CLEVELAND, Ohio — Several years ago, an in-depth study of pizza demographics by the data company, Infogroup, revealed that Cleveland came in an astonishing 4th place in the country for most pizza restaurants per capita.
With at least seven cheese-draped dispensaries for every 10,000 people, that beats New York and Chicago by far and is bested only by Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and….Orlando? Maybe people need a slice of relative reality after spending all day being Disney Whirled.
Differential stats aside, that’s a whole lotta pizza consumed in this town. There’s thick, thin, and every increment in between, slices, squares, very personal size and…monster wedges. The latter is courtesy of Crust Tremont, the long-time upscale pizza place of record in, yes, Tremont, that just recently moved to more capacious and scholarly digs, but we’ll talk more about that later.
Their one pound-plus behemoths are hewn from a Paul Bunyan-size 32-inch diameter pizza and custom accessorized from an extensive list that spans the usual props of pepperoni, sausage and roasted red peppers, to the more unexpected pleasures of white truffle oil, fennel-scented fiocchiona (cured Tuscan salami), smoked mozzarella and garlic-roasted potato.
A life-affirming choice of baby arugula and spinach toppings provides a virtuous salad and pizza partnership. Though a slab bacon and fried egg combo is pretty compelling, for all the wrong reasons, as well. These prodigious slices are served on equally hefty 2-inch thick wedge-shaped wooden boards that add an even more Bunyanesque sensibility to the proceedings.
For those interested in a more curated pizza experience, Crust has its own specialty offerings in non-giant lumberjack sizes. There are many splendors among the 12- and 16-inch pies.
Try the addictive Spanish Chorizo pie that flatters the smoky salami-like sausage with a multi-faceted flavor base of goat cheese, sweet, roasted red peppers, smoked mozzarella, rosemary and garlic. The