Pizzeria Barbarella was on the top of my list of places to try on my recent trip to Vancouver last month. I was really excited to try this place out because I had heard about the great pizzas that owner Terry Deane used to make at his Ah-Beetz location in Abbotsford before he sold it. Luckily for me, a couple of local Chowhounders were able to join me at Pizzeria Barbarella so we managed to sample almost all the pies on the menu.
We went with Terry’s recommendation and started off with two orders of the Caesar salad ($8) which was topped with house made croutons and smoked pancetta. I was really hoping this Caesar salad would be like the ones that I’ve had at Ken’s Artisan Pizza or Apizza Scholls in Portland, Oregon. This salad tasted ok but didn’t have the wow factor that I was hoping for. I liked the chewy house made croutons and the smokiness of the pancetta strips.
We ordered a total of six pies. Our first pie was the Amatricana ($16), which came topped with tomato, fior di latte, aged mozzarella, house smoked pancetta, red onions, fresh garlic, chili flakes, parmigiano reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. This turned out to be one of my favourite pies of the evening out of the lot that we ordered.
Our second pie was Margherita ($12), which was topped with tomato, fior di latte, aged mozzarella, basil, parmigiano reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. I’m sure this pie would have tasted a lot better when it was hot. We made the mistake of not remembering to tell them to bring out the pies one at a time. All six of our pies came out almost at the same time and we couldn’t get to them fast enough. By the time I got to the Margherita it had gotten cold. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed the flavours of this pie.
For the third pizza, we chose the Salsiccia ($15), which came topped with tomato, fior di latte, aged mozzarella, fennel sausage, house pickled peppers, basil, parmigiano reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. A few of my dining companions loved this pizza but for those of us who are not big fans of fennel, we weren’t crazy for it but that’s more of a personal preference. I found the fennel in the sausage to be a bit uneven. There were bites where the fennel was really mild while with other bites, I got a big blast of fennel .
Our fourth pizza was the Funghi ($17). The toppings for the Funghi included bechamella, fontina, oven roasted cremini mushrooms, parmigiano reggiano and white truffle oil. This was my other favourite pizza out of the lot. The pizza was really decadent. It was really creamy and cheesy.
For our fifth pizza, we tried the daily special which happened to be the Cavolini ($14) and the toppings consisted of brussel sprouts leaves, smoked pancetta, fior di latte, aged mozzarella, fresh garlic, parmigiano reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. Surprisingly, the brussel sprout leaves worked really well on the pizza and paired nicely with the smoked pancetta.
Last, but not least, we had the Diavola ($15). It came topped with tomato, fior di latte, aged mozzarella, spicy salami, kalamata olives, parmigiano reggiano and extra virgin olive oil. Personally, because of the salami, I found this pie to be a little bit more greasy than the others.
Of the six pies, the ones that I enjoyed the most were the Amatriciana, the Funghi, and the Cavolini. Comparatively, I thought these pies were good but they were not in the same league as the ones from Apizza Scholls in Portland, Oregon or Pizzeria Delfina in San Francisco in my eyes. However, they were definitely better than local places like Marcello’s and Lombardo’s. It’s hard to compare Barbarella to Nicli’s as Nicli’s pies are true Neapolitan style whereas Barbarella’s is more of Neapolitan-American or Neo-Neopolitan, similar to the style of Apizza Scholls, which has influences from the northeastern part of the US.
For dessert, we tried the Banoffee Pie ($7). This was actually my first time trying Banoffee Pie and I loved it. The pie contained a cookie crust with a banana and toffee filling and was topped with whipped cream and a dusting of cocoa. The pie actually had a hint of coffee flavour. I liked that it was not overly sweet since the whipped cream balanced out the sweet banana toffee filling. It was delish and I couldn’t stop eating it.
654 E Broadway