Location: 169 King St. East, Toronto, ON
Price point: $-$$
When I first heard of this gem…I mean One Pizza, the shop that serves up individual, flatbread style pizzas with an all-you-can-eat buffet of fresh toppings to select from, I knew it had to have been too good to be true!
But I was mistaken…I was joyfully mistaken! This place is like a candy shop for pizza feens, and that’s me…I’m a pizza feen! You walk in to this beautiful rustic meets new world ‘take-out’ style pizzeria that smells better than your wildest dreams! It’s decked out with communal tables, industrial fixtures and a large, open-style kitchen/countertop!
I knew going in I was ordering a create-your-own, but for those that find themselves overwhelmed with such pressure, there’s also 8 signature pizzas to choose from!
How does this work you ask?
Naturally you flock to the sign that reads “Order Here,” where you can also grab a clipboard menu to get a better feel of the options that lie ahead!
First you select the dough and sauce accompaniment…
Station 1 – Base
Classic dough, Whole wheat, Gluten free (extra charge)
Classic tomato, Spicy tomato, Pesto, BBQ, Roasted red pepper hummus, Béchamel
Station 2 – Toppings
Need I remind you that you can choose as many toppings as you’d like? All of which are either made in house or brought in from the St. Lawrence Market, that just so happens to be located around the corner…how convenient! Might I also add that that this only costs $11.86? So guys, go wild!!
Artichoke Hearts, Caramelized Onions, Cherry Tomatoes, Jalapeños, Garlic Confit, Kalamata, Olives, Pickled Red Onions, Pineapple Salsa, Pitted Dates, Rapini, Roasted Red Peppers, Sautéed Mushrooms, Spinach, Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Wild Mushroom Blend, Zucchini
Chorizo Sausage, Falafel, Farm Eggs, Fennel Sausage, Lemon Marinated Chickpeas, Napoli Salami, Pepperoni, Smoked Bacon, Chicken
Next comes the cheese…
Fresh Mozzarella, Shredded house blend, Ricotta, Blue, Feta, Goat cheese, Daiya Mozzarella (dairy free/extra charge)
After you’ve carefully selected your smorgasbord of toppings, and by carefully I mean carelessly, they pop it in their pizza oven for what I calculated was approximately 4-6 minutes.
Once the crust is crisp, the cheese is melted, and the yolk is slightly baked, they’ll call your name and it’s time to garnish! With a selection of gourmet oils and fresh herbs to choose from, this is the time to perfect your masterpiece!
Chili Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Garlic Oil, Rosemary Oil, Balsamic Glaze, Arugula, Basil Leaves, Capers, Cilantro, Cracked Black Pepper, Crushed Chilies, Fresh Parmesan, Lemon Wedge, Oregano, Prosciutto (extra charge), Sea Salt, Tzatziki
The toppings I selected were in hopes of making a somewhat coherent flavour profile, and I think I did a pretty good job at nailing it (thanks Food Network)! Although in the hangry state that I was in, I probably would have enjoyed just about anything!
Classic dough with spicy tomato sauce, caramelized onions, jalapeños (lots of them), kalamata olives, spinach, wild mushrooms, chorizo sausage, farm eggs, fresh mozzarella and goat cheese! To top it off, I selected basil, arugula and rosemary oil (although the garlic oil is to die for as well!)
Station 4 – The Bar
Not many ‘take-out’ style pizzerias serve booze…but what have I already told you about this place? It’s a GEM!
Beer – 16oz
Beau’s Lug Tread or Beau’s Festivale
Vino – 5oz
Vineland Cabernet or Vineland Pinot Grigio
Oh but if you’re not into the whole drinking alcohol thing, then they also have classic glass pop bottles or fountain drinks available!
The crust was the perfect texture, light and crispy, and the semolina gave it the perfect, dusty grittiness!
The spicy tomato sauce had just enough of a bite to detect that it was there (although I wouldn’t mind if someone had been a little heavier handed in the kitchen that morning), because the sauce mixed with the creaminess of the goat cheese and mozzarella made the spice obscure (hence my need for extra jalapenos).
The caramelized onions gave it the perfect sweetness, the olives just enough salt, and the mushrooms/chorizo sausage gave it the perfect meatiness without having to go overboard with proteins! I won’t lie though, when I saw the woman in front of me requesting raw egg yolks I was a little freaked out, so naturally I followed suit! Low and behold, the farm eggs ended up being the star topping for me! The creamy yolks were a little too over cooked after sitting in the pizza over, but certainly not enough to leave me disappointed! They were still runny and gave the entire pizza this creamy, rich depth that I otherwise wouldn’t have known I was missing!
The basil was the other star of the dish! I could eat basil like people eat spinach, no lie…I do sometimes! But this basil in particular was massive, and they didn’t go chincy like most pizzerias do with a Margherita! So to get 2 big leaves per slice is heaven!
I wouldn’t have been able to detect the rosemary by taste through all the other overpowering ingredients anyways, so smelling that hint of pine/mint gave the pizza another dimension!
Overall this place is superb! The service has been impeccable both times I’ve been, the place always appears to be clean, their work stations are spotless and organized and to boot they serve some of the best pizza in town!
Thank you Raffaele Esposito for pizza, and thank you Andrew Hay & Tim Gordon for One Pizza! Not only have you changed my life, but also my waistline!
Editor’s Note: Now called True True