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Sep 22, 2007 01:29 PM

Confusion at Magic Oven (Broadview)

Enticed by the online menu and the prospect of whole-wheat pizza crust, I made a plan to eat at Magic Oven on Broadview last Thursday night. I didn't realize the "Cafe Next Door" , the sit-down site, would be closed, and so I headed in to the sauna that was the pizza joint, and was instantly confused by the set-up. There is one cash off the to the left, one behind the counter where the servers are also serving pizza on the right. There is a small copy of the take-home menu posted on the side of a counter, and a chalk board listing some soups. It looks, to the inexperiencerded eye, like a take-out pizza joint doing business mostly in slices. My companions each went with a yummy looking slice chosen from the pizzas they had out, but I had had my heart set on one of the salads I saw on the menu. It was unclear as to if I could order it or not, so I just grabbed a $4 container of their grain salad from the fridge and got set to pay to head to the patio with my pizza-happy friends (the tandoori was a favourite). I happened to ask if they had the soups as advertised, but they said they stopped serving soup after the place next door closed. Ok. Then, one of the servers said I could order anything on the menu. As in, the little one posted on the side of the counter? It doesn't look like they have the facilities to make me a full salad with all the fixings listed - maybe this is my simple judgement, but I was majorly confused! As it was my salad from the fridge was excellent, and it was 1/2 the price of the plated version, so I'm not complaining. I was just miffed that there seemd to be no explanation of the ordering process, and that none of the servers felt it was pertinnent to enlighten me as I stood confused in fron of them looking lost. Can anyone clarify as to the nature of this place? Is it strictly call-and-pick-up? Or has anyone eaten there? Thanks!

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  1. You can sit down and have a meal there if you want. But I do believe you have to order up by the cash register and make it plain your intent is to eat there. They don't have a dedicated server (at least, not when I've been there) to come around and take your order.

    1. They are opening a full-service restaurant near Pape and Danforth (former Chopan Kebab location). Personally I'm hoping they also have slices to grab.

      3 Replies
        1. re: millygirl

          Yup, it is, but I'm not planning to go.

          1. re: bluedog

            I'm with you on fact I wasn't totally sure it was open. Have yet to see anyone coming or going.

      1. I've never gotten to try their pizza (every time I try to order, I'm told there's a minimum two hour wait, at which point I've always canceled), but their desserts are quite good.

        4 Replies
        1. re: vorpal

          I like their pizza toppings, but the pre-fab crusts are only edible. The crust is the soul of the pizza, and there are lots of other choices in that neighbourhood where they make pizza dough from scratch (or at least buy the dough from someone who has).

          1. re: Pincus

            I go to the Magic Oven near King and Bathurst and never order the pizza. The salads, sandwiches and noodle bowls are great.

            1. re: Pincus

              I've ordered a pizza and wings from the King/Jameson.
              Pizza - As a whole the pizza was dry. The crust was like a doughy cracker in appearance, taste and texture. (Maybe my fault for getting the spelt crust but I wanted to try the novelty...) The toppings were otherwise fine. Maybe i'm being silly, but the way the toppings were placed and the overall taste made me think it was made for someone who doesn't like their food to touch....
              The wings were somewhat dry. We got the chili lime flavour and the flavour was good.

              As other posters mentioned, the price is high for what you get.

            2. re: vorpal

              They have also told me this pretty much every time I've ordered. What they don't advertise is that if you pick it up yourself the wait is typically a more reasonable 45 minutes or so.

              That said, after spending $40 a few times for a single pizza, it's just not worth the cost to me. They're good but if I'm going to spend $40 I can think of many other food items I'd rather spend my money on. These days I try to keep some dough and sauce on hand because I'd rather make my own. Not to mention I think the extra charge for whole wheat crust is highway robbery (unless whole wheat flour is significantly more expensive than white, which it certainly is not where I buy my flour.)

            3. What we have in Magic Oven is an once great idea originally executed with good ingredients and some passion (though never with any finesse). It has turned into an attempt to cash in through cost cutting and franchising.

              The special diet angle is great, but the product isn't very good any more. Perhaps their special market niche (I am celiac - or other grain intolerant - and can order a pizza just like anyone else - wow) is too trapped to care; perhaps their newfound greed will do them in.

              Service was never good, even at a single location, and deliveries were always hopelessly slow. Now the bad service and slow deliveries come with a helping of attitude and a poor pizza. Too bad.

              1 Reply
              1. re: embee

                Go to Bona Pizza and Pasta. They'll also do special crusts. Not cheap, but better than Magic Oven (or so I'm told: never eaten at Magic Oven: too $$$ and bad vibe).

                My neighbour has dietary restrictions and she orders from Bona all the time. They're very accomodating.