My baby’s back up in [Nashville]
And I’m…Down On the Drag
–With apologies to Butch Hancock
The “Drag” is what Austinites call the stretch of Guadalupe Street that runs along the western edge of the UT campus. It is a place where students can fill their needs for school supplies and other life necessities. Before Apple became the world’s largest music store, it was the home of Tower Records, and before the arrival of Netflix, the artsy Varsity Theater. The Drag is also a place to eat and drink, and, as my first visit in 15 years revealed, a spot to get pizza at Austin’s Pizza around the clock.
Austin’s has 12 area locations featuring build-your-own pies with a selection of crusts, sauces, and toppings. Their menu presents a slew of ready-designed “Austin’s Originals” in addition to some limited salad and dessert offerings. The place serves as a comfortable location where students can spend time eating and drinking while tending to some school work. The upstairs of the drag location is a bar room aptly called the “Drag Bar.”
I arrived late one afternoon and noticed slices were available although not mentioned on the menu. The only remaining after-lunch slice in the glass cage behind the counter was a sausage-pepperoni, so the counter server graciously offered to make me a plain cheese ($3.00) in ten minutes time.
The slice arrived in ten as promised and turned out to be an odd-sized, wide triangle delivered extremely hot. It also turned out to be very hard to eat, since in addition to being so hot, it was quite floppy. On top of that, an excess of both oil and cheese added to the eating difficulty. My messy slice soon became further complicated by its peculiar shape. Think about it—once you eat away the point of a wide triangle; you are left with a long rectangle. Then, the Fold and Rip becomes your only choice, and in this case caused all that excess cheese to fall off. Ugh!
The tomato sauce was tangy and the cheese was fresh resulting in a somewhat pleasant taste experience. On the other hand, the crust was a total unappetizing, cracker-like failure. Overall, though, the poor slice construction and lame crust make Austin’s Pizza a late night, emergency pizza stop only.
PIZZA SNOB RATING **1/2 Perhaps Not a Total Waste
2424 Guadalupe Street
Austin, TX 78705