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Has anyone tried Strawberry Cones in Aberdeen Center?  (it's a Japanese pizza chain with some pretty wacky toppings -- Hokkaido Potato Tuna anyone ? )

I have. The crust is fluffy and spongey and the toppings tasted very artificial (sweet sauces, etc.). Not my thing.

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In response to the orginal poster, "Why are thee no decent pizzas in Vancouver"

I have a pet theory, perhaps even a conspiracy.

Vancouverites love cheap pizza. You know, the $1.14 take-away kind kind on a paper plate?

Every major street and mall has at least one such pizza joint.

How good can a $1.14 slice of pizza be?

But that's only part of the conspiracy...

The most popular oven for baking pizzas in Vancouver?

A Doyan convection oven

Not ideal for a crispy crust or even baked texture, but hey, it's cheaper than a conventional deck oven, and a lot cheaper to operate too...

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In response to the orginal poster, "Why are thee no decent pizzas in Vancouver"

I have a pet theory, perhaps even a conspiracy.

Vancouverites love cheap pizza.  You know, the $1.14 take-away kind kind on a paper plate?

Every major street and mall has at least one such pizza joint.

How good can a $1.14 slice of pizza be?

But that's only part of the conspiracy...

The most popular oven for baking pizzas in Vancouver?

A Doyan convection oven

Not ideal for a crispy crust or even baked texture, but hey, it's cheaper than a conventional deck oven, and a lot cheaper to operate too...

The typical pizza here is atrocious....even some of the new higher end Italian places don't get it right. Once good pizza joints like Lombardo's have gone downhill of late. Lombardo's owner has left the newer downtown location (which is now being rebranded as Pacific Pizza)...so maybe she can stop the downward spiral at the Commercial Drive location.) I can't get myself to eat at Marcello's even though it is probably the best pizza in my neighbourhood (their brick oven is still charcoal fired while Lombardo's is running gas now).

Ah Beetz in Abbotsford is on my sights...I haven't been, but I like what I see. The pizzaiolo there is a real NY pizza fanatic and goes the extra mile to make it authentic. He is running his deck ovens at 700 C and cold-rises his dough in the fridge like the better places in NYC. I have recently heard good things about Steveston Pizza. I may have to pop in one time when I visit my parents there.

I have found ways of improving delivery pizza - sometimes for our family rental movie nights we order pizza from Megabite on Commercial Dr. This particular location is the best of the "chain" (more like an aggregate of pizza shops). Their crust has a bit too much oil, but it is good in comparison to the other delivery places in town. I ask for thin crust, easy on the toppings - especially the "cheese"...then when it arrives, I pop it on a preheated pizza stone for a few minutes to crisp up the crust (I turn on my oven to max right before I phone in the order). It's like putting lipstick on a pig.

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Vancouver pizza is generally awful. And I agree with Fmed that even some of the newer higher end places have generally been really disappointing.

A good slice costs $4-$5 in NYC, so when you see how low the prices are in Vancouver, clearly something must be wrong. Cheap sushi give me the creeps also.

Ah-beetz crust is really fantastic, and a visit is fun and informative. Their sauce is fresh with hand ripped basil tossed over the pizza just before hitting the oven. I just wish they would step it up with the toppings. Pre-shredded asiago adds an unwanted hit of salt and they use a dry mozz rather than a fresh one. I understand that good fresh mozz is difficult to source, but please, a Margherita without that fresh dairy hit seems wrong.

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Nook is no longer open for lunch.

They should consider putting up their hours on the door or at least a sign saying they are open for dinner only. Instead a group of tourists kept craning their heads into the place trying to figure out what was going on.

The fact that the staff, who were in plain view, prepping dinner service did not bother to come out to explain their hours was more than a little peeving.

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I recently had a friend give me a pizza from Lou Malnatis out of Chicago. I have to say that it was the best pizza I have ever eaten. It was nothing fancy just a plain pepperoni pizza. But the crust was nice and buttery and flakey, and the ingredients were not to over whelming, with a nice home made tomato sauce and gooey mozzarella cheese.

Seems basic enough, but nothing even comes close here in Vancouver,

Pastrychefwanttobe


Edited by pastrychefwanttobe (log)

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fmed, visit Ah-Beetz. The crust is worth it alone. The toppings do need improvement, but Terry (the owner) is working on it. Slowly but surely.

We had to wait a bit before we could get our pizza there. My husband hates waiting for food, but when he had this pizza, he said that it was worth the wait. Normally it doesn't take long for their pizzas, but they had sold out everything the night before, and didn't open on time the day that we went. (He had to restock everything.)

The other problem with Vancouver and good pizza, is I believe that city council or the health inspectors or the fire chief (one of them...I don't know which) doesn't allow any new wood-fire ovens in Vancouver. So we are stuck with deck ovens and Doyons. The few that are left that exist are held to ridiculous regulations for safety.

Tried making pizza on my grill the other day with Terry's dough recipe. The dough turned out perfect (but could have used another day's worth of cold fermentation) but the grill sucked as a cooking medium (I put my stone on it). I need to build a brick oven somewhere. I bet I would have a hard time getting a permit.

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fmed, visit Ah-Beetz.  The crust is worth it alone.  The toppings do need improvement, but Terry (the owner) is working on it.  Slowly but surely.

We had to wait a bit before we could get our pizza there.  My husband hates waiting for food, but when he had this pizza, he said that it was worth the wait.  Normally it doesn't take long for their pizzas, but they had sold out everything the night before, and didn't open on time the day that we went.  (He had to restock everything.)

The other problem with Vancouver and good pizza, is I believe that city council or the health inspectors or the fire chief (one of them...I don't know which) doesn't allow any new wood-fire ovens in Vancouver.  So we are stuck with deck ovens and Doyons.  The few that are left that exist are held to ridiculous regulations for safety.

Tried making pizza on my grill the other day with Terry's dough recipe.  The dough turned out perfect (but could have used another day's worth of cold fermentation) but the grill sucked as a cooking medium (I put my stone on it).  I need to build a brick oven somewhere.  I bet I would have a hard time getting a permit.

Ah Beetz most definitely on the list for me. I'm thinking of a roadtrip with a bunch of like-minded pizza fanatics very soon. Did Terry provide you with his starter?

I too would love a brickoven....not in the near future for me (though I've been collecting used firebrick for a few years now...I'm probaby half-way there.)

I've rigged up something in my BBQ that works fairly well....but I do have to finish the top in my oven's broiler. (BTW...Have a look at the Little Black Egg thread on pizzamaking.com's forum for a cool little weekend project).

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it was the best pizza I have ever eaten,  the crust was nice and buttery and flakey,

Pastrychefwanttobe

I guess taste is very subjective.

I want nothing buttery or flaky about my pizza crust, I want it thin and crispy with a small bit of yeasty chewiness but certainly no butter and no flake, I'll leave that to my crust for quiche.

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Vancouver pizza is generally awful.  And I agree with Fmed that even some of the newer higher end places have generally been really disappointing. 

A good slice costs $4-$5 in NYC, so when you see how low the prices are in Vancouver, clearly something must be wrong.  Cheap sushi give me the creeps also.

Ah-beetz crust is really fantastic, and a visit is fun and informative. Their sauce is fresh with hand ripped basil tossed over the pizza just before hitting the oven.  I just wish they would step it up with the toppings.  Pre-shredded asiago adds an unwanted hit of salt and they use a dry mozz rather than a fresh one.  I understand that good fresh mozz is difficult to source, but please,  a Margherita without that fresh dairy hit seems wrong.

I am glad you like the crust but I feel I must comment on the toppings. First of all, I have NEVER used any pre shedded cheese. I shred the cheese myself and just enough for one day at a time so it is always fresh. Secondly, I have NEVER put asiago on a Margherita. I use only Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano. Thirdly, I use the best aged mozzarella available. I will only use fior di latte if it is really fresh and that is nearly impossible to get around here. I was making it myself for a while but I was having trouble with the quality of the curds I was getting. I am currently trying to find a good source for curds.

You should also keep i mind that we have only been open for a few months ad we are in Abbotsford. I use the best toppings I can afford to at this time. As far as meats go, I make the Italian sausage myself and it's the best around. Our pepperoni and chorizo are made for us locally and are both excellent but are not exactly what I would like in a perfect world. But, they are very good and will have to do until I can get the time to make them myself. I don't think you could find anyone more picky about the quality of ingredients than myself.

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Nook on Deman: The crust is not going to win any big prizes, but the toppings are decent and the room is very pleasant.  Probably my favorite place just to sit and relax over some very well done food.

I have to completely disagree with Hestia on this one - both my girlfriend and I loved the pizza at Nook when we tried it last week. The thin crust sausage pizza was awesome and the best part of it was the crust. We'd just been down to Seattle the week before to try Serious Pie and we thought that was pizza from heaven - they even get to use wood burning stoves! But we preferred the pizza at Nook. Guess it depends on how you like your crust.

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Wow, if you like Nooks crust better than Serious Pie than I have to give them a try. I'm crazy about Serious Pie but I can appreciate different styles of crust as long as they're well made.

I wonder if Hestia's experience was a case of not liking the style or inconsistent product? Time will tell.

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I found Nook's crust tasted of nothing really. Great texture and chew, but it's a vehicle for decent toppings. We can agree to disagree Kentan.

Ah-Beetz's crust however, is completely magical. Toasty wheaty flavors that come from a slow careful rise. Best crust I have had in a long time. All this without the benefit of wood or charcoal, or a brick oven.

tdeane, I am in complete awe of your committment to excellence. I hope you are able to find toppings worthy of your crust. If anyone finds themselves within a 20 mile radius of Abbotsford, get your tush over to Ah-Beetz.

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I found Nook's crust tasted of nothing really.  Great texture and chew, but it's a vehicle for decent toppings.  We can agree to disagree Kentan.

Ah-Beetz's crust however, is completely magical.  Toasty wheaty flavors that come from a slow careful rise.  Best crust I have had in a long time.  All this without the benefit of wood or charcoal, or a brick oven.

tdeane,  I am in complete awe of your committment to excellence.  I hope you are able to find toppings worthy of your crust.  If anyone finds themselves within a 20 mile radius of Abbotsford,  get your tush over to Ah-Beetz.

I actually have found a good fior di latte that I have been using recently. I am going to make some chorizo next weekend, so I'll let you know how it turns out. It will take at least 3-4 weeks before it's ready.

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The short answer is, like with many things in Vancouver, the emphasis is on style over content/substance. As long as it looks good, that's all that counts.

I've just returned from cycling the Kettle Valley Railway in and around Kelowna. Bordello's on Water street makes the most fantastic pizza. Best base I've ever had outside of Italy.

If Kelowna can do it, Vancouver can.

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I am a little bit biased, having an affiliation with the company, but Incendio has the best pizza. I love the simple pies because a thin crust shouldn't be overwelmed by too many toppings. A volcana with capicolla or a cheese pizza hits the spot. I'm looking forward to the Gastown location reopening this week-hooray!

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I am a little bit biased, having an affiliation with the company, but Incendio has the best pizza. I love the simple pies because a thin crust shouldn't be overwelmed by too many toppings. A volcana with capicolla or a cheese pizza hits the spot. I'm looking forward to the Gastown location reopening this week-hooray!

When does it reopen?

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The short answer is, like with many things in Vancouver, the emphasis is on style over content/substance. As long as it looks good, that's all that counts.

I've just returned from cycling the Kettle Valley Railway in and around Kelowna. Bordello's on Water street makes the most fantastic pizza. Best base I've ever had outside of Italy.

If Kelowna can do it, Vancouver can.

The water on this side of the mountains is soft, so the crust will never mineralize to that perfect, crispy-chewy char.

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I'm a bit of a pizza geek. From my own experiments, research and from talking to pizzaiolos, I have come to believe that the effect of water hardness is overstated.

IMO, the factors that make the most difference in the texture of the crust are: the oven temp/heat, the selection of flour (eg regular AP vs tipo 00), the dough formulation (especially in terms of the addition of oil and hydration), the leavening process (eg using sourdoughs, pre-ferments, etc), and the method of stretching the dough (skin).

$0.02 (CAD).

-f

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At home, I always find a slow rise key in terms of both flavor and texture. Nothing more offputting than when you get that raw beery taste in crusts that have been forced too quickly. I had a bad experience with Rocky Mountain once with a super boozy crust - but others seem to have a good experience with them, so perhaps it was a one off.

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Totally agree with the slow rise - it provides the biggest improvement. I do a cold-rise in the fridge with a fairly wet dough (maybe 65-70% hydration) using a sourdough starter from a generous pizzaiolo.

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Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.......that's sexy pizza. Cheers to you.

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The short answer is, like with many things in Vancouver, the emphasis is on style over content/substance. As long as it looks good, that's all that counts.

I've just returned from cycling the Kettle Valley Railway in and around Kelowna. Bordello's on Water street makes the most fantastic pizza. Best base I've ever had outside of Italy.

If Kelowna can do it, Vancouver can.

The water on this side of the mountains is soft, so the crust will never mineralize to that perfect, crispy-chewy char.

Pfffft, silly excuse. Brewers change the water profile depending on the style of beer they're brewing.

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