Mare Pizzeria Toronto

Mare Pizzeria

Mare Pizzeria has taken over the Baldwin address that was until recently home to the Chocolate Addict. It's a shallow storefront decorated with hand-painted illustrations and lettering that already looks aged beyond its years - er, weeks. Those not familiar with Kensington Market might even mistake it for a longtime resident, which is to say that for a new place, it doesn't look all that new.

With only a few stools inside, the pizza parlour's focus is clearly takeaway. A menu posted on the wall lists off the usual suspects; pastas, wings, whole pies and sandwiches.

Mare Pizzeria Toronto

Slices ($3) sit out of sight in the oven and are only advertised by a single line item on the menu and by other customers as they mow down out front. I order a slice of pepperoni, a quartered triangle that is way too big for its paper plate and needs to be folded when eaten to give support to the floppy crust.

Mare Pizzeria Toronto

The cheese panzerotti ($6) which is built to order and then baked, negates my existing understanding of the genre. Really, it's a calzone (amirite?) rather than the expected fried panzo which is photographed on the menu. Even still, it's a good looking pizza pocket; the dough puffs up as it's baked and, fresh from the oven, the taste and texture of the crust is decidedly bread-like.

Mis-labelling aside, my biggest issue is the scantily-applied tomato sauce, which is overwhelmed by the mass of gooey cheese inside. Also, I'm irked that only on pick-up am I upsold extra sauce on the side. "You should, it's better that way," says the guy who took my original order. He's right, but I'm left scrounging for another dollar after I thought the whole transaction was complete.

Mare Pizzeria Toronto

The veal sandwich ($6.25) falls short of my expectations, too. Offered with sweet peppers, mushrooms or extra cheese (each an additional 50 cents), I make the wrong call when I opt for the briny, likely-canned mushrooms. The veal itself is fine, but the liquid from mushrooms and sauce just absorb straight into the ultra-soft bun and turns the bread into orange-stained mush that falls apart as it's eaten.

Mare Pizzeria Toronto

The final verdict? For convenience's sake, it's hard to go wrong with a $3 slice, but when the craving strikes for an Italian sandwich, my allegiance hasn't been swayed - I'd still make the trek to Little Italy and eat from Bitondo's or San Francesco Foods any day.

Mare Pizzeria Toronto

Photos by Jesse Milns .

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