234c Russell St
I’m so hungry I could eat a baby. Or pizza. Pizza will do nicely. A quick search on Urbanspoon led us to Panned Pizza, which seemed to be the perfect halfway between gourmet and suburban pizza joint.
To be entirely honest, I was actually a little hesitant when I first walked in. I mean, the place was TINY, and looked a little too much like your local Dominoes for comfort. Add that to almost non-existent seating and back-lit menu, I was almost ready to bolt. Thank goodness I didn’t. The pizzas here come in three sizes – small (9-inch, $6.90), large (12-inch, $13.00), and ‘new yorker’ (18-inch, $25.00). They also sell pizza by the slice, as you can see in the picture above, for $4.50. We stuck with the panned special ($13.00 for large), which was essentially their version of ‘the lot’.
|Interior; bonus points to anyone who can spot K in this picture|
Whilst waiting for our pizza, I got to look around more closely at the interior. Besides the pizza counter and kitchen, there’s also a little cafe section on the side with very nice shelving. The mish-mash of trinkets sitting on the shelf gave the place a much homelier feel.
|Panned Special (12 Inch Large, $13.00)|
Our pizza came out within 15 minutes (though when you’re hungry every minute feels like an hour), and I would’ve probably dug straight in without taking any photos if it weren’t for the fact that we didn’t get individual plates, and so I took a couple of snaps whilst the waiter was getting them. My surprise at the fact that our pizza didn’t come with cutlery is probably iron-clad proof that gourmet pizzerias are starting to dominate the pizza market way too much – after all, pizza tastes better when you use your hands, everyone knows that! And no one knows that better than the people at Panned Pizza – not only did we not get cutlery, but we didn’t even get proper plates, just those paper picnic ones. Admittedly, despite all I’ve just said, I was still a little unimpressed with the lack of proper plates. But the pizza more than made up for that.
The first thing I noticed about this pizza is how the base wasn’t soggy. I hate soggy bases on pizza; they make all the toppings flop off if you don’t support the entire slice with your hands. Plus, soggy bases taste mooshy. There was a perfect base-to-topping ratio, with neither overwhelming the other, and the crust was wonderfully crispy. The ingredients tasted fresh, and the ham was in slices, as opposed to those little rectangular chunks. But I think the thing that lifted this pizza above the ordinary was the pineapple. I’ve never been a big fan of pineapple on pizza, but this pineapple was sweet and juicy, nothing like the tasteless stuff you get on most pizzas, and it gave the whole thing an extra dimension. Another thing Panned Pizza specialises in is Poutine – the Canadian dish of cheese and gravy on chips. We didn’t get it on this occasion but I will be back to try it. Soon.
Rating: 14.5/20 – first impressions can be deceiving