Those of you familiar with the flagship location of Crust Pizza in Panther Creek may or may not be aware of their second location in the Village of Alden Bridge. The Alden Bridge Store is at the west end of the Alden Bridge Shopping Center, on the corner which faces Research Forest Drive and Alden Bridge Drive. There is another pizza (national chain) vendor located in the eastern end of the same retail center, but we aren’t talking about… his pizza. In fact, we weren’t actually there for the pizza at all. We’ve sampled the pies from Crust Pizza many times before and as hard as it was to resist the urge, we did just that. This location has been open for a couple of months or more and we went in for something off the sandwich side of the menu.
Crust Pizza is so much more than a pizza joint. These full-service Italian restaurants offers calzones, salads, pasta, our favorite Garlic Knots of course, and hot sub sandwiches along with those wonderous hand-tossed-crust pizza pies. And at just 8-10 minutes up the road from most of the Research Forest offices, Crust is in a prime location for a lunch-hour run when you’re looking for something different.
I can’t help it, I’m a die-hard pizza fan at Crust Pizza. But he’s right, we gotta try more of the menu, so I decided on the Baked Italian Sub ($7.50), made with pepperoni, ham, salami, mozzarella, lettuce, tomatoes and Italian dressing. After I ordered, though, I went off to wash my hands, trusting the men-folk (chatting at the register while he decided) to get it right, and somehow (as you can see above) I ended up with the Muffaletta Sub ($7.50). There’s actually very little difference in the two subs, though the Muffaletta swaps out the fresh veggies and Italian dressing for olive relish.
As I wasn’t sure where the mix-up occured, and I’m actually a fan of a good olive relish, I just rolled with it. I’m glad I did. The sub rolls are a soft, Italian bread, without the over-chewiness of a Chibatta roll. There is a generous amount of each of the high-quality meats Crust has become known for, folded with care into the sandwich. Those meats are tucked between slices of mild, melty mozzarella, helping to hold it all together. And right down the middle of that warm and toasty submarine of goodness was a fantastic blended olive relish. I detected green and black olives, celery, cauliflower and carrot, oregano and garlic, some basil and a mild olive oil. All-in-all, a near-perfect blend for a Muffaletta.
While we waited for our subs to be brought to the table, we also enjoyed some of those infamous garlic knots. We may not have been there for pizza but, we always wind up getting some of those excellent bow-tied, garlicy tidbits.
I like a sandwich with substance, so I went with the Spicy Link Sub ($7.50). The Spicy Link Sub comes with caramelized onions, mixed bell peppers, mozzarella, pizza sauce, ricotta, and spicy link sausage, along with a handful of kettle-cooked potato chips. Don’t worry, the sausage isn’t what I would consider as being too spicy, it actually adds just the right amount of kick to it. I am also a fan of the bell pepper trio, red, yellow, and green, I like all of them and can almost never have too much so, I would have liked to see a bit more on my sandwich in addtion to having the veggies spread a little more evenly throughout. The lightly toasted crust on the bread was the perfect wrapper for an otherwise excellent sandwich.
So while there’s three dozen or so restaurants along the Research Forest Drive corridor, a majority of them are concentrated up near “the front” – that is, between I-45 and Grogan’s Mill. The addition of Crust Pizza to the Alden Bridge Village Center helps to expand the dining horizons beyond fast food for the western end of The Woodlands – something we’re sure a great many residents of Alden Bridge can attest to. Tell us what you think in the comment section below. And remember, you don’t have to take our word for it – give them a try for yourself and you decide! Maybe we will see you there as we plan to return for more.