Daily Slice: Spanakopizza at Van Horne Pizzeria, Montréal
Daily Slice gives a quick snapshot each weekday of a different slice or pie that the folks at the Serious Eats empire have enjoyed lately.
Deep into my hunt for great delivery pizza in Montreal, I was thrilled to discover that Van Horne Pizzeria, a small spot in the quiet Outremont neighborhood, makes a very solid and satisfying Greek-style pie. Like our city's many other pizza delivery joints, the menu at Van Horne also includes the requisite roll call of burgers, subs, poutine, and a few basic Greek specials like souvlaki and gyros. But my favorite thing on the menu is the dense, salty slab of spanakopizza, which boasts an abundance of spinach, feta, and chopped olives ($18.95 for 14-inch pie).
As I've said before, I've consumed quite a few Montreal iterations of Greek-style pizzas that have been borderline inedible. Though a proper Greek-style pie is a thing of magic and beauty, my Montreal experiences with this style have resulted in too many soggy, leaden, and slimy specimens. But not only is Van Horne's spanakopizza one of the best Greek-style pies I've eaten in Montreal, it's hands-down the best delivery pizza I've ever had here, too.
A thick layer of mozzarella cheese blanketed the pie in its creamy embrace, and atop it were studs of feta, briny slices of olives, and herbed chicken. Unfortunately, requesting the addition of chicken at $3 extra provided nothing more than a dry mouthful of protein. Hidden underneath the cheese was a surprisingly thin amount of tomato sauce, which was nicely sweet and spicy. Further below, the perfectly seasoned, chewy medium-thick crust was the most handsome part of the pie, gamely supporting the weight of the toppings upstairs.
The biggest structural flaw of Van Horne's spanakopizza resides in the application of spinach. Raw spinach leaves were layered flat, spread out like a fan, and tucked underneath striations of salt, fat, and dairy. I was hoping for a profusion of chopped spinach—similar to the magnificent Pizza D'Agostino's rapini pie—but the lone vegetable on my slice was barely discernible.
Fortunately, the scant amount of spinach didn't detract from this pie's charming and comforting qualities. I can't wait to try everything else on Van Horne Pizzeria's menu.
Van Horne Pizzeria
1505 Ave Van Horne, Montreal, Quebec, H2V (map)
514-277-5555 (Deliveries until 10pm)
About the Author: Natasha Pickowicz is a San Diego-born music and food writer, and a recent Montreal transplant. In addition to updating her food blog Popcorn Plays, she contributes to the Montreal Gazette, the Montreal Mirror, and enRoute.