pizza club

This post is looong overdue, but I had to share anyways because I think this is the best pizza I've ever eaten...in Canada anyways...or maybe ever.  Two weeks ago we headed to Transcend Coffee on 99th St. for the Friday night edition of Pizza Club.  What is Pizza Club you ask?  Well, as far as I understand it, it's currently operating as a members-only club, so you need to be invited by a member to attend.  I was super-excited when our friend Jason invited us.  Pizza Club is all about artisan pizza created by chefs who are truly passionate about what they do - including the finished product, the ingredients and the experience had while enjoying their pizza.  Kevin Kossowan made a great video about Pizza Club -

check it out

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It all starts with the crust - I think that's what made the pizza so amazing.  Don't get me wrong - the toppings were fantastic too, but the crust really was my favourite part.  It was firm and crunchy on the outside, with a good amount of chew.  The inside was soft and delicate and filled with holes and big air pockets.  The flavour was spectacular too, with the slight char on the outside and the complex flavour of the moist bread when you ripped the crust open - I'm not quite sure how to describe it...a bread-lover's dream?  It was sturdy enough to pick up a slice without having all of your toppings fall onto your plate, which is important for the whole 'pizza experience'.

While we were visiting with our friends and enjoying a glass of wine before the pizza came out, I got the chance to chat with Chad (one of the guys behind New Level Pizza), who is super-nice.  He told me that it was okay to blog about pizza club, but that I wasn't allowed to think about blogging while I was eating - I was just supposed to enjoy the pizza as I was eating it.  Sounded good to me.  As a result, I only have a rough description of each pizza we enjoyed because I was busy stuffing my face instead of trying to remember exactly what was on each one.

The first pizza to arrive at our table was a classic Margherita.  So good with fresh tomato sauce, basil and mozzarella.  I could eat this pizza everyday...

Next at our table was a Moroccan-inspired pizza with ground lamb, herbs, pickled lemon slices, yogurt and crunchy fried chick peas.  This one also came out with a little dish of olive oil and a sesame-spice blend to dunk pieces of crust in.

Then there was a pizza Bianca - lots of garlic on this one.  It was salty and good with a bit of diced chili and a sprinkling of wild lettuce on top; the flavours kind-of reminded me of Thailand.  There was one more main-course pizza after this one, but I think my brain was starting to go into carbohydrate-coma, so I forgot to take a picture.  It was a very special take on the classic pepperoni mushroom pizza.  It had roasted baby mushrooms (shitake, I think?) and homemade sausage.  This one might have been my favourite...or the Margherita, hard to say.

Finally the dessert pizza came out.  It smelled soooo good, but by that point I was sooo full.  I still managed to eat one piece though (I wished I had saved more room in my belly).  It had a salted caramel sauce as the base topped with dark chocolate Grand Marnier ganache.  First off, I love salted caramel, then top that with the slightly melting cubes of ganache?  Wow, just wow.  It was a great finish to an excellent meal.   

Trev, enjoying his pizza