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Dining Out: Pies to die for at Rusted Sun

Published November 5, 2008 11:08 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2008, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

It has been more than a week, and I can't stop thinking about the pizza crust at Rusted Sun Pizzeria. Sturdy and thin in the middle and not shatteringly crisp at its edges, the crust is just right.

I am not usually one for crusts. All too often, hard shards of blistered and underseasoned crust gouge the roof of my mouth. But this pizzeria's crust is reminiscent of a well-salted artisan ciabatta loaf, and my plate was wiped clean on a recent weeknight visit.

While the Wasatch Front has plenty of pizza joints, Rusted Sun is a standout. Five banquettes and six barstools line the rectangular, 10-year-old restaurant. Warm colors coat the walls, framed southern Utah landscapes give the place a homey touch, and metal pizza stands at each table add a bit of nostalgia.

The menu has 11 pizzas, including a four-meat combination with pepperoni, Italian sausage, salami, Canadian bacon, green bell pepper, red onion, mushrooms and black olives. Another curiously good pizza is the "round up," with barbecue sauce, mozzarella, chicken, bacon, red onion, red bell pepper and buffalo sauce that packs some heat.

For vegetarians, there is "deluxe veggie" with no fewer than eight ingredients, and for seafood lovers, the unusual sounding "shrimp alfredo" with mozzarella, bay shrimp, broccoli, red onion and alfredo sauce.

If those don't sound appealing, design your own with the 33 toppings and six sauces -- marinara, barbecue, buffalo sauce, alfredo, pesto and olive oil. Select either a 12-inch or 16-inch, ranging from $11 to $21.75. For kids, there also is an 8-inch pie ($4.50, 25 cents for additional toppings) or penne pasta ($4.50).

Calzones ($6-$8.75) are another way to enjoy the well-crafted pizza dough. The normally crescent-shaped pies are oval here with a hole in the top crust, but the look was secondary to the molten mix of mozzarella, Canadian bacon, mushrooms and marinara oozing from our golden brown, stuffed pie ($7.75).

Since The Tribune's last visit, sandwiches have been removed from the menu, but there are five salads ($3.75-$8), including the "blue chicken" with greens, blue cheese, chicken, broccoli, red onion and red pepper.

The buffalo chicken appetizer ($6.75) is not to be missed with chunks of tender breast meat doused in a hot and creamy buffalo sauce" and scattered with jalapeño rings. Choose the ranch or blue cheese dipping sauce, or get one of each. It is tangy, spicy and cooling, all at once.

Drink offerings are brief, but appropriate -- sodas, lemonade, juices and beer -- and well priced ($2-$3.50). Draft beer by the pitcher ($12) also is an option.

I heard mixed comments about Rusted Sun's service, mainly that employees weren't particularly cordial. But servers were friendly and accommodating the night I dined. Just when I was burned out with my current pizza place, I've found one that is even better, and with a crust that's just as good the next day.

Lesli J. Neilson can be contacted at lneilson@sltrib.com or 801-257-8661. Send comments about this review to livingeditor@sltrib.com.