Wednesday, November 04, 2009

October 30, 2009: Crust pizza

After the best part of a week looking after a useless invalid, Cindy was ready to forego the kitchen on Friday night and order in some takeaway. We still haven't settled on an option when the pizza cravings hit (a delivery one anyway, we've got plenty of options for great pizza otherwise), with my favourite (Umago) low on Cindy's rankings. Last time we had this interminable discussion on the blog, KittyMeow recommended Crust Pizza, so when Jetsetting Joyce flagged their new Smith Street store, we were ready to give them a try.

The menu is chock-full of vego options, from 'healthy' Heart Foundation pizzas to the weirder upper crust options (curry pizza? Really?). We went a fairly conventional route, ordering three of the standard vego pizzas ($20 each for large ones) - Wild Mushroom, Sweet Potato and Vegie Moussaka. The pizza bases are thin and light, and they have a light touch with the toppings - the sauces and cheese don't dominate the main ingredients.

The best of the bunch was the wild mushroom, with three kinds of mushrooms, asparagus spears, pine nuts and parmesan cheese. Mushroom pizzas are always looked kindly upon in this house, and the addition of asparagus and pinenuts elevated this one from the usual fare.

The moussaka was a fantastic idea, with grilled eggplant, roasted potatoes, garlic, parmesan and bechamel sauce. It almost carried it off, but the potato slices were not as well cooked as they should have been, which lowered this one from outstanding down to adequate.

Finally, the sweet potato pizza, with roasted capsicum, cherry tomatoes, pinenuts, red onion and gorgonzola. With all those ingredients, you'd expect a flavour sensation, but this pizza really only came alive when you got a bit with gorgonzola in it. I may be a bit biased by my anti-tomato agenda, but on the whole this was the least impressive of the three.

At $20 a pop, Crust is a tiny bit pricier than some of the other places we've tried, but probably a tiny bit better as well. It's not a clear winner, but it's leading and will most likely be the place we call next time we want someone to bring pizza to us.

Address: 350 Smith Street, Collingwood (they're all over Melbourne)
Ph: 9095 0955 (again, this is the Collingwood store)
Price: Large vego pizzas - $20


  1. Sorry to be pedantic, but could you retag as Collingwood please? IT's on the other side!

  2. Haven't tried the mushroom one, but I had the Moussaka one when I was up in Sydney earlier this year. I thought it was pretty good.

    I haven't tried it, but have heard good things about Nostralis Pizza in North Caulfield -

    However, they don't do delivery.

  3. You should definitely try the Vegie Supreme next time. The homemade pesto aioli makes the whole thing completely awesome (plus, artichokes and eggplant).

    I had the vege moussaka a few weeks ago, wasn't blown away by it... but I'm still not really sold on potato as a pizza topping.

    Also there is one in Richmond :)

  4. I love the sound of mousaka - but prefer my potato cooked through - will look out for this!

    Nice to see you back at the keyboard michael - hope your arms are healing well

  5. I used to love the one in richmond, so we grabbed one from the collingwood store last time we were driving past running late home and thought to get some pizza. We had the sweet potato and I wouldn't go back. Was a real let down to the memory that I had of them.

  6. I had Crust pizza last week too! Out of the vegetarian options we tried the pumpkin and potato which was a bit bland. It sounds like all the other vego options you had were better?

    Personally I have to agree with Cindy, I really don't rate Umago. Too cheesy and oily.

    Jetsetting Joyce

    PS I have tagged Crust as Fitzroy and Collingwood on MEL: HOT OR NOT. It's on the Collingwood side of the road but Crust call it their 'Fitzroy' store. V confusing :)

  7. Brian - it's done. :-)

    Hi Will! Thanks for mentioning Nostralis - I'll put it on the list for a future visit.

    Hello and welcome, pfctdayelise! Pesto aioli sounds terrific - we'll get onto it. I'm a little iffy on the potato pizza thing too, but it was at least thinly sliced here.

    It's worth a shot, Johanna - plenty of vego options to choose from!

    Hi Nudbot! It seems plausible that the new store hasn't got it together as well as the Richmond one (which we haven't visited).

    JJ, the mushroom option at least was definitely better! Sounds like the vegie supreme is a winner too. I like Umago's Mexican pizaa toppings but yeah, there's the cheese-overload issue. :-/

  8. I ALSO had Crust last week. Crazy. I've had it before, but not for years.

    After much deliberation (they don't do half-halfs on the mediums! Outrageous!), I had the Vegie Supreme. It was the pesto aioli that sold me, and it definitely was the highlight of the pizza.

    Umago's is greasy, but a pretty solid standard suburban pizza choice for when you're in the mood for exactly that. Plus they're open later than most and are fairy fast.

    My favourite in the area is probably Pizza Capers. Apparently there are lots of them in QLD, but they just have one little shop in Stanley St, Collingwood (off Smith St). Their margherita is the best I've ever had (it involves slow roasted tomatoes) , and though they don't have many straight veggie pizzas, most can be vegetarinised. The creamy potato one (minus the bacon) is amazing (and they cook the potatoes properly). They also do excellent calzones (including dessert calzones) and stuffed breads and dips (all ridiculously decadent stuff).

    I'm also a fan of Mojo's. Not so much their traditional pizzas, but the weird ones are good -- especially the one that has nachos on the pizza. So wrong, but oh so right. Even more wrong-but-right is their rocky road dessert pizza.

  9. Glad you got to try Crust and thanks for the link! :-D

    Its good to hear they're in the north now cos we've moved to Nth Melb and we're missing Richmond Crust...The pizzas around here have been mostly miss lately.

    Maybe they do have a bit of variation across the stores because a friend just told me the Port Melb one was not so good.

    I've had the moussaka pizza before and the potato was cooked nicely - but like others, I'm not 100% with the potato on pizza thing.

  10. Hi Ruth - we're familiar with Pizza Capers from our years living in Brisbane, but didn't know they had a shop down here! We'll have to try them again. We've tried Mojo's once and thought they were OK, though the vego options just didn't look weird enough to me!

    Hi Esz! We can recommend one pizzeria in North Melbourne - Oskar. It's a bit fancy and I doubt they deliver, unfortunately. :-/

  11. Info only. The entertainment book has 3 2-for 1 Crust vouchers. They are one of the nicer chain pizzas.

  12. We had three Crusts Pizza tonight from their Cheltenham store....seriously the WORST pizza we have ever eaten. We took a vote around the table and it won!!!! No flavour, less topping than we had ever seen on ANY pizza....we will never all went in the bin. Hope your visit is better!

  13. Actually, Anon, we did go back recently and were content with what we ordered. We still think it's the best pizza delivery option in our neighbourhood, though you're certainly not the only dissatisfied customers in this comments thread.

    Oh, and Chai - we discovered that those vouchers are only valid for pick-up, not delivered, pizza. :-(