Home Slice has had rabid fans for some time now, and with good reason - this South Congress restaurant, launched by transplant New Yorkers, leans into authenticity and doesn't overcomplicate matters - the NYC style pies arrive loaded with fresh ingredients with a five boroughs crunch.
Pros: Pleasant, knowledgeable service and old school top notch thin crust pizza. Some operational flourishes (kitschy throwback menus, raw dough for your kids to mash around) are a nice touch, and friendly staff give this room something between a neighborhood and Gotham vibe.
Cons: Popular and in a touristy part of town, this room often stays hopping. Arrive early for a good seat. Parking is limited.
This Austin area location, part of a chain, made news earlier this year when none other than Oprah invested. Whatever you think of that idea, they're health-forward offerings don't skimp on flavor.
Pros: Atmosphere and service here are typically first rate and personable, and the menu changes from time to time to keep things particularly interesting. Great for a leisurely lunch, date night, or even a bite with the kids (depending on the kids...I kid).
Cons: It can be easy to spend here (contingent on how much you pay attention to that sort of thing). They do get busy at peak rush.
Ultimately, Loro was more or less advertised at its beginnings as the sum of its parts: one part Asian smokehouse (stewarded by James Beard award winning chef Tyson Cole), one part upscale Texas BBQ offering (courtesy likewise Beard award winning pit master Aaron Franklin), and there are certainly flourishes that meet that ideal. But in actuality, the experience lies somewhere in between, and it largely works quite well.
Pros: Easy to order stations up and down the bar make it a snap to order a bite or a libation or both. Staff is accessible, friendly and knowledgeable.
Cons: Hours are somewhat limited (this is the kind of place I'd love to ease into late night), but it's perfect if the weather is pleasant outside to camp on the patio. Portions are somewhat boutique but (in my experience) delicious.