Pizza

Savino Pizzeria – Visit #2

On Friday night, I was craving Neopolitan pizza. There are three places I frequent – Rocket Pie, Azzurri Pizzeria and Savino Pizzeria. I like to rotate between these pizzerias because they each make their own distinct Naples-style pizza. I picked Savino, as it was long overdue for a repeat visit. For this post, let’s listen to “Just Like A Woman” by Bob Dylan.

I ordered three personal size pizzas to share with L: Pizza Margherita ($12), The New Yorker ($12) and Classic Pepperoni ($14). I purposely ordered the simplest pizzas because I wanted to experience the food as my father did when he first visited Naples. Ludwig often reminisces how shocked he was to find that pizza in Italy was so dissimilar from what he grew up with in his predominantly Italian neighbourhood in Vancouver, BC.

Ludwig is one the better orators I know. I’d rank him after Mayor Naheed Nenshi and mayoral candidate Jyoti Gondek. When Ludwig tells this story, fifty years after his trip to Naples, he face still lights up with absolute bewilderment. His tone is dramatic and one of astonishment. “The pizzas were thin, with barely anything on it. A little tomato sauce, a little cheese, and that was it! It was delicious, yes, but I thought to myself, what is this? Where are the green peppers? The pepperoni and mushrooms? The thick layer of cheese and sauce?”

I can grasp the concept that pizzas differ by region and culture, so I dig what Savino is creating. The fresh, light flavour of the tomato sauce in the Margherita pizza popped out. I love how the thin crust contrasted against the softness of the fior’di latte mozzarella and tomato sauce. The fresh basil was fantastic. The taste of the herb was better than the four varieties I grow in my own garden. The crust was light and chewy, evenly charred throughout.

The New Yorker was tasty as hell. Though there are so few ingredients on the pizza, the tang of tomato sauce, garlic, oregano and cheese was intense. The cheese topping was crunchy. I was surprised that even though the crust and toppings were so minimal, there was still so much flavour. I thought the New Yorker was the most unique pizza I’ve tried. I would get this again.

The classic pepperoni was L’s favourite of the three pizzas. There was ample pepperoni, and each piece was crispy and fatty. L thought the crust highlighted the deliciousness of the pepperoni. This one is a winner – a real flavour bomb.

I’m making my way through the entire menu. We live near Savino, so our pizzas are still hot when we arrive home. If you live further away, I’d suggest you enjoy dinner in your car or a nearby park, so you eat the pizza at the optimal freshness. One thing to note – if you expect to get stuffed and have leftovers with one pizza (like I do at Hanni’s Pizza), Savino might not be for you. This style of pizza is quality over quantity. Hitting the Sauce gives this neighbourhood gem two phat thumbs up.

Italian · Pizza · Restaurants

Savino Pizzeria

Lovegastrogirl takes her pizza so seriously, she coordinates her pie with a matching outfit. Lately, she’s been posting nonstop about Savino Pizzeria. When I finished my work for the day, I decided I wanted to try this pizzeria.

I ran upstairs to tell L that we had to pick up a pizza for dinner. He asked me where the restaurant was located. I said it was in an alley somewhere in Glenbrook. He looked startled and I could tell he had more questions but as he was in the middle of work, he didn’t have time. I blurted out the place was legit and Lovegastrogirl eats there every week. He nodded and pointed to his credit card. For this post, let’s listen to “She Drives Me Crazy” by Fine Young Cannibals.

Savino Pizzeria is located in Glenbrook, in a food truck parked in a backyard. Their food is inspired by the pizzas in Naples, Italy. Three things you need to know. Each pizza is a personal size, so order at least one per person. The pizza is the opposite of what many North Americans have come to love in Greek-style pizza. Savino is all about using top quality ingredients and producing the freshest pizza you can find in Calgary.

The first time I tried Neapolitan pizza was in Cannes, France. I was twenty years old, with my girlfriend and a young New Zealand couple. When we only ordered a large pizza and a bottle of wine to share, the waiter made a face, and then took away our tablecloth and linens (mine was on my lap) and tossed us some paper napkins. Our friends were so pissed that to show their displeasure, they upturned the empty wine bottle and wedged it in the middle of the table. Luckily, there was no such snobbery or unnecessary confrontation at Savino, just delicious, fire-baked pizza.

I ordered Lovegastrogirl’s favourite pizzas – the Prosciutto and Arugula ($17) and the Quatro Formaggi with Prosciutto ($21). Pro tip – these pies arrive uncut – so you need a pair of scissors to do the deed yourself.

The first thing I noticed about the prosciutto and arugula pizza was the bright flavour of the tomato sauce. The grape tomatoes tasted so sweet, I thought this had to come from a garden. The arugula was plentiful and so fresh, I wondered where Savino buys their produce.

The quatro formaggi with prosciutto is a cheese lover’s dream. The blend of bocconcini, Parmigiano Reggiano, manchego, and gorgonzola was of pure decadence. The sweetness of the honey accentuated the richness of the cheeses. The homemade chili oil is worth its weight in gold. The oil is spicy enough to make you sputter, but it also had a flavourful kick to it. I use a lot of different chili oils and I’m telling you that Savino’s is the best I’ve tried.

Savino’s crust is thin, and the toppings are light, but I can tell the ingredients are of the best quality. L is a fan of the crust – it was chewy and airy. He was sure the dough was made with 00 flour. I liked the taste of the char on the blistered crust.

Of the two pizzas, our favourite was the four cheese pizza with prosciutto. I have what you call a hearty appetite. Hours later I was hungry again, so we did a dirty and ordered a snack from Popeyes. I need to start keeping salads in my fridge and not make bad late night eating choices.

If you go in knowing what Neapolitan pizza all is about, you’ll love this place. I certainly enjoyed it and look forward to ordering the pizzas again, as well as a bottle of that fabulous chili oil. Hitting the Sauce gives Savino Pizzeria two phat thumbs up.

Bars/Lounges · Beer · Cheap Eats · Pubs · Restaurants

Greta Bar – No Man’s Dinner #1

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” – William Congreve

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When I applied to  No Mans Dinner – a supper club in Calgary –  I was informed that no female members are permitted. I pointed out that rule 5 stipulates no female guests, but there was no rule about female members.  Despite my outstanding qualifications, I was still rejected. Being the private person I am, I had to post this devastating blow on my Instagram feed.

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I joked to Loaf2go about having our own supper club – No Man’s Dinner. Loaf2go was also initially joking when she encouraged this, but after some back and forth and a coffee date, our new club was born.  Loaf2go designed the logo and created the rules. Please note –  despite our name, we are inclusive of all foodies, with one exception. No children.

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We picked Greta Bar for the first meetup. Even though it was -27 weather, the adult arcade bar was packed with customers.  You’ll either love or hate the music – a fun, nostalgic mix-up of 80’s and 90’s music.  I enjoyed listening to Bon Jovi, Spice Girls, New Kids on the Block and Biggie Smalls. For this post, let’s listen to Bon Jovi’s ” Living’ On a Prayer”.

Loaf2go texted me saying she would be a little late. I was in the same boat. Traffic was awful. She and her husband T arrived 3 minutes late. L and I were literally seconds behind.  Happyeatsyyc and Lizarooprai were already sitting at our table when we arrived.

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L was surprised there were so many men in our party, considering our club is called No Man’s Dinner. There was Iatehere, Pak_to_Eating_yyc’s boyfriend, Lizarooprai’s plus one, and the spouses of the Founder and President. I finally met HangryinYYC, my go to expert for dim sum in Calgary. I already knew ShellyKirks from my travels to Japan. The last to arrive was Jeanie.Mark. I found out she was late because she saw a car accident and she had to stay as a witness.

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For happy hour, house beers, wine and select cocktails were $5. Shop Fries, Greek Doughnuts, and Jamaican Patties were $5. The Greta Brown was tasty – with notes of espresso and chocolate. I preferred the brown over the Greta Blonde, the latter being a bit too yeasty for my taste.

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I enjoyed the Greek doughnuts ($6.50, HH $5) more than I thought I would. Each piece was warm and puffy, tasting a bit like a deluxe Tim Horton’s crueller Timbit. I didn’t find the addition of honey too sweet. I’d order this again.

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Loaf2go shared her Ginger Beef Baos ($13) with us. The sirloin beef is from Community Foods. I liked the squishiness of the homemade white buns. The beef was cut thin and lightly battered.

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The table’s favourite dish was another one of Loaf2go’s picks – the Currywurst Pretzel ($13). She said she knew it would be good because the sausage is from Empire Provision. The house-made curried ketchup had a hot kick to it.

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Shelly ordered the Jamaican Patties ($10, HH $5). The wagyu meat was also from Community Foods.  I enjoyed the heat in the curry ground beef. Shelly liked the turmeric pastry because of its thin, crispy shell. I liked the ratio of filling to crust.

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I ordered the Street Nuggets ($12) – buttermilk brine chicken with pickles and onions. I picked hot sauce, which was very hot. Loaf2go enjoyed the this dish more than I did. I prefer my nuggets with more a crunchy exterior.

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I also ordered the East Coast chip shop fries ($5.50, HH $4:00). The potatoes were made from fresh-cut Hutterite red skin  potatoes.  Everyone thought the fries were a tad overcooked.

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I tried some of Loaf2go’s Thai Mango Salad ($6.50). I could taste the fish sauce in the dressing. I wasn’t expecting to see a Thai salad that looked so authentic.

L and I were impressed that Greta was not afraid to use some heat. I thought it was cool that a bar that sells this range food of international dishes didn’t dumb down the spicy dishes. I wonder if the clientele appreciates the heat.

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Our next foodventure is going to be at Bar Modern, a new steakhouse on Stephen Ave for happy hour. If L is good, I might even splurge and buy him a steak dinner. Modern Steak serves beef from its prize-winning Black Angus Bull with Benchmark Angus. I’m pretty curious to see the difference between ranch specific Alberta beef and the sale stuff I buy from Safeway.

Greta Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato