When I finally decided, well, managed, to go gluten-free for real (I struggled with the idea for many months), the main struggle I encountered was having to give up some of my favorites-a warm slice of crusty bread with butter (TGFMB- thank god for millet bread), a heaping bowl of pasta with pesto sauce (TJ’s brown rice spaghetti has won my heart) and my all-time favorite…pizza.
Pizza has been the hardest, and most tempting part of this switch. I have to remind myself constantly that it doesn’t make me feel good, and therefore no good for my body, to stay away from my longtime favorite weekend treat. Luckily, there is a restaurant in Toronto that has changed all that.
When I want pizza, I go for it. I head over to Magic Oven and order a big ol’ personal 10” pizza heaping with vegetables, tangy sauce and daiya cheese… all on a gluten-free rice crust. Sure, a white rice crust is not the healthiest. But for the ultimate indulgence in my favorite food on the planet (without any uncomfortable after effects)? 100% worth it.
I love Magic Oven for so many reasons…
They use organic ingredients, including a variety of all natural organic meats and cheeses.
They’re big proponents of local foods and make an effort to serve pizzas topped with local seasonal ingredients.
They give the option of a white, spelt or gluten-free crust (for an extra $2).
The options for “make your own” pizza are pretty awesome- pesto sauce and daiya (soy-free vegan) cheese? Yes, please!
Their menu is so FUN! With pizzas like the “Uber sustenace” topped with 24-karat gold leaf…how could you not love that?
They use eco-friendly packaging and make an effort to be an earth friendly company- even their menus are recycled paper.
The company is family owned, so they care about their food.
I’ve visited the Magic Oven numerous times, but most recently twice totally gluten-free. The first time I visited, I chose the Black Magic Pizza. When I first read the description of this pie on the menu, I could have sworn it was made for me; “pesto, steamed kale, sundried tomatoes, daiya cheese.” Say what? Amazing.
And it was as good as it sounds. Personally I would have put heaps more kale, but this was my first experience with daiya cheese and I was impressed at how “cheesy” it tasted, and I loved the flavor combination with the pesto and sundried tomato. The crust wasn’t bad either. It wasn’t your usual fluffy, crusty pizza base, more like a flatbread dough, but I enjoyed being able to eat any kind of crust so it did not disappoint.
The second time we visited was last night. My friend was is in town, and knowing he was a pizza fan I knew we were making a stop at the Magic Oven.
We started with a heaping plate of herbed potatoes. Now, I don’t eat potatoes very often, as they’re not exactly the most nutrient-filled food. But he loves them, so every so often I’ll indulge in a few. These happen to be one of my favorite potato preparations, ever. Not at all greasy, crispy on the outside with a hot soft inside and topped with just the right amount of salt and herb seasoning. Yum.
I only had a few, though, because I knew the real magic would come soon. I chose the Vegan Magic pizza, topped with tomato pesto sauce, zucchini, artichoke hearts, roasted peppers and portabello mushrooms. I asked for a sprinkling of daiya “cheese”.
Woah, that’s quite the sprinkling. I enjoyed this pizza very much. I loved how packed it was with veggies, and that sprinkle of cheese was definitely worth the extra $2. I was a little disappointed that the tomato pesto sauce flavor wasn’t too prominent, but overall it was a good choice. I would probably choose the Black Magic over the Vegan Magic, but I wouldn’t rule out ordering this one again!
One downfall to specialty pizza, however is the price. Definitely more pricey than takeout, but with a total bill coming to only $50 for the three of us (with appetizer and 2 drinks), it was hardly fine dining.
Is this the best pizza I’ve ever had? Well, I lived in Italy so I’m going to have to say no. But is it pretty darn good and an amazing option for those with dietary restrictions in the GTA? That one is a resounding YES.
Are you a pizza fan? What is the best pizza you have ever had? Me? Margharita pizza. Naples. ‘Nuff said.