Big Trouble Pizza
Big Trouble Pizza is serving pies with toppings you won't find at other pizzerias like jam, truffle ricotta and chili jelly.
The pair moved into the current Geary location in 2021 but faced unexpected obstacles such as having to do most of the renovations themselves as well as no heat in the winter.
Admist the struggles, they found the community of businesses to be welcoming and generous. Their upstairs neighbour Jennifer Ha who runs a jiu-jitsu gym offered to help build walls, with her dad coming in to mortar and do the HVAC.
Pamaputera tells blogTO, "you can feel everyone in the neighbourhood wants everyone to succeed." Chan added that he's driven by a sense of community and a need to help others out as much as they can.
The duo themselves met at Chan's Academy of Lions gym and have formed a deep friendship that have led to becoming trusted business partners.
Chan tells us "Mikey is the reason I've stayed in Toronto." Like the perfect team, Pamaputera tells us seperately that "the reason to continue operating despite all the hardships was because Eddy is here. We really enjoy each others company."
Pamaputera has spent time in kitchens in Singapore as well as Buca Yorkville under Anna Chen of Alma. He credits his past experiences for exposing him to different flavours and smells as well as building a quick and precise work ethic in the kitchen.
You're able to taste and feel the dedication put in to crafting a great pizza when here. Unlike other pizza joints, you won't be able to find dipping sauce because the dough has been worked on extensively to stand on its own.
The pair started the business to challenge their own deep love for pizza and dove head first into the process by trying all the pizza in the city they could find. They noticed a lot of people would leave their crusts behind and would harden quickly.
They set out to develop a dough recipe that would create "a crust that's desirable- not just an afterthought." In fact, the crust has an interesting texture and bite. Fluffy but crunchy in a way that feels like a cross between Pizza Hut and focaccia.
The Butter Jam Jam ($23) has bed of mozzarella, butter cream and a swirl of organic raspberry jam and drizzle of balsamic reduction and finished with a lemon zest. It's sweet, savoury, and super special.
The MF Prashoots ($23) is their white mushroom pie. A layer of salty prosciutto sits at the bottom and is topped with umami cremini mushrooms and dallops of truffle infused ricotta .
The Kung Funghi ($23) has cremini and beech mushrooms, sautéed onions, chives, truffle oil, and tangy chili jelly. It's sweet but grounded by the mushrooms.
Pamaputera tells blogTO some regulars eat their crust first, and honestly, it wouldn't be weird to do so here. In fact, a regular spoke to me during our visit and explained excitedly they visit once a week because the crust is their favourite in the entire city.
Smash Burgers ($10) first appeared on the menu as a Tuesday special and was brought back due to popular demand.
Super simple but classic, they feature a smashed beef patty, American cheese, pickles, lettuce, onions, ketchup, and special sauce in between a sweet potato bun. I think they taste like a Big Mac but better.
Named Big Trouble because they had no idea what they were doing, I think it's safe to say the team defintely know what they're doing now. "We just want to see people happy while eating our food. If you can make a kid happy, you know you're doing something right," hopes Pamaputera.
Big Trouble is located at 191 Geary Ave. Open Thursday-Sundays.