I’ve never seen my family so excited and curious over a slice of pizza before, but it’s not the typical slice.
Lamanna’s Bakery Large Slice is a heavy 28-inch-long and 18-inch-wide creation that must be ordered a day in advance and comes in a custom cardboard box.
We opted for the more standard pineapple and pancetta toppings, although for an extra $ 15 we could have had one of the dessert slices where the toppings are cake slices, brownies, or churros.
There is an unofficial rule that if a food is made to look good on Instagram it will taste awful, but the pizza was even approved by my hard-to-please mom and my partner joked, it’s basically a triangle pizza. rindless, so it’s not It’s weird.
There’s a slightly thicker crust to ensure structural integrity, a healthy distribution of toppings, and it’s golden brown, but not charred. It cost $ 31 and he fed four of us with leftovers.
It’s the extravagant food that draws new diners to Lamanna’s, located at the east end of Scarborough at 6758 Kingston Rd., Just south of Rouge National Park. But behind the gimmicks is a neighborhood Italian bakery that should also be known for its paper-thin layers in sfogliatelle or the no-frills pink glazed sprinkled donut that’s chewy, chewy, and puts its restaurant counterparts to shame. quick.
The spot is run by brothers Joe, Lorenzo and Dave Lamanna who opened it in 2004, originally as a small bakery for their parents, Peter and Rosa.
“My grandparents had a vineyard while my uncle had a gelateria in Sicily. My parents came (to Canada) in the early ’60s, and mom has always had a passion for baking and made her own wedding cake and baked for neighborhood friends, ”said Dave. “My parents worked in bakeries their entire careers and retired in the early 2000s. My mom still worked for other people and it was her dream to have her own bakery, so my brothers and I were like, let’s do it.
It started with standard cakes and pastries, as well as teardrop-shaped lasagna and arancini. “Mom made them the traditional way like in Sicily so you have that crunch in the tip,” he said.
Over time, Lorenzo added more pastries and Joe added ice cream.
The idea for the Big Slice came when Lorenzo was making one of the store’s large pizzas that measured three feet in diameter.
He accidentally dropped the paddle, causing the pizza to take on an elongated triangular shape. The brothers cut the edges to make it look like an oversized slice of pizza from an even bigger pie. It was a hit at a staff party and was then put on the catering menu.
The topping options have become increasingly outrageous, including whole donuts and cannoli, gaining international press attention.
Fittingly, the unusual topping choices resulted in an equally disparate People magazine 2019 newscast that included placing Lamanna’s pancakes on a large slice, with Beyoncé performing at a lavish wedding, the fashionable red coat of Nancy Pelosi and an Irish woman marrying the ghost of a 300 year old Pirate.
The bakery was operating with its newfound fame – or infamy depending on everyone’s opinion of Instagram bait foods.
“People are having fun with it on birthdays, especially now that people are trying to make their parties more special after being inside,” Dave said. “You can’t take yourself too seriously. We do the classic lobster tails and tiramisu, but it’s also fun to make them.
When you visit the bakery on a weekday, it is more of a neighborhood bakery and lunch spot than a place to do it for the gram.
Construction workers are at the hot counter to get full sized penne and pizza slices. Young couples buy small boxes of éclairs and cream puffs for the weekend. Kids opt for the gelato birthday cake while their parents opt for the more traditional pistachio balls, which are deeply nutty and strike the right balance between sweet and savory.
My choice would be the lobster tail, a larger, elongated variation of sfogliatella (they have it too), made of thin, delicate layers of paper-thin, golden-brown dough filled with rich cream in an elongated shape that looks like with crustacean. Lamanna’s version is a mega-steal at just $ 4 and great for sharing. Get there early, they sell out quickly.
On the savory side, a single arancini measuring just under six inches tall (weight and size is a recurring theme here) is enough for a $ 5 lunch. The large lasagna plate needs to be squeezed to fit in the take-out container and comes with a large piece of focaccia. Classic Ricotta-Filled Cannoli is the must-have two-bite, not too sweet, $ 2 dessert to pair with an espresso.
Dave says to come back when the dining room is open again to soak up the decor and atmosphere. But for now, it’s a place to have lunch and dessert while enjoying the rest of the summer.
“It’s sad in a way because we had this beautifully designed store and had to take it down during COVID so all the seats are in storage now,” Dave said. “But we are still the place of happiness for people in the middle of it all. Coming here, getting a box of pastries or a slice of pizza is a moment of happiness in the midst of all this bullshit. We are lucky to be able to do this.
The Mainstays is a regular series featuring longtime restaurants and neighborhood favorites in the GTA. Food journalist Karon Liu offers recommendations for delicious take-out food while sharing stories about how restaurateurs are doing during the pandemic. Fancy something in particular? Send an email to [email protected] with what you would like to see him write in the future.
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