Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Eating Pie

As the 5:53 GO Train arrived at the Allandale Waterfront Station, I wondered if my college student son was hungry because I certainly was. In fact, twenty year old six footers are always hungry, so the only real question was where to eat. Heading towards the downtown core, I was considering various burger places, most of which we had been to previously, when I suddenly remembered the lake shore location of Pie, the wood fired pizza restaurant made famous by being featured on the Food Network's show "You Gotta Eat Here".

The location is in the centre of ongoing summer road construction right now, but the parking lot is well signed with Enter and Exit despite a tangle of fencing and piles of gravel, so we found our way in with no problem. We giggled at the 'Caution: Icy Sidewalks' sign near the front door - this must be their northern location!

We passed a huge front patio area. It was completely empty of customers despite the beautiful evening and lovely lake view. Has everyone given up on summer? It was a Tuesday and there were bulldozers and loaders parked nearby, so I'm not surprised. I can imagine this outdoor seating area was jam packed on hot holiday weekends.

I saw a few diners inside as we we were shown to our table by a south facing window. Pink and red and lots of wood - that is how I would describe the interior. Neon signs. Very clean. A pile of fire wood, hinting at the heat source for their ovens, stacked outside on the patio. No menus to pass out - they are printed directly onto the table tops. What a neat idea,

Being newbies here, we didn't know how to order. College boy is a seriously carnivorous , quasi caveman meat lover. I am a vegetarian. Do you think we can share a pizza? Um ... no. At first, I was a little taken aback when our server informed us that we had to order a whole pizza each for ourselves and very seriously added "We don't do halves."  For a split second, I almost considered going somewhere else to eat instead, but decided against. I suppose taking home a half pizza isn't the worst thing in the world?

My son unhesitatingly pointed to his choice - the porky pie. Drawn to the description, tomato, basil, mozzarella, wood fired bacon, spicy sausage and prosciutto, he was hooked. I was leaning in another direction entirely, of course - the olive me thrice. My least favourite part of any pizza is the tomato sauce. I often find it overwhelming, so to find a non tomato based pizza, like this one promised to be, was pretty intriguing.

Our pizzas came out very fast. That must be one hot oven! Both of our pizza crusts were thin and crispy, round but rustic. The pizzas were served simply on a round metal pan with a pizza wheel tucked underneath. Cut your pizza into 2 slices or 20 - it's up to you to decide.

My dining partner hadn't been too concerned about tackling an entire pizza by himself from the beginning and I can see why. He inhaled the whole thing with ease. He did come up for air once and mumbled "This is really good." He also managed to make one observation about my pizza. You have weird stuff on your pizza."

Well, I like weird stuff on my pizza, thank you very much! The crust was brushed with olive oil and topped with a selection of large and tasty olives - not the canned or jarred tiny things that I buy, but gorgeous ones like you see in a food store olive bar (ones that I never buy but would like to!) Thinly sliced red onions, bits of roasted red pepper and artichoke hearts topped with a zig zag of aioli (like a garlic mayo) on top - weird but wonderful. I ordered pineapple as an extra topping. I got big pieces of sweet, seemingly hand cut pineapple that had obviously never seen the inside a factory or can.

I surprised myself. I cut my pizza into about 8 pieces and could manage all but one. College boy suggested I just fold it in half and just finish it off, his theory being something about my stomach will think it's less food? Hmmmm maybe he should enter himself in the next 'Let Em Eat' pizza eating contest held here, with strategies like that. I went with my better judgement and got a to-go box for my slice.

I want to come back again next summer and this time sit out on that open air patio. The construction should be wrapped up by then. I will have a cold Somersby cider and watch the sailboats in the bay. I'm fairly certain I will be ordering the same pizza again. I know it's fairly early on in the game to be stuck in a rut already, but I really liked that pizza!

My pizza slice was only in the fridge at home for a couple of minutes before another family member grabbed it and popped open the box. "Awww this must be Mom's pizza!" was followed by the sound of the box being returned to the fridge. Sometimes it pays to like weird stuff on your pizza.

Photos courtesy of Thanks Tija!

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