The Meteor, the new combination cafe/wine bar/pizzeria/bicycle shop on 2110 South Congress Avenue, is now open in the Bouldin neighborhood as of today, Friday, October 4.
The main goal of Meteor is to be easy, “to take things — coffee, wine, and bicycles — which could be super pretentious and make them fun and accessible,” explained general manager/chef/director of cafe operations Andrew Werth to Eater. “All the best things in life, all smashed together,” further explained Meteor co-founder Chris St. Peter. “All the things we love.”
Doug Zell, who also co-founded Chicago third wave coffee roasting company Intelligentsia (which also just recently opened its first Texas location in downtown Austin), added that “we wanted to do something where people could get wonderful coffee and food from sun-up to sun-down.” By offering a multitude of services and items, they’re hoping to cultivate regulars.
The main focus of the menu is pizza al taglio, aka Roman-style pizza, where the pies and portions of the pie are sold by weight, a popular style in Italy and across the United States. It’s perhaps the first Austin restaurant to serve pizza in this particular manner. The dinner-time pies, which are naturally leavened, come in four varieties: roni cup pepperoni (“I like seeing those little pools of grease,” Werth said); summer squash and mozzarella; mushrooms, broccoli rabe, fontina, and garlic oil; and sausage with ricotta bechamel.
Meteor’s more than just pizza, though. The all-day menu also features pastries (potato pop tarts that are similar to samosas, muffins, “butteriest” biscuits), morning toasts and eggy dishes, and lunchtime soups, bowls, and sandwiches.
Then there’s the wine, with a heavy natural focus under the guidance of beverage director Brandon Acuña. The bottle shop (the coolers next to the counter) features 67 different wines, 60 of which are natural. The setup is to help people not feel intimidated when it comes to choosing what to drink, right down to the helpful descriptions on leather tags attached to the bottles.
The bottles and cans are available to drink at the cafe, or to-go at a 20 percent discount. There are also 13 by-the-glass options and a tapped prosecco. Before joining Meteor, Acuña worked at Austin places like Launderette and Fleet Coffee.
For something different, the mixed drinks are made with fortified wines and beers. There’s the ¡Bomba! Mixes Modelo Especial with tajin, hot sauce, and a lime slice (a nod to Acuña’s Hispanic upbringing); while the Chain Lube (referring to the bicycle maintenance necessity) comes with gentiane quina, a shrub made of yuzu, and topped with bubbles.
Even the coffee, made with Intelligentsia beans naturally, and teas will be served in unexpected glassware. “I wanted everything to feel a little more curvy, a little more bulbous,” Acuña told Eater. He’s a fan of gastrophysics, which he explained as studying “how we can affect people’s taste or perception of taste through physical manipulations” in a good way.
Meteor’s stylish and bright counter-service space designed by architect Scott Magic features plenty of windows (including unique zig-zagging angled ones) and skylights to bring in tons of natural light, light wooden benches, tables, and stools, and a small outdoor patio. There’s a small area for the bicycle shop component, featuring shirts, bikes, bottles, and the such.
This is the group’s second location of Meteor, after the first in Little Rock, Arkansas. Next up is a location in Bettonville, Arkansas sometime this year as well.
Meteor’s Austin hours are from 6:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, and then from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
- All Coverage of The Meteor [EATX]