Crust Pasta and Pizzeria – Main Street

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday. Today we feature an article from Mike Christensen. Thanks to Mike for filling in for me while on vacation. I’m back to blogging next week. -Lee

crust logoThere are no fewer than 20 pizza places within the 30004 zip code.  While that does count national chains like Pizza Hut, it is a staggering number.  How can this area support that many pies?  Because Americans consume nearly three billion pizzas a year.  Here in Alpharetta, we have a wide variety of pizzas to choose from ranging from New York and Chicago style and Neapolitan, to mom and pop joints vs. national chains.  It’s pizza mania I tell ya!

The newest contenders for your pepperoni dollar is the unfortunately named Crust, which is situated in the old Alfrescos location on Main Street.  I know that the crust is part of the pizza, but it sounds like a medical condition.  Not very appetizing.

The layout inside is very much like Alfresco with a bar in the front, mostly tables and a few booths.  The materials inside are nice and inviting.  Wood beams reclaimed from a place in Woodstock are hung from the ceiling and wood also surrounds several TV’s.   Brick and metal round everything  out.   It’s all very nice.  You can tell time was spent on the décor.  One nit-pick about the booths.  The pad that you sit on does not stay in place as you slide in.  It bunched underneath me and cause great shuffling and rearranging to get comfortable.

Enough HGTV, let’s get to the food, man.  The menu features salads, pastas, pizzas and sandwiches or rather “crustwiches”.  Those are sandwiches on nice and toasty flatbread.  I had the meatball crustwich and found it delightful.  It featured sliced house made meatballs smothered in cheese and just enough toast on the bread to give tons of flavor.  A winner.  We also had the mozzarella sticks and garlic knots.  The mozzarella sticks were large and flat.  Good crunch, but the marinara sauce was weak, watery and a little overloaded on garlic.  At least it does come out screaming hot.

The garlic knots were gigantic.  Looked like a nearly foot long breadstick tied in a knot covered with garlic butter sauce.  Soft and messy.  I hate that there were five.  It’s always an odd number.  My wife and I fought over the last one.

My wife had salads on each occasion.  The Greek salad tasted good, but it looked like it had been though a shredder.  It was so very hard to eat with a fork, we needed a large spoon.  She also had the buffalo chicken salad.  The chicken was very spicy and plentiful.  The greens were crisp.  It was a much better experience than the Greek salad.

Crust pizza sliceNow, to the pizza.  I was going to go with my traditional every-mammal-represented all-meat pizza.  However I was drawn to the BBQ chicken pizza.  I chose wisely.  It was outstanding.  Chunks of marinated chicken with red onion mixed in with gouda cheese and drizzled with BBQ sauce all combined for a heavenly pizza trip.  The red onion was small enough to lend some flavor, but to not overpower the taste or be too crunchy.  The fact that the sauce was drizzled on the pizza and not smothered all over was also an advantage.  All the flavors were in perfect balance.  A symphony of pizza.  The crust was the kicker.  Slightly sweet with a hint of pretzel.  The bottom was thin and crispy, yet was pliable like NY style.  I can’t wait to get it again.

Crust seems to be a good fit for Alpharetta.  Locally owned, locally sourced ingredients, and pretty darn good pizza.  Owner Darren Henderson has a long pedigree in the pizza business.  He spent the last four years as at Blue Moon Pizza, and before that was a managing partner at Carrabbas for 13 years.  Pizza is no passing fancy for him.  The staff has been friendly for the most part.  There are local beers from Jekyll and Monday represented as well as liquors from the 13th Colony distillery in Americus.

Crust Pasta & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Crust has the goods to at least outlive it’s predecessor if not continue on for many years.

11 Responses to “Crust Pasta and Pizzeria – Main Street”

  1. Cool Papa Bell June 27, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Wow, interesting. From foodies and non-foodies alike, I have heard nothing good about this place insofar as the food. I have heard the atmosphere is good, but to avoid the food, just drink at the bar.

    Now admittedly that’s all second hand, so I may judge for myself, though one person who lambasted it is a very reliable source.

    However I will say, I think Crust is a very succinct and good name because it puts focus directly on the food.

  2. Franklin June 27, 2014 at 2:47 pm #

    Cool Papa Bell – your comment about what you have heard from others comes as a surprise to me as the food has been excellent both times I have been there to eat, and my neighbors have enjoyed their meals at Crust as well.

    Based on my personal experiences, I’d recommend you try it for yourself.

  3. Mala June 27, 2014 at 4:26 pm #

    I haven’t been yet but “Crust” is a great name IMO. I like it. I think the outside looks great too and I’m so glad this is in my hood! Looking forward to trying it.

  4. Jason June 28, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    You say such nice things about this deserving restaurant (I’ve eaten there twice and everything I’ve had there was excellent, taste and presentation-wise), so why the rotten dig about the name? Crust is a fine name for a place that does, indeed, have pizzas with great crusts, and while I realize you were trying to be funny, I think your comparison was uncalled for.

  5. All About Town June 28, 2014 at 5:34 pm #

    I’ve been to Crust several times for lunch and dinner. I’ve enjoyed the food and both the staff and management have been friendly and professional. Crust has earned a repeat customer. The reviewer’s comment about the name “Crust” is strange at best. As the reviewer said: “The crust was the kicker. Slightly sweet with a hint of pretzel.” Seems like Crust is a good name. I like the taste of it.

  6. David June 29, 2014 at 8:46 am #

    Pretzel? Crust? I’m in.
    As a general aside, would it kill restaurants to put their hours on their websites? I love Scratch for example but never remember if they are open on Sundays or the hours. And nothing on their website has them listed. If they are open today they’ve lost a sale because of a 1 minute entry on a website.

  7. Tom Martin June 29, 2014 at 6:23 pm #

    Wow, interesting.

    Based on actual dinning experience at Crust residents of North Fulton should consider adding Crust to their dinning-out rotation!

    Despite a 40 minute wait for a table at prime-time Saturday night they did not disappoint. Actually the ownership/management recognized there were 12-15 people standing out in front of Crust and sent out cups with the garlic knot-roll appetizers to hold us over while we were waiting for tables to open. Nice touch!

    Note! If I over-heard correctly they offer call ahead seating.

    Saturday was my wife’s second visit and my first. After the first visit she, like Lee, walked away with high-praise for the meatball crustwich. Most recently we both thoroughly enjoyed the Bianco White pizza we ordered this weekend. And like the name their Crust was a winner, just ask them to bring out some “gravy” / “marinara” to dip your leftover crust in. Great addition to the Alpharetta dinning scene!

  8. A June 30, 2014 at 9:52 am #

    Like Tom Martin, we had a wait of about a half hour last Friday, but they brought around garlic knots with their amazing marinara/garlic sauce to keep us happy until we were seated. We only had pizza, and while it’s not wood-fired like 850 or Campania, it’s quite good and the pretzel like crust is really interesting. It’s not like that throughout; but the very edge is a bit saltier and crunchier, which is a great texture.

    Next time I’d try a salad or pasta. We hope this place stays busy. Alfresco never was and always seemed really sad the handful of times we went. Crust did a great renovation and now looks much more upscale but without the snooty service or attitude. Everyone was really nice and worked hard to make sure everything went smoothly.

  9. jb June 30, 2014 at 9:54 am #

    I did take out there last week for the first time. We both thought it was good pizza. Good ingredients, good sauce and the parmesan on the crust edge is a nice salty touch. All in all a great experience and we will return. It is on my way home route so very easy to hit for a pizza fix. I am going to try the pasta next time.

  10. JC June 30, 2014 at 2:54 pm #

    Only been once, but really enjoyed it. One thing in particular stood out: the mushrooms they use on their pizza are marinated portobellos cut in to pizza-appropriate bites. And they are unbelievable. I’ve been thinking about those ‘shrooms ever since.

  11. DD July 3, 2014 at 10:29 am #

    I absolutely LOVE this place! We’ve been so many times since it opened. We’ve tried things from every part of the menu and have never been disappointed. Even the salads are great! I added chicken to my entree salad and the amount of chicken was generous and the chicken was seasoned and cooked wonderfully. I’ve been eating so much pizza, calzone and pasta there lately that I had to switch to the salad! I enjoyed it so much and I didn’t even feel deprived watching my friend eating pizza. And I like the name by the way…I think the attempt at humor kind of got away from him there in the review. Anyway, I highly recommend it to everyone I know. Oh, and if you get a sandwich (made with their pizza crust–ummmm good), you can get a side of pasta. It’s not real clear on the menu. That’s been a great way for me to try some sauces. I had a choice of “short or long” pasta and then you select a sauce. I enjoyed it like that much more so than with fries.

Leave a Reply:

Gravatar Image

Switch to our mobile site