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Vogglio d'pizza -- c'mon, Chowhounders, CHOW DOWN! :-)

Folks, after a couple of recent chats with Luis, I am worried that Vogglio d'pizza is not busy enough. So that we don't lose this little gem, I encourage all of you to think of ordering from Luis when you get the urge to splurge on some grease wheel. He's a nice guy, making nice pies; we should support him as best we can. Patronize or perish, no? :-)

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  1. are you serious? I'm hearing about 2 and 3 hours waits- I adore this stuff and will probably order some tomorrow, but if anything it seems too busy, and while the pies are superb, it will be the waits that are Luis' undoing. That's not going to keep me away since I am close by, but it has to be addressed.

    1. I am definitely all for supporting this man's livelihood, and he is great at what he does, but seriously... being made to wait 2.45 hours is a bit much. I completely agree with JM. I guarantee that if he could do something about this ambiguous, and inevitably prolonged wait situation, his business would do a lot better. A friend of mine now refuses to return after being made to wait three times for twice as long as he was told. If it's going to be 3 hours, tell us 3 hours!

      1. As above, I haven't tried the place even though I really, really want to because juggling rush hour traffic and a potential wait for hours hasn't been at all appealing. If my timing isn't perfect driving home can take over an hour. I can't imagine that would improve the product or my state of mind. May have to drag the whole family down and eat in the car. Picture my state of mind if we all have to wait.

        3 Replies
        1. re: sharonanne

          I can sympathize. two kids under two in the car waiting around... I have been to that trapped-in-vehicle state of mind... it's a dark place :) in the summer it wasn't so bad b/c we could wander around and then eat in the nearby park, but I don't think that the adult store will welcome my whole family in there to wait.

          1. re: alex8alot

            There are certainly things Luis needs to address to keep his business afloat.

            I've been compiling some common complaints, and some possible ares of improvement to present to him. I would like to be part of his success, because I really believe that Vogglio could become a Calgary INSTITUTION with the right guidance.

            1. re: maplesugar

              Of course- the problem we're talking about is when the order taker (sometimes Luis, sometimes somebody else) tells you "it'll be ready in 45 minute," you show up in 45 mins and then have to wait a sometimes very long time for your actual pizza. His estimates are usually wrong, sometimes WAY wrong.

          2. Okay, scored a Mexicana tonight and it was the same story as last time, not too bad- ordered 5:15, told 45 mins, got there around 6:05, pizza in my hands around 6:20. Still not accurate but it was not too bad. The 'za was predictably fantastic, crust even better than previous visits.

            1. My bf and I finally tried Vogglio's a little over a week ago, and were told 30 minutes. We were (unintentionally) late picking it up (about 45 minutes) and our pizza was ready and waiting for us. Ordered again last night and was again told 30 minutues. This time I intentionally showed up about 40 minutes later, and was told it'd be a couple more minutues. Again, it ended up being 45 minutues, which is not bad at all. We had a Mexicana and Viennese, both were fantastic.

              2 Replies
              1. re: ajy

                ajy - do you remember which day you first ordered it? Just wondering if it's a "Sun-Thu is ok" because they arent as busy, or if it's an actual improvement?

                1. re: yen

                  It was either a Wednesday or Thursday. So maybe not much of an actual improvement:)

              2. Vogglio's has three issues, that will kill it. I liked the Pizza when I had it the one time but here is my honest opinion on it's shortcomings.

                1) Convenience - getting down to 14th st and 17th ave to pick up a pie and then getting back to either deerfoot or Crowchild is brutal between 4pm and 6pm. It's just not convenient. Unless you live in Mt Royal/Kensington or naturally drive by there you probably won't go out of your way for their pie. If you don't work downtown, its even worse, you'd have to fight in and out, brutal.

                2) In-house dining - there is none. When I have dinner downtown, I leave my office (5th and 5th SW), pick up my wife then go to a restaurant relax enjoy dinner and then not have to fight traffic because it's 6:30-7pm when we leave.

                3) Wait time - well documented so I won't go into too much detail. However, when I did order my pie and when I did brave the traffic I still waited an hour for my pie (after the indicated time). I can't tell you how annoying the wait was after a long day at work, so I probably won't be going back sorry.

                12 Replies
                1. re: Major_9000

                  1. If you consider the population of belline, lower mt royal, downtown, sunalta, and bankview- ie areas that are walking distance or short drive from V's, you're looking at a catchment area of more than 50,000 people. Add in Hillhurst, South Calgary, Mt Royal, etc, and you absolutely have critical mass for many take-out pizza places. Look, ANY place is going to going to be inconvenient to people wh o aren't its neighbours. I hate that I'm too far from Nectar or Thai Boat or heck Canmore to partake of stuff there more than once in a blue moon, but there are many people who find such things convenient.
                  2. There is no in-house at Banh Mi Thi Thi (original location) or King's or many other places- it's a takeout place, like many others.
                  3. Yes, well documented, but not everybody's experience is bad. Time will tell if he survives this problem

                  1. re: John Manzo

                    Sorry John if you think 14st and 17th ave is a convenient place to get to drive to, stop and pick up a pie between 4:30pm- 6pm, you're crazy.

                    1. re: Major_9000

                      I live a block and half away.

                      Major, what would be a convenient location?

                      1. re: John Manzo

                        I am a guy who loves food, LOVES it. And I will do what it takes to get my hands on great food. However, that location is just about the worst in the city for traffic and congestion during rush hour. Parking in that area is very difficult to find during that time period and if you miss it, you’re turning through traffic and congestion to make another pass or find another spot. Just about any other location where someone can get in and out would be better suited.

                        Above I stated my experience and my opinion in an effort to help Vogglio’s understand perhaps why business isn’t as great as it should be. I’ve ordered Pizza about once a week since my experience there and I’d go back no question but for the reasons I’ve stated. If these were my reasons (again someone who goes out of his way for great food) then I guarantee these are problems for others.

                        And if you live 1 ½ blocks away, congratulations you get great Pizza.

                        1. re: Major_9000


                          You did NOT hear this from me, but you can park just about anytime in Phil's parking lot.

                      2. re: Major_9000

                        Im not weighing in on either side about convenience, but if you are serious/interested in getting Voglio's during that rush hour period (after calling ahead of course), i'd suggest the following:

                        Exit downtown via 5th street or 8th street heading South.
                        Drive down until you hit 15th avenue. Turn right/west - take it all the way down.
                        Turn left on 12th street, and turn into the alley between 15th and 16th avenue.
                        They have parking behind the building.

                        So you have 8-10 minute drive from downtown to Vogglios.
                        And you have parking behind the building away from traffic!

                        Personally, i don't think anyplace that isnt gepographically close to your home is easy to get to between 4:30 and 6:00. Traffic these days is nuts no matter where you go!

                        1. re: yen

                          thanks for the parking tip... that helps a lot. last time I sheepishly camped out in the mcdonald's lot trying not to hypothesize about the filthy pair of men's underpants sprawled beside my car.

                          1. re: alex8alot

                            There are also two or three 20-minute loading zones on 15th Avenue in front of UPS, opposite the Starbucks/7-11 strip you could stop at too. I live on that block and those are usually free.

                              1. re: alau2

                                This is exactly where we park. ..We had the pleasure of going right after it opened and we are pretty regular there now. I love the Mexicana. wishing we still lived in this area I miss the walks for good food...I loved the curry at yum yum tree. We make a point of going for pizza at weird times with the kids. We order there then head over to the used book store and just call and check on the pizza.

                                1. re: kritafo

                                  Fair's Fair? That's what i do too :)

                                  1. re: yen

                                    yup....then I am not irritated when my pizza isn't ready! it's a great method and I always come out of the bookstore with a good find!

                    2. Luis got his dough machine now. He seems calmer - but it was only a Tuesday when I went to visit. Got a Fantasia - awesome as usual. Shrimp, pepperoni, and shredded beef with onions and green peppers. God, I could live on his pizza.

                      1. I don't even live in Calgary, but I couldn't help notice the irony of people saying that this guy didn't pick a good location because "there are so many people in that area between 4:30 and 6:30pm". Sounds like a good location to me ;)

                        Yen has hit the nail on the head: traffic is bad at rush hour. It's not always reasonable to get from anywhere to anywhere in a short amount of time. Most people are still accustomed to Calgary being a "small town" kind of place. Now there are enough people and traffic that businesses are starting to cater to the local neighbourhood, not intending to serve those heading out in all directions.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: egon61

                          Only one person was saying that, but his point hinges on the fact that Vogglio's is basically 100% a takeout operation- they don't have reliable delivery and eating in would be a very unpleasant option, so getting there is a sine qua non for eating his pizza, and getting OUT is as well. A lot of people live close to Vogglio's, but the pizza is so damn good that even folks who live far away want it too- and there's the rub. We just don't have other options like this; he's THAT good.

                        2. He's started opening at 11:30am every day (since beginning of January). The sign on his door still says 4:30 - I thought maybe it's because he's still deciding whether to stay open for lunches, but his little menus say 11:30 every day.

                          Late afternoon on a Saturday it's not busy, he says 30 minutes and my pies are waiting for me when I get there. I still love the thin crust best - I tried a "regular" crust and didn't like it so much. I've never had to wait for my pizzas, but I usually don't order at the peak dinner times.

                          I sure hope he stays in business, the pizzas are unbelievably cheap - 2 small pizzas (1 is enough for a meal for 2, but I like the variety) are always just under $20, and they're soooo good.

                          1. http://forums.beyond.ca/showthread.ph...

                            I cannot speak to the credibility of rmk, but s/he states as follows:

                            "Last time I talked to Luis, he was talking about how he was contemplating a move to Toronto. By no means imminent, but he was saying there was more of a market for the pizza out there. He also went on to complain about Pizza Pizza and how terrible it is. How can you blame him He was also drained from both his jobs."

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: maclock

                              oy veh...

                              Anyway, we got two small pies tonight, one "southern" which has corn, sausage, bacon, avocado and black beans, and one "siriana" which has broccoli, cauliflower, green peppers, onions, and zucchini. I called at 4:40, was told 40 minutes, arrrived 5:20 and the pizzas were just about ready! Maybe 5 minutes wait. So the ship is definitely being run more professionally.

                              I didn't talk to Luis about what I'd read and what maclock reposted about moving to Toronto, I have no idea what he actually said or if he said it.

                              1. re: maclock

                                Pizza Pizza is the dominant chain in Ontario and they recently bought Pizza 73, although I understand they intend to keep the 73 brand out here vs. converting them. This is a shame since Pizza Pizza, as mainstream and mediocre as it is, is way better than Pizza 73. They also have a lot of concepts that don't seem to exist out here such as selling pizza by the slice for a quick lunch/snack. In Ontario basically every pizza place, chain or not, has a little sit down area and sells slices, calzones, salads, sandwiches etc. Wheras Pizza 73 seems intent on having you spend at least $20 and tries to make up for this by bombarding you with wings, cookies, fries, and other crap.

                                1. re: egon61

                                  The first PizzaPizza in Calgary (and Alberta?) opened last year at the U of C. I was on sabbatical for fall, and on my return I was surprised (but not too) to see it had been converted to a Pizza 73- which would be fine since 73 and PP are "the same," right? Nope, menues are completely different. PP has those folded sandwich thingies. 73 has fries. And as you note, as bad as PP is, 73 is worse.

                                  I'm just happy that the Vietnamese place in Mac Hall is doing such great business- that's where I get lunch every day I'm on campus.