The Big Slice (St. Clair)
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.
The 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