A Turkish pizza restaurant. Hmm, that’s interesting. That idea to me conjured up an image of a slice of pizza with Turkish food toppings… whatever those may be. The actual Pizza Pide has a better concept than that: a restaurant that serves both pizza and traditional flatbread topped by mediterranean meats, cheeses and herbs.
It suddenly comes to mind that there must be a burden on all people from Turkey. Imagine being proud of your country, and having the only thing people say about it is some lame crack about poultry. Seriously, name a fact about Turkey that wasn’t pulled off of Wikipedia. Im not saying Turkey is a dull country—rather the opposite—us big dumb Westerners don’t know diddly squat about what is probably a very interesting place.
Turkey is obviously more complex a nation than a lot of North Americans are aware of, and I think that’s at least evidenced by their foods. It’s got a large mix of ingredients from Iran, Italy, and many other countries in that general area of the world. It would seem Pizza Pide is mediterranean fare—so far so good—but with a Turkish Twist on it. Did I just write an alliterative pun? Oh god, this is the end.
Pizza Pide is located across the street from Gerrard Square, only really standing out as it is not a Pizza Pizza, I’ve encountered two on the way there. Pide looks very basic on the inside, not appearing much different from its other fast food competitors, but there’s one key difference. I’d a thousand times rather eat here than anywhere that had Pizza x 2 in the title. That’d be the name for the new and improved Pizza Pizza if they cared enough to new and improve.
Anyways… as a family, we skipped the slices and turned straight to the wall-bound menu of flatbreads, which are admittedly not that dissimilar in concept from a regular pizza. Our orders were a 9 Tavukla Kasarli (chicken strips and mozzerella), 19 (pepperoni and mozzerella) and mine was a number 4 Mevlana (feta and mozzerella cheese with parsley over ground beef. Mixed with tomato, parsley, peppers onion and spices). That last one’s a mouthful. Orders 1 though 6 and a couple of the higher numbers are different than the rest of the menu.
My order was a flatbread, while the others seemed to be inside a pastry, almost like a cross between a Calzone and a Croissant. Either one is just as amazing, it’s just a matter of nicer pastry or more surface area for toppings.
The first thing to notice is how generous the cooks are, both in terms of portion size and their liberal usage of cheese. Numbers 9 and 19 had a buttery, soft crust encasing warm gooey cheese, the former with large hunks of tender chicken, and the latter with butcher shop quality pepperoni.
Mine had a thin, slightly crunchier crust absolutely covered with good stuff. While the mozzerella was just as gooey, it was a vehicle for all the other toppings. The feta cheese added a mildly beautiful amount of tang, accentuated by fresh herbs such as parsley, and completed by light crumbles of beef with just a little bit of that classic grease.
Pros: The food is certifiably delicious, and tactically located outside of Gerrard Square for hungry mall shoppers.
Cons: The interior is basic and fast foodish. While that isn’t a problem for me, it might be for others. If the main focus of you and your companions’ dinner is food, the decor won’t matter.
All in all, the only people I don’t recommend Pizza Pide is someone who either wouldn’t like the interior, or doesn’t like pizza. While the lack of decor is really the only legitimate complaint I can make, it doesn’t detract from the experience of eating here in any way. Yeah, it’s pretty damn good.
Pizza Pide 949 Gerrard St E