Crushed Red

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Good morning! I hope you’re having a lovely morning (or afternoon, or evening!). I’m still recovering from my recent trip to California. It was such a good time! I miss the beach already.

Anyway, let’s talk about a St. Louis spot, shall we?

About once a month, I go to lunch with my mom and sister. We take turns picking out the restaurant, and there’s only one rule: it has to be a place that none of us has visited before.

This time, it was my sister’s turn to choose the spot, and she chose Crushed Red in Clayton.

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Good choice, little sis! Winking smile

I had been wanting to try this place as soon as I heard about its opening in February of 2012. It’s received quite a bit of buzz; its owner, Chris LaRocca, also owns EdgeWild Restaurant & Winery in Chesterfield.

The restaurant itself is quite lovely. I really liked the warm atmosphere. It was very loft-like with the open ceilings and exposed brick. I loved it!

 

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Oh, and I’d like to steal this light fixture and put it in my dining room. Thanks. Winking smile

 

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So neat!

Crushed Red has a number of pre-made salads, pizzas, and soups, but you can also create your own pizza if you so desire. Tough decisions to make!

 

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We all made our decisions, and then it was time to sit back and watch the action.

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I love open kitchen/preparation areas.

None of us went with salad (healthy food?! Psssshhhhh…), but if you decide to create your own, there are lots of fun toppings to choose from.

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After a few minutes, our pizzas were ready!

I went with the Yukon Gold Rush pizza: parmesan cream, hickory bacon, sliced yukon gold potatoes, olives, rosemary, gorgonzola and mozzarella cheese.

 

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Oh baby. This was good! I was worried that the small size of the pizza wouldn’t be enough to fill me up (I have a huge appetite!), but this was the perfect size.

Crushed Red has a self-serve toppings bar that I found quite interesting. Before I dug into my pizza, I paid it a visit.

 

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There was roasted garlic,

 

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crushed red pepper,

 

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parmesan cheese,

 

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and pepperoncini!

 

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There was also tabasco sauce, olive oils, and cholula hot sauce. Lots of options! Not wanting to mess with the flavor of my pizza too much, I settled with a tiny sprinkle of parmesan cheese.

So…the important question…how was the pizza? It was good! I really enjoyed it. The crust was chewy and flavorful. The toppings worked. I love yukon gold potatoes, and whoever made the decision to include them on a pizza is a genius.

My one gripe with the pizza? The toppings weren’t evenly dispersed. At all. One side of my pizza was crowded with potatoes and rosemary, and the other side was mostly cheese. It was very strange, to be honest. Not enough to take away from my enjoyment of the pizza, but it was quite noticeable.

Service at Crushed Red was very friendly, but I found myself quite annoyed with the lack of knowledge that the workers (and later, the manager?) had about their offerings. When I was initially deciding what to order, I was drawn to the Cowpoke Smoke salad: smoked beef brisket, roma tomato, red onion, blue cheese, crispy jalapeno straws, and goddess dressing. My one question: What is goddess dressing? No one – No one – could answer that question for me. In my case, it was just a matter of curiousity, but what if someone with a food allergy made that same inquiry? To not even be able to name any of the basic components in the dressing was a little alarming. I was so turned off by this that I skipped the salad altogether and just went with pizza.

Again, this didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the restaurant (or my pizza), but it is worth noting.

Aside from those minor complaints, I really enjoyed Crushed Red. I would definitely come back to try other selections on the menu. Heck, maybe I’ll give the goddess dressing a try next time and figure out what’s in it myself! Winking smile

See you next week.

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