Love Pizza opened its doors last week in the Canterra Shopping Centre on 109th Street and Jasper Avenue, much to the excitement of the downtown crowd. Goodbye Planet Beach Tanning, hello Love Pizza! It’s a good trade for me as I’m about to make the transfer to work in the area in only a couple of weeks. I’m going to have to resist the urge to buy a pizza every lunch hour but whatthehey. #workproblems.
Who doesn’t love pizza? It’s one of those questions that when asked, you would never respond with “I don’t” for fear of being labelled as the weirdo of the group. That’s a true story for me, my elementary-aged self much preferring burgers or chicken nuggets. As I grew older though, pizza really did start to grow on me. I’ve found that I prefer a thin crust, but not into flatbread territory, a nice sauce with a zip to it, and simple fresh ingredients. Nothing funky like olives or pineapples please!
Co-owners Braede Harris and Gavin Fedorak have a different story about pizza, their history on the wall for all to see. The “mom-and-pop” shop (because it technically is, they just welcomed their son into the world only seven months ago) is a modern, hip pizzeria that guaranteed will grab your attention. I’m already dreading the weekday lunch crowd. As a co-owner of Press’d Sandwiches, this isn’t Gavin’s first rodeo but as the couple’s first space together, Love Pizza is in it’s own way, their baby.
The space is gorgeous, a simple black and white scheme with fantastic usage of geometric patterns. The floor, the walls, even their stacked pizza boxes are an Instagrammer’s dream. Local photographer Randee Armstrong’s work is featured in large scale proportions on the feature wall. If you’re a caffeine or sandwich addict, you might even recognize one of her subject, Justin Benson, co-owner of Farrow. Completely unrelated to the Love Pizza project, but it’s just cool to see local faces and artists together in Edmonton!
Once you get over looking at every nook and cranny of the amazing interior, you can start thinking about what kind of pizza you want to order! First, choose your crust: their classic Traditional Caputo “00”, their 100% Organic Whole Wheat, courtesy of local Gold Forest Grains Heirloom Park Wheat & Red Fife flour, or a Gluten Free crust (+$3). Then choose a Love Pizza signature or go nuts and build your own, $11.95 either way. Three minutes into the oven and your thin crust pizza will be ready!
Joe and I made a quick mid-afternoon visit last Saturday and ordered the Meatatarian: Tangy Tomato Sauce, Fior Di Latte, pepperoni, Capicolla, Spolumbo’s Italian Sausage from Calgary, and Shaved Parmesan on a ’00’ crust. Delicious! It’s definitely going to be a fast favourite for many, Albertans like their meat! Loved the ’00’ crust, mine was crisp and held up nicely to all the toppings. Joe enjoyed using the tableside chili oil to kick it up a notch as well.
A second visit earlier today for some take-out pies had me trying the Holy Shiitake and The Q. The Holy Shiitake (Truffle Parmesan Sauce, Fior Di Latte, Roasted Mushroom Blend, Caramelized Onions, Fresh Arugula) is one of two vegetarian options on the signature pizza menu, and was enjoyable despite the fact that very little truffle flavour came through. I also noticed the absence of shiitake mushrooms, perhaps the roasted mushroom blend not completely mixed, and only white button mushrooms to be found. Sad face.
The Q quickly made up for it, a Chipotle BBQ Sauce punching a lot of flavour and meshing well with Creamy Gorgonzola, Caramelized Onions, Chipotle BBQ Pulled Chicken, Cherry Tomatoes, and a Chili Oil Drizzle. I opted for the 100% Organic Whole Wheat crust for this one, a fantastic alternative for those who are more health conscious!
I have no doubts that I’ll work through the entire menu by the end of February, the Ode to Ukraine (Roasted Garlic Spread, Shaved Potatoes, Irvings Farm Fresh Bacon, Caramelized Onions, Medium Cheddar, Creme Fraiche, Green Onion) next on my list. Or perhaps the Old MacDonald, featuring a spicy tomato sauce and farm fresh eggs! Or maybe one day I’ll build my own pizza, the combinations endless with seven different kinds of sauces, six different cheeses (one of which is Daiya Mozzarella as a vegan option!), and over 40 toppings. Love the fact that they’re supporting local producers and farmers when they can and the quality of Love Pizza’s ingredients!
Did I mention they also serve wine and beer (but are also kid-friendly!)? And Pinnochio Ice Cream for dessert? And open late? It just keeps getting better. I’m looking forward to creating more memories with Love Pizza and with my new workplace. It’s going to be one heck of a year! And OMG, I almost forgot. Sign up for their loyalty program and get $5 off your first pizza! Collect points to earn free pies and make sure you put in your date of birth. Birthday pizzas for the win!Love Pizza
10196 – 109 Street (east edge of Canterra Shopping Centre)