Monday, February 20, 2012

Pizza Cafe's Take and Bake

Posted By on Mon, Feb 20, 2012 at 10:21 AM

click to enlarge CHEREE FRANCO

In November, Pizza Cafe opened a Take and Bake outlet at 102 Markham Park Drive. The premise is simple — show up, order your pizza, watch the staff whip it up deli-style in front of you, take it home and stick it in the oven. Eleven to 18 minutes later, bon appetit! This weekend we tried a veggie take on Pizza Cafe's revered Mexican Pizza.

Word of warning: the packaging is a bit weak. The pizza comes on a flimsy one-time bake tray, covered with plastic wrap. We were worried that the pizza would slide around in the car and come unwrapped before we got it home, but there were no mishaps. The less waste the better, so kudos to Take and Bake for forgoing boxes — but drive smoothly, or better yet, bring someone along to hold the pizza.

Our small veggie Mexican came to about $16 after tax. It's 13 inches and fed the two of us adequately, but we're light eaters. The regular Mexican pizza comes with beef, which would have added a substantial punch and probably works well, flavor-wise. A veggie-crumble alternative would be fantastic, but we doubt that's in the cards.

We popped the pizza in the oven per the instructions taped to the top of the plastic. The weird paper-aluminum one-time use tray performed well. Our pizza came out with an evenly cooked, thin, crispy, vaguely sweet crust. This complemented its salty offerings — olives and a three cheese blend. There was a sprinkle of veggies, mostly bell peppers, and salsa rather than sauce, which worked well with the overall flavor. There was nothing exceptional about our veggie Mexican Pizza, but it beats the frozen grocery store variety (for double the price, it should!), it tasted much fresher than your standard corporate delivery option, and it made a comforting quick meal. Next time we find ourselves in the area and too retail-weary to cook, we'll probably stop by again.

Hours are Mon - Sat: 11 a.m. - 7:30 p.m., Sun. 3-6 p.m.

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