Personal is Tiny, Small is Small

Small Pizza

Small Pizza

I drove a friend to the University of Calgary clinic last week in the NW and while waiting for his tests, I stopped at Gus’ Pizza for lunch. It was half full when I walked in at 11:30am. By noon, the kitchen was filling takeout orders from people who worked in the Professional Building but luckily, I had my meal in front of me.

I decided to try the Small Pepperoni and Mushroom pizza and a can of Coke. When the pizza came, I was a little shocked at the size of it. I felt like asking the waitress if she had mistakenly dropped off a personal size pizza instead of a small but when she served the table next to me, I realized the personal size was tiny compared to my small.

If you’re hungry then order the Medium or something else on the menu. The Small pizza was disappointing for $12 because it was the size of my iPad with 6 slices. For the price, I expected a larger size pizza that I could have shared with a friend.

One thing good about the pizza was the crust. I like pizzas with crispy crusts (like Pizza Bank in the SW) and cheese that is baked right in. The cheese here was thick and acted like a canopy. As soon as you bite into it, the cheese would fall off the pizza like a topping.

There were plenty of pepperoni and mushrooms which was nice and hearty. Aside from the size, it was a relatively good tasting pizza. Anything that tastes this good should be large enough for you to enjoy there in the restaurant and for you to take home. Too bad I couldn’t do the latter because I ate it up in one sitting.

Next time, if you’re in or near the Foothills Professional Building just off the Foothills Hospital, drop in for lunch or a light snack. It’s worth another visit and review but I’m going to try their pasta next.

Gus's Cafe & Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

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Happy Hours at Pizzetta

Brushetta

Succulent Tomato Brushetta

One of my favorite pastimes is to check out happy hours at select locations on earth. Today, I found a place where you can order a slice of pizza for just $2. If you look at the curvature of the crust, you will find that the slice is actually a quarter of the whole pizza and whole pizzas go for nothing less than $15 each.

The place is called Pizzetta and it is located on Koloa Road in Old Town Koloa. Where the heck is that, you may ask? It’s on the island of Kauai and Koloa is just down the road from Poipu. If you’ve been to Kauai and stayed on the south shore then you’re familiar with Poipu beach and Poipu bay. They will tell you that it is the sunniest location on Kauai.

Renovations are going on at Pizzetta. The main part of the restaurant is being renovated along with the bar but there’s plenty of tables for happy hour patrons or dinner go-ers.

We ordered one of each, cheese and pepperoni pizza slices for $2. To top it off, we also order Caprese and Bruschetta. Between these two dishes and the pizza, we were full. The bill was outrageously cheap at $13 but we had iced water instead of Italian soda.

Service was only so-so with the waiter being miffed about something. The Caprese was not real buffala but ok, the Brushetta was not warm enough but the pizza was good.

 

 

Rich Italian Food

Seafood PescatoreFriends of ours took us to Villa Firenze for dinner a few weeks back then they headed out to Maui the next day. Lucky dogs! But I’ll be heading to the Big Island very soon too. Parking at the villa is great. They have ample parking in the rear and there is parking after hours in the lot adjacent to the restaurant. Walking into Villa Firenze is like walking into a house. I was told by our friends that it is a typical house in Bridgeland. Converted to a restaurant, it is cozy yet roomy inside. I like how the foyer of the house is the reception and the living spaces converted to dining areas. Stairs leading downstairs from the foyer takes you to the washrooms.

They have coat check but it was cold out so we held on to our coats. Everyone was dressed business casual so I can only guess that a lot of business lunches and dinners are held here. The owner came and greeted us at our table which was situated near the front of the restaurant. Where I sat, I had a commanding look at their wine selection. Instead of a wine cellar, they have all their wine bottles in the restaurant. My guess is that there were ample red wine in the house because these bottles were not chilled.

Our host decided to order the signature appetizer for us to try. The Portabello mushroom, oven baked with lots of garlic, bits of bacon and parmesan cheese(?) was delicious. A meal in itself. Next came our entrees. I chose to go with a simple spaghetti with marinara and it was delicious. My wife chose the Seafood Pescatore pasta. It looked great but I’m sensitive to mussels. I prefer the green mussels from Australia rather than the sea mussels that grow under piers. These were definitely sea mussels as you can still taste the sea in them. The rest of the dishes looked scrumptious. The veal dishes were nicely presented but I’m used to paying a few euros for them in Italy, rather than $20+ here in Calgary.

Overall food quality was excellent. I’ll give them awesome ratings on the Portabello and the pasta sauce. I didn’t pay for dinner but from the way the owner treated us, it must have cost a mint. We’ll be back for good Italian cooking when we’re downtown and feeling a bit rich.

Why Not (this) Italian Ristorante

Why Not Italian

Why Not Italian

To be perfectly honest, I have been going to Why Not Italian Ristorante in the Strathcona Square for a number of years. I’ve seen different waiters come and go, so the service is definitely sporatic at best. The pasta is delicious and the calamari is so-so. The brushetta is nice and so are the dinner rolls (if the waiter decides to give you some). They are thrifty when it comes to feeding you bread so if you’re like me, they will be annoyed with you before the night is out. The veal is good no matter which dish you choose. The salads and soups can be improved but so can the service.

The cook makes delicious pastas such as the Linguini alla Vongole (or clams), both red and white sauce,  Spaghetti Bolognese, Linguini Diavola and Linguini Pescatore as my favourites. Their veal dishes are awesome too such as Vitello alla Pizzaiola and Piccata al Limon.

I would still recommend eating here. The food is delicious, atmosphere is typical Italian and the after dinner drinks are fair. If you don’t like the service, just give a smaller tip but don’t blame the cook – she’s the best!

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