Joe Pizza is a pizza shop in Gastown with their take on Roman-style pizza. They sell pizza by the slice, half or full slab! There's also beer from local craft breweries like Hoyne, 33 Acres, Strange Fellows, Brassneck and Sunday Cider. This restaurant is created by the same team that brought us Ask For Luigi, Pizzeria Farina, and Pourhouse.
The have a program called "Suspended Slice" like their neighbours Nelson the Seagull where customers are able to buy a slice of pizza in advance for someone who may not be able to afford one.
When entering the establishment, on the left is a counter with many different types of pizza slices for sale. Pick something that stands out and let the staff know.
You'll be given a card with a name on it which they'll call out when the food is ready. The name on our card was "Loretta Castorini". Find yourself a seat, there's lots of tables!
When the food is ready, they'll call out the name and you pick up the food. There is no table service here. You can also add chili flakes and oil if you need some extra kick!
Roman style pizza is a thin to medium crust made with olive oil, flour, water, yeast salt and occasionally a touch of sugar. Most American pizzas can be roughly categorised as Roman style. The dough is naturally leavened.
The toppings vary widely from anchovies to squash to prosciutto to leek and eggplant. They use quality cheese, meats and local vegetable which range from $3.50 - 6 a slice. Originally the slices were $5-10 during soft opening when they were using the dough that a local baker Annabelle Choi helped them make. I think they realize the price tag might be too high for everyone to swallow and changed to a commercial yeast. I didn't get a chance to try Annabelle Choi's variation during soft opening so I can't really say if any flavours were compromised in this decision. The slices needed more sauce to compensate for the thicker crust. It didn't have the moist texture I would expect from leavened bread.
WHAT WE TRIED:
Spuds Slice | $6
White sauce, potato, pancetta, brussel sprouts, parmesan, parsley
Margherita Slice | $5.5
Tomato sauce, fior di latte, basil
Calabrese Slice| $6
Tomato sauce, salami, fior di latte, olives, oregano
Putanesca Slice | $6
Tomato sauce, anchovies, capers, olives
OVERALL IMPRESSION OF Joe Pizza:
Joe Pizza is doing something different with their pizza and their suspended slice program is something I applaud them for. The staff was pretty friendly when I went and very clean and hip interior design. As much as I love bread and was hoping for big things, I was let down by the crust. Personally if I go that thick in crust, the dough needs to really shine through. For leavened dough I was looking for that moist, airy inside with crisp exterior. I have been eating a lot of leavened bread over at Fife Bakery lately and this just falls short. The crust did not live up to my expectations might just be from the per slice pizza. If we order a full pizza made fresh from scratch it may be way better. We will be back to give it one more chance and order a whole pizza from scratch. The pizza by the slice is pricier than what people are use to paying, and that's fine if it was worth it. With Nelson The Seagull next door, they charge a lot for their avocado toast but it taste so good that I forget about the price. I do think they need to improve on the recipe to give it that wow factor before people will be okay with spending more. Currently I wouldn't recommend Joe Pizza unless you fancy trying something different or looking for a spot to hang out. It's been fairly empty the past 3 times we visited on the weekend. If there is anything you love at Joe Pizza and think we should try it next time, feel free to contact us!
Some may find the slices a bit pricey vs the portion.
Not enough sauce on the pizza
Lots of interesting combinations of toppings
Super hip interior, great for photos