We were on route to Point Roberts to pick up a parcel at the letter carrier, so decided to stop at the newer Tsawwassen Mills shoppping mall for brunch. It would just be a food court meal, but I was excited to be able to check out this outlet mall for the first time, even if it was just walking towards the food pavillian. They have built the mall to capture all those taking the ferry to and from the island, and families on vacation were certainly taking advantage of them.
Tsawwassen Mills is built on native land, and is decorative with elaborate pieces of art to reflect this. Every corridor had either a craved out ceiling panel, decorative sculpture, or diorama depicting native culture. All this made it just as much an art gallery as shopping experience; as seen by the visitors taking the time to pose and take photos with each display.
After a walk through the spacious food area, we decided on a vendor that we both have never seen in any food court or been to before: “Panniza”. Here, they customize pizzas, salads, sandwiches and poutines with the slogan “you create, we bake”. Although given the name, you would assume an offering of pressed panninis sandwiches will be in there somewhere. But maybe the “pan” refers to pizza baked on a pan? Like all other pizza?
None-the-less this seemed like the one to try. The first baked to order pizza place in any mall that I have seen. They only make them in individual sized portions, so we got one of those. Each $9.95, unless you want to simply choose two toppings with your cheese and sauce for $7.95. There was a vegetarian option included olives and red peppers, a Mediterranean onewith ingredients like feta and spinach, and the Pilly had steak and mushroom. I was with my more cautious partner so went safe with their take on a Hawaiian pizza, we both believe that pineapple has a place on pizza. Their “Aloha” came with a handful, along with bacon and ham over their pizza sauce and surrounded by mozzarella cheese.
You get a view of everything being crafted to order from your side of the glass. The crust starts of as an already risen ball of dough. It is rolled out over a round mesh pan. As for the toppings, everything is scooped from tubs and mixed together in a metal bowl before being spread out all over the now flattened and sauced up ball of dough. It is then fed through a conveyor belt oven, that by the time it comes out the opposite end, you have a golden brown crust and melty cheese. This must be a very powerful machine as it couldn’t have been more than 30 seconds and everything was fully cooked, the bacon pieces even had a little char to them.
As for how it ate, the crust was like that of any frozen grocery store pizza, that icy and baked to thaw taste and texture. Where as delivery pizza has that fresh chewy crust that makes it more like bread. But keep in mind, this is the only way to have this made to order pizza in a food court setting work. I found the crust alright though, as I enjoy my pizza with ranch and it just becomes bread sticks that way, anyways. Thanks to the mixing before topping, the ingredients had a fairly even distribution, especially the ham rounds that found its way on the sauced and flatten pizza dough first. I liked the springy dough. But did feel the thin crust would have been better prepared quick like this. But once again, with ranch it just tasted like ranch.
We also tried one of their sandwiches, with a vegetarian, burger, and fish option, we went for their “Triple P”. This was three types of pork in a BBQ dressed bun. It came with way too much arugula, making bites slightly bitter, not refreshing as the greens were attended to be. The meat was dry, which would have been glossed over if there was more barbecue sauce and mayonnaise to add tang and flavour. Overall, nothing all that memorable.
Would I come back? – No.
Would I line up for it? – No.
Would I recommend it? – No.
Would I suggest this to someone visiting from out of town? – No.
A little far to go just for fast food pizza. But as a tourist solution for those already shopping in the area, this is a pretty good food court eat. $21 for all this isn’t bad, an average taste for a decent price. Don’t deny your cravings.