Amidst the new restaurant regulations of April 2021, and the need to support the hospitality industry more than ever, Vancouver Foodster’s #PizzaChallengeYVR is giving foodies and pizza aficionados a reason to dine in on patios and take out at home. And as one of the 3 judges, I have been tasked to visit each competing restaurant, to try each creation; then pick my favourite based on Taste, Originality, and Presentation. And as diners, you are invited to do the same, voting online for your favourite, to be crowned the people’s choice.
Today I was at Pizzeria Grano on Main Street, the vegan restaurant, who is highlighting their Patate al Forno for the competition. Grano prides itself on preparing traditional Neapolitan pizza, which includes utilizing properly hand-stretched dough that is traditionally topped, then baked in their domed shaped brick oven. The result, a delicious crust and the ideal base for their plant-based menu.
Their competing pizza features a cashew bechamel base with whipped potato, cashew mozzarella; and is finished with crispy bacun bits, chives and their house-made sour cream. I likened it to a deconstructed baked potato over airy pizza dough. I liked the idea, but would have preferred the potatoes baked firm to better contrast the crispy dough. Though the flavours were all there: with the refreshing chives and the “bacun’s” smokiness being the highlight. I just wished there was more of the latter, and in larger chunks to easily make out and provide that contrasting texture I was looking for above.
We also tried the Tartufo pizza, which is my guest’s favourite pizza from Grano. For those who need their cheese dairy-free and love the strength of flavour that truffle provides, this one is for you. Roasted garlic purée, olive oil, cashew mozzarella, crimini mushrooms, truffle pate, and parsley. You got exactly what you expected with this one and then some. No complaints, just a top notch mushroom pizza. I can see why this is her favourite.
I was more enamoured by the Eggplant Parmesan. I have only just tried this fdish or the very first time, here. Baked layers of roasted eggplant with marinara sauce, walnut pesto, and cashew ricotta; served with house made focaccia. Upon first blush impression it reminded me of a vegetable version of lasagna with the layered thin slices of eggplant, and marinara sauce thickly coating it, all baked to order. This was super tasty, the perfect sauce to scoop up with the pieces of in house baked focaccia on the side. I would gladly take this out any day and would come back for more when they are allowed to seat patrons indoors again.
Overall Pizzeria Grano is a gem, vegan or not, they prepare delicious pizzas and are worth checking out for yourself for pizza that you will try and crave for again in the future!
3240 Main St, Vancouver, BC V5V 3M5