Brews News



Chad W. Lutz
Located just off 14th St. in Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood, Crust sits inside a quiet-looking colonial resembling just about any other row house along the main drag on Kenilworth Ave. Step inside, and the story changes. Smells of freshly pureed garlic, spices, and melting cheeses accost the senses. Pizzas as big as tabletops aptly called “Destroyers” sit on the long, windowed counter resembling a New York deli. The small but warm and inviting Crust stirs your salivatory glands instantly. But remember to push on the door, instead of pull. It’ll save you precious fractions of seconds of embarrassment, if only felt internally.

As you enter, Crust’s menu adorns the wall to your left. Those with bad vision will have to move closer, but once you do, there you will find a treasure trove of authentic Italian and gourmet pizzas made from scratch right in front of your eyes. It’s like an Italian Hibachi. The small but cozy restaurant seats about twenty people, with high-tables and stools accommodating intimate dinners for two and even nights out with the guys or girlfriends. It’s the type of place Cleveland can be proud of and should be known for, right up there with Melt, Sushi Rock, and the Hard Rock Café.

One of the most impressive dishes Crust serves up is the aforementioned Destroyer Pizza. If stood on end, each slice carved out of these giant monstrosities could be mistaken for traffic cones. Crust serves the 30-inch mythical pies to pizza-weary passersbys for a mere three bucks slice. It might sound like you’re getting ripped, but if you saw the pizzas, you’d understand. And, in traditional New York-style, each Destroyer features a thin base and a thick, fluffy crust lightly dusted with garlic and Parmesan.
The fabled "Destroyer" awaits your tastebuds for a delicious mission of seek and decimate.
Not into eating just cheese on your pie? Crust also serves up specialty pizzas, as well. On my particular excursion, I had the opportunity to try the Lemon Rosemary Chicken pizza. Wow. The sight of it alone was breathtaking. Large chunks of tomatoes, redskin potatoes, and chicken diced and sent through the oven amidst fresh rosemary, garlic, feta cheese, red pepper flakes, and topped off with extra virgin olive oil. Did I say wow? Ok, good. Wow.

Other eye-popping pizzas on the Crust menu include the bacon and blue cheese laden Butternut Squash pizza complete with caramelized onion and an apple cider reduction for good measure. For the meat-lovers, the Spanish Chorizo or the Finocchiona pizzas are easy-sells. Crust in Tremont even sells Prosciutto pizza and a Ham and Egg special. Walking in and out of the place made me wonder how the people who live in the Cleveland neighborhood aren’t driven out of their minds by how good the restaurant makes the area smell. Michelangelo, eat your heart out (literally).

Not in the mood for pizza? Or, just a health nut like me? There are plenty of other options at Crust in Tremont to suite your appetites. Crust also sells salads, subs, pastas, and, for the sweet-toothed, homemade Italian deserts like cheesecakes and cannolis. But, ten seconds spent looking over the Crust menu, let alone left to the mercy of the delicious aromas radiating out of their giant pizza ovens, and I’m sure you’ll succumb like I did.

The upper… Tectonic plates form the Earth’s… Ok, you get it. The place is called Crust. However, allowing for one more bad pun, despite what they say about kids not wanting to eat theirs, you’ll devour everything you can get your hands on at this unassuming delicatessen treasure.

1020 Kenilworth Ave. Cleveland, Ohio 44113
(216) 583-0257
Monday thru Saturday 11:00am – 9:00pm
Sunday: CLOSED
Prices: $3.00 to $16.95