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I am officially in pizza delivery hell...I don't know what I did wrong in my last life.

Last week I posted my miserable incident with Mammas Pizza...where they took 1.5 hours and 3 phone calls to deliver a cold, soggy pizza 6 blocks and they wouldn't even comp it. I had chosen Mamma's after reading some posts and decided to give them a try. Needless to say "never again." I was finally saved that night by calling my old standard, New York Pizza, who delivered in under 40 minutes. Previously I hadn't order in pizza for over a year.

Tonight, I needed to order before 5PM when my old faithful, New York Pizza, starts delivering, so I tried Pizza Nova at 4:34. The agent was very pleased to tell me the extensive delivery hours of Pizza Nova in addition to taking my order.

I had forgotten my credit card in the car and had to guess at my expiry date, which prompted an expected follow-up call from customer service...5 minutes later. I called back, spoke to a very nice man and completed the order. An hour later, no pizza. I begin to fear a repeat of the previous week's miserable experience.

I called back and they informed me that there was an outstanding message for me to call customer service (yes, the one I had already responded to close to an hour earlier). They had no record of my second call, whatsoever. In my nicest voice (really), I explained that I had indeed returned the call only 5 minutes after the first call, described the lead up to the second call, the content of the second call and that I had a witness, and that they had promised my pizza in 40 minutes.

She kept her cool, accepted no responsibility, but, unlike Mamma's, offered the pizza at no charge. Hungry and getting grumpy, I accepted my fate and agreed and they said it would be there ASAP from the closest store.

40 MINUTES later, still no pizza. I called back and they assured me it was on route. My friend and I had agreed that if they made it in 40 minutes, we would tip the driver, after all it wasn't his fault. It was only 3 minutes after our timeline when he arrived and I tipped him before I realized he'd squished the box and the pizza was stuck to the top. Yes, most of it was attached to the lid. Maybe that is why he was walking away and surprised that I was offering a tip. Digging in, my starving friend and I discovered that, even though we'd ordered extra sauce, they had forgotten the sauce altogether.

Nice finish don't you think? We choke down the dry, but passable pizza, our only solace was that it was free and we'd already finished the bottle of wine we'd intended to drink along with the pizza.

I did call back the customer service manager I'd spoken to earlier and let her know that the condition of the pizza. She confirmed that'd we'd ordered extra sauce and offered to send another pizza...a definite plus over Mammas. But I couldn't be bothered. We choked down our dry pizza and opened another bottle of wine. What the heck.

The moral. Once you are in pizza delivery hell, it is time to look for a good chinese delivery service until you work off the bad karma.
That's it for me. I am currently looking for a good pizza ashram to work off my sins. (suggestions welcome) I only hope they have some nice red wine to go with.

Ohm na mozzarella!

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  1. That's funny. Maybe try the ready made dough from the supermarket, lol

    Good luck next time!

    1 Reply
    1. re: pescatarian

      Yes, definitely sounds like a sign from the gods that you need to start making your own pizza! It's not that hard and worth it for the taste and cost savings. All the best if you try the delivery route again in the future though.

    2. Though it is great to get delivery, I would opt for pick up (more control) and order from Danforth Pizza House. I think it is the best pizza in the area, if not the city. Very old school toppings, nothing else available really, except pop (brio too). Very good.

      5 Replies
      1. re: tartetatin

        I had my first pizza from them last week. It was really good and we will be going back. In fact it is the best pizza I've had in the east end (maybe all of T.O.), with the exception of the Tukrish-style items at Pizza Pide.

        All that said, expect a wait on a Friday night. It is a mom and pop place and only pop is doing any cooking. We waited over 45 minutes for a plain cheese pizza. It WAS worth the wait though. My only other complaint would be that he was consistently (I waited in the store and could easily see into the oven) cooking pizzas until the bottom crust just started to blacken. That is well into too toasted for my liking. There were parts of the crust I found burnt. I am going to ask him if he can pull mine out a little early next time.

        Danforth Pizza -- on the north side bewteen Donlands and Pape.

        Bona is up next.

        1. re: Atahualpa

          Tried Bona for the first time recently. Loved it.

          1. re: The Berserker

            Really!!! Wow.

            Well, I ordered from there on Thursday and hated it! The crust was hardly crisp at all. The crust was also quite thick -- despite ordering regular (i.e. not thick) crust. Moreover, the cheese was barely browned at all. The whole thing seemed underdone and I'm a person who usually complains about over-cooked crusts!

            Also, there was way, way, way too much basil. I did order the Margherita which should have basil -- but not like this. It was all chopped up in the sauce and was certainly overpowering.

            Let's assume that I simply didn't order the right thing. I've read enough posts praising this place that they must be doing something right. What should I order? Do I need to ask for the thin crust? Is it essential to specify that I want a crisp crust (i.e. can you cook it longer?)?

            What is it about this place you (many others) like? Oh and if it is the ingredients, you can skip it! I like plain pizzas or maybe some green olive if i'm fealing risky.

            1. re: Atahualpa

              When we ordered our pizzas last night, I didn't mention anything about the crusts and they came thin style, cooked just right. My kids liked their plain pizza (well, plain as in xtra cheese and bacon). Back when we used to order from them in the late '90s, we tried their pasta dishes but weren't horribly impressed. However, since they're closer to me again, I think I'll wander over for lunch someday and try one of their sandwiches.

              1. re: Atahualpa

                We always ask for thin crust (I think the first time we didn't and the crust was pretty think) but aside from the outside edge, I wouldn't say that the crust is crisp; I can't imagine how you would get a crisp crust on a pizza that's been steaming away in a cardboard box for 10-15 minutes, but I'm not a crispy crust person so that's never bothered me.
                I am into the risky ingredients (porcini! leeks! gorgonzola!!) but I also think that they put all the crazy ingredients together in a very satisfying way--Bona Pizza Night is always a big event in our house
                ...but different strokes and all that. If everyone loved Bona as much as I do, they'd be too busy and I'd never get my pizza...

        2. What area do you live in d_and_d? Sounds like you live in a Bermuda Triangle of incompetent pizza houses!! We order from Pizza Nova all the time (hubby's choice for pizza delivery) and we've not had a problem like you did. Maybe the order centre was still mucked up after not having phone service for a few days...

          That being said, I think I'll suggest Danforth House to hubby next time it's pizza night.

          2 Replies
          1. re: sierramum

            I'm not sure if it was clear from tartetatin and my postinging that Danforth Pizza is take-away/pick-up only. i.e. no delivery.

            Just FYI.

            1. re: Atahualpa

              Hi Atahualpa, yes, I know that Danforth Pizza is take away only. I walk by it a lot so if I know it's pizza night, it'll be easy for me to pop in and get one. :-)

          2. But a good portion of the aggravation would not have occured had you brought in your credit card, yes? It is not really mama's pizza fault that the credit card company didn't follow up with them...or that you guessed at your expiry date. I'm surprised they comped it for you.

            1. Thanks for all the sympathetic responses. I'm still looking for the pizza ashram where I can work on my karma.

              To nummanumma, the agent and I knew there might be a problem with guessing the exp date, so I did run for the card and call back with the right expiry date within 5 minutes. It was the second call where the customer service agent must have messed up and not completed the order. After my previous experience with Mamma's, I was quite happy they comped the first one and absolutely shocked when they offered a second pizza at no charge when I called about the missing sauce. Even though I was in pizza hell, the attention to customer service was so good that I will definitely try Pizza Nova again, but I will try to work off my bad karma first....or move out of the Bermuda Triangle.

              I do make my own pizza, in response to other helpful suggestions, but sometimes I just don't want the mess and the heat in the kitchen. Alas, I must return to the old ways and go for homemade, or even a good quality frozen. But, even with a pizza stone, there is nothing quite like the crust from a good pizzeria. I guess for that, I am better to go for pick up. I'll have to try Danforth Pizza next.

              1 Reply
              1. what area are you in? maybe we can recommend some more local joints.

                2 Replies
                1. re: cwong5

                  I am at Castelfrank and Bloor. Apparently an intersection that completely confounds delivery people. I guess I should refernence the next closest intersection, Sherborne and Bloor. By now, I'm just losing faith in the whole delivery model. However, even though my experience was a bit of a disaster, I was so impressed with the profesionalism of the Pizza Nova customer service agents, I will give them another chance. Of course recommendations are always welcome.

                  1. re: dinin and dishin

                    Sorry if I missed it somewhere, but have you tried Bona? they are Donlands and O'Connor. They have always arrived fairly quickly for us and it is pretty good pizza.


                2. I was in a similar boat, and now have grown addicted to this Italian brand (Italpizza?) of frozen margherita pizza they sell at Costco. They are actually made in Italy, good sauce and nice mozzarella, pre-cooked in woodburning ovens. I think I have six in my freezer right now. Screw delivery, too many bad experiences.

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: childofthestorm

                    Thanks for the recommendation childofthestorm. I've found some pretty decent frozen also, but not precooked in woodburning ovens. I am intrigued. I eat Amy's if I am feeling real healthy and I like Dr. Okters (spelling) for a great thin crust pizza.
                    I'll definitely give yours a try. I never go with the big names like McCains, because they always seem so salty and overprocessed.

                    1. re: dinin and dishin

                      Loblaw's has a PC version with a thin crust that is baked in a woodburning oven. I DO NOT know whether any wood smoke flavour can be tasted in the product.

                      At the opposite extreme of pizzadom, they have a rising crust version that tastes OK, though I tend to add extra cheese and seasonings.

                      They also have a deep dish "Chicago" version that I haven't tasted and a puff pastry crust version that tastes OK, but is too rich and not really a pizza..

                      The rising crust version does not taste as good as Dr Oetker's thin crust.

                    2. re: childofthestorm

                      I did the Italpizza for dinner tonight.
                      I'm a toppings fan but decided to be somewhat true to the pie. So my only addition was cappocolo. It was quite good. We really enjoyed it with the added meat. Definitely one of the best store bought pizzas around.


                      1. re: Davwud

                        Oh good, glad it worked out, I'm always nervous dishing out the strong recommendations.

                        I wish I could add some meat, but my wife is Muslim so no pork allowed. Some prosciutto or good Italian sausage would totally take it to the next level. Sigh.

                    3. I am actually a big fan of the Dr. Oetker's thin crust, although there is some kind of chemical tang in there that makes me feel briefly uncomfortable before I demolish it. But these Italpizzas at Costco are simply amazing, I actually make a special trip to the warehouse to get them when we're out. My wife and I have to ration ourselves to one a week so that we don't get sick of them. Only caveat is that if you're a fan of toppings, you'll have to add them yourself, these are strictly margherita.

                      Not a fan of the Loblaws woodburning version.

                      Ha, a Chowhound thread hijacked by talk of frozen pizza!

                      1. Castle Frank & Bloor is a bit of a dead zone. I take it Big Mama's Boy @ Parliament & Wellesley. does nothing for you. You know when they took over the place, they got the Justa Pizza recipes from the previous owner. You think there's nothing special about that until you taste what Luciano concocted. I;m not a fan of the rest of their fare. Just the pizza.

                        The Loblaw's thin crust pizza is (I never thought I would say this) so overloaded with fat as to be unenjoyable. It drips. Their Chicago is gross for the same reason to the power of 10.

                        Must now shop at Costco. Darn Hounds.

                        1. Please, please, please order from Bona Pizza. They're the best in the area, have a great choice of ingredients, are not expensive for the quality that they deliver and, best of all, the DELVIER ON TIME!

                          1. I just got a flier for a place called BIG MANS GOURMET PIZZA.. I live at Broadview and Danforth and apparently they'll deliver to me.. the menu is huge, not just pizza, has anyone tried this place?

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: hungryabbey

                              Yup. We used to order from there quite a lot at work. Always good pizza. Not earth shattering but definitely better than the chains!

                              1. re: ctl98

                                good to know. Have you tried anything other than the pizza? Theyre menu seems to include everything from full steak dinners to fish and chips

                                1. re: hungryabbey

                                  Sorry but I've only tried their pizzas. I've been meaning to actually eat in for a while now, but sadly no one else in my house is interested...

                                  1. re: ctl98

                                    lol well let me know if you ever talk them into it

                                    1. re: hungryabbey

                                      Hey, Hungryabbey.. I, too, got the Big Man's menu (probably the same day you did, in fact). We tried two items that very night. I had a penne in rose sauce with seafood that was very ample and perfectly good (not "holy cow, I can die happy" good, but certainly better than "edible"), and the Hubby had their "lasagna forno" (?). They have a regular lasagna, but I can't compare them. The "forno" was sort of deconstructed, but apparently very tasty. And early-week, they've got "buy two of the same item and the second one is half price", so if you and another person (or you and lunch tomorrow) can agree on one dish, the pricing ends up pretty solid. Oh, but their garlic bread is absolutely tragic. It's free with mains, but do not be tempted to order any otherwise. It appears to be a bun with a small amount of vaguely-garlic-scented margarine, microwaved to warm. Even dunked in the sauces, it's very sub-par.

                                      I'd say our usual place - La Grotta - is better quality, but moderately smaller portions. So it depends on whether your hunger or your palate are feeling bossier that night.

                                      1. re: Smalph

                                        do you usually order pasta or just pizza from la grotta for delivery?

                                        1. re: hungryabbey

                                          Both. Their pasta is really yummy (they keep changing their menu, but the gnocchi with gorgonzola is delicious, as is the ravioli), and it's a very nice pizza for my tastes. My husband prefers Mamma's (they've delivered to us just fine, luckily). He and his buddies have their spicy meat pizza delivered during weekly Halo matches), but the two are basically a toss-up for me. I've never had matching pizzas from each back-to-back, though, so I can't say for certain. Hm... there's an experiment to try!

                                          1. re: Smalph

                                            haha , its a very good experiment! Next time I have alot of people to feed, I'll call a few differnt places and try a slice from each! That will settle this debate once and for all haha.

                            2. Pizza is a matter of personal taste, alas the first problem is what kind of pizza do you like? Personally, despite the general blame, I like (for delivery) Pizza Pizza the most, and Pizza Nova as a good alternative, although they are two different ways of making and eating a pie... Unfortunately I don't know many pizzerias in that area, and usually I prefer to have a pizza (Italian-style, not the Jinkieamerican one) in a good restaurant. Try Standard's Club or Vivoli on College St. (at Grace) or Vesuvio (Dundas West at High Park).

                              1. You will all be happy to know that I'm dragging out the pizza stone tonight and going it alone in an attempt to work on my pizza karma...and feed myself at the same time.

                                I have my trusty Joie Warner pizza recipe book I bought about 100 years ago. I am trying her Thin and Crispy dough for the first time. I usually make the Rustic dough. Her no cook pizza sauce is standing by in the food processor. Now I just have to wait until the dough rises (I'm trying to speed it up with a tiny bit of help from the oven...hope I don't burn the place down). In addition to this wonderful sauce, I'll be dressing it simply with some fabulous niscoisse olives from Alex Farms, fresh basil, anchovies and a light dusting of mozzarella and feta cheese.

                                Time to prepare...several hours
                                Time to clean up...several minutes.
                                Cost of ingredients....$7
                                Not having to deal with frustrating call centres and missed deadlines....priceless

                                I'll head to Costco next week.

                                Ohm na Ma-gherita!

                                1. Back when Bona Pizza was located on the Danforth, we ordered from them every so often. When they moved, we just switched to other pizza delivery joints. Now that we live so close to Bona, and the kids were screaming for pizza and wings for dinner last night, I looked up their website (www.bonapizzapasta.com) and called in an order. And am I ever glad I talked hubby into this! The order taker said our order would arrive in 45 minutes to an hour but the delivery guy was knocking at our door in 30 minutes! The smell coming out of the pizza boxes was incredible. For the kids, we got a pizza w/ extra cheese, bacon, & (fresh!) mushrooms on half. I guess I've gotten so used to joints that totally skimp on the cheese so xtra doesn't amount to much, but at Bona, you definately knew there was extra cheese! For myself, I ordered the Milan pizza - garlic, basil, mushrooms, sausage, diced tomatoes, leeks, calamata olives, tomato sauce, mozzarella - and it was so delicious, I know exactly what I'll be ordering from now on! The crust on both pizza's were exactly how we like them: thin and crispy, but not burnt. Also ordered 24 chicken wings. (This is where things get iffy when it comes to my super-picky daughter.) But I'm so happy to say that she liked them! Me, I couldn't stop nibbling on them all night, lol! And because our order was over $30, we got a free Insalata Bona - fresh, crisp romaine lettuce; roasted peppers, bocconcini,tomatoes, & leeks w/ a balsamic vinagrette. This salad rocked. Every ingredient in it just went so well together. I told hubby that EVERY order will have to be over $30 so that we get this salad, bahahaha! *the only thing missing from the order was the garlic dipping sauce they said comes with, but not really a big deal for me, as my daughter's the only one who'd use it*

                                  So yeah. I guess this is it for Pizza Nova. I'll not order from anywhere except Bona from now on. (I'll still try Danforth Pizza, but like I said...if I'm walking by).

                                  1. Have you ever tried ordering a pizza from your favorite shop only half-baked? That way you can pick it up early in the day (delivery not required) and, about 40 minutes before you're ready to eat, finish cooking it on a pre-heated pizza stone (say 20 minutes @ 375). Hot, crusty pizza when you're ready for it!

                                    1. Bona Pizza is the bomb! Our favourite is a large, thin crust with porcini mushrooms, leeks, green olives, fresh tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes, artichoke hearts and gorgonzola. Not cheap but so good and we've never been disappointed in ten years of ordering.

                                      1. As I was reading sierramum's rave review of Bona and eating my reheated homemade pizza from last night, I decided to check out their Website. A little frustrating as I am on dial-up today and had to page through 5 pages of menus to find their delivery zone. But I am thrilled to see that I am in the "zone."

                                        I have to wonder though, Mamma's Pizza at Logan and Danforth considers Castlefrank and Bloor too far and couldn't deliver in under 2 hours, but for Bona, at Donlands and O'Connor, I'm not even close to the outer reach of their zone. I can't wait to try this place. I am sensing a turn of fate and better pizza karma ahead.

                                        Thanks for all the suggestions. I'll be sure to post a review after I give Bona a try.

                                        5 Replies
                                        1. re: dinin and dishin

                                          Bona has made great pizza in my experience, but they have never been able to deliver to me on a timely basis even though I am in their "zone". This was true from their old Danforth location and is even more true from their new spot on O'Connor.

                                          Two Mamma's locations (Danforth and Beach) are willing to deliver to me, but, as with Bona, neither one gets it here either quickly or in good condition.

                                          Good luck. Let us know what happens.

                                          1. re: embee

                                            Just fer the record, I'm at Broadview and Gerrard and have never had a late or shabby pizza from Bona. The crust isn't just-out-of-the-oven crispy, but I can't imagine how you could get that from anything but a just-out-of-the-oven pizza. Otherwise, it's hot, fresh and excellent. The ensalada verde is great too, although that usually gets eaten for lunch the next day.

                                          2. re: dinin and dishin

                                            We're at Bloor and Sherbourne and we've never had a problem with delivery from Bona. Definitely give them a try.

                                            1. re: fickle

                                              Just wanna thank all of you guys that posted about Bona...tried it and loved it...

                                          3. If you're at Castle Frank and Bloor, maybe give Mamma's another try but order from the Yonge and Bloor location this time? I've gotten pizza from there probably a dozen times or more and never had any problems. I can't compare with Bona Pizza (I'm slightly outside their delivery zone but seeing how crazy people are, I'm going to call and ask them) but I've always found Mamma's' pizza to be pretty tasty.

                                            1. We got disgusting soggy pizza from mammas on younge and bloor. it did taste better cold the next morning, but a huge dissapointment considering we live all of 5-10 minutes away from that location

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: cupcakez

                                                Hmm, I thought maybe the issue was the location but what can I say besides that I've never had an issue with them. Caveat emptor, I guess!

                                              2. So sorry to hear that you had such a terrible experience with pizza nova, we've always had a great experience with them.

                                                I have noticed that customer service always calls you back if you're calling from a number that you haven't called from before (I've used my work #, my cell, and my home #), I figure it's to avoid pranks where someone sends pizzas to someone else's house.

                                                1. That does it, I'm trying Bona soon.

                                                  1. Worth trying:
                                                    Colombo's Pizza - 416-466-9954
                                                    1794 Danforth Avenue
                                                    I have eaten their home-made panzerotti for years, and they are excellent. Their tomato sauce is above average.

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: Doopsylalolic

                                                      The rice ball at Colombo's is really good too. Order it with the spicy tomato sauce. Yum.