Despite the images its name conjures up for me, New York’s The Upper Crust does not serve pizza. Instead it serves sandwiches, soups, salads, and few pasta meets soup/chili dishes (Cincinnati chili and baja pasta). Curious, the hubby and I headed in for lunch one weekend.
Located in a small strip mall, the interior is softer than you would expect. Carpeted floors share space with mustard yellow walls, wood chairs, and leather like booths. A watery rendition of New York takes up one long wall in vivid shades of blue and red. Each table holds a vase of bright silk flowers, a handful of trivial pursuit cards, small bud vases with crayons, and a few sheets of construction paper. A radio played softly as we walked to the counter to place our order.
After some deliberation, I decided on the 1/2 soup, 1/2 sandwich combo with broccoli cheese soup and a chicken pecan sandwich. The hubby opted for a bread bowl with Baja soup. Two drinks and a brownie rounded out our order. As we paid, the woman at the register handed us our cups and the playing card which would serve as our table number.
We filled our cups at the fountain and selected a comfy looking booth. We chatted and took in the decor; a few minutes later our food arrived.
I was underwhelmed with the presentation of my meal. Not that there was really anything wrong with it–the charming “cup of soup”, in a mug which matched the plate. It’s just that when I think “New York” and “Upper Crust”, I think fancy. Thing like plates with some heft, modern patterns, cloth napkins, an artistic flare to the arrangement…Instead this was comfortably homey, like eating at a friend’s house.
My soup was smooth with large pieces of broccoli and a touch of spice. Running to the thinner side, it was a lovely consistency and topped with a sprinkling of shredded cheese. Flavor-wise there was something just a touch “off” about it. I debated back and forth as to whether it was canned–the aftertaste wasn’t overly chemically, so it was at least a quality pre-prepared product if that’s indeed what it was.
The sandwich featured thick, soft bread loaded up with chicken salad and light on the mayonaise. A single slice of cheese and a bit of iceburg lettuce rounded it out. The chicken salad was on the salty side for me, especially when paired with the cheese. I could visually see bits of pickles and pecans in the salad, but I could not taste them. The iceburg added a hint of crunch.
They hubby enjoyed his soup declaring it “really good” and full of black beans, corn, chicken, and tomatoes. I was intrigued by his bread bowl which looked like a french or white bread, instead of the traditional sourdough. Despite appearances though, my husband confirmed that it was sourdough.
The brownie was my favorite part of our meal. Thick and chewy, it was dense enough to be a brownie, not a cake, but tall enough to look like a cake. Studded with chocolate chips and frosted with a semi-stiff chocolate icing, it was delicious.
As a casual, family friendly sandwich and soup spot, New York’s The Upper Crust does nicely. It creates a homey vibe, offers a mix of standard and unfamiliar fare (the Baja pasta is the Baja soup over spaghetti), and actively works to keep kids of all ages entertained. Kids eat free on Saturdays (with purchase of an adult meal) and adult diners can fill a punch card for a free meal which helps make dining there budget friendly. I was, however, confused by the concept. There was the “New York” theme, the “Upper Crust” theme, and a game theme (the playing cards and trivial pursuit cards). My food was solid enough that I wouldn’t object to going back but not so good that I would drive out of my way for it. I’d give them a try if you are in the area, especially if you have little ones in tow and want to offer them something a little healthier than pizza, chicken fingers, and french fries.
Total for the meal: $18.04 (Included one combo, one bread bowl with soup, one brownie, and two fountain drinks)