Filed under: Commercial Drive Restaurant Reviews.
First, I must confess that the Reef is actually the next restaurant on our delectable journey up the Drive but we discovered that it is offering a “menu” in the Dine Out Vancouver event that’s happening next week, so we opted to delay our visit to the Reef and instead review the Pizza Garden next door for this week. The Pizza Garden at 1042 Commercial Drive is only 2 blocks from the Bee & Thistle Guest House, so it’s not a surprise that it’s been the mainstay of our pizza orders off and on for many years. We did get a bit confused and divided our loyalties somewhat when the Pizza Garden became Megabite Pizza, then Megabite moved a block up the street, and finally Pizza Garden re-opened in the original location a few months ago. Our review of restaurants on the Drive seems like a perfect way to discover whether we really like the Pizza Garden, or if we only go there because we can’t be bothered wandering a couple of extra blocks up the Drive. Not a good excuse when the wandering is usually done via the push buttons on our phone as we call for delivery! Funny how easy it is to just do the same thing each time because it’s familiar (and because they helpfully tuck those little menus in each delivery so it’s the easiest phone number to find when you are in the middle of a pizza craving crisis!).
Simply ordering another delivery pizza seemed a bit redundant, so we decided we would join the $2.00 per slice queue for our review today. Our first impression was of quite a large variety of available pizza slices, a lovely open flame oven burning cheerfully behind the counter (a welcome sight on Vancouver’s first snowy day of the year!) and very friendly and helpful staff at the counter.
The only downside was no place to sit as it only has one table, which was occupied. The upside is that there was a steady stream of patrons, so the pizza seemed very fresh. Once we made our selections – a mushroom, pepperoni & pepper slice and a whole garlic veggie slice, the counter staff quickly popped them back in the open flame oven to crisp them back up so I have to say that they tasted great! The crust was on the thin side (which we like) and crispy, the sauce was tasty and not overdone (I have an aversion to too much sauce!), and the toppings were generous. And, hey – the price was $2.00 per slice (plus tax of course)! Where can you get lunch for $2.00?! We did also pick up some of those little menus for the rack in our lobby and noticed some of the other offerings. Their meat based pizzas start at $15.50 for a 16″ Prosciutto e Funghi to $22.00 for a Pacifico with Alfredo Sauce, Shrimp, Scallops, Onions, Fresh Basil and Parmigiano-Reggiano. 16′” veggie pizzas run from $18.00 – $22.50. The menu does also include Lasagna for $7.99, a couple of salad choices @ $5.75 – $8.75, and Wings at $7.99 for 10 pieces.
It would be ridiculous to even try to comment definitively on the offerings at the Pizza Garden based on two little take out slices. And perhaps the only way to say which pizza on the Drive is “best” would be to buy exactly the same pizza from each of them and do a blind taste test (maybe we’ll do that one day). As always, I like to see what the reviewers are saying and they seem to be a bit mixed (not surprising – who ever agrees on what is even the best topping for a pizza, never mind which pizza place is tops!). Yelpers are giving it 3 1/3 stars: http://www.yelp.ca/biz/pizza-garden-vancouver. Urban Spoon 4 stars: http://www.urbanspoon.com/r/14/181426/restaurant/Commercial-Drive-Grandview/Pizza-Garden-Commercial-Dr-Vancouver.
As for us, we both agreed that the Pizza Garden has won back our favour – we will be going back there for our next pizza party take out order (though……. I am keeping an excited eye on the new pizzeria that is coming soon to Victoria Drive, also only 2 blocks from the Bee & Thistle! Check it out: http://www.facebook.com/ViaTeverePizzeria). In the meantime, thumbs up to the Pizza Garden!