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Finally found my way out of pizza-delivery hell - I'm BONA-fied!

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For anyone who recalls my post of a year ago (http://www.chowhound.com/topics/343280) - almost to the day - I must have finally done something to repair my pizza karma.

Tonight, I came home hungry and feeling like a quick pizza fix. But, with my horrific track record, I was skeptical that I could find what I needed without another trip into delivery hell. I leaned towards the "orange box" option because at least it is fast and reliable, even if unmemorable. Then I remembered all those CH raves about Bona. I hesitated. Was I in the delivery zone? Would it live up to the reviews? Would they get lost on route, show up after a couple of hours, or worse, lose my order altogether? Would it show up cold, flattened, stuck to the roof of the box, or missing a major ingredient? Would the call centre treat me like crap and keep my money? What pizza delivery evil would visit my life this time?

The visions were horrifying...but so were the growls from my stomach. Was I ready for another ravenous disappointment? Could I handle it? Could I afford the therapy if it failed?

First, I checked the web site . It wasn't flashy, but it was functional. I perused the menu. I went back to Chowhound and reread the reviews. I looked at the map and tried to estimate the distance between Bona and me- the traffic - all the things that could go wrong. I started to feel like just maybe I could do this.

I inventoried my woefully empty fridge one more time. Finally, I gathered my strength and dialled Bona.

The man answered. The man spoke perfect English. The man recognized my address. The man had delivered to this building before. Things are looking up. I ordered the bruschetta pizza. I hesitated over the thin crust, but thinking it wouldn't do as well on the bottom of a trunk for 2 or more hours, I went with the medium. The man promised me 45 minutes "or less." I politely thanked the man and hung up--doubtful but somewhat buoyed. Assuming the worse, I grabbed a piece of cheese, poured a glass of wine, and and prepared myself for another long nightmare.

Less than 30 minutes later, my phone rang. NO-it couldn't be! I stared at it in disbelief before answering. OMG! It was my pizza. It was in my elevator. I stuck my head out the door. It was heading down my hall. I thought maybe it was an apparition. He waved. My delivery man, MY PIZZA, at my home in under 2 hours - no strike that - in under 30 minutes!

The exchange of money was a blur. Soon I was at my table, with my warm pizza. I slowly lifted the lid. It was exactly what I ordered. It wasn't mangled. It smelled good. It was hot. At this point, I could have died happy. But I carried on. I released a piece from its cheesy, warm bed and carried it gently to the couch. The first bite was more than promising. The crust, even medium, was delicate -- crispy and light....the toppings were fresh, lovely, and perfectly distributed.

I inhaled.....it. And then I inhaled another. I was satiated at last. I lingered over a third piece and took time to reflect on the warm beauty in my hands--which I would have clasped towards the heavens if not ...you know... for the pizza.

Finally, after so long, I was in pizza-delivery heaven. I've earned my wings thanks to Bona.

Next on my list - Chinese.

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  1. Yes, I had the same experience last night from Pizza Pizza. It was promised in 40 minutes, but came in just under 25, just the toppings we had ordered, crust neither raw nor burnt, and, for a change in delivery pizza, which I think is too often left to cool in parked delivery cars, it was actually too hot at first to bite into.

    With a half bottle of red wine and a TV film, it made for a good, relaxing evening.

    1. Depending on what you like, you should also consider Pizzaiolo. Their chicken, pesto pizza (Capone) is much better than Bona's version, for example, though I am willing to consider that Bona beats Pizzaiolo in other things.

      1. Thanks for the testimonial. I am very keen to try Bona as I've heard many good things. It's next on my list as a newly minted Eastender.

        1. Any recent experiences with Bona in the Leslieville area?

          We were regulars when they were on Danforth, then stopped ordering when we noticed a distinct drop in the quality of some expensive toppings. Between that and the fact that they bake on a screen, rather than on stone, it got too expensive.

          We tried again after they moved, but delivery was late and cold. Our assumption was that Pape/O'Connor to Queen/Logan is just too far, however willing they were to do the trip. But we don't have many good options around here and I am not going to be ordering from L'il Baci.

          2 Replies
          1. re: embee

            This was a recent experience with that location - I think they just have one. They have a map of their delivery area. I was close to the edge, but they found me in record time.

            1. re: embee

              This Bona sounds good. Have to look it up. Great post, dinin and dishin - don't read too many like those.

              As a small aside I must say, I like Pizza Pizza. I think as long as you know what you are getting and ask for extra sauce and pick up you're gonna have some tasty eatin. Is it authentic or special in any real way? Not really. But I like it.

            2. Bona is my current go to place for delivery in the East End. Great crusts, flavorful sauce and toppings, good portions of toppings on the pizza. And delivery is speedy enough, certainly under the 45-60 minute mark I got from other "high end" pizza franchises in the area.

              1. Thanks for that most entertaining review of your Bona-fide experience, dinin_and_dishin! I'm also a big fan of Bona Pizza - the bruschetta that you ordered and some of their other (vegetarian) pies. And if you order over a certain amount (I forget how much, but two medium pies will get you there), they give you a Bona salad for free! And it's delicious too.

                1 Reply
                1. re: thought_for_food

                  Glad you enjoyed it.

                2. I've ordered from Bona at least ten times in the past year or so, and would say that two times out of three, it's pretty decent. But then there is the odd time when they either skimp on the ingredients or really take their sweet time with the delivery. Also, I'm not too crazy about their tomato sauce. You nailed it with the Bruschetta - it's really good. The Bona Pizza 3 is good also. The others I've tried don't really compare to these two.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: spades

                    We like Bona also, although way back about 6 years ago, it used to be better. Their veal sandwiches were really good, but we stopped ordering them because the quality went down. The pastas are pretty good also. Very good lasagna. We also order Pizza Pizza when we want something cheap and fast. We make sure to request the crust be thin, and well done and it's pretty good. Lately though I find myself trying new places and the last few times ordered from Mama's which we were pretty happy with also.

                    1. re: millygirl

                      I'm a fan of mama's too, toppings to the edge and a good thin but soft crust...

                      1. re: Recyclor

                        If you read my original post on this topic - mentioned above, you'll see that Mama's was part of my original nightmare. I tried it based on reviews here, but they failed me miserably. I'm gonna keep my fingers crossed on Bona for awhile.

                        Meanwhile..my leftover pizza is warming in the oven mmmmmmm.

                        1. re: dinin and dishin

                          I tried Mammas once well over a year ago, Maple location and found the pizza bland beyond belief, somewhere between poor and crummy! Ironic in that prior to ordering. I spent time outside looking in and decided to order. The pizza was made by an elderly seeming Italian gent as most staff, so I was hoping for much better. Present proprietors appear Oriental, which does not mean the pizza is better or worse, but one experience can gain or lose many future purchases!

                    2. re: spades

                      For veg pies I love the one with artichokes, red pepper, mushrooms and gorgonzola, it might be called the California. I don't miss the meat.
                      Oh and of course the 4 cheese with dill..... yummm

                    3. What an entertaining post! I have no choice but to try Bona's pizza now, perhaps you should work on commission!?!

                      1. I used to get Bona and found it to be good, but after discovering La Grotta, which also delivers, I haven't looked back. Great thin crust pizza, and amazing bruschetta, too.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: vorpal

                          I will have to try La Grotta (maybe tonight!).

                          -----
                          Bona
                          431 Donlands Ave, Toronto, ON M4J3S2, CA

                          La Grotta
                          951 Pape Ave, Toronto, ON M4K3V6, CA

                          1. re: Pincus

                            I found their website hard to track down, so here's a link in case you want to order delivery:

                            http://www.lagrottapizzeria.ca

                            The bruschetta isn't particularly authentic Italian, I don't think, but the flavours are very nice. Also, I haven't had a salad of theirs that I didn't like. I just tried their lasagna recently, too, and for delivery and the price, it was quite good.

                          2. re: vorpal

                            I'd been leery about La Grotta since I hadn't heard much either way, but seeing as this is the second thumbs-up I've seen, I might just have to bite the bullet and try it out. It is just around the corner from me, after all... which means I can always take a quick walk back and spit on their doorstep if it's really awful. :)

                            Are there any particular topping combos that you found were particularly good?

                            1. re: tartiflette

                              I'm a simple pepperoni only boy, so I'm definitely the wrong person to be asking about toppings. I know my partner has had a variety of them, and I don't think there's anything he didn't enjoy, but he is less discerning about food than I am so I can't vouch for his tastes.

                          3. EXCELLENT POST...now you just have to tell where Bona's Pizza is? I have to try it NOW... thanks

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: goaneat

                              Bona is at 431 Donlands Avenue.

                            2. Does anyone have the website?
                              I am having trouble finding it myself for some reason.

                              THANKS!

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: jgloverwork

                                here you go: http://www.bonapizzapasta.com/index.htm

                              2. Alright, just ordered my first pie from there... will report back. Thanks D&D.

                                4 Replies
                                1. re: Olivia

                                  I concur with jayzie1, in that it wasn't The Best I've ever had, but it was pretty damn good.

                                  We ordered a pizza with artichokes, sausage and mushrooms, regular (white)crust, sauce and cheese--great sauce to cheese to crust ratio, and perfectly cooked. Also, the quantity of toppings was just right.

                                  Usually we call Mamma's but it's often hit and miss, and rarely hot.

                                  Bona is our new go-to place, for sure.

                                  1. re: Olivia

                                    That combo alone sounds deelish....must try it sometime.

                                    1. re: Olivia

                                      I ordered from Bona again on Monday night. To my amazement, again they delivered un 30 minutes and pizza was even better than the first time. For that amazing feat alone, they remain my new best friend. I suspect that my previous nightmares with pizza delivery is somewhat skewing my opinion of Bona pizza. But I don't care. I am just so thrilled to have fast, hot, decent pizza again. I doubt I'll tempt fate by trying another for quite sometime. Althought La Grotto sounded interesting.

                                      1. re: dinin and dishin

                                        Finally decided to give them a try this weekend while visiting a friend in the area.
                                        Can't say I was overly fond of their offering. Something tasted odd/off about it.
                                        With all of the positive comments here in this thread and others, I will in fact give them another shot as anybody can have an off night once in a while.

                                  2. After reading such a great post, my BF and I had to try Bona out last weekend. While the pizza was OK, it wasn't the best I've ever had. Toppings were excellent, but the crust left something to be desired. My mini pizza was whole wheat with a thin crust. Way too dense and chewy/hard for my liking. The BF also ordered the fusilli cacciatore which was not particularly good...a key ingedient was missing from the sauce (I guessed oregano) which left the dish very bland indeed. Might go back to again if we're craving exotic ingredients, but still in search of truly great pizza.

                                    1. Bona pizza has always been consistently good for us - Milano and Milamista are our faves...I usually ask for extra sauce, this makes it perfect!

                                      1. We got Bona-fied last spring, thanks to discovering this board. We had been resigned to Pizza Pizza before that. We were so relieved that we'd finally found a good pizza, and delivery has always been prompt, the pie hot (well last night took a bit longer, didn't recognize the driver, so maybe a new guy).

                                        We strayed a little this fall and tried Top Notch, liked it a lot at first, ordered from there for a few weeks, but I got tired of the strange seasoning. Tried La Grotta once, didn't like it. Also tried Mamma's but not wowed. We're back to Bona again and happy.

                                        But the thing that bugs me about all of them (as well as others such as Yorke fish & chips) is the use of styrofoam containers for salads, breads, wings, etc.

                                        I work conscientiously to reduce my garbage and take care to recycle properly and then, just because we like to order in every week or so, my garbage can is full of these styrofoam things. I suppose it's the most cost-effective way for these smaller indie guys to operate but I don't like it.

                                        -----
                                        Bona
                                        431 Donlands Ave, Toronto, ON M4J3S2, CA

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: JamieK

                                          Totally agree re: the styrofoam. I hate ordering delivery from many places precisely for that reason: every two weeks by pickup day, my garbage can looks like a styrofoam burial ground, and many restaurants use it unnecessarily, putting small items in large containers. That's in part why I prefer to order from Seabreeze or Rashnaa when I can: they use a lot less packaging, instead opting for those aluminum containers with the paper lids, which seem to generate much less waste for the quantity of food.

                                          It seems like some places go out of their way to waste, too. My local Pizza Pizza (which, while crappy, is cheap, open late, and less than a thirty second walk from my front door) absolutely INSISTS on putting my salad (which is already in a plastic container) in a plastic bag, and my slice in a paper bag. I keep telling them that I live virtually six doors down and really don't want any bags, but they do it anyways.

                                        2. pizzaville.ca -- Thin crust, lost of choices. Fast delivery. A bit too fatty (they are very generous with cheese...) A1