As I drove south on St. Mary’s Rd., I saw a number of restaurants that are either new (or new to me) and it occurred to me that we really do stay put in either our residential or workplace neighbourhoods. I have been to Santa Anna Pizzeria & Bistro previously, but not because I was familiar with it, but as a result of being invited to lunch by a friend.
On this day, I arrived at about half past noon on a Tuesday and the place was hopping, with not an empty seat in the place. As I surveyed the room, I saw mostly women and only one gentleman. There was a large group of women in fact, and another assembling in the foyer.
I am ga-ga over seafood pizza, especially in countries where the seafood is freshly caught like Mexico and Italy. The “Pacific” is topped with shrimp and fresh garlic which works very well together and then celery and sun-dried tomato are added. The celery provides a fresh crispness and works hard to bring out the delicate flavour of the shrimp but the sun-dried tomatoes were a wee bit overpowering. Next time I order it (and I will be), I will request that they go easy on the tomatoes. I know that this will be easily accommodated because there is a list at the bottom of their pizza page with an abundance of fresh and somewhat exotic ingredients, to customize your personal pizza tastes.
The second choice was the “Tropicana” which was a unique twist on a ham and pineapple pizza with the inclusion of pulled pork, bacon, red onion, pineapple and hickory barbeque sauce. I pulled off the jalapeños but I am sure many palates would enjoy the heat.
The pastas look stellar, even though I have not yet had a chance to sample them. The black-walled dining room makes you forget that you are in a suburban strip mall. The kitchen is open to the reception area which means that you can watch the fresh ingredients being assembled and can see the flames of the wood burning oven in the corner. Service was very cordial and accommodating, in spite of how busy the restaurant was.
Kath’s quote: “Salt is the policeman of taste: it keeps the various flavors of a dish in order and restrains the stronger from tyrannizing over the weaker.”
Love-that is all.