#YYCPizzaWeek Samurai Sushi @ Blowfish Sushi Lounge

Samurai Sushi

What’s in it?

Rice, Mozzarella, Cheddar, Salmon, Bacon, Bonito flakes, Nori, Unagi sauce and Japanese Mayo.

How was it?

  • The “crust” of this pizza is made of rice and cheese (mozzarella & cheddar), tempura fried: sounds simple but it’s really good, crispy on the outside and gooey in the inside. It is also quite spicy, but when I asked what ingredient made it so flavourful, all the waitress would tell me was that the Chef uses specific spices to achieve this result. I don’t know what it is, but it is delicious!
  • On top of the tempura lays the Japanese mayo, the bacon and salmon. Now before I tried it, the idea of mixing these sounded really odd… but I have to say it works amazingly well: the bacon is soft (not crunchy at all) while the salmon is fresh and melts in your mouth. The Chef sprinkled Shichimi Tōgarashi (“seven flavor chili pepper”) all over the salmon, which provides an extra kick to the already seasoned tempura, while radish sprouts add garnish and a sharpness in flavour to the pizza.
  • Last but not least, Bonito Flakes and thin Nori strips are scattered across the “pizza” for a little saltiness, quite welcome given all the spicy flavours.

Would I have it again?

I will try to go back before the end of YYCPizzaWeek, as I thoroughly enjoyed this out of the ordinary pizza. The Samurai Sushi is a solid contestant and deserves all the attention it can get – spread the word!

Where is it? What about the $$?

Address: 625 11th Ave SW, Calgary AB, T2R 0E1
Hours: Mon: closed / Tue-Thu: 11:30a to 2:30p & 5p to 10p / Fri: 11:30a to 2:30p & 5p to 11p / Sat: 5p to 11p / Sun: 5p to 9:30p
Phone: (403) 237-8588
Website: http://www.blowfishsushilounge.com
Price: $20 for the pizza (and part of it goes to Calgary Meals on Wheels)

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#YYCPizzaWeek CIA>YYC @ Una

CIA to YYC Pizza

What’s in it?

San Marzano tomato sauce, spicy italian sausage, Caciocavallo cheese, garnished with fresh basil and Grana Padano cheese.

How was it?

  • I fell in love with the cheese on this pizza! The Caciocavallo (tastes a little like Provolone) is a buttery and stringy cheese, that once melted feels a little chewy: it is very generously applied on the pie, so that you almost feel like you’re eating chunks of cheese… so good! Still, the chef added extra Grana Padano, just to make sure the cheese lovers (like me) would be satisfied – thank you!
  • The spicy italian sausage is, surprisingly, not spicy at all. I had this pizza twice, so I am able to confirm it wasn’t a miss the first time… that being said, it is very flavourful and nicely seasoned meat (with hints of fennel I believe), and it doesn’t leave an after taste once the meal is done – very refined.
  • The San Marzano tomato sauce is good, but feels a little too simple and light in taste. As for the crust, it is very thin and crispy on the edges, good by any standard but not mind blowing… which is a bit strange, since I’ve had better crust from Una on other pizzas (like the 4-maggi). The basil on the other hand brings an amazing freshness and I really enjoyed the entire leaves on the pie!

Would I have it again?

This pizza is the classic combo of tomato/cheese/basil with a little twist. Fact is I’ve had it twice already, as I wanted to double check the spiciness of the sausage. It will only be available for another week or so until the end of YYCPizzaWeek, and I doubt I will have it a third time.
If it were to make its way to the regular menu though, I may be tempted, mostly for the cheese!

Where is it? What about the $$?

Address: 618 17 Ave SW, Calgary AB, T2S 0B4
Hours: Mon-Sun: 11:30a to 1a
Phone: (403) 453-1183
Website: http://unapizzeria.com
Price: $20 for the pizza (and part of it goes to Calgary Meals on Wheels)

#YYCPizzaWeek Triple Pig Pizza @ 500 Cucina

Triple Pig Pizza

What’s in it?

Hand tossed, thin crust, roman style Italian pizza with pork (Porchetta, Smoked Porchetta & Bacon) finished with arugula and lemon.

How was it?

  • At 500 Cucina, the crusts are very thin in the center and quite thick on the outside… and when the bread is this good, it means you can save the outer crust for when you’re done with the pizza – just pour a little hot chili oil on it and enjoy!
  • This pizza features not one but three types of pork: Porchetta, Smoked Porchetta & Bacon. I was a little afraid it would be overkill, but each one brings a different flavor and consistency: from the tenderness and subtlety of the Porchetta to the crispiness of the bacon, not to mention the stronger taste of the smoked Porchetta. It seems many pizzerias are experimenting with pork this week, and this is the first pizza I’ve had with so much pork. The Chef created a delicious and very balanced combination with these three!
  • The top of the pizza is covered with arugula, sprinkled with lemon juice and a couple of lemon slices, bringing freshness to the saltiness of the meat. It probably isn’t how you should eat it, but I had the salad first and then the pizza – and really appreciated the lemony taste on the meat.

Would I have it again?

Seeing as I work on the same block as 500 Cucina, I likely will get another Triple Pig pizza before the end of the YYC Pizza Week, before it’s gone for good!

Where is it? What about the $$?

Address: 1003 9 Ave SE, Calgary AB, T2G 0S7
Hours: Mon: 10a to 9p / Tue-Thu: 10a to 10p / Fri-Sat: 10a to 12a / Sun: 10a to 9p
Phone: (403) 460-0797
Website: http://500cucina.com
Price: $20 for the pizza (and part of it goes to Calgary Meals on Wheels)

#YYCPizzaWeek Korean BBQ Pork Pizza @ Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria

Korean BBQ Pork Pizza

What’s in it?

House-made pulled pork, Korean BBQ sauce, fior di latte, green onion, cheddar cheese, hoisin sauce.

How was it?

  • I had never been to Famoso before, and if you haven’t either, prepare to be surprised: once the pizza is ordered, it gets to you in just a few minutes. The secret is a very thin and light crust, that is cooked for 90 seconds only (at 900 degrees)! The crust is very soft, and even though it’s good, it lets the toppings be the star of the pizza. The other advantage of such a crust is that you can easily fold it and eat your pizza like a taco… which I always do when no ones watches me!
  • I was blown away by the house made pork! It is a 4 day process to get it ready, from the grinding to the seasoning to the slow cooking… from what I was told, Famoso never features pulled pork in its pizzas, and this was a first stab at it – well in that case, Chef Don nailed it: it’s amazingly tender and melty, feels really buttery.
  • The Chef paired this great pulled pork with a spicy and very powerful sauce, made with Gochujang (a Korean hot pepper paste), soy sauce, fish sauce and a few other ingredients… I enjoy BBQ and spicy sauces but this one is a notch or two above the others I’ve had: I wish I could use it on everything! Now this sauce is so strong the cheddar cheese cannot compete and I barely felt it… but am not sure it would have made a difference anyway. Some Hoisin sauce is also served on the side, so I dipped my crust in it: it’s very thick, sweet & salty at the same time. It is a nice addition, and a definitely tasty dipping sauce!

Would I have it again?

After my first bite, I thought to myself: Korean restaurants could learn a thing or two about this pulled pork and BBQ sauce… pictured it being something I would have with rice, and find it a great meal! Now this feature pizza will make its way on the new Fall menu (starting October 7th) so I’ll be able to get it again – YES!

Where is it? What about the $$?

Address: 2303 4 Street SW, Calgary AB, T2S 2S7
Hours: Mon-Sun: 11a to 11p
Phone: (403) 455-3839
Website: http://www.famoso.ca
Price: $20 for the pizza (and part of it goes to Calgary Meals on Wheels)

#YYCPizzaWeek Valle Pizza @ Bocce

Valle Pizza

What’s in it?

Roasted Chanterelle Mushrooms, Mascarpone Cream, Semi dried tomatoes, Lonzo & Shaved Bella Lodi.

How was it?

  • I’m a big fan of Bocce’s house made crust (mentioned in a previous review)… but here, they’ve taken it to the next level: by using mascarpone instead of a tomato sauce, not only does it make the pizza creamier but their crust is also softer than usual. If you were to strip the pizza of everything else, you would already enjoy it… but it gets better!
  • Mushrooms aren’t always appropriate for pizzas, and sometimes they make the pizza look nicer than they make it tastier. Here the Chef chose Chanterelle mushrooms that fully release their flavours once roasted and laid on the mascarpone. The semi dried tomatoes are very sweet and, in this case, thankfully not as prominent as they are on the Boschetto Pizza: it wouldn’t have worked as well with such refined ingredients.
  • The Lonzo (cured Pork Loin) is very thinly sliced, and a very nice alternative to the classic Prosciutto. The Bella Lodi (aka Black Parmesan) adds the very distinctive taste of Parmesan, but the slices are so thin it doesn’t take over the other flavours.

Would I have it again?

Let me put it this way: I’ve tried 2 thirds of Bocce’s pizza menu, and this one is above all the others. If this pizza could make its way to the regular menu (and it cannot due to the seasonality of the Chanterelles), I would only have this one.
All the ingredients are perfectly balanced and on top of that, it’s really beautifully presented – hats off to the Chef!

Where is it? What about the $$?

Address: 110 – 2207 4 Street SW, Calgary AB, T2S 1X1
Hours: Mon-Sun: 11a to 1a
Phone: (403) 516-6162
Website: http://www.eatbocce.ca
Price: $20 for the pizza (and part of it goes to Calgary Meals on Wheels)