Yesterday we were treated to an afternoon filled with one of our favorite foods.
Yep, Vancouver Foodster’s latest challenge is focused all around Pizza, and we couldn’t be happier. You likely know by now we’re kind of obsessed with the stuff. We eat a lot of it. But these days we find ourselves usually making it at home, so this was going to be a total treat — hitting up three different spots in one afternoon to sample some of what the Best Pizza Challenge has to offer.
This time around, restaurants who are participating were required to create a brand new recipe, not just something off their regular menu. The idea here is that you’ll be more encouraged to actually go out and try these limited-time offerings, and take part by giving the restaurant a vote immediately after your meal — no more waiting until the end of the competition to place your votes for your fave. You can also vote once a day too, so you don’t have to just choose one.
First Stop: Cotto Enoteca Pizzeria (6011 Hastings Street, Burnaby)
We were really looking forward to this, as we’ve heard so many positive reviews about Cotto since it opened. Specializing in authentic VPN certified Neapolitan pizza, it’s located in North Burnaby just off East Hastings, near Kensington Park. Not an area we venture out to normally, but after seeing what Cotto had to offer, we think we might find ourselves back here soon.
Inside, the restaurant had a beautiful layout with a gorgeous bar and espresso machine, and a great looking outdoor patio area.
The pizza entry that Cotto has created is called Pizza Di Spagna, and yes, just as yummy as it looks.
Created by Exectutive Chef Nathan Wright, this bad boy featured crispy and delicious chorizo sausage from Two Rivers Meats, arugula pesto, roasted red and yellow peppers, Parmigiano Reggiano, Mahón cheese and fresh baby arugula piled high — this was one heck of a pizza.
The flavours were intense without being over powerful, and the oil from the chorizo sausage was perfect to mop up with your crust. Just do yourself a favour and go try this pizza, you’ll be glad you did.
Second Stop: Ragazzi Pizza Co. (2996 E. 22nd Avenue, Vancouver)
Located in the heart of Renfrew-Collingwood, Ragazzi Pizza is a friendly neighbourhood pizza joint that makes authentic Italian crust and uses ingredients like high quality mozzarella cheese, and imported meats. They also have a Food Truck, which we’re hoping to see out and about this summer.
This was an interesting entry. Alla Portoghese — Kale, smoked sausage and bocconcini with a potato infused cream sauce. We liked it the more we ate it, and the kale was kept particularly nice and crispy on top, which added a lovely texture.
Ragazzi’s crust was kind of somewhere between Neapolitan style and Chicago style, and we quite liked it. We could see the potato infused cream sauce not being for everyone, but we thought it worked perfectly with the crispy kale.
Third Stop: The BiBo (1835 W 4th Ave, Vancouver)
Last but not least, we found ourselves at The BiBo in Kitsilano. They have a beautiful space, with a giant window that opens out onto 4th avenue and is great for people watching.
Created by Chef Marco Di Stefano, The Bibo’s entry is called the Pizza Friariella.
Friarielli or Friggitelli are small sized slender thin-walled mild south Italian peppers that are perfect for frying. Here they’re mixed with cherry tomatoes and tomato sauce, with slightly melted buffalo mozzarella. This had an interesting flavour, with some of us commenting the peppers tasted spicy, while others noticed a similarity to green bell peppers.
If you love pizza as much as we do, then be sure to check out some of the entries in the Best Pizza Challenge, on now until July 14.
It’s the perfect excuse to gather up some friends or family and go on an “eating adventure” of sorts, and with 14 different restaurants on board, there will no doubt be something you’ll love.
Check out Vancouver Foodster’s website for full listings, pricing and menu descriptions.
XX – The Food Gays
Disclaimer: We attended these Best Pizza Challenge venues as Media Guests, however all opinions are 100% our own.