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The Big Slice

Posted by Tanja / Reviewed on August 17, 2005 / review policy

Sitting around on a breezy summer evening with no food and no desire to cook... It wouldn't be the first time, but this time, my friends and I weren't digging anything as we looked through my thin stack of delivery menus. Italian was the consensus, but no thick n boardy delivery pizzas allowed. I live in Corso Italia. There had to be something cheap, good (ie. authentic) and local.

We get off our lazy asses and 10 minutes later we're at The Big Slice at Dufferin & St. Clair. I was skeptical. Sure, it used to be great, but I haven't been there in nearly 15 years (damn, the years go by). Maybe it's gone to hell like The Big Slice on Yonge. Things change... or do they?

Inside The Big Slice, Italian soccer scarves adorn the appropriately azzure walls and black & white checkered tiles lead you through the little maze of booths and tables.

We seat ourselves and soon a waitress is by with menus. A panzerotto (sometimes dubbed a calzone) is a must as I need to know if it's the same as it was when I was 4. We decide we'll order a couple different dishes and share. 1 panzo with veggies and 1 order of The Big Plate.

The Big Plate lets you pick any 4 items from a list in order to create a custom dish. We go with penne (w/ cream sauce), meatballs in tomato sauce, green peppers with mushrooms and onions, and a side of veal cutlet as well.

Still haven't dropped the skepticism... I imagine it'll be hot table drab for sure. Fearing an East Side Marios type processed "eye-talian" meal-out-of-a-can, I feel my stomach begin to turn. I think I need to use the washroom.

Just then, the food arrives. It looks (and smells) good.

The panzerotto (pictured at the top) is made fresh and tastes great. Perfectly baked and stuffed full of toppings we're impressed and intimidated -- it's huge.

august1705_bigslice_plate.jpgThe Big Plate, looks okay, but tastes better than it looks. No out-of-the-can taste here. The vegetables are fresh tasting and drizzled with olive oil and the veal and meatballs are tender and savoury like zia always makes. The penne with cream are a bit buttery for my tastes, but no one else has a problem as they vanish from sight.

Originally, we planned to go out onto the patio for dessert, but as you can imagine, there was little room for anything of the sort. It was almost too bad it's so local, 'cause we really needed a longer walk home! Next time, we promise ourselves (as usual), we'll order a little less.


The Big Slice - 1154 St. Clair Ave. W. (at Dufferin), 416-651-7777




Georgia / August 17, 2005 at 01:48 pm
OMG I am so hungry after reading that!!
Chino / August 18, 2005 at 08:53 am
Great review. But if you live in Corso Italia - What's wrong with BITONDO'S Pizza? They have the best Calzones in the city. Hands DOWN.
Saverio / November 2, 2005 at 12:21 pm
i think that this restauraunt is the best one hands down i think that the food is amazing the customer service is amazing and i think that they have the best pizza of all time everything home made and cooked italian to make this place the best place to eat ever you should try the best!
SR / April 13, 2006 at 07:18 pm
The number is incorrect. The Big Slice at Duf. and St. Clair is 651-7777. The poor people at the number you've listed get a tone of calls looking for the Big Slice. Do them a favour and change this please.
SR / May 30, 2006 at 06:08 pm
Thanks for changing the number. Now it's accurate, but my last post seems crazy.
Tanja / August 2, 2007 at 11:44 pm
Chino -- if you live in Toronto, Bitondo's is in Little Italy, not Corso Italia.;)
Alisa / January 3, 2008 at 05:12 pm
Absolutely horrible. Leather-like meat in a dry veal sandwhich, rubbery calamari and pizza that's better to be fed to a pig. I guess this restaurant is ok if you consider Kraft Dinner haute cusine. Will never drop a dime here again.
Juliet James / October 21, 2009 at 09:51 am
Only one word to say – yuck
Sergio / September 2, 2010 at 09:18 pm
You get what you pay for. Its really a hit or miss. But id say its a hit 4 times out of 5.

Here's my favourite "Big Plate"

-Garden Salad
-Pepperoni Slice
-Penne Alfredo
-Penne Rose

Lots of young people because at $10.50 for the "Big Plate" and add a brio (Italian Soda) for $1.50. Your looking at a meal fit for two. Where else in the city can you get a meal like that for under $20.00 including tip. If your still not convinced, they include complimentary toasted bread for your pasta.

For those hot days you can sit on the patio and enjoy their only brand of draft beer, "Cool beer". And you can enjoy that for $15.00, don't forget the frosted glasses.

Clean place, friendly environment and no pressure to dress well. Come as you are and you are guaranteed a table.
Kozel / March 3, 2012 at 10:14 am
There's a piece of my heart that is reserved only for Big Slice panzo. Perfect cheese, dough, side of marinara, and my ususal toppings...

My cheap and delicious spot for the last ten years.
(I also love their strawberry milkshakes)
jim / May 2, 2012 at 02:13 am
Man, I wish 2 o'clock actually meant 2 o'clock. Otherwise, I'd be too busy eating a delicious big plate to write this.
avas / December 10, 2012 at 11:24 am
i wish the downtown location would step its game up and be 1/2 as good as the st clair location
Eni / July 7, 2013 at 10:41 pm
This place is disgusting, bathrooms are extremely dirty, restaurant is poorly taken care of, the waiting time to take orders at the table is very slow. It took 20 min to bring the water and even more 30 min to bring the food. The waiters were busy talking to each other than serving. If they change the management they have a chance to make it. I would never spend my time here.
AH / December 3, 2013 at 04:40 pm
Aesthetically the place is not very impressive, however the food is consistently good. They have some of the best pasta dishes I have ever eaten. The prices are very reasonable, you can't go wrong. My husband and I have been eating at Big Slice at least twice a month for the last 10 years. It's definitely our "go to" restaurant for Italian comfort food.
The only downside is that it can get very busy on a Friday or Saturday night which slows down service, and I don't recommend ordering delivery... very slow!
Lynda Larsen-Baldry / May 19, 2014 at 08:33 pm
We visited Big Slice on St. Clair as it was highly recommended and we loved the Meat Lovers Jumbo pizza that we ordered.
It was the largest pizza we had ever seen and was delicious even though it could have used more cheese.
We were hoping they had specials but no only for takeout or delivery.
We ate in and found the help very friendly and quick and the restaurant itself was very comfortable.
If you want a good meal and they seem to be open a lot on the weekends, we highly recommend the Big Slice.
Willie / January 2, 2015 at 09:46 pm
First time, only time.
There is a hot table with all the pasta and veal.
Food was not not hot, ordered the lasagna & veal.
Put the lasagna inn the micro-wave to warm up.

As we were leaving we were asked if we enjoyed our meal, we said "not really"; we advised the owner of the 'cool' food he did not care.

Service good

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