The Great Pizza Quest
Calabria Market is a family owned and operated business opened in 1994 as a small deli. From there it expanded due to popular customer requests; to be sure, their wine selection consists of bottles from all over the world, supplying wines to individual as well as commercial clients. The shelves are lined with specialty foods imported primarily from Italy, but also from a variety of other countries. They have grown significantly from when they first opened nearly twenty years ago.
What they are largely known for is their selection of fresh foods - namely, subs and pizzas. My first introduction to their food was their giant sub sandwiches - which, may I add, are quite exquisite (really, you should try them). Their pizzas are just as extraordinary, and are among the short list of pizzas my mother will actually eat. Indeed, Calabria's pizzas are a family favourite, and not simply because my dad has done work at one of the two executive sister's homes.
The pepperoni and mushroom pizza is generously - but not overwhelmingly - topped with high quality meat, sliced and crisped to perfection, while the mushrooms are fresh, moist and flavourful. The Hawaiian is equally balanced with excellent slices of ham and delectable chunks of pinneapple bursting with flavour at the right amount of baking - not dried out, but not watery. The cheese permeates the pizza expertly; it is noticeably picked for its quality, and spread with mindful consideration, melting over and under the other toppings. The crust is baked crispy and thin, without a rolled ball of dough at the perimeter so that each bite consumes the perfect crunch of soft cheese, crispy, savory toppings and delicious dough, filling your mouth with blessing, leaving you wanting another bite, another piece, another Friday night.
Each pizza is hand-made to order, as well as hand-tossed in the traditional manner. The excellence of the pizza is no doubt as a result of the imported Italian meats and cheeses and the years of Italian family experience, perfecting their craft. Just the smell of the pie when walking into the market makes your stomach gurgle and your mouth water - even if you've just ate. And I know - my optometrist is right next to it. The only downside is that because there is only one, it is rather far from our home. But on that same note, because there is only one the recipes and ingredients are not diluted by franchise expansion. While I've only had this pizza a small number of times, I'm certainly counting it, along with my mother, as one of the very best.