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Now available: Chicago-style deep dish pizza - downtown Toronto

So Trevor Wilkinson and a partner have opened an online-only deep dish pizza joint:

http://www.parlourdeepdishpizza.com/

Corey Mintz talks about the "oops, it was supposed to be a secret" here:

http://www.thestar.com/living/food/ar...

Delivery only, through OrderIt.ca. Should be interesting, because I have not had good experiences with OrderIt. The food takes way too long to get delivered, and is often cold by the time you get it. Good Chicago pizza needs to be fresh and hot to get the most out of the buttery crust.

Would love to hear a report if anyone tries it this weekend!

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  1. Actually, one correction to your post TorontoJo. I think the "Charlie Burger" reference was only because he managed to keep his secret for 2 years for not even one day for this spot. I don't think he is involved.

    Yeah, will be interesting to see how it works/how the pizza is.

    1 Reply
    1. re: ylsf

      Yes, you're absolutely right! That's what I get for reading the article at 7am. :) I'm still within the post edit window, so I'll fix it.

    2. I would be interested in seeing how they package this to avoid a box that looks like a pizza exploded inside it. It's only a theoretical question, because they don't deliver to my area.

      1. Not sure how big they are but $25 for a "Classic" Mozzarella, Sausage and tomato sauce seems like a lot (to me). Mickey's Pizza is significantly cheaper.

        Plus I wouldn't eat it delivered...it's gotta be hot and fresh out of the oven.

        -----
        Mickey's Pizza
        1900 Lakeshore Rd W, Mississauga, ON L5J 4B4, CA

        5 Replies
        1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

          Regarding the size:

          "Parlour’s deep-dish pizzas are baked in 10-inch cake pans to build a wall of crust nearly four centimetres high. There are three menu options — sausage and cheese, smoked chicken and spinach, ratatouille and mushrooms — and each pizza weighs nearly a kilogram."

          1. re: LUV_TO_EAT

            Yup, Mickey's Pizza, feed the dragon, is one of the best pizzas in the GTA.

            I drive from Warden and Steeles to get their pies. They have tols me, that people from as far as Newmarket come to them for the pies also.

            1. re: stv

              Is Mickey's on par with real Chicago Deep Dish pizza? Like Giordanos or Lou Malnati's? My SO is a transplant and has a serious craving...

              1. re: HelloBeautiful

                No idea, never been to the Windy city.

                The owner is a pizza nut. Had a great conversation with him and her, while waiting, it seems every place they traveled to is a planned pizza pie exploration.

                The way he talks about the dough, sounds just like stevel6, from this thread:
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/507079

                The dough is great, not greasy, not dry, just great.

                I am glad they are far from me.

                They have great pricing also.

                THE SILVER DEAL,TWIN DRAGONS (create your own
                )two large pizzas
                7 delicious toppings combined
                (traditional crust only)
                feeds 4 - 6

                only $27 (includes 2 dragon dip)

                THE GOLD DEAL, DOUBLE DRAGONS (TWO SIGNATURES)

                any two large signature pizzas, any style
                killer king or Traditional
                feeds 4 - 6

                only $32 (includes 2 dragon dip)

                THE PLATINUM DEAL, ENTER THE DRAGON (THREE SIGNATURES)
                any three large signature pizzas, any style
                killer king or Traditional
                feeds 6 - 10

                only $45 (includes 3 dragon dip)

                Its worth the drive.

                http://www.feedyourdragon.com

                1. re: stv

                  Alright, I've been convinced. Will report back when I go!

          2. I emailed them to ask about their delivery zone and got an almost instantaneous reply.

            Dufferin St to Dupont St-> St Clair Ave W (Moore Ave) -> O’Connor -> Pape Ave -> Danforth Ave -> Woodbine Ave -> Lake Ontario and back to Dufferin St.

            Here is a rough estimate I mocked up on google maps... now it isn't accurate because I have not idea how they decided to get from dupont to st clair, or moore ave to pape.
            http://bit.ly/niLxr4

            -----
            St Clair Restaurant
            69 St Clair St, Chatham, ON N7L3H8, CA

            4 Replies
            1. re: flying101

              I ordered the pizza today...
              Unfortunately I didn't have my camera, so these are cell phone pics...

              Both Pizzas
              http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz...
              Classic
              http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz...
              Smoked Chicken
              http://www.flickr.com/photos/lricharz...

              Review.
              The pizza didn't arrive hot, so I put it in the oven. The size and amount of toppings isn't very good and filling. As for the toppings, the sauce is very good, the sausage tasty. I didn't like the smoked chicken, however others eating preferred it over the classic.

              The biggest let down, the crust. It wasn't very buttery and pie like, from my experience in the states (new york and chicago) this was my favourite part of the pizza. The dense buttery and sometimes flakey crust was what made the pizza.

              but It is their 3rd day open, so they still are growing and can make changes, I will give them another try further down the road. Right now I wouldn't recommend it, wait a bit.

                1. re: flying101

                  Flying 101, great pictures, thanks! You're right about the crust. I remember clearly how buttery, flaky and crispy the Chicago deep dish pizzas were. Kind of hard to describe .... Once you've had Chicago pizza, regular pizza can't compare.

              1. We're planning to try to this Saturday night and will report back. $25 for a deep dish isn't bad at all as long as the quality is solid. Keep in mind, you're usually stuffed after two slices.

                1. I tried them last night. I got the classic pizza, with sausage, tomato sauce, and cheese. They added a 15% tip and a $7 delivery charge to the order. thus my order in total came to $40 after tax.

                  I won't offer a review of the pizza as the toppings were not what I like. There was a lot of sausage and I am not a big meat eater. I can say it wasn't greasy, and the sauce tasted great. If one was a big meat eater, I would assume it would be enjoyable.

                  The cost is just too high. Even with more veggie toppings, like I enjoy, I would not order from this place again. I have eaten at Chicago Style Pizza in Hamilton many times and this pizza was twice as expensive and half as good. I can hold out a few months until I can eat at CSP again, rather than eat from Parlour.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: JDAWG

                    @JDAWG: What other pizza do you recommend?

                  2. I had the smoked chicken tonight. It showed up after almost 90 minutes and fairly cold, but I expected this being in Leslieville with the Gardiner closed, and 10 minutes in the oven at 350 did the trick.

                    I've eaten my share in Chicago, including Lou Malnati's, and I think Parlour definitely shows promise. The crust for me was a standout - certainly not as over-the-top buttery and flaky as the best Chicago places, but it's in the neighbourhood, and my wife (who'd never had Chicago deep dish before) fell in love with the crust. The smoked chicken was another highlight, really moist and flavourful thigh meat, and paired with some high-quality goat cheese it was a superb combo. The tomato sauce was quite good too, it's of the cooked herby variety, but the one thing I thought the pizza lacked was the layer of fresh uncooked tomato sauce on the top. I've always liked that acidic brightness, not to mention that layer protects the mozz on top from browning and helps it get super melty. This pie was certainly not as saucy and DEFINITELY not as cheesy as Chicago versions, with the mozzarella applied fairly sparingly. The scaled-down cheese is maybe not such a bad thing in my book though, sometimes after my second piece of a pie in Chicago I start looking around to see if there is a defibrillator in the place. Parlour's pie is a bit thinner and perhaps slightly hybridized for this market, and I can see it being successful. But I would like a bit more melty gooey goodness to the cheese. A thin layer of hand-crushed salted San Marzanos on the top would get it done, boys.

                    Would I order it again, absolutely. It's on the upper end of of what I like to pay for delivery with Orderit.ca's fees driving it up to $40, and I think if they continue on and open a place they'll be better served being able to deliver a pie for under $30. But I do understand that the ingredients are fairly top-notch and don't mind paying a premium, as opposed to some Chinatown Cheap Chicken Breast pizza that's all dried-out gross hormones and tastes like failure. I'd also like to try the sausage, as that's pretty much the measuring stick for Chicago pie, but I'll need to do that on my own time as my wife doesn't dig on swine.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: childofthestorm

                      I believe hormones in chicken have been banned in Ontario for about 20 years!

                    2. We had a Classic delivered tonight and really thought it was fantastic. We're around Yonge/Bloor so our pie arrived hot. The style is very similar to Lou Malnati's. On the bottom there was some cheese, then a full layer of tasty sausage that had a spice great kick to it. Not just some sausage here and there, but a full layer of it. Then there was more cheese and a delicious, chunky red sauce on top. The crust was crispy and a bit lighter than most deep dish crust that I've experienced.

                      The cheese was on the lighter side, but the awesome tomato sauce more than made up for it. This isn't the stuffed style that Spiro served up in Maple, so not as much cheese involved. As has been mentioned, it's $40 tax, tip and delivery which is pretty steep. We enjoyed it enough that we'd gladly order again but would probably hold out for an orderit.ca discount code. Aside from the price this pie was a winner.

                      1. A friend ordered one last night (in Leslieville area) and said the pizza arrived after about 80 minutes and it was stone cold. I guess they don't have heated bags? Do the orderit people have insulated bags atleast?

                        Curious to see how things go.

                        Saw Spiro at the Delicious Food show today... He seems like a nice guy, hope he gets his pizza business going again so I can finally try it out.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ylsf

                          The delivery guy tonight had an insulated bag with him at the door.

                        2. I'm originally from Chicago and have eaten at most of the deep dish pizza places in Chicago. I think it's funny that they call this Original Chicago Style deep-dish pizza, but the toppings include smoked chicken and ratatouille!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: sake

                            Hi sake, This is Jesse Vallins, the chef behind the deep dish pizza at Parlour. Just to clarify, we don't call this "Original Chicago Style deep-dish pizza", it doesn't say that anywhere on our website and none of us have been quoted calling it that. We simply call it deep-dish pizza. I've been to Chicago and had lots of deep-dish pizza and I'm fully aware that no pizza place in Chicago would use smoked chicken or ratatouille on their pizzas. We just came up with toppings that we like and that we would want to eat.

                            Seeing as you are from Chicago, if you do ever order from us, I'd love to get your feedback.

                          2. I find it strange that they are online only and they add a delivery charge to your order. Why not include the delivery charge in the price of the pie? $40 seems very steep for a pizza.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: principessa del pisello

                              Hi, Orderit.ca who is managing all of the deliveries charges for delivery and they also automatically add in a tip for $4.50. You can change the latter and it is just at the last step. I think they would be more successful if they figured out delivery on their own but probably a heck of a lot easier right now to go through orderit.ca

                              We ordered the meat one on Friday plus the artichoke appetizer. We both loved the artichoke appetizer. I found the meat one to be too meaty? Loved the tomato sauce. I would definitely try it again. I've never had Chicago pizza so nothign to compare it too but nice to have another 'pizza option' for delivery.

                            2. If you "like" orderIt dot ca on their facebook page, they will email you a $5 off coupon code. This could take some of the sting out of the steep delivery fee for those looking to check this out. A service rep emails it manually so make sure you do the facebook stuff a couple of days before you intend to order.

                              http://www.facebook.com/#!/Orderit

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: abigllama

                                Jesse, chef behind the deep dish pizza asked for feedback, happy to provide my experience yesterday. Despite my misgivings (I share Luv to Eat's concerns about delivered pizza), I ordered a classic pizza ($25). Promised delivery within an hour. After about 90 minutes (6:39 p.m.), I wrote an email asking where it was. At 6:50 p.m. a "customer" service guy at orderit.ca called to ask how I was "enjoying my meal". I told him it hadn't been delivered yet, he insisted it had at 6;30 p.m. A couple of minutes after I hung up, the pizza arrived - cold. I called back to be told that the pizza had been delivered at 6:30 p.m. Now I am not sure in what alternate universe orderit.ca exists where time stands still at 6;30 and it's ok to deliver pizzas cold, but to me nothing says customer service like being told you are a liar. So Jesse, the pizza looked good (despite one piece having flipped on its side from the tender care of the driver). Unfortunately I had to heave it in the garbage and I am out $40, which includes tip and delivery (since I paid by Visa in advance, fool that I am), and "customer" service insisted there would be no refund. So best of luck in your pizza endeavour, I am sure you make good pizzas but heaven knows I'll never have one.

                                1. re: soko

                                  Wow - so the customer service was bad...But how did it taste Soko before your heaved it.

                                  BTW here's the thread for those desiring to make their own Chicago Deep Dish Pizza for comparison sake. I have a posted recipe link in the thread...if you want a buttery crust, consider that the recipe has 1/2 cup of butter in the dough (with only 2 cups of flour).

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/507079

                                  Jesse...good luck on the venture, it's obvious Toronto is under served wrt CSP so put out a good product and hopefully you'll do well.

                                  1. re: soko

                                    That's typical of my experience with orderit.ca and why I was concerned from the outset. Chicago-style pizza HAS to be hot and fresh.

                                    1. re: TorontoJo

                                      I agree, I have never had a good orderit.ca experience -- even when I've ordered from places very close to where I live. Especially for the high delivery charge they institute, it is not worth it.

                                2. Thanks, for the comments, Luv to Eat, TorontoJo and Canadian Beaver, wish I had heeded your advice about delivery. I did take one bite of the cold pizza, which is not a fair basis on which to make a judgement unfortunately. I will leave to others who have a better experience than I to provide a more proper assessment. As a postscript I did receive another email with a half-hearted apology and then again repeating that dispatch showed the pizza being delivered 30 minutes before it actually showed up, followed by this statement: "it does appear he (the driver) may have provided him (dispatch) with incorrect information which was in turn, provided to you". Ya think??!! Anyways they offered me a "credit" for future purchases which is cold pizza to me, as I will never use orderit.ca again. I am encouraged by your responses to this as it bodes well for Toronto's often complacent attitudes to bad service or poor food. If we show our mettle by speaking up about these situations, things can only get better

                                  13 Replies
                                  1. re: soko

                                    I am wondering why you didn't try to re-heat the pizza and taste it warmed up again? Were you worried that the temp had dropped so much that it wasn't safe to eat anymore? It sounds like everyone has been getting their pizza cold except for once person.

                                    Sounds like Orderit.ca is going to be the demise of this experiment. They might get a lot of "curiosity" orders to start but demand probably won't last. Hope they look into other delivery options.

                                    1. re: ylsf

                                      What I was wondering too. Mine showed up cold but looked so damn tasty I was watching it reheat in the oven and getting all excited. If my wife had tried to dump it in the trash I would have wrestled it out of her hands.

                                      Too bad about the Orderit.ca experience. I hope these guys succeed enough that they can hire a delivery guy or two and just DIY it.

                                      1. re: childofthestorm

                                        I don’t think I’ve ever met a reheated pizza I liked. To me reheated pizza is unappetizing. I wouldn’t eat it. I’d give it away and rant and rave like a lunatic to Orderit.ca. They would definitely know I was unhappy.

                                        But I would not re-warm it in the oven. To me at least it’s like reheating french fries. It doesn’t work.

                                        1. re: magic

                                          Non-deep dish is kind of disappointing to me as well when it's reheated. (Room temp or straight from the fridge is another matter.) I'm guessing reheating a deep dish would do odd things to its crust, but still....to throw away pizza... :)

                                          1. re: Pincus

                                            I would give it away or let the squirrels and birdies enjoy :)

                                            Then I would stomp and yell and give someone hell.

                                            1. re: Pincus

                                              How are you reheating the pizza? If you heat your oven up to the 400/450 F. zone (convection oven works best) and have a pizza stone or even a cookie sheet heating in the oven, you get pretty good results. Especially if you like a crispy crust. Also helps if your pizza is undercooked a little to begin with.

                                              1. re: Pantz

                                                For deep dish, I wonder about what the increased moisture content of the toppings/sauce would do when reheated, though. A lot of steam micropockets, or one big steam cloud under and around the crust is my guess.

                                                1. re: Pincus

                                                  New nanotech processes allow the creation of pizza with "steam nanopockets" which eliminate the steam cloud you mentioned.

                                                  1. re: foodyDudey

                                                    I laughed when I read all the messages on reheating the pizza. Yes, I tossed it, I don't like reheated pizza, it never tastes the same, and I never eat it cold in the morning for breakfast either. But really, folks, why would I or anyone fork over $40 and end up having to cook or reheat a pizza, and investing in a pizza stone, and convection oven no less. Isn't that what I paid for, i.e. a fresh, hot pizza?

                                                    1. re: soko

                                                      Maybe this place should deliver unbaked or partially baked pizzas for $20 and include instructions on how to finish the job :-)

                                        2. Ordered lastnight and had a good experience. It arrived hot, at the exact time the Orderit system predicted when I placed the order.

                                          We tried the crispy artichokes with lemon garlic aioli to start. This was artichoke hearts (likely store-bought from the jar) lightly, barely deep fried, with a basic dipping sauce. I think the artichokes could have used a slight bit more coating, and the aioli a bit more lemon and garlic flavour.

                                          Tried the vegetarian pie, with ratatouille and mushrooms. First, I will give readers the fair warning that I have never been to Chicago and have not eaten much deep dish before. The crust was buttery, but not flaky. There was a good amount of cheese, enough to make the vegetarian pie still quite indulgent. The cheese was topped with a nice mix of chopped mushrooms, eggplant, onion and zucchinis (green and yellow), mixed with a healthy amount of tomato sauce. The pizza was incredibly filling - to eat more than two slices is a challenge, even for a very hungry person.

                                          We tried a dessert, the dark chocolate and caramel torte with peanut butter mousse. This was essentially a small round chocolate cake (not dense enough to be a brownie, but similar) that came with sides of caramel sauce and light, creamy peanut butter mousse. It was decent but not drop-dead.

                                          I would order again, but go straight for the pizza and skip the apps/dessert. I would also venture to say that the pizza could feed three people. The two of us could only eat about half of it, especially with the other courses.

                                          1. I ordered this a couple days ago and it was ok...yes it was a deep dish pizza and I accept that they're not trying to make it "Chicago-style", however I can't wrap my head around paying $40 for a 10" deep dish pizza that is delivered lukewarm.

                                            I think if this business is to survive they will have to find a cheaper way of getting it to the public instead of paying a $15 delivery charge on a $25 item. It's obvious there is a lot of interest, including from myself, but there is no way I'll order this again for $40

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: Sambot

                                              That's been our hesitation on trying the pizza, how unreliable orderit.ca is. For $15 delivery the pizza should be arriving hot and on time, every time. In the summer I'd prefer to do takeout and eat in the park across the street.

                                            2. I defintely do not reccomend Parlour Deep Dish Pizza.

                                              As soon as I opened pizza box, I was immediately disappointed. It was burnt.

                                              The bottom was burnt.

                                              The crust was burnt.

                                              And the whole top was burnt.

                                              It was actually so burnt that I could not even tell, that they got my order wrong! I ordered the "ratatouille & roasted mushrooms" deep dish pizza, because I am a VEGETARIAN, and only then did I realize that there was chicken on the pizza. They screwed up the order and delivered a "smoked chicken, spinach & goat cheese" pizza.

                                              1. Got an orderit.ca coupon code in email and were planning on having this tonight. The website sadly says that it is now closed "indefinitely". We really enjoyed the two pizzas we got and hope this resurfaces at some point.

                                                1. Parlour Pizza has be revived according to this post on BlogTO:

                                                  http://www.blogto.com/eat_drink/2012/...

                                                  For delivery or you can eat at the bar. Sounds like eating at the bar might solve a lot of the issues that people have posted about.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: ylsf

                                                    Anyone been to Trevor for Parlour pizza lately?