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Cheeses, Crust, Superstar

On Monday, March 16, we had our last meal inside a restaurant as the final pre-lockdown customers at one of our favorite spots on the planet, Red Stix Asian Street Food.

Ever since, we’ve only ordered takeout and, like everyone else, cooked and cooked and cooked until we never want to see our stove again.

Well, that all changed last Friday when we were invited into the newest restaurant at Trinity Groves, Holy Crust. We still won’t be eating indoors any time soon, but we felt safe on the patio, even though it was really crowded throughout Trinity Groves. The Phil Romano concept focuses almost entirely on pizza. (For pasta and other Italian staples, you can walk a few feet to his Saint Rocco’s New York Italian.)

As you may have read in several other local publications, pizza during the pandemic has been a huge business, with many non-pizza restaurants selling pies to keep customers happy—and keep the lights on.

So, the obvious question right now is whether Dallas needs another pizza joint. After our inaugural dinner at Holy Crust, the answer is an emphatic YES! In fact, this is some of the best pizza we’ve had in a long time and we order in pizza at least once a week.

The process here is slightly different. Rather than putting sauce, cheese and toppings on dough and tossing it in the oven, here they sauté the toppings first and let the cheese melt under their deliciousness. It’s not a noticeably dramatic difference at all, but if that’s the secret to why this particular style of pizza tastes so damn good, then more power to them.

With more than 16 varieties of pizza, it’ll be a tough decision at first, but we’re pretty sure you can’t go wrong with any of them. On our visit, we tried two of the less typical offerings. The Shrimp Caccio e Pepe hit the table loaded with shrimp, spinach, tomatoes, mozzarella, parmesan and a creamy Alfredo sauce. Fantastic.

Next up, we sampled the Veal Marsala, which might be the ugliest pizza we’ve ever seen—but easily one of the tastiest. Strips of veal, white wine, mozzarella, parmesan and Alfredo sauce recreate the classic dish in a handheld format beautifully. (Just not literally beautifully.)

Hope you’re up-to-date on your high blood pressure medicine.

We ended up seated six feet away from a friend who had a classic pepperoni pizza, so we couldn’t resist trading him a piece of our veal for a piece of his. The red sauce is perfect thanks to the right ratio of spice and sweetness, but the pepperoni made us swoon. It came out fully loaded, which can be a bad thing if the pepperoni’s floppy. Instead, the pepperoni was like crispy bacon—our favorite way to eat the cured sausage.

The common denominator across all varieties, of course, is the crust—not too thick, not too thin, not too crispy and not too chewy. Instead, it’s a happy compromise between several different styles in every bite. We would probably be happy with a plain pizza crust slathered in a little butter and garlic with a side of red sauce for dipping paired with a jug of wine.

Nice jugs.

Yep, fans of the old-school Romano’s Macaroni Grill may remember the days when huge jugs of cheap wine were made available on the honor system for guests to enjoy while waiting for a table and throughout dinner. For $6 per glass, you can chug Carlo Rossi red, white or rosé. Sure, they’ll know something’s up when the bottle is half empty and you claim only one glass, but it’s up to you to decide which lies you can live with.

So, make plans this week to check out Holy Crust. Wear your mask, grab a seat on the patio and get ready for some kick-ass pizza. And maybe a shot of housemade kick-your-ass limoncello for good measure.

Holy shit, we love Holy Crust.

Holy Crust
3011 Gulden Lane #112 (at Trinity Groves), Dallas
holycrustdallas.com

Photos courtesy of Holy Crust

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