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Pizza, waffles and beer: New Sugar Land restaurant concentrates on life's essentials, defies snobs

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2 Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. August 2013 exterior
Jupiter is conveniently located next to Ben & Jerry's. Photo by Eric Sandler
3 Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. August 2013 interior
Owner Robert Smith designed and fabricated the dining room. Photo by Eric Sandler
4 Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. August 2013 interior
The bar features 16 craft beer taps. Photo by Eric Sandler
5 Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. August 2013 pizza
This pizza is half Jupiter and half Margheritta. Yes, those are whole tomatoes on the Margheritta. Try not to freak out. Photo by Eric Sandler
2 Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. August 2013 exterior
3 Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. August 2013 interior
4 Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. August 2013 interior
5 Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. August 2013 pizza
Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co.
Get Directions - 16135 City Walk Sugar Land

Jupiter Pizza & Waffle Co. opened on Tuesday in the space in Sugar Land Town Center previously occupied by Vineyard on the Square. In addition to thin crust pizzas with a wide variety of toppings, the restaurant also serves a selection of sweet and savory waffles. As with owner Robert White's Guru Burgers & Crepes, also in Sugar Land, Jupiter has an extensive craft beer selection and will fill growlers.

White first made his mark with nearby fusion sushi restaurant Japaneiro's. In the same way that restaurant isn't bound by traditional styles, Jupiter's pizzas are sure to result in some serious pearl-clutching from pizza snobs who have proclaimed Neapolitan style pizzas like those served at Pizaro's Pizza Napoletana and recently opened Pizzeria Solario to be Houston's best.

As White discusses some of the restaurant's unique toppings, he explains that "People have conceptions about what should be on pizza. (Jupiter) starts to break those."

Asked about his favorite pizza, Smith cites the off-menu Belgian Witch that pairs a four-cheese blend with 75 percent Belgian dark chocolate.

For example, the Jupiter pizza comes with prosciutto but balances that meat's saltiness with sweetness from dates and a balsamic reduction.

When an adjacent table asks White about the Wake & Bake that brings together maple sausage, bacon and a fried egg on a pizza, he says "It tastes great. You'll feel like glory." At the very least, the breakfast-inspired riff should pair well with Jupiter's daily 10 a.m. opening time Friday through Sunday.

Asked about his favorite pizza, White cites the off-menu Belgian Witch that pairs the restaurant's four-cheese blend with 75 percent Belgian dark chocolate for a pie that's salty and a little bitter. 

Self-proclaimed pizza snobs who refuse to order delivery pizza may have fainted by now, but White isn't concerned. Talking about the decision to serve both pizzas and waffles he says "If you do pizza by itself, do we really need another one? Pizza and waffles are both vessels for other (flavors)."

Jupiter shares two other elements with Guru. First, White is determined to source the best ingredients possible. Second, White, who still works as an architect, designed and fabricated the restaurant's interior, including the tables and benches.

He purchased the chairs because it was "too much of a pain" to fabricate them, he says, but that's the only aspect of the interior that's not unique to the space. 

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