Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Restaurant Review: Upper Crust Pizzeria

Lately, it seems that no matter where I go, there's an Upper Crust Pizzeria opening up (there was one in Waltham when I visited that city last week, one in Harvard Sq. one in Fenway, etc.). With their slick, modern signs and interior decor and the self-congratulatory name, these restaurants promise an above-average pizza experience. With ingredients such as gorgonzola and the option of having any pie made with whole wheat crust, I thought this was going to be my kinda place. Besides, I happen to really like Neapolitan-style pizza. So, I stopped in at the new location on Centre St. in West Roxbury to see if this pizza place would live up to its name.

I found the pizza here to be disappointing. I ordered two slices -- a cheese and a slice-of-the-day, which was spinach, fresh mozzarella and roasted red peppers. Granted, slices are never exactly as tasty as a fresh pie, but I felt that my expectations could adequately compensate for this. Also, with some small pies coming in at $14, I thought I'd save my money for, oh, I don't know, anything else.

The pizza simply should have tasted better. The crust seemed fine, but there was something lacking from the sauce and cheese. The flavor just wasn't fresh and zesty enough for me. On the spinach pizza, there was an attempt to dress it up with some black pepper, which almost worked. But the toppings tasted limp and flat. 

Maybe I'm just so old-school it's sickening, but I don't know if I trust a shop that is run by kids. Where's the meaty Italian uncle with the hairy arms and tatoos, who doesn't really speak much English but manages to know exactly what I want (and how to make it)? Prettifying the restaurant with wood floors and cute college students doesn't improve the flavor of the food. 

There are so many other gourmet (and not gourmet but still good) pizza shops in town -- Woody's comes to mind. 

So, Upper Crust is simply crusty. And though its prices ($3.15 - $3.57 per slice!) are upper class, Upper Crust is a food snob-wannabe.

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