Monthly Archives: October 2013

Magic Oven

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Magic Oven Danforth
I said I would do another pizza review, and here it is.  My mom had started a gluten-free diet [apparently your body can develop an intolerance well after growth and puberty].  It is also a good time to see how diet-related foods can taste.
The Magic Oven is, based on information on their menu, part of the Slow Food movement.  The whole idea is an abolition [ha ha I made it sound like something historical] of processed Fast Food chains, much like Locovore or Paleo-diet subcultures.  I believe it is a very good idea, although frankly I can’t see how organic, real food could replace fast food in our ultra-modern world [some people just don’t have time, I’m not saying it’s good or that I support it, but it is a fact].  But then again there are some healthy fast food/quick service chains, but they aren’t nearly as popular as th junk ones.
paleo diet cartoon
Anyway, about the Paleolithic-diet.  It is its own movement where people eat much like our ancestors did [no, I’m not saying cavemen, that’s inaccurate.  I might as well call them Flintstone if I did that] and it took some digging to find out about.  Since I researched paleoanthropology, not any of the other branches of anthropology, I had questions about which species: early Homo Sapiens, our cousins, not ancestors, the Neanderthals or farther back to the likes of Homo Habilus or Homo Erectus [stop laughing].
image courtesy of priestwithaneypatch.tumblr.com

image courtesy of priestwithaneypatch.tumblr.com

 It seems to be more about just before the agricultural revolution, when man was both smart enough to grow crops and weird enough to drink out of that dangley thing on the cows [I wonder if it took a while for people to figure out that didn’t work on the bulls].  I’ll have to cover it in a separate blog, but suffice to say there isn’t anything processed and there are a lot of meats and fresh fruits and veggies.
Magic Oven interior
But The Magic Oven doesn’t cater to Paleolithic diets, so let’s move on to them.  Oddly, there were some Indian options on the menu, such as tandoori toppings or a samosa appetizer, which I had.  It was actually really good, the samosa’s were warm with delicious veggie filling, and the tomato  sauce it came with, which tasted a lot like pizza sauce, went surprisingly well, and added colour to the brown dish.
my samosa appetizer with a homemade tomato sauce (tasted like pizza sauce)

my samosa appetizer with a homemade tomato sauce (tasted like pizza sauce)

And the service was impeccable, the waitress was very nice and smart too, constantly checking to see which foods were safe and separating our gluten-free take-out with the none-gluten-free to avoid cross-contamination  [it’s like gluten is a nut].  They obviously cared about customer satisfaction.
my pizza with some interesting ingredients including Tandoori sweet potato

my pizza with some interesting ingredients including Tandoori sweet potato

But the main attraction is pizza.  The menu was large with many options for toppings, cheese, and crust [organic, gluten-free and yeast-free].  I had mozzarella, tomato-pesto sauce, organic crust tandoori sweet potato, beef salami and garlic-rubbed spinach.  My mom had mozzarella, {tomato} sauce, the gluten-free crust, mushrooms and chicken.
my mother's pizza, clearly going for an all-white theme here

my mother’s pizza, clearly going for an all-white theme here

The gluten-free crust was alright, I can cut them a little slack considering Italian food isn’t meant to be made with cornmeal, but the crust was a little funny.  There are better ways to do it, supposedly, but it is a weird twist on cooking to work with.  But the toppings were good, tender chicken and quality cheese, but they are a bit washed away by the crust.
close up of the various toppings on my pizza

close up of the various toppings on my pizza

As for mine, the crust was quite good, and the toppings [frankly I think I picked better] worked really well.  I recommend the tomato pesto sauce over some of the other ones, as it worked well with my salty salami, the contrasting sweet potato [not really tandoori but that didn’t matter] and occasional spinach.  It was a treat.
my decadent chocolate cake

my decadent chocolate cake

But it isn’t dinner without dessert.  Well it is, but… dessert goes better with it.
We compared the two chocolate cakes, the vegan and the decadent, and it was pretty close.
Mom's vegan chocolate cake

Mom’s vegan chocolate cake

The decadent was bigger, but other than that the two tied each other really well [I hurt your eyes with all those ts didn’t I? Well here’s another!].
Mr T had a cereal?!?!!

Mr T had a cereal?!?!!

If I could say one other thing, the vegan was a touch dryer, not dry just drier, and not by much either, you probably won’t even notice.
Finding gluten-free is like typing in V for Vsauce [check him out, and I will remind you I’m not copyright infringing, I’m basically advertising someone for free] and getting VMS Miley Cyrus as the top search [i.e. utter crap].  Nay, it’s more like trying to find something nice Google has to say about Americans–just type in ‘why are Americans’ to see what I mean–, and about as frustrating as how people think Canadians are afraid of the dark because they said so on How I met your Mother.  That’s like saying that rednecks are historians because you watched the History Channel, or that the Burger King, “King” isn’t terrifying because he’s smiling [come on, when you were a kid you just knew that’s the kind of creepy stranger the friendly officer warned you about].
image courtesy of giantbomb.com

image courtesy of giantbomb.com

So, back to the point [at least I didn’t mention the Are you Afraid of the Dark movie, oh wait], The Magic Oven is a good place for pizza, and definitely gluten-free friendly.
I don’t know how to rate it as a gluten-free cooking place compared to others, since this is my first one, so I’ll just leave it at that.
Magic Oven 798 Danforth Avenue

Magic Oven on Urbanspoon

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