Pizza Al Forno leads method after first spherical in seek for the very best slice in Higher Victoria

Who sells the best pizza by the slice in Greater Victoria?

That’s the question the MicCHEK Podcast is attempting to answer in its first-ever blind taste test and food ranking.

Over the next few months, a panel of local foodies will sit down and taste every slice of pizza sold by the slice (that we know of) in Greater Victoria.

The three-person panel (see more about them below) will then discuss each slice on the podcast, give each a score, and award the title of best-of-the-best in five categories including the overall champion which will earn the title “Top Slice Victoria.”

SCORING BREAKDOWN

Each panellist will rank the slices based on the following criteria:

  • button
  • Appearance
  • crust
  • toppings
  • Value (panellists will be told the price of the slice)

SELECTING SLICES

Since not every pizza shop sells the same type of pizza, slices will be selected for tasting based on a shop’s recommendation.

When slices are purchased, staff will be asked what the most popular slice they sell is. If they are unable to answer, follow-up questions like what slice would they recommend will be asked until a slice emerges as the most popular option.

THE BLIND KEY TEST

Once a slice has been selected and purchased, all of the slices will be taken to the CHEK Podcast Studio on Kings Road where they will be heated in an oven and then tasted by the panel in studio. All of the slices will be tasted within three hours of purchase.

Each slice will be individually presented to the panel in-studio where it will be examined, then cut into three portions for the three-person panel to taste. They won’t know where the slice is from, but will be told the kind of pizza and the price of the slice.

Since the panel will taste up to 10 slices at a time, the decision was made to purchase one slice to share as opposed to three slices to cut down on excess waste. Video of the tasting with commentary, additional details on each slice and business plus reaction can be viewed on the CHEK+ app under the MicCHEK Podcast section.

You can also listen to each taste test with the results in audio form on the MicCHEK Podcast.

THE PIZZA PANEL

  • Janine Boom – A Victoria food blogger in pursuit of the best eats in town. Operator of the popular Instagram account @BestEatsVictoria.
  • Dallas – The man behind @VicFoodGuys on Instagram as well as the host of the VicFoodStories Podcast.
  • KC Kyle – One half of the MicCHEK Podcast. Red Barn Market named a sandwich after him called “The KC Kyle.”

*Justin McElroy, award-winning CBC Journalist and BC’s Ranker of Stuff, joined the podcast to provide direction on how to execute the blind taste test. Listen to that conversation here.

RESULTS

Below are the results from the first 10 slices as well as an overview of each slice that’s been tasted to date.

In the following weeks and months the following list will be updated as slices are tasted. The MicCHEK Podcast expects to release its next 10 slices in the coming weeks, and will continue to release episodes and rankings until every slice of pizza sold by the slice is tasted and scored.

Follow the MicCHEK Podcast on Instagram at @MicCHEKPodcast for more information on the next batch of slices.

CURRENT TOP SLICE CHAMPION: PIZZA AL FORNO

OVERALL RUNNERS-UP: BUBBY ROSE’S, VILLAGES

Slice: Canadian Classic

Price: $4.50

Address: 456 Gorge Rd. E

Dallas: “This one is packed with flavour. You can go to Flavortown with this thing.”

Janine: “It’s not dry, this is the moistest yet. There’s tons of sauce, the cheese grease is settling in there in the good kind of way. This is a great slice of pizza.”

Kyle: “I always love the stuff tucked in under the cheese. You please in and find more stuff in there.

Across all categories, blind taste-testers ranked Pizza Al Forno consistently near the top, taking home top spot in the following two categories as well:

BEST TASTING: PIZZA AL FORNO

RUNNERS-UP: BUBBY ROSE’S, TIE BETWEEN DELICIOUS PIZZA AND PASTA AND LOCAL HILLSIDE

BEST CRUST: PIZZA AL FORNO

RUNNERS UP: FIRE IT UP, VILLAGES

BEST LOOKING: VILLAGES

RUNNERS-UP: FIRE IT UP, TIE BETWEEN LOCAL HILLSIDE AND BUBBY ROSE’S

Slice: Pepperoni Bacon

Price: $3.94

Address: 2929 Tillicum Rd.

Kyle: “It’s not little bacon bits on this one, it’s real thick strips of bacon chopped up.”

Dallas: “If you like thick crust, this should be a situation you’re going to enjoy. If you ate a large of this thing, you’re going to have trouble finishing.”

Janine: “There are lots of good toppings on it.”

BEST TOPPINGS: BUBBY ROSE’S

RUNNERS UP: VILLAGES, PIZZA AL FORNO

Slice: Vegetarian

Price: $5.62

Address: 1022 Cook St.

Janine: “The toppings are super flavourful. There is a chewiness to the bottom of the crust.”

Dallas: “The bottom is crispy, the top is pillowy, it’s a combination of two extremes that we haven’t seen yet. I don’t know if I’ve had pizza with a bottom layer like this.”

Kyle: “The crust is thick and spongy. I also like the heat on this one.”

BEST VALUE: LOCAL HILLSIDE

RUNNERS-UP: VILLAGES, FOUR-WAY TIE BETWEEN BUBBY ROSE’S, FIRE IT UP, PIZZA AL FORNO AND SECOND SLICE

Slice: Tandoori Chicken

Price: $2.99

Address: Hillside Shopping Centre

Kyle: “I got my first stringy cheese pull of the day on this one.”

Janine: “This one smells good. It’s the only one where we’ve had cheese pull. The chicken has a tone of flavor. I had a chunk of chicken by itself and it has some good spices on it.”

Dallas: “There’s such a variety of flavors happening here.”

HOT HOUSE PIZZA

Slice: Pepperoni Bacon

Price: $4.52

Kyle: “It’s got the under the cheese pepperoni which I like.”

Dallas: “I like the appearance of it but it didn’t taste as good as I was expecting.”

Janine: “The crust is a little breadier than I like but it has a ton of meat on it which is good.”

SUPERIOR PIZZA

Slice: Pepperoni Bacon

Price: $3.94

Address: 455 Simcoe St.

7/11

Slice: Pepperoni

Price: $3.66

Address: 3775 Carey Rd.

Dallas: “The tang in the sauce is very noticeable. The more I ate this slice, the more my score went up.”

Kyle: “The first note I made on my score sheet was about the sauce.”

Janine: “I love the sauce on this one.”

FIRE IT UP

Slice: Pepperoni Bacon

Price: $3.78

Address: 1516 Fairfield Rd.

Janine: “This one looks like it was cooked in a brick oven.”

Dallas: “See the bottom of this one, that’s beautiful, look at the char on that. Whoever cooked this, good job.”

Kyle: The crust is bubbly. This is not a normal by the slice kind of slice, usually you don’t get thinner slices like this.”

DELICIOUS PIZZA AND PASTA

Slice: Bacon Cheeseburger

Price: $4.00

Address: 3388 Douglas St.

Janine: “There are a lot of toppings on here and the crust isn’t very thick so the topping to crust ratio is very good. I like the fresh tomatoes too.”

Kyle: “This is doing it for me, I like the crunchy crust.”

Dallas: “Out of the few we’ve tried so far this is one of the better ones.”

SECOND SLICE

Slice: Pepperoni

Price: $2.89

Address: 1322 Douglas St.

Dallas: “I feel like I know where this one is from. I think it’s Little Caesars.”

Janine: “I’m surprised…this is the fourth slice we’ve had and there isn’t one slice that’s awful or one that’s blowing our mind amazing. I actually thought there would be more of a variation and more of a difference between them all but they’re all fairly similar.”

Kyle: “This is good.”

Follow MicCHEK on Instagram at @MicCHEKPodcast to hear when the next ten slices will be sampled. As always you can listen to the MicCHEK Podcast on Apple Podcasts or Spotify, or watch the conversations on the CHEK+ App.

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