BUDDHA PIE, 514 Annette, at Runnymede, 416-628-8337, buddhapie.ca
Cute spot, lovely people, interesting toppings, diabolical crust. We were sure they'd made our Buddha Bomb ($16.99) topped with imported Valoroso pear tomatoes - no San Marzanos for these guys - local fior di latte and a slew of sausage with a gluten-free crust by mistake, such was its odd mealy texture. Then, we tried their "sublime" Zen Margherita ($18.49) sans wheat. Maybe it's the unbleached flour and reverse osmosis water they use?
F'AMELIA, 12 Amelia, at Parliament, 416-323-0666, famelia.com
Located in the cottage that was once home to the Provence bistro, this upscale Cabbagetown boîte has a virtual lock on the nabe now that Big Mamma's Boy has closed. With correctly thin and barely charred crusts, their stylish pies seem stingily dressed and comparatively overpriced for what you get. Take the Norcina ($20, 12-inch), a lightly embellished pie tossed with nominal fior di latte, a scattering of house-made sausage and prosciutto, a few sautéed mushrooms and the merest whisper of nutmeg. Ho and very hum. Could the recent departure of chef Maurizio Verga be the cause.
FAMOSO NEAPOLITAN PIZZERIA, 386 Bloor West, at Dalton; 647-748-2333; 3401 Dufferin, at Hwy 401, 647-748-2222, famoso.ca
When this Alberta import arrived in the Annex last summer, it claimed it was "bringing authentic Neapolitan pizza to Toronto." Guess the owners had never heard of Terroni, et al. Was Hogtown really missing a slinger of thin-crusted pies dressed with fresh and smoked mozzarella, peanut sauce, diced tomato, coriander, raw carrot, bean sprouts and shredded chicken (the Spicy Thai, $14.75)? Not in this case.
DOPPIO ZERO, 530 Eglinton West, at Castlewood, 416-488-0088, doppiozero.ca
On the maid's day off, the yummy mummies of Forest Hill descend with rug rats in tow on this recently opened South Africa-based franchise for takeout. Too bad the thin-crusted sauce-free namesakes ($15) with thin sheets of smoked salmon and mascarpone and an overdressed salad plopped on top are a soggy mess by the time they get them home.
FERRO, 769 St Clair W, at Arlington, 416-654-9119, ferrobarcafe.ca
There was a time - oh, the late 90s - when this insanely popular Corso Italia lounge pumped out some of the best pizza in town. Of course, that was when a certain Rocco "Pizzeria Libretto" Agostino was in charge of the ovens. Nowadays, the pies - a lacklustre Originale ($15.50) with pepperoni, generic button mushrooms instead of the cremini the carte advertises, a Domenico ($16) with additional sausage and bacon - are as dated as the resto's heavy-metal metal-heavy decor. Looks like a job for Restaurant Takeover. Just think of what they'll get for all that surplus wrought iron and copper!