With Lunar Pizza opened on South 1st Street, we can add New Jersey thin crust pizza to the list. Or more specifically, as I learned from founder Zach Adams, “Jersey Shore boardwalk pizza.”
Italian Food Haven on South 1st Street
Zach Adams has been busy. Since opening Regal Ravioli in 2011, he’s been leaving his east coast Italian footprint on Austin’s food scene. Now with the Lunar Pizza trailer next door to Regal Ravioli, you can visit for either pasta or pizza. In my case, the visits will be for both pasta and pizza.
The two trailers sit perpendicular to each other facing a lighted, covered area of picnic tables. The eateries are complementary, while operating independently. “I didn’t want to just add pizza to the menu of Regal Ravioli,” Adams told me. “I wanted to give the pizza concept its own identity.” And yes, there are parking spots (always one of the first questions when it comes to South 1st Street). Lucky for us, the trailers are open seven days a week.
Simply Delicious Lunar Pizza
“I opened up the ravioli trailer because I felt like there was a hole in the affordable Italian food market,” Adams explained. “There are a lot of great, fancy pizza places in Austin, but I wanted to do something a little more blue collar.”
Having grown up in New Jersey, Adams knew the thin-crust style would be his calling card. This pizza is twice-baked. The second bake, I learn, is what gives the dough its crunch.
“On a personal level, my zen moment comes when I portion out and roll the dough,” Adams explained. “I could do that all day.”
The menu will have four regular specialty pies, along with a pizza of the week. Keep in mind, it’s not about loading up on toppings…beauty is in simplicity here. “You don’t want to weigh it down with toppings,” Adams told me.
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Many Slices of Heaven
Lunar’s cheese pizza was a sight to behold. Eighteen inches across, tomato sauce spiraling out from the center, I was immediately reminded of my summer visits to “The Shore.” Each crispy bite was a delight. The sauce was a bit sweet, and the cheese was fresh and flavorful. Nothing overpowering.
The Margherita pizza didn’t disappoint either. It was made with fresh mozzarella, grape tomatoes, olive oil, chopped garlic, salt, pepper, and basil. “The idea is simple and light ingredients,” Adams told me. Yes, simple (while anything but boring). Flavors are subtle, balanced, and cohesive. It works as a unit. I love this pizza.
I now see Adams’ point – toppings just aren’t necessary here. “I’m not trying to rewrite the rules or make anything too crazy,” Adams confided. “I just want to hit on classics and make them as best I can.”
I’ve found my go-to pizza place in Austin.
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