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The Great Pizza Quest


Bonfire Bistro is a place my brother has mentioned a number of times - and he always mentions it with the highest regard. As a result, my wife and I have often talked about going to check it out. Finally, on our friend's birthday, we went.

And it deserves praise - it deserves to be raved about.

All the pizzas are made to a so-called 'individual size,' though rightly it could easily be shared by two people. They are made in an attractive stone, wood-fired pizza oven and come on a white, 10-inch dinner plate - a size that sounds reasonable but is a few pieces more than a comfortable feeling of being full (I know because I finished all of mine). But it really is so good it's hard to stop.

With a variety of pizzas to select from - such as Spicy Prawn, Bombay Butter Chicken, and Serrano and Pear - I decided on a classic and ordered the Spicy Pepperoni. It came expertly topped with pepperoni, button mushrooms, roasted roma tomatoes, green pepper, red onion, fresh basil and mozzarella - and when I say 'expertly,' I mean it was done perfectly. The ingredients were all excellently balanced in size and quantity, and they each brilliantly complemented each other's taste. The meat was of a very high quality, thin and crispy with a bold taste and a spicy bite. The mushrooms were soft without being soggy; the tomatoes were the right amount of juicy, sliced thin with enough and not too much presence; the green peppers were tender and scattered lightly; and the onions were gently baked and added a pleasant bite without the onion-y aftertaste. The mozzarella was perfectly melted, covering the pie with a delicious layer of stringy, toasty hot cheese. The basil garnish was a nice touch, which wasn't nearly as strong a taste as I thought it might be. 'Carlo's special tomato sauce,' as it's listed on the menu, added to the spicey kick of the pizza, as well as perfectly supplementing the overall taste of the pie with subtle herbs and tomato-flavouring.

The crust was thin - thinner in fact than any crust I've ever seen - and therefore the pizza was a tad floppy and a bit soggy, weak beneath the layer of toppings despite the fact the ingredients were not piled on thick. Still, the crust had a delicious, tender, doughy taste to each bite and although the pizza was a tad greasy, it was not so more than average, leaving the overall impression of a skillfully baked, tender though crispy pie with a sublime mouthful of an impeccable blend of pizza tastes.

While the room in the restaurant is very limited, we did not wait long at all when we went - albeit browsing reviews suggests one should allow for a lot of time when visiting. They are a self-proclaimed community restaurant, therefore they do not take reservations in order to promote a higher rate of walk-ins. I must say, however, that any wait is worth it to have some of this pizza. It has definitely won a place in my heart (and stomach), and jumps to the top of the list. And when you do go, be sure to also try the grilled Portugese waterbread with the spinach, artichoke and parmesan spread from the appetiser options - it's truly amazing.

[posted by ericjordan]
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