Marketers are smart people. And I’m not just saying that because I’m one myself. Well, OK, maybe kind of. But regardless, let’s just say that we can clearly trace a path from this week’s carryout pick back to Shane’s Facebook account, where he had been hounded relentlessly by The Upper Crust. And anyone who reads this blog or knows Shane personally knows that whoever is handling their social media buys is definitely on target. Well done.
First of all, let’s just point out that if you’re specifically looking at pizza, the online menu can be more than a little intimidating, especially for a first time orderer. Not only do you have to choose the kind of specialty pizza you want – a chore all in itself because they have a ton of delicious sounding options with fancy names that would mean squat if I typed them here – but you also have to choose the style/cut of the pie as well. May as well just make us bake the damn thing, too, am I right?
But seriously, you should be prepared that even the names of the cuts/sizes of the pies have fancy names that you may not be familiar with – or at least we weren’t anyway. Who knew “American Pan” essentially means “circle”? And “Thin & Square” actually is round, but the slices are cut so they’re square? And something called “Miracle Crust” is rectangular but the pieces are cut so that there are no “middles” – hence a crust on every slice?
Pro tip: the menu page on the mobile and online site for Upper Crust – not the Toast ordering app – has a handy little pictorial of each of those styles that definitely makes it easier to navigate.
All that to say: basically make sure you leave some time to plan out your order, because this could take a hot minute.
And that’s just for the pizza.
There’s also chicken – which comes in tenders, boneless wings and regular wings, because clearly we needed to have more decisions to make before we can have a meal here. And don’t even get me started on the kagillion sauces to choose from.
But once you figure out what you actually want to eat (or, rather, what it’s called so that you can order appropriately), the actual ordering online or via mobile app is easy as can be. They use the Toast app – which we’ve used previously with Butcher & Sprout and most recently Musketeers – which means you place the order and pay on the app, they give you a pickup time (or you set one in advance) and then all you have to do is walk in and pick it up. Easy breezy.
After navigating all of the pizza cuts, sizes and options, we decided on the American Pan cut (8-slice round) of the Highland Square specialty pizza – which is pepperoni, sausage and banana peppers with mozzerella cheese and a red sauce.
Now, those slices might look small – but trust me when I say there’s a lot going on there.
We also wanted to try the chicken, so we ordered eight of the tenders with jojos.
And a side order of French fries. Because why not?
You get to pick two sauces to go along with the tenders, and one to go with the fries, so we opted for the creamy garlic, Korean BBQ, and the rather cryptic Upper Crust sauce – which we had no idea what that consisted of, but thought that if we didn’t at least try the signature sauce then what were we doing really?
You know our Wednesdays have jaded us when two people look an order for an 8-slice pizza, 8 tenders, jojos and French fries and think for a moment “do you think we’ll still be hungry?”
The answer is no. And we have leftovers for 1-2 more meals at least.
Lest you think we didn’t actually try everything on one sitting, here’s photographic proof:
That would be all of our favorite food groups: pizza, fried foods, sauces and breading. Yum!
Shane has declared this one of his new favorite pizzas. Which, knowing Shane as you all do, you know that’s something that a place should be able to put on a certificate for their wall. “Member of Shane’s Top Five … For Now.”
We really need to work on that.
He said he loved the dough – specifically how the very bottom was crispy but the actual dough part in the middle was still … doughy. Yes, that’s a technical term. He also was a fan of the crust and it’s crispiness without being too hard to chew.
The pizza doesn’t seem to have a ton of cheese – which is usually my benchmark for pizza goodness – but that’s honestly OK in this instance, because truthfully more cheese would probably make it too heavy with how doughy it is. Again, with the technical terminology.
The sausage pieces were good and the pepperoni was slightly crispy. Overall a definite win in the pizza department,
On the chicken side of things, we thought the tenders were very good. We were a little surprised at first glance that they don’t actually come with any sauces on them – the sauces are provided on the side for dipping more so than a baked on coating/seasoning. But once we tried them we discovered that whatever light breading they use on the tenders was actually almost enough as far as seasoning – like, we kind of didn’t even really need the dipping sauces. I mean, we still used them of course, because who wants to be wasteful, right? But like if you have some weird phobia of dipping chicken into sauce containers, just know you’ll be all right on your own here. Crisis averted.
Speaking of sauces, I liked the Upper Crust the best, although don’t ask me what it’s derived from because I wouldn’t be able to tell you. Just know it’s good, and be happy for that much information. Impartial Shane liked them all equally, so that helps no one really.
And last but not least, we also thought the fries were very good, with a seasoning on them that was light but still noticeable.
So if you’re keeping score, that was … well … a win on everything we ordered this time around. Honestly we can’t say that we tried anything on this visit that we would change or that we were at all disappointed with – and you all know we’re tough judges, especially on things we eat so often like pizza and chicken. There are other items we still want to try just to see how the entire menu pans out, but so far our initial verdict is positive. It seems that overall Upper Crust is well worth the (what we thought to be kind of pricey before we tried it) cost. We will definitely be ordering from here again. Which means I should probably get back to studying those pizza styles so that I can be ready.