Rosari-no’s

Rosario’s Pizza &Pub

11715 108 AVE Edmonton

rosarios

People say that I am too generous with my reviews. In order to remedy this, I am gonna write about a place with very few redeeming qualities (i assure you that I can find some though).

Rosario’s is a Karaoke bar (strike one) and restaurant in north/central Edmonton. The pizza is the worst (strike two), and doesn’t deserve much of a review. In short: too much dough, thick crust, minimal cheese and sauce. Dry.

The entrance to this neighbourhood pub is guarded like it was The Ranch, but its guts look like a Boston Pizza. It also has a huge Karaoke screen with a………why am even writing about this place?!

The pizza is bad, don’t go there for that. The Karaoke is bad, don’t go there for that. The non-karaoke side of the bar looked alright with a bunch of pool tables I think (ball one).

Two¬†strikes and a ball isn’t technically a strike-out, but this is no friendly game of baseball: this place is bad.

(Quick note: According to foodpages.ca, Rossario’s is an “UnVerified Pizza Restaurant”. )

Next post will be about a better place.

Published in: on May 29, 2009 at 12:52 am  Comments (3)  
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“In the world of football, it’s called the Granddaddy of Them All”

250px-Rose_Bowl_Game_logo

The Rose Bowl

10111-117 Street, Edmonton

Just north of Jasper Avenue, on 117 Street, there used to be a bar slash pizza joint called the Rose Bowl. It was home to one of the city’s finest pies and watering hole for many of its oddest citizens. Six years ago, I was living in a house 56 steps (not my count) from the Rose Bowl, and needless to say, it became a large part of my life. Most nights either began or ended there and, with a good friend tending bar, the Rose Bowl seemed like an extension of my living arrangement.

As a bar, the Rose Bowl was your standard neighbourhood pub: Karaoke on Thursdays (hosted by Mike McDonald of Maibu Kens fame), open Mic on Saturdays, and sadness during the week. On the weekends a younger crowd would mix with the older regulars, and it was usually a lot of fun.

As a pizza joint, the Rose Bowl was amazing. They were not trying to re-write the book as far as toppings/specials are concerned (I did not try the seafood special though), but they knew how to put together a good pizza. Any pie was made twice as nice with the addition of their secret Spicy Sauce option. That stuff was key. On the off-chance that you forgot to ask for the Spicy Sauce, your pizza experience was, simply put, “less-than”.

The Rose Bowl ‘za was literally the stuff of legend. According to my lovable (but gullible) bartender friend, Sarah Mclaughlin would demand Rose Bowl’s pizza when in-town, and an Edmonton ex-pat living overseas had once paid to have a 12 inch flown to his new home in Germany.

In 2006 or so, the Rose Bowl Pizza and Bar – a downtown Edmonton institution – underwent an awkward re-branding. The broken tables were replaced with fancy booths, its name was changed to the Rouge Lounge, and its regular crowd of older men, was replaced with, well, nobody. The Rose Bowl had gone from a modest neighbourhood pub to a fake-club with a disingenuous website.

The pizza is bassically the same under the new bowl order, and you can still order the Spicy Sauce, but it doesn’t taste the same to me.

Pizzeria!

According to Urbandictionay.com, Pizzarrhea is defined as “the sudden onset of diarrhea by means of the consumption of pizza, be it bad or otherwise”.

According to their Facebook page, Edmonton Band Pizzarrhea! is “a band with no members. Pizzarrhea! is musical menstration [sic]”

The songs on Pizzarrhea!’s mySpace page do not sound like they would translate into a live performance. They are drone-y, experimental and abrasive. The following picture however, proves that Pizzarrhea has indeed performed live, and the link after it proves that a Pizzarrhea! live performance is a very weird thing.

pizzahhrea

AND

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pizzarrhea/7034326201?v=photos&viewas=0

Weird.

Published in: on May 17, 2009 at 5:56 pm  Comments (4)  
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Mother’s Day Editon

photo-00501The Crown Pub

10709 109 Street

When my parents first moved to Edmonton in the early 80’s to start a family (yes, people do that here) they used to hang out at the Crown Pub. Because of this, I have always romanticized the pub as a place where the two would have dug-in their roots; they got drunk at the Crown, they danced at the Crown, they fought at the Crown, and they made up at the Crown. I just hope they avoided the pizza.

30 years later, the Crown still stands on the North East corner of 109 st and 107 Ave, and so far, all that has come of my parent’s new life together is a son’s (short lived?) pizza blog.

The pizza at the Crown is really greasy and not very good at all. My vegetarian pizza was loaded with toppings not commonly found on veg pizza (spinach, feta, pineapple), which was nice, but the canned mushrooms do not get a pass! I get the impression though, that the new owners are trying to shed their skin as a pizza joint (new look: latin food), and therefore may not be putting their efforts into the pizza.

As a bar/club however, The Crown is great! A pool table, a foosball table,  Area 51, and Table-Top Breakout. Also, with a mini-stage, full drum kit and PA, the Crown is perfectly set up as a live music venue. They also have a full DJ set-up with turntables, a mixer, and a half expedit of records behind the booth! (before you get too excited, i already picked it over).

Staff was exceptionally nice also.

(quick edit: While eating, we were entertained by an Open mic-er’s warm up strumming. It was 5:30. The Open Mic started at 8 )

Go to the Crown……Don’t eat the pizza…..Book a show/DJ night there.

Next post: finally getting to some Pizza Punk……

Published in: on May 14, 2009 at 2:27 pm  Comments (4)  
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“Cool it Coyote, I’m the Roadrunner Running things”

roadrunner2

Roadrunner Pizza and Donair

Whyte Ave location (9938-82 Ave), Edmonton

Peace to Chi-Ali for the headline; hold your head.

Roadrunner pizza is really good. Better than most, but probably not the best.

Roadrunner Pizza has a few locations in Edmonton: a West end location, two in Millwoods, and one on Whyte Ave. There may be more, but I hit up the latter.

I ordered the standard: a small mushroom pizza with extra sauce. Because Roadrunner is a pick-up place (no sitting and eating), and because the Empress Ale House is right next door, I took it for take out.

Cheese is thick but great (Roadrunner motto: “Guaranteed More Cheese”). Crust is perfectly baked and far from greasy. The most notable part of the ‘za is its sweet tasting sauce.

Great pizza.

When I called in my order, Mrs. Roadrunner tried to up-sell me from a Small to a Large. I was confused at first, but it made perfect sense when I realized that the “Walk-In Special” (large, one-topping pizza for $7.99) was less expensive than my small pizza!

Great Pizza…..Do the pick-up Special.

Published in: on May 7, 2009 at 5:45 pm  Comments (2)  
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“First Post Ever, I murk out Happy Joe’s (he’s my man though)” – subtle Cam’ron reference

Happy Joe’s Pizza

8424 109 Street, Edmonton

Happy Joe’s Pizza is one of my favorite bars in the city. I wish I could speak as highly about their pizza.

Once Parkallen Pizza, Happy Joe’s Pizza is one of the many joints slanging ‘za in the Garneau area. Their pizza is classic Garneau fare: thick rubbery cheese, grease-shined crust and mediocre (but very pass-able) taste. I don’t want to get too caught up on their food though, I would much rather focus on Happy Joe’s friendly staff, great drinks and perfect setting.

Happy Joe himself (i am going to assume that’s his name) is very friendly and kind to customers. The only beer on tap is from local brewers Alley Cat which is really refreshing to see.

Importantly, Happy Joe’s is a really quiet and relaxing bar. The main floor has 2 TVs, often set to different stations (which, considering how small it is, is amazing) If you happen to be the only person on the main floor, it is easy to feel right at home. The second floor is more of a dinning room area and is also very comfortable. No music.

Great Place.

ps: Apparently, it is mandatory to have at least one Cam’ron reference per blog…..

Published in: on May 1, 2009 at 12:55 am  Comments (4)  
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