Victory Cafe has enjoyed a long history serving excellent pub food in a warm atmosphere, much of it in the erstwhile Mirvish Village.
Thankfully, like other former Mirvish Village businesses such as The Beguiling, Victory managed to find a new home not far away, and now you can find great pizza cooked in a wood-burning oven and impeccable beer selection here as always.
The interior that used to be home to Hey Lucy is now decked out in cottagey DIY wood finishing thanks to staff members Sean Lacey and Zachary Martin. The former is also responsible for the barrel tables at Crafty Coyote, a pub under the same ownership across the street.
Thin-crust pizza lands somewhere between a Neapolitan and classic style.
It’s $16.95 across the board for all pizzas here in one size, large, which is about enough to feed two people, a couple drinkers or one hungry person.
You’ll see tossing take place in the open kitchen here, and the pies are unexpectedly good, bubbly and crispy.
The Spicy Chicken pizza is topped with mozzarella and provolone that provide a creamy base for chunky blackened chicken and salty pancetta set off by spicy chili flakes and spicier jalapenos, with a little balsamic that adds sweetness.
The Avalanche is topped with tomato sauce, mozzarella, bright popping cherry tomatoes, garlic, parm, and a healthy heap of kale underneath which a silky, salty, fatty layer of pancetta is secretly hiding.
Victory Fries ($10.95) are aptly named, as it sure feels like a win when these arrive at the table.
The mozzarella could have had a little more pull and the smoked gouda creates a kind of sheet over top of the fries, but the flavours go together really well with the pulled pork, BBQ sauce and jalapenos over hand cut fries.
Mac n’ cheese is worth the $16.95 price tag, a mountain of noodles laden with Colby, Gruyere and cheddar along with caramelized onions and sun-dried tomatoes that really bring the whole comforting, gooey dish up a notch. Bread and a salad come on the side so there’s even more bang for your buck.
Honesty’s End ($12) is a fitting nod to the history of this place that’s appropriately bitter yet full of life and vibrancy, and an homage to the Albanian owner of Victory in using pomegranate.
There’s also licorice-y absinthe along with lemon and simple syrup to tone the drink out, plus a cute berry garnish.
30 draft beers on tap are listed with their alcohol percentage and origin, running the gamut from European to hyper-local craft.
Bartender and manager Chris Allan remarks this is “Victory Cafe grown up.”