Without Papers Pizza – Calgary, AB

I’ve visited the newly opened Without Papers Pizza in Inglewood three times in the past few weeks.  This post will be a little longer than usual since I will combine all three of my experiences into this one post.  On my first visit, I went on a Friday a night at around 10 pm. At first, I was surprised to see that WOP was still relatively busy considering the time of night but after looking at the surroundings I could totally see why. The ambience is very inviting and I could picture myself there snacking, drinking, and chatting with friends all night long. My second visit was on weeknight a couple of days later. I had planned on meeting up with a foodie friend for dinner at WOP and it was supposed to be the first visit for both of us (except that I couldn’t contain my curiosity after reading the rave reviews and ended up there the previous Friday night).  My third visit was on a snowy Saturday evening a couple of weeks later. I had friends visiting from out-of-town and I wanted to show them the latest, greatest, new pizza joint in town.  Luckily for us when we arrived at around 6:30 pm on a Saturday night, we managed to walk in and secure one of the last tables. I think if it wasn’t for the crappy weather that day, we would’ve had to wait.

On my first visit, my friend and I shared an order of House-marinated olives ($6) to start. These olives were delicious and addictive!  They were plump, juicy, and flavourful. They were easily the best olives I’ve had to date.  I could picture myself sipping wine and eating these olives all night long. Our server told us that the olives were house-marinated in balsamic vinegar and a blend of spices.  I liked that there was a mixture of different type of olives, including the little black sun-dried ones.  I could hardly wait to go back to have the olives again.

On my second visit I ordered the olives again. Interestingly enough, this time they didn’t taste as good. They didn’t seem to be as flavourful even though they were still juicy and plump. Both my friend and I agreed that they were just ok, but nothing spectacular.  I ordered the olives again on my third visit and this time they were as tasty as the ones from my first visit.  They had a spicy kick to them and were a little tangy from the balsamic vinegar.  What I gathered from these three experiences is that how flavourful they are is likely dependent on how long the olives have been marinating. I still enjoy these olives very much and would order them again. But I guess it’s luck of the draw whether they will be well-marinated or not.

On my first visit, I ordered the Cotto ($14) pizza which was their daily special and my friend ordered the Parma ($16) pizza but without the cheese.  My Cotto pizza was topped with prosciutto cotto, mozzarella, fresh basil, and tomato sauce.  Taking a quick peruse at the menu on the WOP website today, it looks like the Cotto has been renamed to “The Replacement” and is now part of the regular menu. The Parma pizza was topped with Prosciutto di Parma, fresh arugula, and tomato sauce.  I thought the crust of my Cotto pizza was just ok.  The crust was a bit too thin all around and especially along the edge of the pizza. Overall, the taste of the Cotto was just alright. There was nothing really memorable about it. I had a taste of the Parma pizza and I preferred it more than the Cotto as I thought the Parma had a fresher and cleaner taste.  Also, I liked the texture of the crust on the Parma more. It was more chewy in the center and bubbled up along the edges.

On my second visit, my friend and I shared the Hogwild ($19) and the Parma ($16). The Hogwild was topped with spicy wild boar sausage and prosciutto, braised rapini, friulano, and roasted garlic white sauce. The Parma was topped with Prosciutto di Parma, fresh arugula, bocconcini, and tomato sauce.  On this visit, the crusts on both pizzas were the perfect thickness. They were crisp on the outside with a chewy center.  After reading rave reviews about the Hogwild, I was disappointed. It was way too salty for my taste. And it was surprisingly greasy, most probably from the melted friulano cheese.  I liked the braised rapini as it was tender and a good contrast to the rest of the other toppings.  I couldn’t taste much of the roasted garlic sauce as I was overwhelmed by the saltiness.  Fortunately, we were sharing both pizzas so I ate the slices from both alternately to give my palate a break from the saltiness and greasiness.  The Parma was the perfect contrast as it had fresh, clean flavours.  Both my friend and I agreed the Parma was the winner between the two.

On my third visit, I finally got to try the Shroom ($19) pizza.  I had heard rave reviews about the Shroom pizza when WOP first opened but they had run out of the marinated wild mushrooms during my first two visits.  The Shroom was topped with wild mushrooms, black truffle oil, fresh arugula, and roasted garlic white sauce.  This has become my new favourite at WOP. I love the textures and flavours of the different mushrooms against the peppery arugula.  The flavours were delicate and fresh.  The mushrooms were surprisingly juicy and tender.

In addition to the Shroom, we also ordered the Parma and the Baby Doll ($18). The Parma was just as good as the ones during my previous two visits. The Baby Doll was topped with roasted free-range chicken, eggplant, artichoke hearts, cherry tomatoes, goats cheese, and tomato sauce. The chicken pieces were surprisingly tender and the cherry tomatoes provided a nice contrast in flavour. This was my friend’s favourite but I wasn’t so crazy about it. To me, there were too many flavours and textures going on with all the different toppings.  I prefer simple, clean, fresh flavours on my pizza.  Overall, my third visit was a success. My friends really enjoyed the pizzas. The crusts were perfect and consistent on all three pizzas.  They were crispy on the outside and chewy in the center.

Without Papers Pizza is located in the spot where Nectar Desserts once was.  I really like how they’ve transformed the place.  The decor is contemporary yet comfortable and non-pretentious. After having been there three times already, I would say they are fairly consistent in their execution of the pizzas.  The service has been great thus far on all of my visits. The servers have been friendly and helpful.

Without Papers Pizza
Upstairs, 1216 – 9th Ave SE
Calgary, AB

http://www.wopizza.ca

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This entry was posted in Alberta, Calgary, Dinner, eat, Italian, Late Night, Lunch, Pizza and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Without Papers Pizza – Calgary, AB

  1. Lindsay says:

    I definitely need to go back to try their shroom pizza! It looks amazing!

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