Restaurant: Upper Crust Restaurant and Pizzeria
Address: 3711 W. Chester Pk., Newtown Square, PA 19073
Rating: (out of 5 stars): ★★★
Style: Casual restaurant and pizzeria
Food: Pizzas, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, salads and seafood dishes
Atmosphere: Brightly lit dining area with spacious booths and plain tables
Parking: Small lot
Service: Warm and welcoming
Price Range: Most items are under $10
Unique Feature: Daily specials, large beer selection and breakfast items
It’s rather tongue in cheek to name a pizza restaurant “upper crust” as pizza is emblematic of the everyman. Much like calling Miller High Life the “champagne of beers," the name of the restaurant is also a combination of both high brow and low brow. How would the pizza taste at such an establishment?
We went in for a very late lunch and were seated immediately in a spacious booth. Our server was quite enthusiastic and friendly. I had a root beer and my dining companion had water. It was a bit early to have beer but I was impressed with the selection—not just of the beer but alcoholic beverages in general. In addition to domestic and imported brews there were also wine coolers and Boone’s wine (which I haven’t seen since college).
We started off with some beef chili and the side salad that came with the pasta dish. The chili was hearty and filling but definitely did not taste homemade. A generous portion chock full of tender beans and ground beef, this chili was an ideal way to warm up on a cold afternoon. The mostly iceberg salad with “balsamic vinaigrette” (a few tablespoons of balsamic vinegar in a cup does not make a vinaigrette) was sparsely sprinkled with some vegetables. Regardless, the salad was rather large and fairly fresh.
The eggplant Parmesan was enormous and heavily sauced. The tomato sauce was decent. Fairly well seasoned, but not overwhelmingly flavorful, the sauce bathed the linguini noodles nicely. The pasta itself was cooked well. The eggplant portions were a bit mushy and the golden fried crust that I love was strangely missing. Instead of deep-fried eggplant pieces, the vegetables seemed to be sautéed and arrived sans crust. The garlic bread that came on the side was okay. There was a nice crunch to the bread and plenty of slices.
The half-mushroom, half-pepperoni pizza was very good. We were both famished and the hybrid Greek/Italian crust to the pizza was golden and delicious. You could hear the crust cracking with each bite. The tomato sauce was quite tasty. There was plenty of cheese and toppings and although the mushrooms were canned, I still enjoyed each slice.
We managed to put a big dent in the surprisingly large amount of food (portions were far larger than we had imagined) and never had to wait for anything. Our sever was extremely attentive and checked on us often. Our glasses were refilled, our needs were met and she did so with speed and efficiency. There was nothing snooty or upper crust about this place and I mean that in the best way possible.