Sunday, September 22, 2013

Review: Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. in Sugar Land Town Square

A while back, I tried Guru Burgers and Crepes over at Sugar Land Town Square, and have been back a few times since then.  Their Pancho burger is on my Top 20 Houston area burgers with good reason.  Several months ago the same group of family and friends that enjoy cooking together set up a second venture in another part of Sugar Land Town Square called Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co.  This is a place I'd been meaning to try since it opened a few months ago, but since they're only open for lunch Friday, Saturday and Sunday, I did not have the chance to try them until now.  Given some of the acrimonious things that were written about them early on, this was probably a good thing as any new restaurant takes a few months to find its legs, and based upon the visit my daughter and I had with them this weekend, they most certainly have hit their stride.

This place is parked right next to Sugar Land City Hall and Ben & Jerry's.  A nice fronted reclaimed metal marquee sign sits atop their awning, along with a shaded patio and outdoor standing service area, as well as a nice, open interior welcomes you in.  The Kitchen and bar area form a nexus behind part of the dining area with sections offering some separation thanks to Jenga-like partitions created from reclaimed two-by-fours which have been sanded and painted.  In fact, reclaimed building materials are EVERYWHERE in this restaurant--the pipes used to hold lemongrass as vases or door handles, industrial light bulb cages for track lighting, steel cables and eye screws inside of reclaimed metal rebar for railing partitions, and a large sanded piece of wood hanging on the east wall that bears a striking resemblance to the planet Jupiter, which my daughter noticed immediately and is their namesake.  My daughter and I are no green tree-huggers, but we are people that recycle, try not to waste material that can be reclaimed and appreciate the industrial art styles, so this warmed us to the place from the get-go.

The menu, much like Guru Burgers, has a mixture of familar and unusual appetizers, pizza pies and waffles that would appeal to everyone from the less adventurous palates to those who want to go wild with their taste buds.  I enjoyed an Ace Pumpkin Hard Cider while I perused the menu and discussed things with Helena.

Uncle Tex, Mr. Moustache
and Mini-Moustache,
HoF's unofficial Mascots
My daughter is fond of chicken breast tenders as of late--herb seasoned, grilled, deep fried in an unusual breading, as long as they're not too spicy hot, she will chow down on the chicken.  She also enjoys big fluffy Belgian style waffles, so her choice which fit her personality was the Southern Belle (crispy fried all natural chicken breast served over a Belgian waffle topped with their homemade maple cream). I like a good pizza--unusual pies are just as good as traditional, average US or Neapolitan style. Jupiter touts their pizzas are baked on pizza stones at 650 F, a process a few pizza eaters I know swear by, though there are several techniques that can produce good pies like wood fired ovens or even coal fired. Although it was evening, a breakfast style pizza called the Wake & Bake (tomato sauce, Fontina cheese, maple sausage, bacon and fried eggs) caught my eye, and since our unofficial mascots, the stuffed toy Moustache Pigs weren't with us, I could indulge in my pork love without fear of reprisal.

Southern Belle Chicken & Waffles
My daughter was amazed at the portion size of the Chicken and Belgian waffle, but attacked the fresh strawberries perched atop the Maple cream first.  I took a small taste--berries quite fresh, maple cream was sweet, a little heavy, but not too sweet.  She then tore off some of the crunchy coating, gave me a sample--this was very crispy, a little tangy, and had a hint of maple sweetness.  The chicken itself was juicy, not dry, and she gobbled up that tender with some enthusiasm.  She then poured some of the real maple syrup (no maple flavoured corn syrup here) on a couple of pieces that had the maple cream and again, gobbled them up.  I had one bite and found it crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, the waffle itself was not too sweet though the cream and syrup gave it sweetness.  They're served with herb-seasoned sweet potato waffle fries that can be tossed in truffle oil if you wish--these are sweet, crunch and savoury.  Good food to be sure.  The usual mentality behind Southern Chicken and Waffles is a blend of sweet, savoury, salty and meaty, comfort food for breakfast or dinner.  My daughter had been playing in a volleyball tournament earlier and was clearly hungry despite having a substantial lunch earlier that day. She said this hit the spot with her and said she wants to come back.

Wake & Bake Pizza
Our server felt I made a very good call when I chose the Wake & Bake Pizza.  I like creative pizzas with unusual toppings sometimes just to shake things up and this one, a breakfast concept fills the bill nicely.  The crust is crispy outside and soft inside, but covered with a smearing of their house tomato sauce, a nice, melted layer of Fontina cheese that has maple sausage crumbles and bacon embedded within the cheese, and is then topped with an egg fried over hard, though I may ask if it's available over medium next time.  This pizza was rocking.  Sweet, black peppery, maple goodness, strong umami essences in the mouth feel and meaty too.  This is a very satisfying pie--one you'd want to have as Sunday brunch or after a late night out as breakfast before sleeping in on a Saturday AM.  Both dishes were so tasty and make us definitely look forward to a return trip in the near future.

Report Card for Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co.
Helena Loved pointing out the reclaimed attic vent lamp shade
Food & Beverage:
     Ace Pumpkin Cider: A-
     Southern Belle Chicken & Waffles: A 
     Sweet Potato Fries: A
     Wake & Bake Pizza: A+
     Speed: A-
     Friendliness: A+
     Dining Area: A
     Kitchen/Bar: A
     Men's Room: A
Atmosphere (Reclaimed industrial with a hint of Astronomy): A

Overall Grade: Solid A 

Great Bar with Craft Beer & Growler Fill Station at Jupter Pizza
Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co is  located at:
16135 City Walk
Sugar Land, TX  77479

Hours of Operation:
Tue-Thu 5 PM to 10 PM
Fri-Sun 10 AM to 10 PM

Eat Happy, Y'all!!!

Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. on Urbanspoon

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