Frank McCarron has been running pizza joints for some 30 years. After helping build his friends’ San Diego restaurant Portino’s into a success, his crew won the International Pizza Challenge in 2009 right here in Las Vegas at the International Pizza Expo.
McCarron eventually moved on to a new concept, a pizzeria with a liquor store and market inside, which sparked a new idea. In addition to serving authentic New York- and Chicago-style pies to dine-in and takeout customers, he’d sell frozen pizzas to nearby taverns operating around the clock. That’s the same model he’s using at Da’ Crust, his first Vegas Valley venture, opened in Henderson seven weeks ago.
You wouldn’t know if you were eating Da’ Crust’s pizza in a bar—unless it’s the Chicago deep-dish, that heavy, cheesy feast that’s still not readily accessible in Southern Nevada. “I can’t believe with all the Chicago people we have out here that there’s no real deep-dish,” McCarron says. “It’s a completely different dough. It’s kind of like a biscuit. That’s the only way I can explain it.” His 12-inch Da’ Works deep-dish pie ($25) weighs almost four pounds.
The Chicago stuff is the top-seller so far, but Da’ Crust offers other authentic East Coast eats like that competition-winning New York-style pizza ($15 for margherita or $12 for pepperoni) and Philly cheesesteak sandwiches ($8). There are pasta dinners, meatball subs ($7) and a piled-high pastrami double cheeseburger ($13) and McCarron isn’t cutting corners on anything: “We make everything from scratch, from our Alfredo sauce to our croutons.”
DA’ CRUST 2555 Wigwam Parkway, 702-565-7575. Daily, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.