Pizza Pide is one of Toronto’s foremost purveyors of Turkish finger food. Mustafa Ozkan’s gas-fired oven churns out close to 20 Turkish favourites for lunch and dinner, seven days a week. Pizza Pide has only been a recent discovery for the Toronto Food Blog… a shame, really, seeing as they’ve been around since 2003. I got put on to this place by my Turkish buddy who works across the hall from me. “It’s as close as you get (downtown) to eating in Turkey.” I have been making up for lost time since hearing that sage advice, visiting thrice since July.
Item # 1 on the menu is Lahmacun. Homemade dough is rolled wide & thin and gets covered with a spread of ground beef, hot peppers, onions, tomatoes, parsley, and herbs. Fifteen minutes later, the crust comes out very crispy and is a nice contrast to the oily, spicy toppings. The finishing touch is the plate of accouterments (parsley, tomato, hot pepper, raw onion, and lemon) that allow you to give each bite a different taste. Cutlery is not necessary with menu item #1.
Mustafa Ozkan strongly recommends that we also try their Pide. The Kiymali Kasarli (menu item #8) is a conservative pick, stuffed with seasoned ground beef and a salty mozzarella-style cheese. We also order the house special, the Karisik (#18). This is chock-full of an assortment of toppings (Sausage, Chicken, Lamb, Feta & Spinach) that are broken into quarters… making it great for sharing.
I think the easiest way to explain (for those who aren’t in the know) is that if Lacmacun is Turkish Pizza, then Pide is like a Turkish Calzone. What I have found is that words really can’t describe the what’s going on here. If you’re like me, you may have driven past this place many times without giving it much thought. Next time, pop in and say hello. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the friendly, family atmosphere and the authentic, flavourful food.