In 1999, Freshslice Pizza founder Ray Russell set out to combine the once-separate worlds of pizza-by-the-slice joints and speedy pie delivery. Each ready-made slice or delivery pie is created with a dough recipe that's seven years in the making, with a wholesome multigrain base with a crispy texture unheard of in run-of-the-mill pizzas made with boring white dough or pickled Frisbees. At each of the restaurant's 70 British Columbia and Ontario locations, customers can pop in for a few takeout slices, select a feast from the litany of suggested topping combos, or craft their own creation from three different sauces, more than 20 different toppings, and a variety of cheeses. In addition to savoury slices of pizza covered in combos such as pesto, spinach, ham, and mozzarella, customers can dine on morsels of baked lasagna, sweet cinnamon sticks, or other pizzeria fare.
At Hell's Kitchen, Chef Aurelia Berleri crafts her pizza in the classic New York thin-crust style, using sustainably farmed proteins across the board. Popular options include the Penny Lane—with zucchini, spinach, artichokes, red peppers, and feta—and the Daisy Duke, an arrangement of smoked free-range chicken, smoked bacon, corn, sweet peppers, and barbecue sauce. Diners can also customize their own pies, and request gluten-free crust for any 11-inch pizza. When she's not busy tossing dough, Berleri dishes out variations on bar classics, including sea salt-crusted pretzels with aged white cheddar Irish ale sauce and grain-fed beef burgers from Pemberton Meadows.
To complement the chef's dishes, bartenders pour two-ounce shots into cocktails and offer a variety of whiskeys, imported and domestic wines, and bottled and draft beers. Feasts unfold on a sunny outdoor patio or within a spacious dining room, where exposed brick surrounds diners sunk into leather booths, gathered around high-top tables, or cradled in the arms of their servers.