Today I was invited as media to check out a pizza and salad joint with a very appealing concept. This is Vancouver’s first and only restaurant that allows you the ability to customize your meal without consequences.
Customization of all and any ingredients at one flat price. If you didn’t want to budget to have things prepared your way, you didn’t have to here; and neither does the employee behind the counter, having to figure it out. This is a cleaver concept, sure to engage loyalty from an improved customer experience.
They are located on Cambie between 7th and 8th, by West Broadway. Their location makes them a great hub for quickie work lunches and after school meals in a pinch. The neighbourhood was certainly taking advantage of their newer presence, as seen by the rotation of delivery personnel walking in and taking out, during the duration of our visit.
The space is uplifting with vaulted ceilings and a colourful mural. The bold representation of our fair city’s skyline immediately draws your eyes. It includes the Science World globe and the Granville street bridge, which is only a stone’s throw from where we were. An all window front give diners a good look in, while their side table set up outside gives them a little more information on what could be had within. The open space is lined with dark chairs and glossy tables to help yourself to. And a counter of cutlery, condiments, and take out containers to use as you need.
Once again, their menu make them ideal for quick lunches: pizza and salads on the go. Although it may be hard to read the fine descriptive print from the over hanging menu board (one that the owner says she plans to correct shortly)
Many love either pizza or salad, and many more both; so bringing them together and specializing in them under this roof made sense. There is something for everyone, which includes vegans, and anyone with dietary restrictions. With a tofu crumble in place of meat, vegan cheese, and a gluten free pizza dough.
Today we wouldn’t be customizing our meal, but instead relying on their pre-set dishes, ones perfectly crafted to balance textures and taste. All the work is done behind a glass-shielded counter, which gives you a look at the salad topping or pizza rolling process. Many metal buckets of meat, cheeses, sauces, fresh vegetables, and nuts. The staff working behind them are all wearing fun food related tee shirts. “The avocado life choose me”, “just do whatever you want”, and a big image of a button mushroom slice.
They offer traditional salads and ones that are nutrient dense, favourites and classics all on one board. $10.99 for any regular and $12.99 for any large, which includes the custom build salads for the same price. Three ingredients or seven, it is all the same. Add any protein and you don’t get charged $4 for it. Except for fior di latte and vegan cheese for $2.50 more, and $2.99 for gluten-free crust. I almost rather not be given the option of any of the there, and leave the promise that all and any ingredients will be for one set price.
In case you are greedy as I am, and tend to go overboard, they will tell you when too much is enough in a salad, and when another topping will leave your pizza toppling. Adding 12, might not have it cooking as well.
Each pizza is made using their crust brushed in olive oil, before being pressed and baked in individual pods from Italy, these ovens are designed for quick wood fire-like baking. Ideal for their fast-food pizzas. Each 11 inch pizza is one price: $12.99.
They have some pretty interesting ingredients to wade through like quinoa, a curry tomato sauce, blue cheese, anchovies, hard boiled eggs, many raw and roasted vegetables, artichoke, roasted broccoli, celery, blueberry, and walnuts.
I am admittedly not a salad person, I would not order a salad because I don’t want to pay for something that is assembled raw. However, the way these were crafted was well done and worth my reconsideration. There was a great mix of textures and ingredients in each bowl, helping to keep your mouth interested until the last bite. However they looked more appealing in their see-through, take-out container-cups. Here, I just didn’t take one bite to taste and to be able to blog, but I actually went for second bites and larger scoops to enjoy what I was having. But mind you, no where near as much as I preferred the carbs of the pizza below.
This is the “O-mega Brainiac salad” distinct for use of refreshing cucumber and blueberries; along with mixed greens, quinoa, cabbage, beers, avocado salsa, walnuts, and a seed mix. It is normally served with their “glory dressing”, but for us they offered the visual aesthetics of the golden-sun yellow “goddess dressing”. Once again, there was enough going on to keep you interested. Crisp leaves, juicy berries, hearty quinoa, and a velvety sauce to tie it all together. And the “glory” dressing was a nice summery citrus.
The “Sexy hippy” was the salad version of a stew with brown rice, celery, and roasted carrots and potatoes; along with mixed greens, quinoa, bested parsley, apple, and walnuts. This was well tied together with their honey Dijon dressing.
The “Wild cowboy” was like tex-mex in a bowl: mixed greens, romaine, brown rice, mixed bell peppers, black beans, cheddar, corn salsa, and pico de gallo. Ours came with the addition of shredded chicken breast. Served with their southwest dressing. This was my favourite of the salads with the sweet corn and the sharp cheese.
Each pizza is served on a waxy sheet, on it, written in black sharpie is its name and the name of the prep cook that assembled it for you today.
The “Smooth crimini kale” was my favourite. The crispy fried, olive oil tossed kale leaves had me eating all my greens. Sautéed mushroom, mozzarella, artichoke, red onion, and a white pizza sauce. I liked all the layers of cheese in the white sauce, it really made each bite pop. A great smooth cream to match the tender textures of the mushroom and artichoke that sat nestled, embedded within it.
The “All Greek to me” had goat feta, mozzarella, olives, artichoke, roasted red peppers, and olive oil-tossed kale; all on a bed of tomato sauce, drizzle over with balsamic. It also typically comes with genoa salami, but this version did without, and it didn’t need it. There was already so much flavour to go around with the salty olives. Although I did find it very similar to the pizza above, with the use of artichokes and crispy kale.
For those who like some heat on their pizza the “Smoke and fire” did not misrepresent. Spicy with banana peppers and a spicy tomato sauce. And smokey with the use pepperoni and smoked cheddar; along with red onion and mozzarella. It was a little on the salty side, so best paired with a salad or beer.
The “Backyard BBQ” is for those who like a little sweetness on their pizza. Herb-roasted chicken, mozzarella, cheddar, red onion, bell peppers, cilantro, BBQ sauce, and a yogurt and adobo drizzle. The sweet barbecue flavour was most prominent, with a hint of smokiness in the sauce. The sweet grilled pepper offered a refreshing element. Whereas I wanted more from the menu-promised yogurt drizzle.
They also offer superfood smoothies, but we were more interested in dessert. Here they celebrate Calgary based, all natural, small batch gelato purveyors: Fisaco in single serve cups. Bourbon vanilla bean, salted caramel, and dark chocolate caramel sea salt. And the dairy-free strawberry rhubarb, raspberry lime, and mango pineapple.
Would I come back? – Yes.
Would I line up for it? – Yes.
Would I recommend it? – Yes.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
With fresh and wholesome ingredients, they make a great option for everything eating. Especially with their fair prices and the option for $5 happy hour wine and beer, and $10 happy hour pizzas and salads. Not necessary a destination, but a great addition to the neighbourhood, for those living and working in the area. Don’t deny your cravings.
2325 Cambie Street, Vancouver BC