CLOSED: Za Pizza Bistro (Toronto)

All the choices may seem dizzying at Za Pizza Bistro, a new quick service restaurant in Toronto’s Entertainment District. With 3 crusts (including gluten-free), 8 sauces, 8 cheeses (including vegan), and 8 meats with another 20 vegetable toppings, there’s an endless array of combinations.

Can’t decide between the grilled chicken or beef meatballs? Do the artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and arugula all sound good? For $12.89 you can select anything you want, so you don’t start with a $6.99 base and end up paying $20 after all the per selection toppings. Although, if you’re a simple person, they also offer one-cheese ($7.99) or one topping with cheese ($8.89) options.

Visiting on their opening day, when they were giving out free pizza, I had my doubts about the quality of the pie. After all, new staff with a continuous line of hungry diners (who are allowed to choose from any of the aforementioned choices), generally doesn’t make for a successful first impression.

Hence, when I saw the generous ladles of margherita (a thin tomato sauce with huge pieces of tomatoes) and liberal sprinkling of mozzarella cheese go on the pie – before I even asked for anything else – I dreaded being greeted with a soggy bite. There was no way the ultra-thin crust, consistently flattened with a machine, was going to hold up to this much liquid.

To my surprise, I was wrong. After about 10 minutes in their hot flaming oven, the crust became crispy and golden. To the point I could easily pick up slices heaped with vegetables (red onions, roasted red peppers, green peppers, artichoke, corn, basil, and roasted garlic).

Even without any of the extra sprinkles or dipping sauces (also free and available at the condiment counter), the vegetarian pizza was well-flavored just from the margherita sauce.

While the 11 inch pie is meant to be personal, it’s a generous size and could even be shared. Especially if you add on a salad ($5.99-$10.99) or a dessert pizza ($7.99) … an apple crisp pizza with ice cream sounds like it’s made for me. Or you can just have some leftovers, they smartly leave half-sized pizza boxes with the condiments so you can doggy bag the rest.

Za Pizza Bistro started in Winnipeg and aims to offer customers quick and customizable pizzas with house-made ingredients (they prepare everything in-house including the dough and sauces) at an affordable price. Of course, not everyone will appreciate all the choices – I’m speaking to you indecisive person. Don’t worry, each location also offers a signature pizza, so take a deep breath and take a bite.

Overall mark - 7 out of 10

How To Find Them
 Location: Toronto, Canada
 Address: 290 Adelaide Street West

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