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Pick-up pizza and pasta that’s worth it

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Pizza 21st Century
612-A Academy Rd.
Rear surface parking, street parking, wheelchair accessible but no tables for eat-in dining
Open daily at 4 p.m.

On my way to visit my mother in East Kildonan, I used to notice a little pizza joint that I always meant to try. Mom said the pizza was wonderful but, unfortunately, by the time I was ready, it had closed its doors.  

My big brother then discovered that the owners had re-opened on Academy Road.  Interestingly, I had spied a new place on Academy that boasted freshly made pasta and pizza.

Could the place I spotted be one and the same?  

Sure enough, big brother confirmed that it was.

With the NHL having started up again, I am often looking for quick supper ideas to eat while watching the game, especially as so many games begin at 6 p.m. So I placed an order  for pick-up and headed out the door a half-hour later to explore Pizza 21st Century at Academy and Centennial.

I came home with two steaming hot pies but my husband was detained at the office so I let my daughter dig in and quizzed her on what she thought.  

She tried pieces of both the meatlover madness and Mediterranean pizzas and said her personal favourite was the latter.  She appreciated that the crust was nice and crispy (I learned that there is no oil used in the baking) and that the sauce had an intense tomato flavour, but was light enough that it didn’t overpower the distinctive toppings.  

In her mind, the best pizzas are constructed with the toppings on top of the cheese layer with just another sprinkling of cheese over all.  She thought Pizza 21st Century really understood this concept and loved the topping-to-cheese ratio. She added that just about every kind of meat was represented in each and every bite of the meatlover.

 I was pleased to meet Vlado and his wife Duubravka, who proudly told me they are from Croatia. When you look at a map of the Mediterranean, it’s no wonder Vlado knows his stuff, as his former country is one of Italy’s closest neighbours (geographically speaking, at least).  On my last visit I came home with a variety of his fresh pastas that I am going to cook up this evening.  

Next time we’ll order one of the store’s premium pizzas — either the supreme with fresh arugula or the margarita, featuring fresh mozzarella di buffalo cheese.  

Mmm, when do the Jets next play an early game?

Kathryne Grisim’s foodmusings.ca blog was named best local blog in Uptown Magazine’s Best of Winnipeg readers’ poll.

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