Craving a vacation to Italy? While I may not be able to help you with plane tickets (sorry about that), I do have the next best thing. For those of you who didn’t already know, a Mediterranean escape lies within walking distance of campus.
Milto’s is an Austin original featuring everything Mediterranean from pizza to gyros to cheesecake, and is located on the drag across from Toy Joy. Navigating this busy intersection will be well worth your while once you sink your teeth into the savory and saucy entrees Milto’s has to offer.
The collage of band posters in the entryway is so distinctly Austin. But when you walk inside, the yellow walls, hanging plants, indoor arches and rustic decorations make you feel like you’ve just stepped into another country. You’ll find students studying with notebooks strewn across the table, families ordering pizza to go, and young couples on a first date. Order directly from the counter and find a seat to enjoy the atmosphere and the people watching while you wait for your carefully cooked food.
“Our food speaks for itself,” said Joe Rodriguez, managing partner at Milto’s. Ain’t that the truth. The kitchen is constantly in overdrive to produce fresh, mouthwatering dishes made to order. Slow-cooked specialty sauces and hand-rolled meatballs adorn some of the most popular entrees, and the homemade salad dressings have become so popular that they are now sold by the bottle. The cooks work with what Rodriguez called “old-school baker’s ovens.” As a result, everything tastes home-cooked (or maybe even better). “You might not get your food in under five minutes,” said Rodriguez, “but it is well worth the wait.”
What do I recommend? It’s hard to pick out just one thing, but I’m a big fan of the meat lasagna and the Milto’s Mama’s choice gyro. The gyros are far tastier than anything you would find at Pita Pit, featuring crisp lettuce, tender meat and homemade tzatziki, while the lasagna nearly melts in your mouth. The specialty pizzas (which you might have previewed at our launch party) are noteworthy as well. Milto’s has mastered the art of simplicity here, serving up freshly baked crusts, homemade sauces and a magma layer of cheese. While not entirely innovative, the slices are made to please, and they do their job well.
I know that college students usually pass up dessert for the sake of budgeting, but for this occasion, I advise you to break the habit. The cheesecake at Milto’s is a buttery, not-too-sweet concoction that you might dream about. It’s not too dense and the crust is pleasantly warm. The specialty cakes are only $4.75 and easily splittable (although once you take a bite, you may reconsider sharing), and the baklava, a layered Greek pastry, is only $2.45.
If you’re too lazy to leave the comfort of your couch, get excited, because Milto’s delivers (free if order exceeds $10). Tight on cash? $5 entrees are available from 11am to 5pm, Monday through Friday. Order online for pick-up or delivery here, and check out the website for the full menu, catering options and weekly specials.
Hours of Operation: Mon-Thurs 11am-10:30pm, Fri-Sat 11am-11pm, Sunday 12pm-10:30pm
Location: 2909 Guadalupe St. Austin, TX 78705