The Snob recently helped arrange an adventure bringing together the worlds of hiking and pizza. When Bassman Steve suggested we get a group together for a hike in the Tennessee hills, I thought we could tag it with a visit to Sewanee’s Crust Pizza. The “Hike and Pie” event was set on Facebook and 11 of us made the Saturday morning journey on I-24 about 90-miles southeast of Nashville.
After traversing a fairly easy trek along the famous Fiery Gizzard Trail in nearby Tracy City, we headed over to Crust for a late lunch. Located in a small strip center adjacent to the beautiful campus of the University of the South, Crust has two additional locations in Chattanooga and advertises a “superfamous cracker thin crust.”
To the delight of the Snob’s alter ego, Music City Mike, Crust had a collection of rare, framed rock music posters on display. Highlighted by a sweet looking French poster for The Ramones Rock and Roll High School, the exhibit also included The Clash, Devo, and Sugar. Crust’s comfy room offered seating either in booths along the side walls or on stools at several high tables. Remnants of the lunch time pizza buffet were still on display although our plans called for ordering fresh from the menu. The menu offered some salad and pasta choices along with varieties of pizza.
We arrived just as they were about to close early. It was Alumni Weekend at the school, and we were informed that they were under-prepared in terms of food for the evening. As a result, the staff at first seemed a little cold and unhappy to see us. Once adjusted to our presence, they hospitably took our orders in a gracious laid-back Southern manner, and everything proceeded just fine. They even let us nibble at the expiring buffet slices for free while we waited. Mrs. Pie and I ordered a 16-inch plain cheese that set us back 13 bucks.
I wish I enjoyed the pizza as much as I did the staff. While it was thin and crisp, the crust was too cracker-like for me. It was flaky, brittle and dry, and the end crust tasted like a saltine cracker. The pie also suffered from the worst cutting job that I have yet to experience. It was sliced into a modified Crisscross Cut resulting in several long thin strips that were impossible to put into your mouth without flopping over!
Taste-wise, the fresh cheese and sauce fared much better. The mozzarella was good quality and melted just right. The sauce was made from tomatoes grown on site and was quite pleasing, although tangier and sweeter than expected. While Crust’s pie was somewhat tasty and enjoyable, it is of a different breed; therefore, I simply cannot recommend it to a classic pie lover.
Our group finished the day visiting the cool little shops around the corner from Crust with talks of future “Hike and Pie” events to come.
PIZZA SNOB RATING *** Better Than Dominos
12569 Sollace M. Freeman Highway
Sewanee, Tennessee 37375