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So I finally tried Queen Margherita Pizza

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Annette location.
A Margherita, $14

First, something good.
Very pretty waitresses

Now not the so cutie pie.
A thinnish, soft, spongy, flaccid crust. Tasted like charred, yeasty, otherwise undercooked Wonderbread.
I asked if the crust is usually this way and was assured that this is how they make it here. I asked if others complain and was told that some do.
I sent back most of the pie. I got another in replacement, much more cooked indeed, heavily charred.
I was told that it was best eaten while still hot. Sure, then you can't taste anything.
The crust on the new pie tasted only of char, except for the thicker roll forming the edge. This was still spongy and yeasty.
An afterglow of queasiness and regret.

Good for a yuppy seven year old.
Designed as a money factory, both the room and the menu.
Real balls to think that on what they serve they need over 100 seats.
But you know, they are in the business, not me.

Picea997, Dupont and Dovercourt, is miles better. In a different league.

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  1. Vinnie is this your 1st time trying Authentic Neopolitan Pizza? Have you been to Libretto? I'm asking because I'm wondering if you didn't like Queen Margherita, or if you just don't like this style of pizza in general.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kwass

      Was wondering the same thing , however, if he IS a fan of the style and something was amiss here specifically, then that is worrysome

      1. re: duckdown

        lol, fat chance.

    2. I haven't been here, but I am a die hard fan of the authentic margherita pizza.. and I've been told they do it well here.. I have them ANYWHERE I go that offers it as a menu option, as long as they use the fresh whole mozzerella and have a wood burning pizza oven. This is still on my want-to-try list, regardless

      1. I'm going to come to the defense of Vinnie here a little bit. I live pretty close to the Annette location of Queen Margherita, and I've been a total of about 6-7 times now. Like all pizza places in the city, it suffers from inconsistency. I have had a pizza at Queen Margherita similar to what Vinnie mentioned and it was not good at all. I have had terrible pizza at Pizzeria Libretto too, and delicious pizza (usually delicious).
        On most of my occasions at Queen Margherita, the pizza was lovely, (which is why I go back time after time), and I am familiar with Neapolitan pizza and the fact that it isn't "crispy". Most of the time, the dough is delicious, well cooked and not "yeasty and undercooked". However, there are so many factors that go into making a great dough, and sometimes, like everywhere I have found, they drop the ball a bit.
        Maybe Queen Margherita was having an off-night and Vinnie, I think you should give them another try...just don't go Sunday evenings, when you are more apt to run into those yuppy seven year olds. :)

        14 Replies
        1. re: icey

          I wasn't attacking Vinnie. I was just curious if it was the style of pizza that he disliked, or QMP in particular.

          1. re: kwass

            Sorry kwass, wasn't responding just to you. More so, in general to everyone that was wondering about whether Vinnie knows or even likes what Neapolitan pizza is. Having had an "undercooked and yeasty" pizza myself at Queen Margherita, I just wanted to share my experience as well.

            1. re: icey

              Thanks Icey for your sharing your experience at QMP. I've heard a myriad of comments about QMP, Libretto, and Pizza e Pazi on it being too spongey and soggy. Sometimes it does come down to a misunderstanding of the pizza type. Most people are brainwashed to thinking it's either Pizza Hut greasy and hard pan pizza or the cracker thin crunchy Terroni type. My in-laws are this way (ARGH). Your comments show that you know the difference between good and bad Neapolitan pizza. Of the 3 Neapolitan places, which one is your favourite (ignoring restaurant distance)?

              Also I'm wondering if Vinnie meant 'guppy' 7 year olds. ;)

              1. re: Nevy

                or maybe grumpy 7 year olds?

                1. re: justsayn

                  Gumpy?

                2. re: Nevy

                  Hi Nevy,
                  Unfortunately, I haven't been to Pizza e Pazzi yet. I feel that Libretto probably has the edge over QMP for their interesting toppings. I like the dough at QMP when they actually get it right. I think that the best sauce that I have tried on any pizza is Pizzeria Defina on Roncesvalles.
                  And finally, one of the better overall pizzas I have had recently has been Motorino in Woodbridge. Beautiful leoparding on the crust, tasty dough, and nice fresh toppings.
                  Now too bad we can't get one place that can combine it all together and consistantly!
                  I don't mind the crunchy style pizza either because it is closer to what I get in Northern Italy when I visit my inlaws. For that, I really like Mangia & Bevi.

                  Do you suggest that I give Pizza e Pazzi a try?

                  1. re: icey

                    Some people like Pizza e Pazzi, but I wasn't impressed @ all. I found their's to be the worst of the bunch. The pizza was practically raw in the centre and really watery. Maybe it was an off day, I'm not sure...but I haven't been back. It didn't help that the arancini were also stone cold in the centre.

                    1. re: kwass

                      Kwass ... if my experience was like yours, I'd never return either. That sounds like a horrible experience and I would send the dish back to the kitchen.

                      1. re: Nevy

                        I don't remember if I sent it back to the kitchen. I think I was so disappointed I just decided never to go back.

                        1. re: kwass

                          : (

                    2. re: icey

                      Thank you for all the potential pizza places I can bring my daughter to! She's an uninitiated pizza eater and the only exposure she had was a school pizza delivered by Little Caesar one time. I want her to try the best Toronto can offer so she knows what 'good' is!

                      When I went a some time ago to PIzza e Pazzi, I did enjoy everything. The crust was flavourful with the right amount of char, crunch but also air pockets in the crust to give a nice chew. The toppings were good... not too little and not too much. Just the right amount to not overwhelm the pizza but not too little to feel like you're getting ripped off. Also, my good friend LOVES Pizza e Pazzi ... she literally goes once a month for years. She loves it because the crust has the leoparding spots above while still not overcharring the bottom and making it a cardboard. She also really likes many of the appetizers and speaks well of the service.

                      That being said... you can tell from Kwass and Justsayn that consistency might throw you off. It doesn't appear to be rock solid but then again, it doesn't seem QMP and PL is consistent either. I would really like to hear your thoughts on whether Pizza e Pazzi has held up well over time and compares to your list.

                      I've heard of Motorino as being a 'must go' place in Woodbridge. Now it's definitely on my list of places to try because of your note.

                      1. re: Nevy

                        Adding yet another personal opinion into this obviously subjective mix...on my one visit to QMP (original location) years ago, I had seriously lacklustre service and a very mediocre pizza. I also never went back. I've been to Pizza e Pazzi twice - friendly service and good, but not great, pizza. For me, Pizzeria Libretto (both locations) is the clear winner - love the dough, the charring and crispy/chewy balance, the toppings and the chili oil. They also have wonderful salads and soups, good calamari and some tasty fried gnocchi with creme fraiche and chives. And I'm not sure how old your daughter is but the kid-friendly factor at PL, and their service in general, is off the charts wonderful. You can make reservations at the Danforth location.

                        1. re: peppermint pate

                          I had a very similar experience as pp and GG at QMP.
                          Surly service.meh pizza they ran out of lettuce(the night before) for the pre fixe menu(whatsamatta you can't run to the fricken' store or something?) One visit was enough for me.
                          Libretto was much better and Fabbrica had a very good Neapolitan pie($20.00.. a little spendy for me)

                          1. re: peppermint pate

                            but were the waitresses really cute???

                            ENQUIRING MINDS WANNA KNOW!

              2. I went to QMP once cuz most people here raved about it. After a long wait, we got a luke warm pizza w/ a soggy, soupy center w/ toppings lumped in piles around the pie instead of being spread evenly around. Service was slow and minimal. I could've gone back and given them another chance, but at that price point and considering my other pizza options, I chose not to.

                6 Replies
                1. re: GoodGravy

                  I am opening a new place called "Awesome Food 98% of the Time". I do hope you'll stop by during the 98% !!!

                  1. re: justsayn

                    If most places had awesome food 98% of the time, they would be "batting" much better than most. I rarely have awesome food anywhere, and have never had it at Pizza Libretto, for example. (I've eaten at the Carlaw and Danforth location four times) . I ate at QMP about 2 years back, and honestly can't even remember anything about it other than it definitely wasn't awesome!

                    1. re: foodyDudey

                      Well let's face it, it does come down to individual taste too.

                      In the past two years, I have had great luck at PL Twice out of maybe 10 tries. I get dragged there albeit with a very open mind wanting to find the magic.

                      I have had awesome pizza at QMP (Queen E) maybe 14 out of 16 tries.

                      And PeP (original location) - 12 out of 15 tries.

                      I have not had a disappointed companion at neither QMP nor PeP.

                    2. re: justsayn

                      On the off chance I stop by during the 2% time, can I pay 2% of the bill? How about we split the difference and I pay 50% of the bill?

                      1. re: GoodGravy

                        Deal GG!

                        1. re: justsayn

                          The only time I worried that I was going to have to send back a pizza at QMP was when we sat near the oven and watched a beautiful steaming pizza sit on the counter for many minutes while the servers cavorted mindlessly around the restaurant.

                          A pizza coming out of a 700+F blast furnace needs to be served immediately. Luckily, those pizzas I watched getting soggy and cold on the counter went to someone else. Mine always turned out amazing.

                          As I have mentioned before, and pointed out to the management, they should have a dedicated pizza runner. Let the waiters take the orders, chat, and serve items not time sensitive.

                  2. Folks, one of our mantras is rate chow -- not chowhounds. We removed a bunch of posts here that were discussing Vinnie and other posters, rather than Queen Margherita Pizza.

                    If you have your own experiences at QMP to share we hope you will, but please avoid sharing your opinions of your fellow hounds. Thanks.

                    10 Replies
                    1. re: The Chowhound Team

                      QMP & Libretto are a certain authentic style of pizza. Many are complaining about not liking the pizza when it's the Neapolitano style that they don't like. As such i find many of the criticisms unwarranted. Go to Napoli and you will see these 2 Toronto restos duplicate the style perfectly and authentically. In fact, at one point, QMP decided to stop slicing the pizza, as is the custom in Napoli (ie people fold it to eat it instead) but many conplained so they reverted back to slicing it. So I guess you can only be so authentic!

                      1. re: Flexitarian

                        I agree wholeheartedly Flexitarian!!

                        1. re: Flexitarian

                          Wait, what do you mean that people fold the pizza in Napoli? The entire pizza?? I've heard of folding a large slice, but a whole pizza? And then eating it like an enormous taco? Am I misunderstanding this?

                          1. re: Michael N

                            A Neapolitan pizza is usually about 12" in diameter and is made for one person. If you fold it over, it's silimar in size to a panzerotto.

                            1. re: foodyDudey

                              Terroni doesn't slice their pizza either. It's a trend that I'm not crazy about.

                              1. re: kwass

                                That would irritate the hell out of me. Good thing I don't spend my dough there

                              2. re: foodyDudey

                                Yeah, I've had Neapolitan pizzas, and despite its smaller size it never in a million years would have occurred to pick the entire thing up, fold it, and then take a bite. It strikes me as somewhat comical, but I did some googling and apparently that is a real thing so maybe I'll try it at some point.

                                1. re: Michael N

                                  http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/780741

                                  1. re: justsayn

                                    Interesting. I never thought of the "libretto" connection in the name Pizza Libretto...

                                    Personally I would never think to fold a whole pizza, seems like it is a mess waiting to happen but one day I shall try it :)

                            2. re: Flexitarian

                              Disagree. QMP and Libretto have not in any way" duplicated the style perfectly and authentically". Sure it's a similar style but it taste very different.. Italians usually cut there pizza in half and then fold.

                          2. are all locations the same? i made reservations for saturday dinner at the leslieville spot (since it's been on my list for quite some time) and i'm now getting nervous.

                            i'm not a picky pizza eater, but i do love a well made dough/crust along with the appropriate toppings!

                            1. I fancy myself as a small authority on breads. Just as obnoxious as any wine snob.

                              I have never been to Naples, but I have been to Niagara Falls NY. That's where I go to my favourite pizza place, Buzzy's, Military Trail. The owner is a woman, now older, from Italy who had lived some years in Hamilton. Been going there for 25 years. Most recently not quite as good; I think that they changed the flour.
                              I have never been able to get them to tell me anything about how they make the crust other than that they use a high gluten flour and chill the dough with ice water as they knead it.
                              I usually get the white pizza.

                              Pizza Pizza is OK for what it is and at the price. I ask for crisp and am adamant about their not putting any Italian (sic) spicing on the thing. At least not offensive. The $ 5.00 whole wheat crust ones are a step up depending on the location. I sometimes even quite like them.

                              As for Neapolitan pizza, I was surprised and disappointed when the first one that I ordered didn't come in three colours. I should have gone to Naples if I wanted authentic..

                              In order to be armed before I posted negatively about a popular favourite I called my friend Joe who is from south of Rome and knows his grub. He agreed with me. I got further confirmation the next day from two Italian friends born further south. So I reiterate. The pizza was crap. According to any cooking culture that I know. And the reason I posted was because of the big BS factor- and commensurate price- that came with it. The pizza's failure began by using a flour that was too white.
                              In my mind it would be appreciated by 7 year old yuppie spawn. (Happy now? I edited badly when I posted.). On the replacement pizza the crust was cooked more and tasted only of char. Which was better, and it did mask the taste of the too white flour. But I can make a cheese and tomato sandwich on burned Wonderbread toast for a lot less and more conveniently.

                              The best of the Neapolitan lot that I have had is at Picea997, Dupont and Dovercourt, where it was quite good.
                              There is a Groupon coupon available now!

                              Hey guys, how did the simplest piece of bread with some stuff on top end up attracting the same 'tude as fine wine? And become such crap, in whatever style, in Toronto? Don't tell me that it is because Toronto doesn't have the special water that's used in NYC pizza.

                              3 Replies
                              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                                Your posts always make me smile.

                                1. re: magic

                                  ... and they always make me laugh. :)

                                  1. re: justxpete

                                    ;)