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Fratelli Village Pizzeria – review + pics

BokChoi Nov 3, 2008 05:37 AM

Thanks to Dr Butcher and a couple of others for pointing this one out a while back. I managed to sample the pizzas at Fratelli about a month ago when the SO was in town. The recent posts reminded me that I should probably get my review and pics up.

Fratelli Village Pizzeria is located in a small strip mall near the U of T Scarborough Campus. Street parking in front is limited, but there are a number of surrounding malls with vacant lots nearby. The restaurant is cozy, and vibrant. Perhaps not a place I would choose for a romantic dinner for two, as the tables are placed very close to one another. I could hear the young couple’s dialogue at the next table if there was a lull in our conversation. The place is filled with many University-aged patrons, due to its close proximity to the U of T, as well as its reasonable prices. Pizzas are priced around $12 a pie.
Pizza Menu: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2953255769/

I glanced around the restaurant and saw a number of customers noshing on pasta, however, IMO it looked quite unappetizing (just as a warning to CHers that might try to order a pasta). Something similar to Spaghetti Factory, but perhaps it tasted better than it looked – maybe some of the other regulars at Fratelli can chip in here. But I guess they are called a Pizzeria for a reason!

The pizzas are baked inside a wood burning oven. The temperatures are extremely high judging from the speed at which the pies come out, as well as the necessity of a face mask by the baker.
Photo of oven: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2954105938/
The baker would take the pies out periodically and poke holes in the dough with a fork to prevent them from rising, thus allowing the ‘thin’ crust to develop. The crust is then brushed with a touch of oil before being put in the oven for one last ‘fry’ before service. The oil crisps up the crust, releasing an aroma when it is brought to our table not unlike Pizza Hut’s pan pizza version (sacrilege for some pizza lovers, I am sure! But it is the closest comparison for crust aromas I could think of).

The pizza crust is quite good. Unfortunately, I had just come back from Stratford and enjoyed a pizza pie there very much. Pazzo’s was more of a ‘cracker-like’ consistency, and I believe I prefer that over this thin-crust-pizza-hut-pan version, but just a touch. Fratelli's crust was crispy, and had a great aroma that brought me back to my childhood. However, the toppings left something to be desired. SO’s four seasons pizza was quite soggy when delivered, with juices dripping off the pizza. If you prefer this type, then this is the pizza for you. I, however, prefer less ‘sloppy’ toppings and for the pizza to be drier. But to each their own! By the end of the meal, much of the drippings had been soaked into the crust, so it was no longer a wet mess, but the crust was quite soggy and dense for it.

Four Seasons: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2953255589/

I ordered the melazane pizza and it came with a generous helping of bocconcini cheese on top. My pizza was a bit drier due to the topping selections. But I found it still a bit ‘topping heavy’ for my tastes.

Melazane: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/2954106042/

The crust is definitely its strength, as pointed out by Dr Butcher. There was a lot happening on the pie, and for that, it was good value. However, as a pie, I felt there was just ‘too much’ – if there is such a thing! It was a good pizza – I would liken it to a cross between a pizza hut/US pie and a more elegant thin-crust pizza. If that’s what you’re searching for, then do try this place out. Would I head back? Probably if I were in the area, but I don’t think I would make it my go-to place for thin crust pizzas. It was a good find though, and quite unexpected in this part of town. I can see why it was so busy on a regular weekday evening. I will hopefully be able to try out Calabria next. Thanks for the tips Dr Butcher.

Pizzas: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-...

Cheers and Happy Eating!

384 Old Kingston Road
Scarborough, ON M1C 1B6
(416) 283-2112

  1. grandgourmand Nov 3, 2008 06:04 AM

    Thanks for the review. Always interested in good pizza joints. I too prefer a crispier crust and that is often the result of a pizza being less heavy on the topping.

    How does it compare to Terroni? Full disclosure, I don't rate Terroni too highly. Find the middle too soggy.

    8 Replies
    1. re: grandgourmand
      BokChoi Nov 3, 2008 06:24 AM

      It was my pleasure to provide the review.

      To be quite honest, it has been a while since I've last been to Terroni, or even Mercatto for that matter. Thus, I don't think I can compare the three with much justice! The only pie of recent memory that has left a lasting impression was Pazzo's version - but that was way out in Stratford ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-... ). Sorry I could not be of assistance, but perhaps some other Pie lovers out there can chime in. Maybe it's time for me to do another round of pizza pie tastings around the city (including the hot topic of the moment Pizzeria Libretto that has both supporters and detractors).

      How would you rank the pizza's in the city?

      Cheers!

      1. re: BokChoi
        grandgourmand Nov 3, 2008 06:31 AM

        I'm far from a pizza expert. I know what I like (thin, crispy crust, tasty toppings "less is more").
        I don't have an official ranking, but ones I like:
        Massimo pizza
        Danforth pizza
        Pizza gigi
        Pizza nova...frankly a chain, but I really do like their pies

        These are all thicker crust types. I haven't met a thin crust in TO that I truly love.

        1. re: grandgourmand
          BokChoi Nov 3, 2008 06:45 AM

          Thanks grandgourmand. I haven't tried a bunch of those, to be honest. But of course, Pizza Nova, hah! They are also my secret indulgence. Sometimes you just want to stuff yourself on something satisfying. With pizza nova, I always know what I'm going to get and it's fast and convenient. 1 party sized pizza will provide sustenance for me for almost a week. I can hear the gasps of CHers reading this thread now and I may have lost all credibility.... sigh. Good ol' comfort food - brings back memories.

          Hopefully others can chime in about great pizzas nearby. If Pazzo's was nearby, I think I could see myself eating many more pies. Unfortunately, they're about 2 hrs away... though I would have to say they were more worth the drive than Langdon Hall was!
          Cheers

          1. re: BokChoi
            t
            tjr Nov 3, 2008 12:15 PM

            I don't mind Topper's, Pizza Nova or Pizzaville for an order-in, pizza & movies night. For Pizza Nova especially, I find that the quality of the pizza you get is dependent on location. I usually try to order from the local places, but it's not always my choice, and I find those three chains to be much more edible than the others (though I think Topper's only has a couple locations, and I haven't had one of their pizzas in around 5 years).

            1. re: tjr
              BokChoi Nov 4, 2008 08:49 AM

              I have actually never discovered too large a discrepancy in quality of Pizza Nova pies - I guess I was just lucky! I really enjoy the 'real strips of bacon' they use. It's a refreshing change.

      2. re: grandgourmand
        s
        Sadistick Nov 4, 2008 01:37 PM

        I will let everyone in on a little secret (ok not so much) mid town pizza place.

        George's on Eglington west of bathurst.

        Enjoy.

        oh...one thing to add...if you want the best pizza in ontario, head out to Airport Pizza on airport road south of caledon....sooooo good.

        1. re: Sadistick
          BokChoi Nov 4, 2008 01:56 PM

          Wow. Caledon, eh? Thanks for those tips.

          1. re: Sadistick
            j
            Jar Dec 13, 2013 11:11 AM

            I have passed this somewhat non descript building dozens of times, no hint of desire to try the pizza. You do mean as for geography south of Caledon East and a minute south, just south of the lights at Mono Road. You have not mentioned why Airport Pizza has positive qualities so I would remind anyone of the great pizza and many awards won ( including a City TV morning show award as the BEST ), yep the best,,,,,,, Caruso Gourmet Pizza in Bolton, On.!!!!

        2. Dr Butcher Nov 3, 2008 06:50 PM

          BokChoi, thanks for the review! I will agree with your assessment of the crust. Tasty yet not entirely crisp. I do think they are generous with the toppings which definitely adds moisture to the bottom of the pie when sliced.

          The only pasta I have tried is the pasta carbonara and found it to be a little heavy, I will admit that I am not really a pasta fan though... I've also had the tilapia and found it to be very salty. I do stick with the pizza.

          Did you get a chance to try the calamari? It's done with a light cornmeal dusting and served with aioli. I really enjoy it.

          Calabria's pizza style is somewhat similar to Fratelli but having a bit of a thinner and saltier crust. They are a little lighter on the toppings from my experience as well. I took my pies to go, so they suffered from steaming in the box on the trip home.

          The pizzas are a little cheaper than Fratelli, most are around $10.50, I believe the pepperoni is around $8. The hot peppers are very hot! Remember though, pizzas are only sold Thursdays and Fridays.

          The seating area in Calabria is straight from the 80's and even the display cases have an old school feel to them. If you try the pizzas or any of the pastries let me know what you think! I rarely get downtown so I will admit to living a sheltered existence in the east end. It's good to hear what more experienced CHers have to say about some of my east end haunts. ;)

          11 Replies
          1. re: Dr Butcher
            BokChoi Nov 4, 2008 08:47 AM

            Dr Butcher, thanks once again for the reminder. I remembered that just as I was heading out last time.

            I did not get to sample the calamari, but the young couple next to us seemed to be enjoying their serving quite a lot. It was very generous, and the batter did not appear to be too thick, nor oily. However, since I have not tasted it, I cannot say more. I was actually quite full at the time and wanted to stick with just the pie. Maybe next time.

            I will definitely report back once I get around to trying Calabria. Thanks for the recs for the Scarborough area, and do keep them up. I would prefer not to have to travel too far for good grub.

            Cheers!

            1. re: BokChoi
              y
              Yongeman Nov 4, 2008 01:20 PM

              Great info, but where is Calabria...I mean the pizza place?

              1. re: Yongeman
                BokChoi Nov 4, 2008 01:55 PM

                Yongeman, I have not tried it yet, but here is a recent thread: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/532984
                CHeers!

                1. re: Yongeman
                  Dr Butcher Nov 4, 2008 05:36 PM

                  Yongeman, it's at 1770 Midland Ave, on the west side just south of Ellesmere.

                  1. re: Dr Butcher
                    y
                    Yongeman Nov 4, 2008 08:01 PM

                    Grazie BokChoi and DrButcher. I'm a central/west-end guy, but working in Scarborough currently (Lawrence/Markham). It's fun to try all the new places for lunch.

                    1. re: Yongeman
                      BokChoi Nov 5, 2008 02:28 AM

                      No problem. Do give Zen a try as well for sushi. It is nearby to you as well and they have an excellent lunch special. (if you enjoy sushi)
                      Cheers!

              2. re: Dr Butcher
                y
                Yongeman Nov 8, 2008 03:37 AM

                "Oh sure," I thought. Italian in Scarborough. I grew up in an Italian-influenced neighbourhood in the west end of TO, so was pretty doubtful about finding good Italian food in Scarborough. Thanks to recs from DrButcher and BokChoi, I tried Calabria yesterday, and boy, am I glad I did! I only sampled one ready-made slice from their wood-burning oven and a rice ball (arancini), but both were excellent. I'll be back to try more next Thursday or Friday. It goes to show that it's not about the 'where', but more about the 'who' in the restaurant business. I'm going to start a new thread for Calabria, since it seems to have been mentioned only in other, more generic threads.

                1. re: Yongeman
                  Googs Nov 8, 2008 09:32 AM

                  I grew up in Scarborough where, when I was young Yongeman, the new immigrants were mainly of the Italian variety. Believe me. We ate very well.

                  1. re: Yongeman
                    BokChoi Nov 9, 2008 06:44 PM

                    Glad to hear such a positive review. I must check it out sometime. Thanks for the review.
                    Cheers!

                  2. re: Dr Butcher
                    Googs Feb 20, 2009 05:52 AM

                    I made a link!

                    -----
                    Calabria Bakery
                    1772 Midland Ave, Toronto, ON M1P, CA

                    1. re: Googs
                      BokChoi Feb 23, 2009 05:18 AM

                      Thanks Googs!

                  3. Finnegan Nov 4, 2008 09:01 AM

                    Pizza is the reason for going to Fratellis...the pastas are a bt to 80's for my taste (i.e. lotsa heavy cream, vodka cream sauce, etc.).

                    I would rate Fratellis as one of the top 3 thin crust pies in Toronto. I seem to recall they had a white pizza with potatoes, eggs and cheese which was pretty good

                    . Anyone who cares enough to cook their pies in a wood burning oven gets my vote.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Finnegan
                      BokChoi Nov 4, 2008 05:24 PM

                      Thanks for the thoughts Finnegan. Who are the other tops on your list?

                    2. helen0505 Nov 7, 2008 09:33 PM

                      Actually, I quite enjoyed the pasta at Fratelli's. I had their linguini mare and i remember liking it...it definitely wasn't too saucy. Also, the calamari was VERY good...probably one of the fried best I've had in the city. As for the pizza, we ordered the potato pizza and enjoyed it. I would rate the quality of Fratelli's food very close to Terroni's. Its never gonna be the best thing you've ever had but its great for a casual weeknight dinner.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: helen0505
                        BokChoi Nov 9, 2008 06:45 PM

                        I must try the potato pizza next time. Thanks for the recommendation. Calamari seems highly recommended and it looked pretty good as well. Seems like I have a menu set for my next visit already.

                      2. scarberian Mar 22, 2009 05:38 PM

                        I took the family to Fratelli's for the first time and we really enjoyed it. I ordered the potato pizza and I didn't find it too soggy. The crust was crisp and the toppings did feel heavy, but man was it delicious! My wife ordered the penne a la vodka (with bits of bacon) and it looked quite appetizing. She said it was very good. Their dinner portions are generous and the quality, IMO, is excellent. The tiramisu was heaven and the next time I'm going to make my wife get her own.

                        9 Replies
                        1. re: scarberian
                          BokChoi Mar 31, 2009 10:17 AM

                          Glad to hear you and your family had a great time. Thanks for the report, scarberian.

                          1. re: BokChoi
                            red dragon May 12, 2009 03:12 PM

                            Hi Bokchoi,
                            Thinking of trying Fratelli's this Friday night, though we tried last Saturday and at 5pm, they already had a line up out the door.

                            I like thin crust pizza, but absolutely love thick crust after visiting Chicago. No pizza tastes the same after having a deep dish Chicago pizza.

                            Ok, back to Fratelli's, is the pizza (11") enough for 2 people, given the fact that my husband is a huge eater and can eat one pizza by himself? We also plan to order the calamari.

                            I would love to end off with tiramisu, but called them to ask if raw eggs are used in the recipe (which most tiramisus do, unless I make my own) and they indeed do, so perhaps one of the other desserts.

                            We live in Scarborough, but Kingston Road is a bit of a drive, no matter, we'll drive anywhere for good food.

                            1. re: red dragon
                              TorontoJo May 12, 2009 04:59 PM

                              Chicago native here. There are a couple of Chicago-style pizza places in the GTA. One in Hamilton and one in Vaughan. So if you need a fix, you do have options!

                              1. re: TorontoJo
                                red dragon May 13, 2009 06:59 AM

                                Hi TorontoJo,

                                Thank you for the info. We tried a location in Maple, Ontario (what a long drive that was), and it was extremely disappointing, imo. The only thing I could really say is that the name of Chicago style pizza and the "look" was all that resembled Chicago Pizza. It was so disappointing, the pizza was also burned badly on the bottom, the owner was apologetic in still serving it, but we'll never return again.

                                Which location in Hamilton and Vaughan are you referring to? I can't remember the name of the place we tried, only that is was fairly new and part of a strip plaza.

                                1. re: red dragon
                                  TorontoJo May 13, 2009 07:13 AM

                                  The place in Hamilton is Chicago Style Pizza Shack. Here's the place link with the address -- lots of love for it on the board. The place I said was in Vaughan must be the place in Maple that you tried. I haven't tried it -- and it sounds like I won't be anytime soon! :)

                                  -----
                                  Chicago Style Pizza Shack
                                  534 Upper Sherman Ave, Hamilton, ON L8V3M1, CA

                                  1. re: TorontoJo
                                    red dragon May 13, 2009 10:51 AM

                                    Thanks for the address TorontoJo. Maybe I'll stop by on our trip to Buffalo next week.

                                    Well, it's just my opinion re: the Maple one (and I'd have to say a strong one at that, but maybe they've improved since then??). We live in Scarborough and don't mind to drive for good food, but that was a total, total waste of time, gas and money.

                              2. re: red dragon
                                Dr Butcher May 12, 2009 08:42 PM

                                If you have a starter, splitting a pizza shouldn't be too bad. I usually split an order of calamari, a salad, and a pizza. A big eater could probably polish off a pizza on its own fairly easily.

                                For dessert the creme brulee is very nice.

                                The restaurant is small and fills up quickly so go early or late. Anywhere from 6-8 you can expect to wait.

                                1. re: Dr Butcher
                                  red dragon May 13, 2009 07:01 AM

                                  Hi Dr. Butcher,

                                  Thank you for your reply. We'll go early, when the doors open at 5pm and give it a try!

                                  Thanks also for a alternate dessert recommendation. I'm also thinking cheesecake for my husband, geesh, if the appetizers and pizza won't fill him up, the cheesecake should!

                                  :)

                                  1. re: Dr Butcher
                                    red dragon May 16, 2009 02:49 PM

                                    Hi Dr. Butcher - just adding my review; finally made it to Fratelli's, but OMG, everytime we venture to that area, we get lost, and we live in Scarborough, so it's embarassing.

                                    It took us about an hour since we got lost so many times. The mapquest directions screwed us up (once again, they were incorrect). The server gave us unclear and frustrating directions as well, but I told my husband not to get frustrated, it was the start of lunch time and coming from a restaurant background, I can understand how she would have been busy.

                                    We stopped and asked a few times for directions. We ended up on Kingston Road, not Old Kingston Road, but we passed the restaurant when we got lost and didn't know it! There is a fork in the road that causes a bit of confusion. We didn't know Old Kingston Road was so short, literally just a few places to the entire street!

                                    Ok, back to the restaurant, we had the calamari and it was was very good; tender, not chewy, a bit greasy (too be expected). The pizzas were "ok" (just our opinion), they had a lot of cornmeal to the crust and bottom, which we don't like. When we make pizzas at home, we sprinkle cornmeal on our pizza stone, but only a light sprinkling.

                                    We ordered the Fratellii and the Milan. We hd no room for dessert. We ended up taking most of it home.

                                    We prefer thick crust pizza, but wanted to try Fratelli's. Maybe we'll return to give the pastas a try - now that we know how to get there!!!

                                     
                                     
                                     
                            2. scarberian Aug 19, 2010 06:59 PM

                              Update on Fratelli's. Went back tonight with the family and they started serving grilled octopus as a special appetizer. I decided to try it as I do love grilled seafood. It was great. Tender with just that hint of smoke. It was served simply... a tentacle and piece of the body on a small bed of greens, slightly drizzled with olive oil and a wedge of lemon. I wish they had an entree version. I asked one of the owners about this dish becoming a regular menu item and he told me that it's gotten such good reviews from customers that they will be putting it on the regular menu in January. For an entree I order the linguine mare which had just enough sauce and filled with mussels, calamari (but only had 3 pieces of shrimp ... is there some sort of shortage out there?). All in all excellent food again.

                              1. m
                                mango_madness Dec 12, 2013 06:16 PM

                                Has any one visited this restaurant lately? Thinking of going for lunch on a weekend. Any thing a must try on the menu? Thanks.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: mango_madness
                                  b
                                  baby_tran Dec 13, 2013 10:47 AM

                                  I went a few weeks ago and loved it. However, I think they're only open for lunch on Fridays (see hours on their website www.fratellis.ca).

                                  1. re: baby_tran
                                    Googs Dec 14, 2013 10:30 AM

                                    That's correct. No weekend lunch. mango_madness, I suspect the storm will keep the crowds away today (maybe). At any other time, you really won't experience much of a wait for a table no matter how backed up it appears.

                                    Must try's are anything they have listed as specials. Always terrific.

                                    In apps, the grilled octopus octopus when the have it or the grilled calamari when they don't. Warm up with the stracciatella. Nice that there's a place that knows how to make that soup without it looking like you left a kleenex in the laundry. The Antipasto Fratelli is quite nice too and, again, so nice to see that on a menu and properly done.

                                    In mains I, quite frankly haven't met a pizza, pasta, or risotto I haven't liked so just go with your taste.

                                    Do not miss the locally made, small batch gelato. They really undersell it. This is gelato they way you wish it was every time.

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