We had a work dinner, this was our chosen destination. It allowed me to catalogue, pretty much the entire “Boston Pizza” dinner and dessert menu, if not highlight what were the most popular dishes amongst our group of over 35 individuals.
Given the size of our party and how much room we took up, our choice of restaurant was limited. Not only would they have to be able to accommodate our larger group, but also give us the opportunity to sit close-ish together, knowing full and well that we would want to move about to mingle, and potentially get rowdy all together. And then there is the ability for them to schedule enough staff to serve all of us, without us having to buy out the entire restaurant for the night. This is where larger chains like “Boston Pizza” come in. They are able to satisfy all the above, without loss of revenue and customers to their regular business. Whereas smaller establishments may not be able to sustain any of it. That is why, although such chains may not be my first choice of dining destination, I am thankful for the service that they provide; at prices that can accommodate any budget.
The down side to such an event, is the impossibility for me to share and taste off of everyone’s plate. Therefore I am unable to describe how most of the below turned out. However, know that everyone was satisfied with their meal. And those who did not finish, took what remained home.
I have photos of at least one of every thing ordered. A task that was not easy as I briskly pushed my way from table to table, jostling elbows and chairs that were in my way. It was nice to see that my food blogger reputation proceeded me and that everyone present supported it. No one dared to touch their plate until I took my photo. They went so far as to call me over and ensure that I got my shot before they began and warn others of my behaviour. I and we were successful for all but one entree. For the record, if you ever want to show a food blogger love, this is the way to do it.
This was the newly relocated “Boston Pizza” at “Station Square”, same menu, same staff, just a brand new space between “Best Buy” and “Bed, Bath, and Beyond”. The space is divided between a more quieter dining area by the entrance and their entertainment lounge. We were all seated across two full length tables and three booths. All this behind the two rows of high tops that resembled bleachers, facing the television like seats at a sporting match.
We came on a Monday, one day too late for their Sunday magician that makes and gives out balloon animals. And one day too soon to take advantage of cheap pasta Tuesdays.
Everyone was given their own menu and the choice to have whatever appetizer, entree, and dessert they wanted, so long as they stayed within their own predetermined budget. Below is the listing of each unique thing ordered. Most followed the menu’s offerings, and a few customized their pizza and/or pasta to make it their own.
The descriptions are taken off the “Boston Pizza” website with my notes added in. There were duplicates of several dishes, however I have only taken and kept photos for each type of dish. For appetizers, there were several variations of the nachos being shared. And by far pasta was the most popular entree of the evening, in specific the marinara ravioli. And every one had or split a dessert. The chocolate brownie was the crowd favourite with any of their other chocolate forward desserts coming in a close second.
First their appetizers. The THAI BITES are available in either chicken or shrimp. Both for $12.49. This was the former, breaded chicken breast fried and tossed in a sweet Thai chili sauce, served on a bed of crunchy Asian noodles and finished with julienne carrots, fresh cilantro, green onions, and sesame seeds.
The use of cactus cut chips for their nachos was a fun twist. Where I find most regular tortilla chips flimsy from all the toppings piled on top them, these thicker slices of potato held their own under the weight.
I shared an order of the SPICY PEROGY CACTUS CUT NACHOS for $14.99.
It is smoked Applewood seasoned potato chips covered in layers of pizza mozzarella, cheddar, bacon, jalapeño peppers; and topped with sour cream and green onions. Served with salsa and their signature cactus sauce for dipping. I definitely got some of that promised spice in its name. The chips have a nice hearty crunch to them, with enough variety in the toppings to keep you coming back for more. It was best served warm with the cheese still melty, but not shabby at room temperate with lumpy sour cream.
The CHEESESTEAK CACTUS CUT NACHOS was a similar idea at $1 more for the meat. $15.99 got you more of their Smoked Applewood seasoned Cactus Cut chips covered this time in layers of pizza mozzarella, cheddar, sliced BBQ steak, roasted red peppers, and red onions. It is finished with a drizzle of horseradish mayo and green onions; and also served with salsa and their signature cactus dip.
And for those like nachos just the way they are, there is also the option to have a traditional serving of nachos made with tortilla chips. These corn chips are topped with tomato chunks, olive pieces, grated cheddar cheese, jalapeño slices, and chopped scallions. It is served with the traditional combo of salsa and sour cream, with guacamole costing you extra.
The BOSTON’S PIZZA BREAD is literally a personal size pizza crust seasoned with herbs for $5.99. Here their signature pizza dough is baked golden brown and seasoned with garlic, herbs and parmesan. I would have liked to have seen it with a sauce, to give it more depth; marinara is the standard.
The SPINACH AND ARTICHOKE DIP went for $11.49. It is a baked blend of spinach, marinated artichokes hearts, roasted garlic, balsamic-roasted red onions, Parmesan and pizza mozzarella. It is seasoned with a hint of Cajun spice and topped with a few chunks of fresh tomatoes and feta cheese. It is served with BOSTON’S PIZZA BREAD, like the above, for scooping.
This is the starter size of the BP’S HOUSE SALAD for $6.99. It is a blend of garden greens, red pepper, red onions, carrot ribbons, and julienned beets; all tossed in a citrus vinaigrette. For those wanting a little more out of their salad there were plenty of add ons like a skewer of shrimp, chicken breast, and even a slice of cheese or garlic toast for a couple of dollars more.
And seeing as the word “pizza” is in their name, many of us gravitated to a whole for themselves. Each pie is served within its pan, placed table side on a specialty black mental stand. The price is dependant on the size and then the specialty pizza itself. And the choices don’t end there, you get an option of crust and the ability to add on a dipping sauce for extra. And if you don’t see one that you like, you can also build your own, as a few diners did below.
The classic pizza flavour will always be PEPPERONI, when you don’t know what to get, you can’t go wrong with pepperoni. Theirs is made with their signature pizza sauce, pizza mozzarella and plenty of pepperoni slices.
The RUSTIC ITALIAN utilizes their signature pizza sauce, pizza mozzarella, cheddar, spicy Italian sausage, red onions, green peppers and herbs. It is finished with fresh diced tomatoes and freshly grated Parmesan.
The SPICY PEROGY is basically their SPICY PEROGY CACTUS CUT NACHOS over pizza dough. Sour cream, smoky bacon, Cactus Cut Potatoes, pizza mozzarella, cheddar, green onion, and a dollop of sour cream. They tasted very similar too.
The TROPICAL CHICKEN features an alfredo sauce instead of the traditional tomato base sauce. From there pizza mozzarella, cheddar, smoky bacon, chunks of chicken breast, and pineapple are added.
All their pizzas are available in gluten-free versions. This is the TROPICAL CHICKEN gluten-free. You can easily tell them apart by their rectangular shape to helps avoid confusion.
Two more gluten free pizzas. These were a customized ham and mushroom and a bacon with black olives.
Speaking of customizing your own pizza. This was a customized order of chicken and mushroom.
It wasn’t “Boston Pasta”, but more of us ordered pasta over their pizza. I even had some as an upgraded side.
The BAKED-SEVEN CHEESE RAVIOLI was fairly popular at $17.29. Ravioli stuffed with Parmesan, Emmental, ricotta, fontina and Romano cheese. Sauced with your choice of either their beefy Bolognese or their signature marinara sauce. Then finished with pizza mozzarella and cheddar, and baked bubbly. The first is with the marinara sauce the second, their “beefy Bolognese” sauce. The bits of brown beef being the only visible difference.
The BOSTON’S LASAGNA that went for $15.49 didn’t look all that different from the ravioli above. It was their beefy Bolognese sauce layered over lengthy lasagna noodles, topped with pizza mozzarella, then baked and topped with fresh Parmesan once out of the oven. This wasn’t lasagna in the traditional sense. More like they called it a “lasagna” because of the type of noodles use. It didn’t come out stacked firm and tall like a typical lasagna, and it lacked the thicken creamy cheeses in between layers of pasta, that I am use too. Tasty, but not as expected.
This is their BOSTON’S GARLIC SHRIMP SPAGHETTI for $18.99. Sautéed shrimp, garlic and red onions tossed with spaghetti. Dressed in a white wine, pesto, and Parmesan sauce. Finished with fresh tomatoes and freshly grated Parmesan.
Like with all the other pastas, you had the option to add in extra cheese or to bake the lot of it in cheese. The price differed by a couple of bucks for the service. This CHICKEN AND MUSHROOM FETTUCCINI was baked in cheese for $19.98. It is sautéed chicken breast and fresh mushrooms tossed with fettuccini noodles in their signature Marsala cream sauce with tomatoes and green onion.
The MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLE BOWTIE was priced at $16.99. It is bowtie noodles in a marinara sauce with basil pesto and white wine; topped with red peppers, red onions, and fresh tomato. This serving was requested to come without its other listed ingredients: no marinated artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, mushrooms, fresh spinach, feta, or crushed chilies.
The BOSTON’S SMOKY MOUNTAIN SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS is a safe bet for $18.98. Spaghetti noodles smothered in their beefy Bolognese sauce, served topped with hearty homestyle meatballs and melted cheddar.
And as is always the case, if you don’t like what you see, you can add on and remove ingredients to craft your own perfect pasta combination. The ability to do so started at $12.99. For example, this bowtie pasta in an alfredo sauce, baked with cheese and served with two skewers of shrimp. And this other order of Alfredo bowtie pasta, but with a double side of cheesy toast instead.
And then a more classic fettuccine alfredo with the typical add on of grilled chicken breast and garlic toast.
For entrees, they also covered many bar favourites like this order of three TACOS for $12.79. Three grilled soft tacos filled with lettuce, red onions, cilantro, cheddar, and tomatoes; with a squeeze of lime. It is topped with crunchy tortilla strips, their creamy sweet chili sauce, and your choice of breaded jalapeño shrimp or grilled chicken breast. This was the former, and I came too late to take a picture of it in its complete state.
This is a chicken sandwich made using two pieces of their signature pizza bread to sandwich chargrilled chicken breast, lettuce, and mayonnaise.
Their DOUBLE BACON BBQ BURGER had more colour at $14.99. But instead of regular potato fries, these was an upgraded to yam fries. The burger patty uses Canadian beef, dressed in salt and pepper, smothered in their Jack Daniel’s inspired BBQ sauce. Everything is sandwiched between two brioche buns with lettuce, tomato, cheddar cheese, pickles, and plenty of bacon.
THE MVB (MOST VALUABLE BURGER) also runs at $14.99. Once again a Canadian all-beef patty is placed between a brioche bun. It is then stacked with cheddar cheese, fresh lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pickles and their signature cactus dip.
The full rack of ribs for $25.99 looked disappointing. Pasty brown coloured SLOW-ROASTED PORK BACK RIBS. You choose your own sauce and it is severed with garlic toast, seasonal vegetables and your choice of side dish. In this case it was fries. You were better off with the steak sandwich below.
I had the “STEAK SANDWICH” for $19.99. And it was just as impressive in person as was in its menu photo. A thick 8-ounce New York strip loin steak, aged a minimum of 28 days, seasoned with Montréal steak spice, and charbroiled medium rare as I had requested. All the listed effort was worth it for this outcome of perfect tender texture and thoroughly seasoned flavour. It is highlighted on a French-style bun, with sautéed mushrooms, balsamic-roasted red onions, and fresh Parmesan. Each element was great alone, but made a complete bite coming together. I greedily had my serving with an entree on the side. A smaller portion of their lasagna, which is once again, essentially a beef sauce pasta prepared with lengths of ripply lasagna noodle. It was tasty, put not the solid slab-like cut into texture I wanted to wrap my tongue around.
And when it came time for dessert, between our group, we had one of each of the desserts twice over. Every item was visited twice or trice, except for the apple crisp that everyone bypassed. I guess it seemed the most tame and lack lustre compared to all the below.
The FUTURE PROSPECTS RED VELVET CAKE at $4.99, was not only a tasty visual treat, it was also a charitable one as well. This is a Red Velvet Cake topped with a cheesecake mousse, and served with a berry sauce with whipped cream and a white chocolate coin. $1 from every cake sold goes to Boston Pizza Foundation Future Prospects. I liked the white chocolate medallion that crowned the single serve round of cake, but was disappointed how much larger it looked in the menu’s photo, than in person.
The CHOCOLATE BROWNIE ADDICTION came in two sizes. The regular here goes for $6.49, and the bite sized version, with only one brownie square runs at $3.99. As I mentioned early, this was probably the favourite dessert of the room. A warm chocolate brownie topped with two scoops of vanilla bean ice cream, caramel and a chocolate sauce. This group likes its classics.
We also saw a few of the traditional style NEW YORK CHEESECAKE went for $6.99 come to our tables. It is cream cheese on a graham cracker crust, dressed with a strawberry syrup.
The WARM MINI DONUTS at $6.99 were good, but really nothing all that memorable. A warm cakey doughnut, where I was hoping for the spongy ones you get from fairs and outdoor carnivals. As a cakey doughnut I wished they came with more powered sugar to have an even coating of dust over each, and across your lips. Instead, they are served from the oven, tossed in icing sugar that is quick to melt. They come with a chocolate and berry sauce for some much needed dipped flavouring.
The BOSTON CREAM PIESCRAPER for $8.99 was as visually decadent as it was delicious. But sadly there is such thing as too much of a good thing. Worthy of its pun-derful name, it is a tall serving of vanilla and custard ice cream. The latter was a little too sweet for me, and the chocolate ganache, whipped cream, and drizzles of caramel and chocolate sauce didn’t help. It was also all the same one texture, I was missing something hard and chewy to crunch on. And there was only so much crumbly cookie crust to go on. Some chopped nuts, a topping of cookie, or even a shard of brittle would have helped in this regard.
The CHOCOLATE DOUGHCANO is a one of a kind “Boston Pizza” dessert for $8.99. It utilizes their pizza dough in another way, yet again. It is essentially two dessert stuffed into one other. Creamy chocolate mousse with chunks of cheesecake, caramel, toffee, pecans and almonds are wrapped and baked in their pizza dough until golden brown. It is served with icing sugar, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. When you cut into it, the chocolate oozes out like how a lava cake would. Another one for the chocolate lovers, and all together too sweet for me.
The CHOCOLATE EXPLOSION ran at $7.99. It is basically the filling of the desert above, but shaped into a slice of cake and without the pizza crust-shell. Creamy chocolate mousse chunks of cheesecake, caramel, toffee, pecans and almonds on a chocolate crust.
THE PANOOKIE is a large, freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, prepared and served in a pan, hot from the oven, for $5.99. It comes to your table with already partially melted vanilla bean ice cream and drizzles of chocolate and caramel sauces, oozing and gooey from the heat.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
Their food might not win any awards, but choosing this as our destination meant everyone was sure to find at least one thing that they could and would eat. We left with our bellies full and broad smiles on our faces, having paid prices that won’t break the bank. Don’t deny your cravings.
135-6200 McKay Avenue, Burnaby BC, V5H 4L7