about 2 years ago.

                2 Replies
                1. re: rudeboy

                  I’ve given Home Slice two separate tries. Both times the pie’s entire crust/dough had the consistency of a saltine cracker. I find there is nothing worse than trying to enjoy a piece of pizza that is like three day old sun drenched cardboard. On both of my visits the pie was over baked with enormous air bubbles present throughout the dough. The cheese had a nasty cottage cheese like consistency, usually a sign of sub-par quality. I also had a salad the second go around. It was average at best.

                  I told a friend about my last two experiences at Home Slice and he related to my experience, but he said he would be returning ‘cause the joint has “great atmosphere.” What? I guess that’s what a dining experience is coming down to on South Congress. Give me burnt, dry, food at inflated prices. Your patrons will tolerate their dining experience as long as the hip factor is on the up-n-up. Barf.

                  Die Hipster Scum,
                  Sam Sneed

                  1. re: Sam Sneed

                    To some, a cracker consistency crunch and air bubbles are hallmarks of authentically NY style pizza. I haven't been there, so I can't be sure.

                    The perfect slice of pizza is elusive...it's the one thing that you can't ever be totally satisfied, because you can't recreate the taste that you loved so much when you were a kid. For me, one of the perfect pies ever was at Angelo's pizza in Orange Texas. My family didn't go out much, but when we did, sometimes we went to Angelo's. The dark lighting, the red globe candles, the sweet crust, perfect cheese, and thick pepperoni. I'm sure if I had it now I would be disappointed. I still crave that flavor, but I will never find it.

                2. forget homeslice! anyone tried southside flying pizza? its the best in austin by far!!!

                  1. I too, am from CT, and in my opinion Home Slice is the way to go. By no means is it fantastic, but its the closest thing to a satisfying slice that I've had in Austin.After a late night on 6th, Hoek's will do the trick if the whole "goth" thing doesn't turn you off.

                    FYI- campus area pizza places that I've experienced are pretty disappointing. Specifically Slices n' Ices and Austin's pizza.

                    1. has anyone tried the new joint, River City Pizza? aparently the owner is the nicest guy you could possibly meet and ive heard he knows his pizza pie. just curious, as my beau had a flat tire on his bike the other night, and the owner stopped to help him. we will check it out in the next few days and let you know.

                      1. elenoise, where is river city pizza? i remember hearing or seeing the name somewhere.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ktown378

                          It is right next to (?) or near the Kerbey Lane on Kerbey... from what i understand..

                        2. I also want to complain about Home Slice, but about their attempt at a margherita pizza. A margherita is the litmus test for any good pizzeria, and this one had nothing to do with a margherita. Absolutely not fresh mozzarella (as advertised on the menu), no tomato sauce (only tasteless diced tomatoes), and too much garlic and basil. The fact that they can get away with this just goes to show how far a little decor and a shtick will get you in Austin in lieu of actual substance.

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: finocchio

                            I didn't think an authentic margherita pizza used tomato sauce. I thought a real one only uses fresh tomato.

                            1. re: The Tres Leches

                              I'm pretty sure that the margherita pizzas I ate while living in ROME and BOLOGNA for two years had tomato sauce, not fresh tomato.

                              1. re: finocchio

                                "In Naples, fresh or canned tomatoes often replace tomato sauce on pizza. "
                                http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/...

                                1. re: bookgrrl72

                                  Like I said, I lived in Rome, not Naples.

                                  1. re: finocchio

                                    Great. My point in posting that was to offer the possibility that margherita pizzas might look different outside of ROME and BOLOGNA.

                                    1. re: bookgrrl72

                                      I used to live in Naples, and I still visit frequently. For what it's worth, when I want a pizza that's made with their delicious fresh tomatoes from the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius, I usually have to order a caprese or "una pizza con filetti di pomodori freschi." Ordering a margherita typically will not mean a pizza with fresh tomatoes.

                                      I take it that finocchio's disgust at Home Slice's version was brought about by several factors: the fresh tomato was tasteless, the mozzarella not fresh, and the pizza overspiced. That was also my experience (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/92874 ). I'll add that there is no point in baking fresh basil, which I vaguely recall as standard practice at Home Slice. If you're going to do that, you may as well use dried. It's just as easy to throw on a few torn, fresh basil leaves when the pizza comes out of the oven.

                                      1. re: MPH

                                        Yes, thank you. You articulated my complaints quite nicely.

                          2. Why doesn't anyone give props to slices and ices on guadalupe? other than homeslice, saccones. nikki's and reales, its the only legit ny style in town. The slices are great, as are the pies.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ieathereforeiam

                              I actually tried slices and ices once for lunch and enjoyed it. I've been meaning to go back but haven't made it yet. I think I'll bring a pie home one day.

                            2. This rule makes perfect sense to me, and I've encountered it at other places around town (Saccones and Frank & Angies come to mind) Why would they waste their time during a rush on individual slices???

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: kegsandkitchen

                                As to the question as why they don't do slices at dinner time. Or why they would waste their time with slices when they have so much business. Because they are a business and it's never good to turn down work. And their name says Slice. Funny thing is I read where during Labor Day they shut down,flew their staff to NYC to experience pizza in the Big Apple. But when you order a slice, one of the stoners looks at you in a daze and asks "What do you want on it? Oh just cheese? But I think it's just stupid to turn people away when the C.C. is next door and you have no other competition. And especially in a town and part of town that has so many single folks.