The end of July approaches. I’ll end the month the same way I ended it in 2011: spending a week among countless airplanes and aviation enthusiasts in glamorous (read: “glamorous”) Oshkosh, Wisconsin, attending the annual AirVenture with my coworkers. As far as business travel goes, it’s not a bad gig. And we do eat well on our trips – however, options are somewhat limited and by the end of the week, everyone is a little tired of the sushi/hibachi restaurant and the hotel steakhouse, tasty though they may be. (However, no one gets tired of the bar that plays five decades of music videos, heavy on the nineties. It’s physically impossible to tire of that.)
Luckily, I’m being sent off on a high note this year, food-wise. We gathered with friends on Friday night – the first time in awhile; it’s been a busy summer all around – for beer and pizza on the deck. Sound mundane, right? Well, this wasn’t just any pizza: this was a most perfect marriage of pizza and Indian food and flavors combining to form the incomparable Curry on Crust.
From what I understand, Curry on Crust is the pet project of the wives of the proprietors of a popular Indian street food restaurant. Located on Ford Road in Canton (that’s right, Ann Arborites – you have to – gasp! – leave the city for this deliciousness), the restaurant does a brisk carry-out business, though there is a small seating area inside the restaurant.
The restaurant divides the pie menu into three basic categories: veggie, paneer (a crumbly fresh cheese used in Indian cuisine, often marinated) and chicken (the only non-vegetarian ingredient on Curry on Crust’s menu). We chose one option from each category: #4 – the Spicy Veggie Treat; #14 – the Palak Paneer Pizza; and #20 – the Chicken Tikka Pizza.
We started with the spicy veggie, featuring the house red sauce. The sauce itself had a spicy, flavorful kick (though not hot enough to offend any spice-phobes) while the addition of ginger and chilies kicked up with the usual veggie pizza combination of onions, mushrooms, tomatoes and olives. A healthy dose of garlic rounded everything out. Hands-down the most flavorful veggie pizza I’ve ever had.
We moved on to the paneer, which pretty much wow-ed the entire group at first bite. The spinach sauce was a brilliant addition, both texture and taste-wise. The sauce offered the rich taste of spinach without any leafy stringiness. It was almost pesto-like in composition. The marinated paneer was almost meat-like. Onions and red peppers added additional crunch and flavor depth.
We were all ready to declare the paneer pizza the winner for the night until we tasted the chicken tikka pizza. Everyone in the group had a hard time deciding which, if either, was the better of the two. The crust was spread with a warm-spicy tikka sauce and sprinkled with chunks of tikka chicken, green peppers and – of course – garlic. The warm flavors of tumeric and corriander permeated the dish, complimented by the mellow flavors of the cooked garlic and the toned-down bitterness of the green pepper. Nothing short of amazing.
We washed down the pizza with Spotted Cow beer from New Glarus Brewing Company out of Wisconsin (this was not an homage to my trip – Matt is from Green Bay). The farmhouse-style ale had a touch of fruitiness and a nice weight without being too heavy. I could see this beer being complimentary to many food options. A great summer deck-drinking choice.
On that note, I think I’m ready to head off to airplane land for a week. I’ll be back and ready for more eating and blogging adventures in August, so stay tuned!