Project Pizza: Sparky’s

Pizza Project : Sparky’s
(306) 586-8338
3926 Gordon Rd, Regina SK, S4S 6W2

  

April 14th/2015 – Dining in

Order: Large half Spinach & Feta, half All-Dressed
Cost:
Slices consumed: 7
Beer: 2
Soggy crust: 0
Leftovers: Yes

When I worked at the bakery, I heard (and seen) many things happen as a result of Sparky’s and their late night dwellers. For those who may not know, bakery work usually starts at ungodly times in the night, and my particular shift started at either 4 or 2:30 am. Yeah, AM. When people were leaving the bar, I was trotting into work.

One of the perks of having to work so early was that I lived in very close proximity. My first apartment ever was a walk across the parking lot from Sparky’s. Ideal for late night pizza noms.

I have heard that their Spinach and Feta pizza was superb, and that is usually what I ordered when the craving hit me. If you’ve gathered anything from my Pizza Project posts so far, it’s that I hate soggy crust. Well, sorry Sparky’s, your pizza was always soggy. To the point where I would pop it into my own oven in my apartment to keep it from sopping all over the place.

From there, I didn’t care much for their pizza, and always ragged on it with my bakery buds. (Not to mention the countless drunkies peeing in the bushes, yelling at each other and doing the dirty in their truck. Yes, that has happened. And I’m not the only witness. #awkward)

But, as being part of this pizza project, I had to eat there again. Andy was super stoked on Sparky’s (I don’t know, a man thing I guess) and I demanded that we eat inside the restaurant as opposed to ordering out. We gathered ourselves up, hopping into Andy’s family sized boat car and sailed on to the south end.

We were pretty well the only people in the bar, minus the few guests plunking quarters into the VLTs or young’ns playing fooseball. I put dibbs on the spinach and feta, and Andy went for the motherlode of pizza: the all-dressed. We were both getting sick of having leftover pizza, so we opted for the half and half.

I dove for the Spinach & Feta first, and the first thing that hit me was the crispy cheese. Super awesome. And the crust was crispy! Score. We both agreed that eating in is the way to go, even if all that’s playing on the TVs are sports and you’re not really into sports.

“As far as this pizza project goes, so far this is my favourite. There’s like an inch thick layer of meat on here.” Andy devoured the All-Dressed pizza, he definitely digs it.

“The sauce is like, BBQ-ey and not too sweet. There’s far too much meat on this pizza for me, I feel like I’m eating a sandwich. I’m for sure a thin pizza gal.”

As we munched, Andy said a pretty remarkable thing, that I’m sure altered the Universe in some way. “I think this is my next Trifon’s.”

Say whaaaaat? Go Sparky’s!

All in all, Sparky’s redeemed themselves. The pizza was good, it was affordable and it was hot. Plus the crust on my spin&fet stayed crisp. The All-Dressed started to get soppy, because there was so much meat going on, it oozed all over the place. “Maybe there is too much meat on this pizza. Naaaaaahhhh.”

Boys.

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Project Pizza: Pizza Hut

Pizza Hut
(306) 791-3020
2525 Quance Street, Regina, SK S4V 2X8

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April 9/2015 – Dining in

Order: Small Pepperoni Lovers, Small Super Supreme. Creamy Garlic dip & Jalapeno Ranch Dip
Cost: $28.96
Slices consumed: 11
Beer: 0
Soggy crust: 0
Leftovers: Yes. Classic day old cold pizza in the morning.

Andy and I were debating on where we should go next. We thought about it for a while, before one of us said, ‘Screw it, let’s do Pizza Hut.’

But, there’s no way we would order delivery. Everyone KNOWS that Pizza Hut is notorious for soggy ( and oily ) crust. We decided to take a step back in time to our teens and eat inside a Pizza Hut establishment.

Crazy right? Do you all 90’s kids remember going to Pizza Hut for lunch and eating off their ‘all-you-can-eat’** pizza buffet? Where you would grab two or three slices, then have to wait until they brought out more, in the meantime filling up on iced tea? I do. Back then, that’s where we’d invade for birthday parties and after exams in Junior High. Andy was a delivery boy for Pizza Hut in his early years as a long haired 16 year old, zipping around Yorkton getting stiffed for tips. Needless to say, it was all very nostalgic.

We rolled up to the famous building, walked through those doors, and two things happened.

1. We were met with an over-whelming smell of fryer oil.
2. We were the only souls in the restaurant.

I guess their popularity really has gone down since I was a kid.

I do have ‘high’ standards about cleanliness and customer service, and I have learned to not expect much from certain places, but seeing as we were the only customers inside the entire restaurant, you’d think the place would be pretty clean. Not in this particular case. Most of the tables still had empty dishes and napkins stuffed in glasses strewn about, and as we sat down at our table, there was pop dripping on my legs from underneath the table. ( Did Pizza Hut invest in gravity defying soft drinks? )

Regardless, I was ready for some pizza.

I know I said I would deviate from the pepperoni, but there’s no way I could pass up on a classic pepperoni pizza from Pizza Hut. The pepperoni is always on top of the cheese, and the little discs get super crispy, like little pepperoni chips. So good. The waitress suggested getting the Pepperoni Lovers ( extra cheese and pepperoni ) and we didn’t hesitate. Andy picked out the Super Supreme, both pan style ( in hopes of no soggy crust ) and some dipping sauces as well to finish off those crusts, like dipping fries in mayo.

We chatted, reminisced about our childhoods, worried about smelling like a deep fryer, held hands, laughed, instagrammed, etc. Then our pizza came.

And I’m not going to lie, it looked pretty damn good. When a co-worker of mine saw the picture of our pizza, he couldn’t believe that was from Pizza Hut. Redeeming qualities you got there, Pizza Hut.

I dove into the pepperoni first, and it was like biting into a time warp. Their taste really hasn’t changed at all over all these years. It was great! Crispy pepperoni, melty cheese, and oily crust. Love it. Plus, that salt blast was great. Andy dove into the Super Supreme, and was also hit with nostalgia. He was reminded of delivering pizzas and eating way too much pizza, getting a bit chunky before graduation.

After our first slices, we stopped ourselves from shoveling in another piece to talk about our thoughts. As Andy bit into his second piece he said, “Everything is starting to taste a bit more processed.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. It’s also like everything has the same texture, between the cheese and crust. The only thing switching it up is the crispy pepperoni.”

“There’s something about Pizza Hut pizza you can’t get anywhere else. I think it’s the pan it’s baked in. And all the oil. They do exactly what you think they do when it comes to oiling the pan.”

We ate a few more pieces, and before regret could set in we stopped. Got our pizza packed up and left.

“It’s like I don’t need teeth to eat this.”

Would order again? Yep, probably. It’s something that has been around forever, and you always know what you’re going to get. Although, Pizza Hut is so incredibly expensive. As I’m sure we are probably paying for the name. We got extra cheese, but it didn’t seem like extra cheese, so I’m not sure what regular cheese distribution is like. We both enjoyed the pizza overall, but didn’t like the feeling we had afterward. I felt like I was going to turn into a greaseball who smells like fried chicken with an upset tummy. I can’t stress enough how much I love the crisp pepperoni on top. That’s what keeps me going back.

Also, finding leftover pizza in your fridge makes for the best breakfast ever. Realizing your hair smells like fried chicken however, isn’t ideal.

**All-you-can-eat my butt. I’m sure I’ve had friends who were kicked out or cut off for eating too much pizza.

Project Pizza: Trifon’s

Trifon’s Pizza
(306) 525-2188
2024 Broad Street, Regina, SK S4P 1Y3

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April 2/2015 – Pizza at Andy’s

Order: XL half Pierogi Pizzazz and half Italian Sausage, Mushroom and Tomato. Plus a side ceasar and our order came with 1L of pop. Pick Up.
Cost: $51.90
Slices consumed: 11
Beer: 0
Soggy crust: 0
Leftovers: Yup. And next day cold pierogi pizza rocks.

If you notice the date and shirt I’m wearing in the picture above in relation to my previous post, you’ll notice that yep, I ate pizza twice today. Didn’t even take my work shirt off. Loosened my pants though.

I guess today is the true kick start to my pizza escapades. I needed to include Andy in this launch, we had to order pizza together…don’t judge me. ( I will be joining a gym for sure )

I told him all about the Juliana’s experience, and how it was one of my co-worker’s go-to pizza places. He suggested that we eat at his go-to pizza place – Trifon’s. Which to me (and a lot of people ) is a Regina staple. But I refused to eat inside the restaurant, and insisted that we pick up our pizza instead. We discussed the pros and cons about ordering vs. eating in, and came to terms. There’s something about that place that doesn’t jive with me. ( not to mention the awful B.O smell coming off a dude eating his meal that time. living downtown is always interesting ) So we decided to pick it up and book it home as fast as you can, while abiding speed limits and stuff…

Andy says he usually gets pizza from the University location, but seeing as we were picking up our pizza and didn’t want to risk soggy crust, we opted for what was the closest – Trifon’s on Broad St.

We arrived, had some laughs about how old the pistachios must be in the loonie candy dispensers while we waited for our pizza. The hostess was nice, she joked along with us and told stories about how she watches people actually eat the 47 year old jelly beans.

I have to say I was pretty skeptical about the pierogi pizza in the first place. I mulled it over for a while before I decided to go with it. ( bad memories about the Copper Kettle pierogi pizza ) But when I opened the box, I wanted that pizza in my mouth like, yesterday. Andy was super excited about his Italian Sausage Mushroom and Tomato pizza, where as I was pretty indifferent and focused on my own.

We piled our plates, sat in front of the TV ( I’m pretty sure we were playing Mario Kart on N64 at the time ) and dug in. I was picking at my ceasar salad croutons scoffing at how terrible it tasted, while Andy inhaled his pizza. The first thing he said was, “Hmm. I like the University location better.”

Huh. Well, all I can hope is that my pizza will not be disappointing.

When I took that first bite, I was blown away. Oh my god it was so good. Hot damn. I died and went to pizza heaven. The potatoes were soft ( yeah, an actual potato layer ) the warm sour cream wasn’t weird, and the bacon and green onions on top killed it. Yum. Next for me was Andy’s pizza. Compared to my pierogi pizza, it was so damn bland. I really could care less about it.

I insisted that Andy needs to try my pizza. He agreed it was pretty good. His Italian Sausage pizza was okay, it wasn’t a huge flavour blast. I’m not a huge fan of warm tomato, it didn’t jive with me.

We sat for a bit, taking in our pizza experience. Andy finally breaks the silence and gets all philosophical. “The sausage one leaves something to be desired. If I could call it flaccid-it’s a very flaccid pizza.”

Well, alright.

Would order again? Yes. The salad – not so much. I just picked out the croutons. Trifon’s is a constant- it’s always there when you need it. I’m sure a lot of people can agree with me on that. But I’d never eat my pizza inside as mentioned before. The leftovers were damn good, didn’t even need to warm it up. I want a stocked fridge of pierogi pizza. I don’t think I would order the Italian Sausage Mushroom & Tomato pizza, it’s just way too inferior. Although it is much lighter and not so salty and heavy.

Project Pizza: Juliana’s

Juliana Pizza & Lounge
(306) 543-1221
5064 4 Ave, Regina, SK S4T 0J6

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April 2/2015 – Office pizza party.

Order: XL all dressed, XL Pepperoni Mushroom & Bacon, L BBQ chicken. Came with 2L pop, plates and cutlery. Delivery.
Cost: $120.15, about $12.00/person.
Slices consumed: 6
Beer: 0
Soggy crust: 2
Leftovers: Quite a bit, until the techs came and went.

When I first presented my idea to the guys and gals I work with, I was a bit sheepish in explaining this silly project. But I was met with relief – people are into it. When your conversation with one person progresses into 6 crowding around your desk talking about pizza, it’s a pretty magical thing.

It’s like that time Sandy, Sheraea and I talked about hashbrowns for a solid 40 minutes when we worked at the bakery. Trust me, hashbrowns are a big deal if you love breakfast as much as us girls do.

It was Friday, it was slow here in the office and Jeff piped up about ordering pizza for lunch. I HAD to spring on this opportunity. My first Pizza Project venue, plus I can get the opinions of the whole office. Super!

Juliana’s was suggested, and we rolled with it. We decided on the flavours, something everyone can like. Jeff and I scrolled through the menu and picked out the All-Dressed and the Pepperoni Mushroom Bacon. Jorge almost lost his marbles when he saw they had a BBQ Chicken pizza, so we decided to get that as well.

The lady I spoke to on the phone was great. She realized all this pizza must be for an event ( not a 23 year old girl ) and offered plates, napkins and cutlery. Customer service A+. I asked for it to be ready roughly around 12:30, and the delivery guy showed up at 12:27. Awesome! I love it when businesses have their shit together.

We all gathered, took in the pizza smell, and dug in. Here are some comments about our first few bites:

  • I hope this reaches the top. Omg. (BBQ chicken)
  • Okay, first impression: the crust rules. I don’t like the sauce that much, but I like sweeter sauces like Sparky’s.
  • The crispy edges are so good, but the pizza slices in the middle sorta get a bit soggy after they sit.
  • Good call on the BBQ chicken Jorge.

Would order again? Yes. Over-all a very good pizza experience. Everyone was happy and full of cheesey saucy deliciousness. The only thing I would request next time is for it to be baked a little longer to hopefully nix the soggy crust. The All-Dressed was alright, but there was too much stuff on it for me. The peppers were good though, cooked just enough. The Pepperoni Mushroom Bacon was swell also, but I would much prefer to have the pepperoni on top so it gets all crispy and delicious.

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Project Pizza

slice-of-pizza

I sat in this very spot yesterday at work, listening to people bustle around meeting and greeting with some Toronto companies, minding my own business hacking away at the pile of stuff I should do, when I was approached by the boss and asked if I could get lunch catered. For 12:00 today.

It’s 10:50am. I’m to call a place and expect them to whip up a meal for 22 hungry execs AND deliver in an hour? Sure. But they aren’t going to be happy with me.

I projected my deepest apologies, related with the girls at Fresh & Sweet about last minute orders, had some laughs and managed to get things rolling on time. Phew! Lunch is saved. I even took the time to write a thank you card.

When I Googled restaurants in Regina, looking for a place to order this lunch from, something definitely caught my attention: how many bloody pizza places we have in the city! I laughed endlessly. There is an obscene amount of pizza here. By experience, a lot of it is absolutely horrible, reserved only to be eaten when you have the boozey pizza craves at 2am – when soggy crust doesn’t matter. But I know there must be a wicked pie offered somewhere.

And I’m going to find it.

Thus, here begins my long project of finding the best pizza Regina has to offer.

Rules:

  1. Visit every establishment that offers pizza, and eat it
  2. Flatbreads don’t count
  3. Try to deviate from pepperoni (my fave)
  4. If a place has a specialty, go for it
  5. Fulfill as many recommendations as possible
  6. Be judgemental

I will also be tracking the total amount of pizza slices eaten, the dollars spent, where and when I’ve (we’ve) eaten, the amount of bike rides for pizza, the number of soggy crusts, what we do with the leftovers, our first impressions, and over all experience in a raw no filter format. And probably the number of beers pounded before (or during) each pizza pie.

This is gonna rule.

So far, I have established a list of 70 places in Regina that offer pizza, including some well-known chain restaurants. Even though including chains in this project is debatable, I do have a good point, don’t worry.

Ever since I have moved to Saskatchewan, I have found that the food varies greatly in chains, even just between Calgary and Regina. Honest. I’ve stopped ordering the Western Skillet from Smitty’s because the ‘hollandaise’ is so gosh darn awful here. It is pretty comical, as I’m sure it’s just powder from a package you add water and margarine to. The pizza I’ve had from some independently owned places has been so so so terrible, I would rather eat a spam sandwich.

Regardless, a chain should have the opportunity to have their pizza on the menu judged. The process behind developing that menu item could have been long and extensive, the ingredients could be sourced well, and it could taste pretty good.

So, here I am, tackling the long list of Regina pizza to determine which really ranks the best, and to figure out what exactly a ‘Regina-style pizza’ is. (a term I have come across a few times since moving here)

I also hope that if these writings make their way around the Regina community, the restaurants we talk about don’t get too butt hurt over their pizza tasting terrible. I do have to say this: if you are offering any kind of food to the public to purchase and consume, it should taste good! It should be appealing! If you are offering a 30” pizza for 5 dollars, people automatically assume that it’s going to be terrible, but they buy it anyway because it’s cheap. Along with being in the food industry, you sort of have to come to terms with the fact that you will never please everybody. #sadtruth. I’m sure it’s a common thread among all business owners, and I expect to experience the same thing when I own my own place too. So… no hard feelings.

Of course, along with all of my posts, I hope that you find it entertaining, maybe a bit insightful, but mostly to give you a laugh. As well as to encourage you to strive for the good stuff when ordering a pizza.

Let’s do this!

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Jean Jacket

I assume most people are in the same mind set as I am when I say that denim jackets are usually associated with the 80s & 90s rock n’ roll scene. Which I think is pretty rad. When my young self started listening to Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses and the likes, all I wanted was an old ripped up worn out jean jacket to wear along with my \m/ band shirts and Converse. I was lucky enough to inherit an old Levi’s one from my Uncle Stan, and I absolutely adored that thing. I wore it until it no longer resembled a jacket. I also thought I looked really cool, but sadly that was just not the case. Too bad I can’t find any pictures..

Like most of you, I too followed in my parents’ footsteps, because check out these gems I found:

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my mom with her buds and a giant telephone. note not one, but TWO denim jackets in this picture

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dad, rocking the double denim. there’s probably a perm under that trucker hat.

jeanjacket

evidence of rock

It’s funny the things you wore that you either grew out of, or they suddenly turn into a fashion faux-pas with the turn of the new year. If only my parents kept their sweet 80s attire, I’d be all over that nowadays. Vintage amirite?

I thrifted a jean jacket recently, this time it’s a bit more cropped and form fitting – modern I guess we could say. Here it is in action:

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Some things just roll on back.

Just like all these pictures I’m finding of my parents, it keeps me smilin’

dad     mom

Wait, I actually have to look decent?

I’m sure we have all been there at some point in our lives: starting a new job. You want to make a good impression, especially if that impression is that you’re not a slob and have some sort of fashion sense. Instead of sitting in an unfamiliar chair at an unfamiliar table, talking yourself up to a stranger, you would rather be sitting in your familiar couch in your underwear and an over-sized sweater playing video games or watching documentaries. I know I would.

Because well, that’s what I’ve been doing for the past month as I job searched.

Alas, an unsuspecting company hired me as their receptionist. Me, a receptionist! Where my vocabulary isn’t much better than a high-school stoners’, I own zero fancy clothes, I have a *gasp* facial piercing and an undercut to boot. FASHION.

But that’s cool, I can Thesaurus some better adjectives, shifting ‘awesome’ to the back of the line up. I can take the piercing out and not wear my hair up. I do my make up in a decent manner on a daily basis, that’s easy. As for a fashion sense? PFFFFF! FASHION! I remember a particular young lady in college called me ‘the granola eating hippie.’ No, no macramé and bell bottoms with strange floral decals sewn on. My wardrobe consists of leggings, tank tops, cardigans, and more cardigans. The odd dress you’ll never see me in, some high heels I probably bought because I thought I’d wear them one day, grungy 3/4 length shirts and loads of sweaters. Not very business casual.

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Some background: I’m going from rolling out of bed at 3am, throwing on said grungy 3/4 length shirt that probably has dough all over it, making sure my hair is up and there’s an apron in my purse, to being the face of a large company. Bread baker arm-deep in dough to receptionist with polished dainty wimpy office hands. FASHION.

Anyway, as any girl with cellular data these days, I did some “research”.

According to Pinterest, dressing a curvy body is pretty simple. A blazer or jacket, leggings or a high waisted skirt, shoes, and a top to pull it all together. Sure, I can do that. To the mall!

With some experimentation, mixing, matching and a short prayer, I came up with a few outfits I believe are acceptable for my first week on the job. A few outfits that are way out of my comfort level, might I add. FASHION.

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  this is something that is much more casual than anything else I came up with, but I feel it still works all the same. plain black tank with black leggings, grey herring-bone cardigan, peach belt, necklace and sparkly black pumps

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same top as before but in a different colour, heather grey blazer, black leggings and peachy-coloured peep-toe pumps

Not bad eh?

I’ll post more outfits I came up with later, hunger calls. Thanks for the read! I hope it’s something you can relate to, or it made you giggle.

My next challenge will be to actually walk in these shoes without biffing it on the street.

FASHION.