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UPPER CRUST goin Down

had one last nite $16 for a small. I think a gino's frozen would have been bettter. From the brookline store, anyone agree with me???

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  1. I think it's good pizza when you get it right out of the oven and eat in. It doesn't travel well. I've had a few deliveries that were very disappointing.

    1. I haven't ordered a whole pie from them, but on the two occasions that I dropped in (to the Brookline store) for a slice in the fall, it was pretty bad. I grew up in upstate NY, and any average pizzeria in upstate does far better. For a lot less money.

      1. I used to love it but lately it has been not up to par. It is overly dry with hardly any cheese, too salty and the employees always forget and make mistakes with the toppings.

        1. The AAs at my company have ordered pizzas delivered from Upper Crust a few times and I have been appalled at how bad they were. They may be better when served at the restaurant, but they were definitely not worth the price when delivered- they were on par with eating the cardboard boxes they came in. Give me Bertucci's delivery anytime!

          1 Reply
          1. I’ll bite.

            There is no such thing as ‘pizza’, our American English fails to allow us to make important distinctions. Cachetes, the pizza you are eating in upstate NY is an entirely different food and I am not surprised you were disappointed.

            The Upper Crust makes a very stylized pizza. Very thin crust cooked quickly at high heat. A good assortment of high quality toppings provides for a huge number of pizzas very different from each other.

            The thin, crisp crust is flavorful not doughy and bloating. The ratio of bread to toppings is, to my palette, perfect.

            Time (including delivery by bicycle in the winter) is the enemy of the UC pizza. That thin, crispy crust rapidly becomes soggy. Our friends at Domino’s understand that there’s nothing like a huge oil-soaked sponge of bread to facilitate slow cooling.

            This is ironic as my closest UC is on Beacon Hill and has almost non-existing seating. We still opt for delivery from time to time. Our current favorite (I accept full credit for its design) Gorgonzola, caramelized onions, and spinach. Ain’t gonna find that in Troy.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Carty

              That sounds like an amazing topping combo!

            2. In general I think Upper Crust is good not great but I suspect there is a systemic problem at the Brookline store. The slices are always on the B side of life there no matter how busy they are or the time of day. I've had consistently good slices at the Watertown and Harvard Square locations. As for the price, did you have any toppings? If so, that's about what small costs these days at Sweet Tomatoes, which is comparable in style and quality in my book. I've found that Upper Crust is quite generous with its toppings, which is better than charging high prices and then giving you one or two mushrooms on a slice.

              1. I like their pizza, but am not ga-ga over it as some people are. This place had so much hype when they first opened that I felt a bit let down when I first tried it. But I do think it's good pizza overall.

                I actually haven't been to an Upper Crust in awhile, but a large group of us (possibly as many as 15 or 20 folks) will be hitting one of them tonight. I'll definitely report back tomorrow...

                1. Thin crust pizzas in general seem to really suffer more with delivery. I'm trying to hold to an "only at the restaurant" policy, but sometimes you just need delivery. In the South End, I think Mangia does a better job of getting the pizza delivered quickly than Upper Crust, though I like them both.

                  1. Totally agree that it has declined, but I always thought it was mediocre at best. We wind up ordering from there more than I want b/c its its the only pizza delivery programmed into our cell phone. I think Sweet Basil in Newton and Mangia near brookline village are much better, particularly Mangia, which does whole wheat crusts.

                    8 Replies
                    1. re: chefboyardee

                      I'm on record, over and over, for never "getting" the whole Upper crust popularity, and being a huge Mangia fan....That crust looks like white whole wheat flour, becasue it sure doesn't taste like any whole wheat crust I remember( which is a positive, trust me!) But after MC pointed it out, I did go in and ask, and it is, indeed, whole wheat...

                      1. re: chefboyardee

                        You've inspired me to give Mangia a try. I am fixin' for a pizza fix, so maybe I'll take my son there this week.

                        1. re: chefboyardee

                          Sweet Tomatoes is very good and has a new location in Needham, as well as two in Newton. For me, a big advantage of Upper Crust is that slices are available all day whereas Sweet Tomatoes stops serving them at 4 or 5. Though not generally as fresh as a made-to-order pie, it's nice to have good slices available when a whole pizza is too much.

                          1. re: Velda Mae

                            Maybe it's just me, but I have always found Sweet Tomatoes and Upper Crust to be pretty similar, indistinguishable and very bland and boring. I am a big fan of the original Regina's but the North End is just not convenient. I find that there are no outstanding pizzas in the suburbs, it's either Greek style, bar style, chains, etc.

                            1. re: bakerboyz

                              I don't know where in the 'burbs you are, but the Whole Foods in Woburn has a wood-fired brick oven right in the middle of the store and turns out some really surprisingly good pizza.

                                1. re: galleygirl

                                  Where is mangia located,, i need a new pizza place thanks

                          2. The Kid and i are fans of UC. we always hit it after a film at the CCT. we always get a large 1/2 cheese, 1/2 sausage mushroom, extra sauce, well done and we eat it there. went last Sunday and it was Perfect.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: ScubaSteve

                              I think the key to UC is getting extra sauce. It isn't a wet sauce, so it doesn't make the crust too soggy but really adds to the flavor. My husband likes the bacon, jalapeno and fresh pineapple, and I like artichoke with pesto splash, so we get a large half and half. with extra sauce We usually eat in, though, so we don't have the delivery issue. Leftovers make a nice lunch.

                            2. I had a slice in Brookline last week, and it was just fine -- for me, it's B to B+ pizza. For better pizza, I go home to New Haven. But, you want bad delivery, try moving to Dorchester. We resorted to Domino's a few days ago, and sadly, it was the best entry after three years of trying. The stuff UC throws out at the end of a shift would've been better.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: SpicyTea

                                Try the Papa Gino's rustic pizza from the place on Gallivan Blvd. Much better than anything else in the area there.

                                1. re: Wursthof

                                  Thanks -- that was the only other stone-unturned in our pizza-quest. We will try it!

                              2. So we went to the one in Watertown Square last night, and I have to say, I was not all that impressed. I used to go to the one in Lexington a lot, and thought that the pizza last night had noticeably less flavor than the ones I had there. It almost seems like the ingredients were different, but maybe it was the oven, cooking method, whatever. But it was pretty average stuff, and most of the people in our group had comments that ranged from "so-so" to "pretty good."

                                One side note: Those ultra-light aluminum chairs they have there are a hazard. Not one but two folks with us crashed to the ground when the chairs shifted and flipped due to their light weight. After the second incident, one of the workers came over, looking a bit horrified and asking if he was ok.

                                We did had a great time last night (lots of laughs, etc.), but I'm not sure we'll be going back there anytime soon...

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: hiddenboston

                                  Upper crust can be alright...but dreadfully expensive and a bit stingy with the toppings IMHO. I don't want it loaded and soggy, but give me more than 6 eggplant pieces on a large! If I were in Watertown, I would go to Stellas in a heartbeat. Their extra large is incredibly delicious. They use the same amount of dough as the large, but roll it thinner.

                                  1. re: Science Chick

                                    Ahhhh, to get the same ratio as their slices; good tip!

                                    1. re: galleygirl

                                      Yes, exactly! They use the extra large ones to make the slices. I didn't realize this, and ordered a regular "large". I was confused to find a thicker crust. They were so nice about it and insisted on making me another one (extra large....18" I think?), and they explained about the thinner crust 18" size. Who knew?

                                      1. re: Science Chick

                                        Well, a few other places do that, as I found out when i wondered why their pies weren't as thin as their slices. Some have it on the menu, some you have to ask, like the Brookline Spa, and Andrea's in Framingham. But neither of those is Stella's quality...

                                2. Frankly, I've had my share of slices at the Brookline location because it was the fastest thing I could get my hands on before a movie at the Coolidge. But I never saw how they could stay in business. I never had a decent slice of pizza there -- ever.

                                  1. I was so excited when one opened up in Lexington. I've been there several times, tried many styles and always wake up in the night dying of thirst. It's way too salty. For my health I just can't go there anymore. I have to admit I haven't yet tried asking if they could hold the salt.

                                    1. I was in the Watertown area for an appointment and tried that too and it was not as good as others I have tried. The waltham one is poorly run. Last time I was there waiting for a pizza to bring to a friend, the employees were all flirting with each other and pinching each others behind. Then I saw one of the cooks take a red bull and open it at the small bar area and then he proceeded to add booze to it and drink it. No wonder my toppings were missing.

                                      3 Replies
                                      1. re: macadamianut

                                        Shoot, maybe I need to pick up a job app..

                                        1. re: macadamianut

                                          Based on your post, perhaps those weren't the only toppings that were potentially missing in there! :-b Butt-pinching? Egads, at least I hope they were wearing gloves while they were doing it.

                                          1. re: macadamianut

                                            Ordered a small extra cheese and extra pepperoni last night for delivery. Received two large. Something is def going on at the Waltham location.

                                          2. I live right near the Brookline Upper Crust and pass by it every day. For the past week (at least) the lights have been off and the chairs pushed in the corner, during dinner hours when they used to be open. Perhaps their mediocre pizza is the cause.

                                            2 Replies
                                            1. re: fillefield

                                              My bad. I'm thinking of Pizza Republic not Upper Crust.

                                            2. I've noticed that the key is to ask for the pizza to be cooked well-done. It makes a world of difference. The demand is so high (at least in brookline) that they tend to take the pizzas out too early.

                                              5 Replies
                                              1. re: nightsky

                                                a well done pizza at the brookline store is served "A LA CHARCOAL" ==Garbage

                                                1. re: hlerm2

                                                  had ours well done last Sunday (in Coolidge Corner) and it was perfect, just a touch of carbon, but not overdone, held a point to the very last slice.

                                                  1. re: ScubaSteve

                                                    I don't know if there is any truth to this, but I heard that that the upper cust guy stole all of his recipes from the Sweet Tomatoes people. it wouldn't surprise me... as the pizza, at least in my mind, is similar.
                                                    Similiar price points too.

                                                    1. re: cheesehead in recovery

                                                      I think the theft is well documented, and has led to a lawsuit from the Sweet Basil people against UC. But from what I heard that was years ago, and it has obviously not stopped UC from expanding all over the place. Mangia delivers in Brookline, give them a try next time. I make my own most of the time now, it just tastes better.

                                                      1. re: chefboyardee

                                                        I heard the UC and ST were owned by the same people, but I guess this is not true. The pizzas are awfully similar which speaks to your post, Chef. Don't love UC or ST. We've been going to Stone Hearth pizza in Needham. They do a really nice job on our special order pizza. Don't know how well it would travel, but in the restaurant, it's quite good. Glad to hear about Mangia as we live in Brookline and don't always feel like schlepping out to Needham! This could be a new pizza find. Thanks, everyone for the recommendation. We'll check it out real soon!!

                                              2. I was also excited when they opened an UC in Salem, MA. Tried it three times and all three times was disapointed by the pizza. Another huge turn off was how dirty the sitting area was. I also despise any establishment that serves warm salad dressing packets from Ken's. Is it me or should bleu cheese dressing be refrigerated? I will stick with the local mom and pop types of places to keep the little guy in business.

                                                1. I've never been but clients of mine commented the other day that they don't like the one in Watertown and consider it waaay too expensive for the quality. They figure the Watertown one will close when some other new less expensive pizza place opening near there gets up and running, particularly in these economic times.

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: lgss

                                                    Watertown?What about the fabulous Stella's?

                                                    1. re: galleygirl

                                                      I'm gluten-free, just reporting what my clients said.

                                                      1. re: lgss

                                                        Bummer. Get them to try Stella's. (near Little Armenia on Mt.Auburn)I always get my car inspected at the service station next door so I have an excuse to have pizza while I wait...

                                                    2. re: lgss

                                                      Let's see, within 1 mile of there, we have:

                                                      Napoli Pizza
                                                      Watertown House of Pizza
                                                      Boston House of Pizza
                                                      Bertuccis
                                                      Stella's
                                                      Pleasant Pizza and Subs
                                                      Main Street Pizza
                                                      Vito's Pizza Plus
                                                      Pizza Roma

                                                      I'd say Upper Crust is holding their own at this point. Personally, I think their slices are not particularly expensive for the size (they're big)

                                                    3. I blame myself because I know better. I have already chimed in twice on this... Last night I needed to bring a pizza to my Dad. I was closer to Waltham so I figured I would just go to UC and get it over with. It was late for me and I was tired. I called in my order. Remember when I told you how the staff is always fooling around and that they forget my toppings? So I figured maybe things will have changed since this post went up and that the owners would REALIZE that there was a problem in that location. No such luck for me last night. I ordered two small pizza's. One was just pepperoni and the other was sausage, ricotta and basil. I was charged 30.00 for two small pizza's. I get to my Dad's house open up the pizza and no pepperoni on one pizza and no fresh basil on the other. I looked at my receipt and I was charged for them both. I could only laugh instead of getting mad because I KNEW BETTER!! Same staff was there, same problems. I guess I will be back to Sweet Tomatoes again.

                                                      4 Replies
                                                      1. re: macadamianut

                                                        Just remember to check before you walk off.
                                                        Then you can glare at them!

                                                        1. re: Bob Dobalina

                                                          Or refuse to take them, BEFORE paying.....Or pay for what you're ACTUALLY getting....

                                                          1. re: galleygirl

                                                            I am now done with Upper Crust. My husband told me to call and complain that I had paid for it and not gotten it but for what? I mean am I going to look for my three dollars back? Were they going to give me free toppings next time? There will not be a next time. If the owners ever care to read these posts and react to the poor poor service in the Waltham location. The one whom I saw taking shots of booze from the bar was still there last night making pizza. Obviously they don't care about quality and service.

                                                            1. re: macadamianut

                                                              One time I ordered a WW crust and got home to find a white one. They were very nice and gave me my next pizza free. That was ~ a year ago, and I haven't been in a while.....still, way too expensive in my book.

                                                      2. I agree UC is no longer so special. The first pizza I had at Hingham site was excellent. Since that first one others have been average. I ordered a large to go late one afternoon from Hingham and I think they reheated one that had been previously cooked. I have not been to UC in over a year. They should focus on quality since it is an expensive pizza.

                                                        1. I like Upper Crust especially their paper thin sausage slices. Flatbread and Fig's are better though.

                                                          1 Reply
                                                          1. re: robertlf

                                                            I've tried 3 times and each time found the crust jaw breaking and the rest of it unremarkable!