Vive la Difference
By Nick Kossovan
If you’re like me and see yourself being a pizza connoisseur, you’ll have noticed the many pizza offerings within our backyard. For dramatic purposes, I equate it to different pizzas living harmoniously in our midst. Not to discount what pizza restaurant franchises offer, but to keep as close to the streets as possible, I believe there are four family-owned pizza artisans amongst us, each offering distinctively different pizza creations, worth acknowledging.
First some pizza trivia:
- The word pizza was first documented in A.D. 997 in Gaeta and successively in different parts of Central and Southern Italy.
- The world’s first pizzeria, established in 1830 and still in operation, opened in Port’Alba, Naples. The pizzeria, called Antica Pizzeria, created the Margherita pizza after Queen Margherita of Italy.
- Canada’s first pizzeria, Pizzeria Napoletana, in Montreal, opened in 1948.
- In 1962, the “Hawaiian” pizza, a pizza topped with pineapple and ham, was invented in Canada by restaurateur Sam Panopoulis at the Satellite Restaurant in Chatham, Ontario.
- Typical pizza toppings in Japan include squid and mayo.
The four pizza artisans amongst us:
- Big Brothers Gourmet Pizza(3110 Kingston Rd., Scarborough, ON M1M 1P2 … bigbrotherspizza.ca)
Opening in 2017, Big Brothers Gourmet Pizza is the latest pizza slinging eatery to arrive on our scene. They offer a wide variety of pizzas from Burger pizza to Yukon Gold pizza (marinated potato slices in Italian seasonings). They’re determined to earn their place as one of Scarborough’s top pizzeria. Their menu boasts vegan pizzas, and a Keto Diet Pizza call the Sicilia, which has a cauliflower crust and is worth trying. If you’re looking for value, their delivery specials are hard to beat. I recommend trying their Cavalli pizza (tomato sauce, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, pesto sauce, goat cheese and basil).
- Enrico’s pizza(1736 Kingston Rd., Scarborough ON M1N 1S9 … enricos-pizza.com)
Enrico’s pizza is a neighbourhood pizzeria established in 1971, which has become a Birchcliff institution with a loyal following. Many of Enrico’s clientele have been enjoying their pizzas since early childhood. Their range of pizzas isn’t as robust as most pizzerias, just straight forward classic pizza recipes (Hawaiian, Italiano Lover, Pepperoni, etc.). Their crust is crispy and chewy, which appeals to me. Their toppings are fresh, not frozen, and their prices are comparable to the big chains. My favourite: Kingston Special (pepperoni, mushroom, bacon, and extra cheese).
- Fratelli Village Pizzeria (384 Old Kingston Rd., Scarborough, ON M1C 1B6 … fratellis.ca)
FYI: Fratelli means “brothers” in Italian. In 2005 brothers Sal and Matteo opened Fratelli Village Pizzeria, offering wood-oven baked pizza, thus accommodating the “must be wood oven-baked” pizza snob crowd. Sal greets patrons in the same manner as Rick does in Casablanca. After a few visits to Fratelli’s, you’re Sal’s friend. Having had pizza in Naples and Positano, Italy, with confidence, I can state you’d be hard-pressed to find more authentic pizza outside of Toronto’s Little Italy. Their pizza offering is extensive (Popeye, Canadian, Chicken Club, Classic, etc.). My go-to Fratelli pizza: Funghi (tomato sauce, mozzarella, assorted mushrooms, and ham).
- Lamanna’s Bakery(6758 Kingston Rd., Scarborough, ON M1B 1G8 … lamannabakery.ca)
Lamanna’s Bakery is a bakeshop offering traditional Italian sweets, coffees, deli sandwiches along with the usual pizza suspects of pepperoni and Margherita. It’s their stranger pizza fare, such as pasta on pizza, that are unique experiences worth trying. Since Lamanna’s is a bakery, the pizza varieties, as with all their offerings, changes daily. Most days, they only have their regular choices such as Sicilian, Diavola, Milano, vegetarian, Americano, etc. If the pizza Gods are smiling, you may drop in on their more creative days when they have such toppings as french fries, mini grilled cheese sandwiches, bruschetta, mini-pizzas, tortellini, bacon and pancakes, potato chips. Then there’s Lamanna’s giant pizza slice, billed as Toronto’s biggest slice and is suitable for 2 – 4 people. When introduced, it was a social media sensation. My personal favourite: Milano (bechamel, mozzarella, ham, rosemary).
When it comes to pizza is all about having the right balance of cheese, crust, sauce, and toppings, which all four do in their own unique way.
Have you been to the four aforementioned pizza eateries? They’re all worth a visit, especially since they’re all local.
~ Nick Kossovan is the Customer Service Professionals Network’s Director of Social Media (Executive Board Member). Submit your social media questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.