|Location||59 Cameron Street|
“Je suis une pizza, avec du fromage / Beaucoup de sauce, des tomates / Des oignons, des champignons / Epices mélangées / Je suis une pizza, prête à manger!”
I remember singing this song in grade school and, to this day, whenever I eat pizza, it plays in my head like a broken record. Just when I thought our concrete jungle had enough pizza joints, even more pop up promising to be better than and different from the rest. I was curious to sink my teeth into a slice of Maker Pizza’s pie, especially after claiming top spots on BlogTO’s and Toronto Life’s best pizza lists.
Located in Chinatown, on a quiet street off bustling Spadina Avenue, it’s not uncommon to see takeout vehicles snaking around the corner. After all, that’s what owners Shlomo Buchler (formerly of FBI Pizza) and Matty Matheson (Parts & Labour) envisioned when they originally talked about opening this classic pizzeria. Although it’s set up to be a takeout joint, there’s a communal table and some stools in the middle of the narrow restaurant. The industrial-looking space is accented with splashes of black, white and yellow paint.
I had a hard time choosing from the menu of sandwiches, salads, wings and witty-named ready-made pizzas, such as the Apocalypse Cow (loaded with mini meatballs). There’s something for everyone, but if you’re a picky b*tch, fear not, because you can create your own Maker masterpiece with a red or white base. Pizzas come in small (12 inches), medium (16 inches) and large (18 inches) sizes ranging in price from $12 to $32.
On a Sunday afternoon, some pals and I grabbed a stack of Maker pies, some vino and spread out our gingham picnic blankets in Trinity Bellwoods Park for a hipster pizza party.
From the white section, we ordered the Cool Hand Zucch and Frank’s Best. A pizza party wouldn’t be a party without some classic reds, so we tried the Little Deuce Coop and Dr. Pepperoni. We rounded out our order with a beet salad to make ourselves feel better about all the carbs we were about to consume.
All pizzas were fresh and hot with chewy crust that begged to be eaten. Frank’s Best, with its sesame-coated crust, trifecta of cheeses (goat, mozzarella, parmesan), caramelized onions, roasted garlic, rosemary, olive oil and honey really was the best. I’m a fan of more unconventional ‘zas and this hit the spot. The savoury cheese was balanced by the subtle sweetness of honey. Pardon my manners, but I could have eaten the whole thing myself.
The Cool Hand Zucch was an interesting take on a white pizza. Dainty mandolined zucchini slices, a thick slab of mozza, fior di latte, ricotta cheese, lemon zest, roasted garlic, mint and olive oil decorated the crust canvas. The flavour of this pie fell a little flat and could have been punched up with some dried chili pepper.
I was most excited to try the Little Deuce Coop (roasted chicken, roasted red pepper, red onion, ricotta, basil, fior di latte, mozzarella, olive oil, parmesan, and tomato sauce). The combination of toppings was savoury and worked well together, but was nothing special. The tomato base was plain and could have used more salt to elevate the overall flavour.
My stomach was expanding, but I saved some room for Dr. Pepperoni. And Maker didn’t skimp on the pepperoni. I could barely see the fior di latte, parmesan, mozzarella and tomato sauce underneath. If a pizza joint can master a classic pepperoni or Margherita, it knows what its doing. The very first bite confirmed this. The hint of fennel oil was a nice surprise, elevating an ordinary pizza to something extraordinary.
Pizzerias aren’t known for their salads (c’est vrai), but the beet salad ($12) blew me away. The takeout container was oozing with creamy ricotta and beets. The only thing I would ask for is more dressing.
I also learned from my Maker-obsessed friends that there are some off-menu items such as The Chizzler (topped with Italian sausage, jalapeños and fior di latte).
Four large pizzas for four people was definitely enough, but we happily packed up the rest. We skipped off into the sunset like kids who would have the best leftover lunches for days to come. Have you met your Maker yet? If not, allez-y tout de suite!
Mme M. xoxo
La rubrique de Madame Marie
1 étoile – Run. Before you get the runs.
2 étoiles – Mediocre, but nothing you couldn’t make at home.
3 étoiles – C’est bon, with some standout qualities.
4 étoiles – Many memorable qualities and excellent execution. Compliments to the chef.
5 étoiles – Formidable! Michelin Star quality. Book a reservation immediately.