Crust – “Good Pizza, But A Little Corny”

Thursday, December 20, 2012 - by Willie Mae
Crust Pizza - The Isis Pizza ... with corn.
Crust Pizza - The Isis Pizza ... with corn.

On South Broad Street, across from Ovalle’s, is a place called Crust. A pizza place named ‘Crust’ would make me think they would have the best pizza crust in town. “We'll see,” I thought. The crust is usually what makes or breaks a pizza for me. Some restaurants just aren’t what they used to be as far as quality and taking time and to care about how things are prepared or where they buy their ingredients – it is all about cutting corners.

But I noticed walking up to this place, they had herbs growing outside. I knew what that meant! This place cared about their ingredients and that means fresh flavor!

I went in the middle of the day so I didn’t expect it to be too crowded and it wasn’t. The boy that waited on me was nice but he had a beard like Paul Bunyan! It reminded me of that duck show I see advertised on television. I didn’t think that boy looked old enough to be able to grow a beard like that.

I was given a plastic rectangle sheet for a menu and saw that they had pasta dishes reasonably priced as well as pizza and salads. The salads looked good; they had a “Greenlight salad’’ for $8 that looked delicious, but I came for the pizza.

They had house pizza’s for $6, $14 and $18 and custom pizzas for $4, $10 and $12. They had weird names for the house pizzas; one was “Smelly Kelly” with anchovies and sardines! Who in their right mind would want that one! Probably some individualist who will go around with fume-y fish breath just to be different!

I was intrigued with a house pizza that had artichoke, tomato, onion and roasted red peppers, called the “Isis”. I somehow failed to read the very last ingredient because the first few sounded so good to me; I had already decided that was the one I wanted.

The $6 pizza was a small personal size they called a ‘quad’ and, even though it was just me, I don’t like how those really small pizzas cook up. I like to order a regular small or medium and take the rest home. I think the crust gets too hard when they are a small disc-sized pizza and I wanted to try the crust at its best!

When Mr. Bunyan brought my pizza, it looked wonderfully fresh! I noticed yellow stuff on it and wondered what it was. I didn’t have my glasses so that may be another reason why I didn’t see the last ingredient; corn. Corn on pizza?

I don’t particularly like corn and would not have chosen that one if I had known but I thought if the place took the time to put the combination of other things that fit so well together and had fresh herbs – maybe they knew what they were doing and it would be good together.

There was no spatula; I guessed that I was supposed to help myself to the pizza with my hands but the pieces were not big pizza-pie cuts; they were cut in rectangles – easy to handle, but I like the old fashioned pie cuts.   I liked how the crust looked. It was not too crisp or too dough-y. It looked good.

Even though this place seemed to do everything right, I still am very opinionated about pizza crust. I think it begins with what flour combination you use and the way it is stretched and kneaded. I have read about pizza crust in New York and there is a science to why theirs is so good. They use a bread flour mixture but it is in the way something in the dough bursts when doing that fancy kneading, hand tossing and they get it oh-so-thin!

I liked the texture of this crust and I liked that it was not overdone but it still is not the best crust I have tried. I do have to say that it is one of the best I have tried in Chattanooga.

As for the corn… I guess I just don’t like the flavor of corn so I could not give a fair opinion of it on the Isis pizza. I loved the artichokes, the tomatoes, the onion, the sauce, cheese and even the crust – but I did not like the corn with it.

I suppose because I was the only one in the restaurant, the bearded boy felt it was okay to holler at me across the room when he asked if I needed anything. Couldn’t he see that I was an old lady and can’t hear that far? They also had Johnny Cash playing in my ear, loudly. I will say though, that while it was slow, the boy picked up a broom and was sweeping the place – you don’t see that with youngsters much.

My take on this place? I really liked it and I would recommend it (but corn on Pizza… I never heard of such).

Crust Pizza - They get the crust pretty thin!
Crust Pizza - They get the crust pretty thin!

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