The food was OK, just nothing to write home about especially at their price point (which rivals the tastier & better executed Tennessy Willems across the street). Don’t get me wrong – you might have an good experience here (service was great, staff were friendly, neat looking restaurant with a pretty good vibe; fun pizza names / theme). I just found it a bit gimmicky (check out the menu), and my rule for eating out (or returning to a restaurant) is only if it blows me away and/or is a tasty dirt cheap hole in the wall / hidden gem of a mom and pop shop and/or something I don’t make (or can’t make better) at home.
SALAD – Their version of a Caesar salad (“Romano”) was OK – definitely nothing offensive, but generic. Dressing was mild (I like Caesars rather zippy and garlicky). Pancetta’s a nice touch in lieu of bacon.
MAIN – Cat Stevens No 2 (on regular “dusted cornmeal” crust), with tomato sauce, tomatoes, garlic, grilled eggplant, snow peas, hummus. Unimpressed with the “drizzle” of hummus – more like how ketchup gets zig zagged on hot dogs – but the combo was interesting and goes well. A bit too much hummus, though (overpowers everything). Tomatoes and eggplants were sad (eggplant should really be sliced thinner as a pizza topping); couldn’t really taste the garlic (except on the hummus. Maybe the resto should start selling hummus? It’s pretty good hummus, just unbalanced with the pizza). Similar to my comments about the salad, I’d say flavours were generally mild (or a bit unbalanced) / not as punchy (in a subtle details kind of way) as I’d expect. Crust was OK (nothing offensive, but nothing to write home about).
With Tennessy Willems across the street, I won’t be coming back here if I’m craving ‘gourmet’ pizza.
PS: I’ve read the owner and brand manager’s responses to negative reviews (see Beechwood location on Urbanspoon). While I’m sure they might be lovely in person, the tone of those notes make me think twice about returning, regardless of my views on the food.
PPS: Maybe this is just a sign that I’m very spoiled. My other 2 meals that day were also pizza and I preferred those to dinner. Breakfast and lunch were courtesy of leftovers when the boy had made a lovely pre-fermented crust. And three cheers for our convection oven! I’m crossing my fingers for a backyard brick oven next summer.
* Addendum (Nov 1, 13): I’m rather amused by the reaction to my post at Ottawa Foodies’ page on Zazaza. As the up votes increase, the down votes seem to mysteriously catch up…
1079 Wellington St West