As summer finally arrives here in Vancouver, so begins yet another tantalizing food challenge from our good friend Richard Wolak over at VancouverFoodster.com. From now until July 14, over a dozen of Vancouver’s best have come together to battle for top honours in a city-wide search for the best unique pizza. We swung by a few competing restaurants this week to try their respective submissions and start formulating our votes for the winner.
The first pizza we tried was a beautiful Pizza Di Spagna at Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria in Burnaby. This VPN certified Neapolitan pizza is also available in a gluten-free variant but the pizza we tried was generously comprised of Arugula Pesto, Chorizo Sausage, Roasted Red & Yellow Peppers, Parmigiano Reggiano, Mohan Cheese and Fresh Baby Arugula. For only $14, this pizza felt exceedingly bright and fresh. The fountain of baby arugula spread nicely upon service and balanced the saltiness of the chorizo sausage well. Diners may notice some excess chorizo oil on their plates while eating which conveniently serves as a nice ‘sauce’ for the final crust.
Created by: Executive Chef – Nathan Wright
The second pizza we had was an Alla Portoghese pizza at Ragazzi Pizza in East Van. At $11.10 for a Small or $19.45 for a Large, this stone oven baked pizza is served at quite a formidable size on a unique split level metal tray. In terms of ingredients, I was pretty surprised at how well the sautéed kale worked with the smoke cured sausage. The cream potato infused sauce was thick and definitely lent an interesting flavour profile to each slice. Rounding out the pizza were hints of garlic and spice which will give a little kick of flavour that visitors will appreciate.
Created by: Manager Paul Teixeira
The third pizza and final pizza of our tour was a VPN certified Neapolitan pizza at The Bibo on West 4th. Coming in at the $16 price point, this pizza was interesting in that it uses Friarielli or Friggitelli which are small, thin-walled peppers from the south of Italy. These mild peppers are perfect for frying which is why they are first prepared in a pan with cherry tomatoes and tomato sauce and then added on top of the pizza dough in the middle of cooking. As the nearly completed pizza comes out of the oven, fresh buffalo mozzarella and extra virgin olive oil are added to complete the dish. Overall, this pizza comes out phenomenally authentic to the point you feel like you are in Italy with each bite. The peppers have very little heat but retain a sweetness that is very attractive to the palate.
In addition to these three pizzas are 11 others just waiting for you to try so definitely check out the full list of competitors here and start voting today! Votes can be submitted either online OR in-person at each of the participating venues. Simply ask for a Vancouver Foodster #PizzaChallenge voting card and cast your vote, possibly right after eating if you so wish. The best of luck to all the worthy submissions in this delicious culinary competition!