Za Pizza Bistro
The brand has origins in Winnipeg, and this is one of three initial Za Pizza Bistros to break into Ontario, the other two in Vaughan and Mississauga.
Start by selecting a house dough for your thin crust pizza ($12.89 for an 11-inch create-your-own pizza with unlimited toppings) from either original, whole wheat, or for a $3 upcharge, gluten-free.
All dough is given a 24-hour ferment for a crispy crust. A dough presser is used to easily dole out 11-inch pies, the only size available here. Raw pizza crusts are dusted with cornmeal so they slide off the peel easily.
From there, choose from over half a dozen sauces, from classic red and white options to buffalo, pesto, spicy red and smoky BBQ. You’re free to put different sauces on the same pizza or even blend them. Customization has no rules here.
The same goes for cheeses: add as many as you like, then load up your personalized pizza with your choice of over 40 different toppings.
Pizzas are fired in a wood-burning oven that Masseria uses for their own fast casual concept.
A cheeseburger pie is a suggested signature combination/secret menu item of sorts. On an original crust, the “sauce” base is actually mustard, ketchup and mayo blended together, with mozzarella and cheddar as the cheeses of choice.
It’s topped with bacon, tomato, onion and two atypical toppings of ground beef and pickles that aren’t really on the menu but could always be requested. With a lot of potential to turn out disastrously, this combination actually works well. The stretchy cheese, meat and tang of the pickles aren't overpowered by a jumble of condiments.
I intrepidly give my own custom pie a shot, opting to sample the whole wheat crust and eager to see how slightly more sophisticated toppings of basil pesto sauce, feta, ricotta, Italian sausage, artichoke, roasted garlic and roasted red pepper would fare here.
The pesto sauce is fragrant, the roasted garlic is punchy and the artichoke and red pepper aren’t too chunky or slimy, as can sometimes be the case.
There are just as many options for complimentary dipping sauces at a bar beside the cashier, including a fiery signature “volcano ranch.”
Dessert pizzas ($7.99) are also strangely tasty, reminiscent of funnel cake with ice cream and toppings like Oreo crumble.
The licensed multi-level space seats about 40, about 20 out on a patio.
Four TVs downstairs and one upstairs play music videos most of the time, but they’ll turn on local sports for big games.