Gluten-free pizza party

I’ve been wanting to give GF Patissiere‘s baking a try for a while now. Luckily, I managed to have a small order tagged onto a regular delivery to Edmonton and, after meeting Peter (delivery man, husband to GF Patissiere’s owner and baker Victoria, and the guy behind The Celiac Husband blog) and his lovely daughter, I had the goodies in my hands.

And then I had to promptly stick them all in the freezer for two weeks because I was saving them all for a get-together with friends. It was pure torture, let me tell you. But I was a good girl, and didn’t even open the box to peek inside. Who knew I had so much willpower?

The box that called out "open me!"

The box that called out "open me!"

In addition to dessert, I also ordered some gluten-free pizza shells so that we could assemble our own Celiac friendly pizzas. I took everything out of the freezer the day before, and I am happy to say that freezing didn’t affect the quality of the food at all.

GF Patisserie pizza shells

GF Patisserie pizza shells

We added a little cheese, a little tomato sauce, some yellow, orange and green bell peppers, some Mastro extra lean hot capocollo, and some Harvest Meats bison sausage before popping the shells into the oven. A couple of different side salads rounded off the meal.

my beautiful pizza

my beautiful pizza

The crust browned perfectly in the oven and took no time at all to make. If you like thin crust pizza, I would highly recommend these. And all of us agreed that you couldn’t tell they were made from special gluten-free dough, which is high praise because most gluten-free products do taste at least slightly different from the originals due to the mix of alternative flours.

one of the other pizzas

one of the other pizzas

And some sangria to go with the meal didn’t hurt either.

Yes we were lazy and didn't make it from scratch.

Yes we were lazy and didn't make it from scratch.

To end the meal we cracked open the box and devoured brownies made from Barry Callebaut chocolate and cream cheese. (To be perfectly honest some of us couldn’t hold out anymore and we had some of these before eating our pizza!) They were like biting into a piece of rich, thick cheese cake and were heavenly to eat. One friend said — and keep in mind that I quote her exactly — that they were “fucking glorious.”

Callebaut and cream cheese brownies

Callebaut and cream cheese brownies

If you want to learn more about GF Patisserie, make sure you check out their website, Peter’s blog, and also this profile on Victoria that Chris did a little while ago.

GF Patisserie
122 – 3rd Ave West
Cochrane, Alberta
www.gfpatisserie.com

Advertisements

News and links

And lastly, if you live in the Edmonton area you should check out the local Chowhound board. I took over moderating the Edmonton Restaurant Review of the Month (RROTM) a couple of months ago, and we need more people participating! Here’s some info for you:

The Edmonton Restaurant Review of the Month (RROTM) is an event where chowhounds nominate local restaurantsto review for the month (similar to a book club). The moderator of RROTM will use a randomizer to choose the restaurant for the upcoming month. Chowhounds try to eat there at least once during that month, and post their opinion in a RROTM specific thread. There are two monthly threads for RROTM – the discussion thread to choose the restaurant and the thread for the reviews.

June discussion: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/710328?tag=main_body;topic-710328
June review thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/711446
May review thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/705743

Pharos Pizza & Spaghetti

Pharos Pizza & Spaghetti, an Edmonton institution, is closing soon. Opened in 1970, Pharos Pizza has fed generations of university students and Edmontonians. Their pizza is the kind that is loaded with cheese and fresh, simple ingredients. And they featured whole wheat crust long before it was popular for healthy eating reasons.

The decor is old, but in good shape – no ripped seats or broken tables to be found. It’s so old that it’s retro now. And they have a jukebox where you can play a range of newer and older hits.

Pharos Pizza & Spaghetti counter

Pharos Pizza & Spaghetti counter

Their Popeye pizza is a popular choice but for nostalgia’s sake I wanted to eat the kind that I had during my very first time eating at the restaurant. I ordered a Pharos special piza on a whole wheat crust, filled with lots and lots of cheese, olives, shrimp, green peppers and ham. Pharos serves the kind of pizza that has strings of cheese dripping off each piece when you lift it from the rest of the pie.

Pharos pizza special

Pharos pizza special

My favourite part of eating pizza from this place, other than the whole wheat crust, is the tomato sauce. It’s slightly spicy and has lots of herbs in the flavour, and it perfectly compliments the crust and all the cheese. Did I mention the huge amount of cheese? There’s a lot. I have to say it more than once because there was so much of it.

You have until June 21st to enjoy their pizza, lasanga, cheese toast and Dixie cup ice cream. Hurry before it’s gone for good. (And if you’re a fan of classical music, jazz or world music, you may want to stop by their neighbour The Gramaphone as well. They’re moving over by Planet Organic and Greenwood’s Bookshoppe around the same time, and you can get 20% and 30% off of CDs and DVDs before they pack everything up.)

Pharos Pizza & Spaghetti
8708-109 Street
Edmonton, Alberta

*UPDATE, January 26, 2011*

Pharos has reopened over on Stony Plain Road. More details can be found at pharospizza.com.

Pharos Pizza & Spaghetti House on Urbanspoon

Sofra, Edmonton

A group of friends and I planned a night out at Sofra, a Turkish restaurant that none of us had tried before. The interior is small but interesting – lots of wood and a giant horse statue at the entrance. Each table has a charm embedded into the table surface – a glass eye as a charm against the evil eye. I did think about taking a photo of one, but I decided that it would probably give me bad luck or something and erred on the safe side.

To drink, I tried some Turk Cayi – Turkish tea. It arrived in a tiny cup with a spoon and a sugar cube. And it tasted like orange pekoe. Yeah, I felt a little ripped off.

Turk Cayi (Turkish tea)

Turk Cayi (Turkish tea)

Two people tried the pideler – traditional forno-baked pizzas.

The first was the Tavuklu Pide, a chicken, tomato, green pepper and cheese pizza.

Tavuklu Pide (chicken pizza)

Tavuklu Pide (chicken pizza)

The second was a Kiymali Pide, a ground beef pizza with with vegetables and cheese.

Kiymali Pide (ground beef pizza)

Kiymali Pide (ground beef pizza)

Both pizzas had plenty of cheese and the toppings tasted okay, but the pizzas didn’t wow anyone at the table except for the light, flaky crust. Continue reading

Famoso, Edmonton

Famoso sign

Famoso sign

I have finally sampled pizza nirvana (or at least as close as you can come when you are in Edmonton).

A group of friends and I trekked over to the south-side Famoso Neapolitan Pizzeria for a get together on Saturday. Greedily, we decided to order one different pizza each – that way we could try many kinds and share slices. It was a little bit too much pizza to eat (many of us took home leftovers), but we were happy to sacrifice ourselves for the sake of good eating. They were all excellent pizzas, but I admit I did have a couple of particular favourites.

Famoso’s pizza uses highly refined, low-gluten flour imported from Italy. This means a thin, crispy and light crust. No greasiness here – just the light taste of olive oil and fresh ingredients. Pizzas come with 2 sauces depending on which pizza you order; the pizza rossa (red), which consists of San Marzano tomato sauce made of crushed tomatoes and basil leaf, and the pizza bianca (white), made with extra virgin olive oil, garlic and oregano pizza sauce. Also, while many of the pizzas contained cheese, the amount of cheese on the pizza is a lot less than what you find on North American pizzas. I love cheese, and I was surprised at how little I missed having so much of it on a pizza slice.

Pizza #1 – Margherita – fresh mozzarella, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil, with added extra toppings of olives, onions and roasted mushrooms. Was yummy but had a few too many olives for my taste.

Margherita pizza

Margherita pizza

Continue reading