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Jul 29, 2005 01:06 PM

Chowfind! Big Momma's Boy on Parliament

  • t

Hola Chowders,
Arriving at our second-favourite masala dhosa spot to find that, sadly, it had closed down, the honey and I and our friends tried Big Momma's Boy on Parliament, just south of Wellesley--and man, what a happy discovery!

Big Momma's Boy is a fonky reno'd Victorian house, with a small bar downstairs, a couple of tables on the front porch, a nice back patio, and a great-looking space upstairs. Their menu is an extensive gourmet pizza list, with all yer fancy-schmancy toppings and crust alternatives, as well as a cafe-type menu with pastas and sandwiches, and many, many organic choices.

We started with pints of Golden Horseshoe, a local microbrew; then we had the Caesar salad, which was lovely and tart with large flakes of parmesan, and had an anchovy on top, for those who like that sort of thing. For dinner, I had the pasta special ($14): linguini with wild salmon, chard and bacon in a tomato-vodka cream sauce, and the other three shared an extra-large pizza ($25), which I sampled--also very good and nice thin crisp crust. For dessert we shared a flourless chocolate cake and Kensington Organic chai ice cream, which were both totally yum, not too sweet, and a great end to the meal. Most of the salads are $6-9, and mains and sandwiches are $8-16

Our dinner for four with two salads, one main, one extra-large pizza, two desserts and many beers came to $100. The portions were a little on the small side, but considering the fairly low prices and the high quality of the ingredients, that's not surprising, and I'm happy paying for quality rather than quantity.

All in all, an excellent meal with friendly, relaxed service. We all left happy, charmed and looking forward to coming back--next time, I'm fer sher having the organic pulled pork sandwich...mmm...

Hope you all get a chance to check it out,

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  1. Thanks for post. Parliament is one of my neighbourhood spots.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Maureen

      I live on parliament so ive tried many in the area a few times, and all I have to ask is: are you guys kidding? Big Mommas boy is an awful place to eat. Had the ribs, simply disgusting. only sides available were the undercooked kidney beans and tiny side of slaw. No potato or rice available. for almost 20$, a real rip off. Other awful entrees are any of the pulled sandwiches and the Jerk chicken, its not jerk, not even spicy, very dry. I realise its organic but that doesn't make it good. Portions are non existant. If in the neighbourhood visit cranberry's on the other side of the street. it's half the price and twice as good. Get a rib and wing combo for under $15 WITH a choice of potato. avoid big mammas boy, especially their delivery.

      1. re: Mr. S

        Sorry you did not like the food but I disagree! I love the pizza, the burger is unique and a nice portion and I love the spring rolls...The service is great and friendly...I have had some great portabello mushroom soup and ham and split pea..yummy...I live in cabbagetown and I eat there once a week when I am in town!
        I guess it just depends on what you like!

        1. re: Mr. S

          agree with ya, the pizza was warmed up, definitely not fresh, mccain's is better, unfortunate because i had heard it was gr8 and went last nite, sorry guys just end it now...

      2. p

        just wondering... these fancy schmancy gourmet pizza's... do they let you construct your own?

        there's this place in kingston, woodenhead's, that my friends and i love but we have yet to find the equivalent in toronto. while there are many gourmet pizza places there are few wood burning oven thin crust places that have a wide variety of quality and unique toppings that we can mix and match if we so choose...

        2 Replies
        1. re: pinstripeprincess

          Oh yeah--you can be as creative as you like with a big long list of ingredients. I didn't notice the base price for each size of pizza, but the topping prices were something like $1 for the usual suspects, and $2 for the wackier ones.

          .mmm, that Woodenhead's place sounds good...

          1. re: pinstripeprincess

            Your best bet for cheap and choice of toppings has to be Eden on Corso Italia (St Clair, west of Dufferin). It's a hike, but soooo worth it. Real wood-burning oven.

          2. We had the opportunity to attend a cooking demo and food tasting by Chef Michael of Big Momma's Boy at the Royal yesterday. He did beef ribs that were juicy, tender, full of flavours that you could distinguish (honey, tamari, sambuca etc). There's no way I'd turn down seconds (and I didn't). I'm looking forward to heading to the restaurant in the next couple of weeks to try a full order of the beef ribs. Of course, starting out with good meat from Cumbrai helps.

            There was a good discussion of how he sourced the ingredients - he even shelled out for biodegradable sampling plates and cutlery - I was impressed that he followed through on his convictions.

            1. I cannot say enough good things about BMB. We live in Ottawa and make it a point to go there everytime we're in Toronto. It's the first restaurant I've been to where the GF stuff doesn't taste like ass. The eggs benedict is especially awesome. I love that my non-GF fiance can eat there and not be subjected to gross-ness, and so can I!

              3 Replies
                1. re: Nyleve

                  I think she's referring to Gluten Free options.

              1. I went there a few weeks ago with friends for the first time. Being GF I was very excited about the menu!
                I had a pizza, as did another friend and the 2 guys had meals (chicken and ribs)
                The only problem we had was that my friend's pizza came out with meat on it (it was supposed to be cheese)
                They first tried to tell us the odd looking bits were browned cheese bits - a taste test confirmed it was meat and they gladly took the pizza back and apologized.
                My only issue (and my friend was very nice about this) was that they served all of our meals and her pizza did not arrive until we all had finished. (This was a Tuesday night) They did not comp her pizza despite it being their mistake and our friend having to wait for 25 min. and watch us all eat.
                We had a lovely evening, enjoyed the atmosphere and the food was excellent but I was very put off by this. I feel a restaurant should stand by their service and if they make a mistake not make the customer pay for it.
                ...If it hadn't been for that it would have been perfect evening!

                11 Replies
                1. re: bacchus_is_watching

                  I just ordered from BMB for the 1st and last time. Our pizza took 1 hour and 45 minutes to be delivered. The delivery guy said they screwed up our pizza and had to make it twice . I said that the delivery time was unacceptable so he said "I guess I can knock 5 dollars off". I said that was not satisfactory and to have the owner call. He called and gave me excuses about being busy, bad weather and traffic. He offered a 25% discount for next time. There won't be a next time, I'll go back to ordering from Magic Oven. Shame though, because the pizza was decent.

                    1. re: outcastto

                      Magic Oven? Really - especially if you're concerned about delivery times? Every time I tried to place an order with Magic Oven (which must have been about six times or so over the last three years), I was told that my order would take a minimum of two hours, at which point I canceled.

                      1. re: outcastto

                        Given how incredibly bad Magic Oven and how exceptional Big Momma's Boy pizza is, I believe you're setting yourself up for another first and last. Magic Oven isn't even in the same area code as Big Momma's Boy.

                        I know about BMB's service issues, so I always order earlier than I normally would. You may wish to employ a similar tactic. Less aggravation for you plus a great pizza. Win-Win.

                        1. re: Googs

                          I've had Magic Oven several times. It's always arrived in under an hour and I've always enjoyed the pizza.

                          I gave them ample opportunity to rectify the situation and offer something to improve the experience but apparently 1 hour and 45 minutes is a reasonable amount of time to wait even though it was completely their fault.

                          1. re: Googs

                            Not in the same area code figuratively or literally? Big Momma's Boy is on Parliament, there's a Magic Oven at Queen and Parliament. Regardless, outcastto could have made his own dough from scratch and had a pizza within an hour and 45.

                            1. re: DrewStar

                              I've never had anything but good service from Big Momma's Boy. Definitely superior delivery time compared with Magic Oven. The only time they've ever been seriously late they called to let us know. Magic Oven has also gotten really expensive and the portions sizes (at least of their salads) have gotten much smaller.

                              1. re: DrewStar

                                Figuratively. Magic Oven doesn't make food, they make concepts. Big Mamma's Boy is far, far superior. Granted they have service issues, I won't deny that. I put up with that for the sake of their pizza. Normally I won't deal with any nonsense, but I've created coping mechanisms just so I can have that 'za.

                                1. re: Googs

                                  So, Googs, the thing I should do is order for pick-up well ahead of when I want the pizza if I want to try this place? Or does this slackness on their part only extend to delivery?

                                  1. re: Pincus

                                    I've never had take-out from BMB, only dined in or had it delivered. In both of these cases, the pace has been glacial. I can't imagine why take-out would be any different.

                                    I have to say that I haven't had a BMB pizza since I had the stone oven baked 'za from Fusilli. While the toppings are far more limited than BMB, they are top-notch and the crust is simply delicious. I'm sure if you asked nicely, you could get them to throw any ingredient you saw on the menu onto your pizza. I've had offers of chicken and goat cheese even though it isn't on the menu. Take-out or dine in only. I gather you enjoy old school Italian given your affection for Olympic 76. This place oughtta do it for you.

                                    531 Queen St E, Toronto, ON M5A1V1, CA

                                    1. re: Googs

                                      Thanks for the tip, I went there once a long time ago for pasta and enjoyed it, will drop by some time for a pizza tasting.