Upper Crust Pizza: upscale pizza at Classen Curve
My cousin and I think we could eat pizza for every single meal, so I’m always excited to hear of a new pizza experience on the horizon in Oklahoma City. Based upon the recommendation of a friend, Mom and I ventured out to Classen Curve to see what Upper Crust Pizza had to offer. I was hoping to find something that might be different than other places in town. Upper Crust definitely delivered some unique offerings worth your attention, though the experience overall wasn’t as great as I had hoped it would be.
We went pretty late for lunch on a weekday to avoid the crowds. We hit the end of the lunch rush and were seated immediately not far from the Dough Room, which is actually the business office. I had a view of the beautiful wine area and could see the kitchen and ovens beyond that. I loved the rustic, yet classy, setting with lots of glass, stone and metal. It was contemporary with a little bit of a cabin feel.
Our wait person was very knowledgeable about the menu but always seemed to be in quite a hurry. We were able to ask some initial questions and place our order, but after that point, it seemed as though we were almost invisible, though the lunch rush was pretty much over. I’m typically pretty forgiving of service issues as anyone can have a bad day, but I’ve heard similar reports from several others regarding Upper Crust so I thought it was worth a mention here. We’d love to hear your experiences as well in the comments below.
There are a lot of fresh and interesting things here. For instance, the Farmer’s Market Salad (big $6, little $4) varies its ingredients by season so you have to ask to discover what’s in it. We found out it contained fresh greens, bits of gorgonzola and candied nuts that day, so Mom ordered it and loved it. I, on the other hand, chose the Syrian salad (big $6, little $4), which was iceberg lettuce, cherry tomatoes and a lemon-mint viniagrette. The appearance of this salad was disappointing and not too appetizing, but the zippy dressing kept me pecking away at it until our pizza arrived.
One thing I really appreciate about the salad selections at Upper Crust is the choice of “big” or “little.” In my opinion, a salad must always precede a pizza, but I don’t want a huge, entre-sized salad that I only eat a little of and then throw out the rest. We chose the “little” salads, and they were just right.
Now, on to the pizzas. All Upper Crust pizzas are 12 inches and just right for two people to split, in my opinion (of course some of the hungrier members of the EatAroundOKC team may disagree with me). All are baked in a wood-fired oven which adds a nice, smokey flavor. The New York style crust is just a bit more substantial than your normal brick oven crust, which I appreciate, and the list of ingredients is diverse and unique. At $10-$12 each, I think Upper Crust is offering a pretty decent value for gourmet, specialty pizzas for two people to share. The pricing was actually better than I expected given their location and decor. Now, if you’re the type that would eat a whole 12″ pizza by yourself, that could get expensive.
We chose half LK (veggie) and half Porkey Pie. The veggie was topped with sauce, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, goat cheese, eggplant, artichoke hearts, red pepper, red onion and fresh parmesan. The Porkey Pie had roasted garlic, caramelized onions, bacon, panna, arugula and parsley. With the absence of a traditional tomato sauce and cheese, I found myself enjoying a different flavor with each bite of the Porkey Pig. The caramelized onions were very sweet. In the next bite, the bacon added a zing of salt, then the spice of the arugula was a nice way to top it off. In comparison, the LK tasted of fresh veggies, bordering a little on the sweet side.
You may also construct your own pizza with a variety of unique toppings that include four varieties of sauce, eight varieties of cheese (including Texas goat), eight varieties of meat and 15 other specialties. That list includes fennel, capers, truffle oil and eggplant. Base price for cheese and sauce is $9 and toppings are $1.50 each.
With all of this said, the pizza overall did not knock my socks off. Perhaps my expectations were too high given the decor of the place and how classy it is. It was good, but maybe not “OKC Best Pizza” as their website URL and Twitter name would suggest.
The menu is not large and contains a few appetizers and sandwiches, which I will probably return to try. I was curious about the Sonnyboy sandwich and its “bricked” chicken, but, as mentioned before, I didn’t have the chance to ask about what “bricked” meant. Perhaps I’ll look into it another time.
The menu also contains two dessert options — Tiramisu and Cookie Pie. I’m not sure about the Cookie Pie, but I can tell you that fellow EatAroundOKC writer, Jennifer, says that the Tiramisu is unbelievably good. We’ve actually heard that from a few other sources as well, so there must be something to it. I haven’t tried it personally but, evidently, it’s worth the trip by itself if you’re a Tiramisu fan.
If I lived or worked in the area of Classen Curve, I would probably visit Upper Crust more. And, if you’re in the area, I’d say it’s worth your time and money to give them a try and see what you think. But since I don’t live or work near here, I doubt I will make a special trip to return too often.
Have you tried Upper Crust pizza? Let me know what you think in the comments below. I’m curious…