By Tana Kosiyabong
I had promised to write about Numero Uno Pizza and their nemesis, Megabite Pizza, since I reviewed Goldies Rustic Pizza a few months back. But I got side tracked by other story ideas that keep popping up in my head like mushrooms in late fall. With no further a due, this week Cheap Appetite mission will take care of this unfinished business.
As far as I know, Numero Uno has been on the Granville Street night entertainment scene for a long time now. I cannot verify if they were the first pizza joint in the area, but their success had spawned many other copy cats. Their signature sesame seed crust did make a believer out of me. The original Numero Uno at 708 Davie Street could be described as a hole in the wall pizza joint when I first found it. It was all about the cheap, tasty pizza back then.
Megabite, however, was the latecomer in the Granville Street pizza battlefield. Similar to the nearby competitors, they also catered to the locals during the day, and the bar-crawlers during late night hours. Somehow, Megabite had flourished against all odds. I believed a part of their success came from the closer site to the surrounding bars, and their retro shabby chic decorative style that had set them apart in the eyes of the customers.
But the old champion, Numero Uno, wasn’t gonna go down without a fight. They opened a newer and bigger joint across the street from their biggest nemesis. Megabite, however, did survive the retaliation and managed to fight back with the good old one-two punch. They launched a couple more stores in downtown Vancouver. One of them was only a block north of the Numero Uno new store. The other was just off Robson st on Thurlow st. Numero Uno threw a swing back with a new store at Robson st and Howe st, a mere 3 blocks away. The fight between these two rivals still goes on. And I have no idea who will eventually conquer the battle. But, for now, I can tell you whose pizza reigns supreme in my humble opinion.
My first stop for this week mission was Megabite at 1005 Granville Street. It’s the first Megabite on Granville Street. The store was located next to the Chop Shop, the famous reality TV hair salon on Slice channel. To make a more generic comparison, I chose a slice of pepperoni pizza ($2 tax included).
The pepperoni toppings were huge. The pizza had a thick doughy crust. The outer edge was topped with sesame seeds, similar to Numero Uno’s signature crust but not as good. I counted roughly 3-1/2 slices of pepperoni on this slice. The creamy garlic and black pepper sauce (self-served) was quite thick and creamy as if the pizza alone wasn’t enough to trigger a cardiac arrest. Some customers love to add this sauce on top of their pizzas, but I prefer dipping it on the side.
After I finished with Megabite, I walked across the street to Numero Uno at 1020 Granville Street. This new store was the Numero Uno’s first attempt to fight back. It looked a bit bigger though not as hip as the rival’s. Other than the sparing use of Mexican flag color scheme, the store lacked a unique character.
Fortunately, when I stepped inside, there was one last pepperoni slice left in the glass display. So I snatched it before someone else did. A slice of pizza was also priced at $2 (tax included). At first glance, the Numero Uno’s slice looked a bit better, yet greasier than the rival’s. So greasy my heart was pounding with fear. The crust was also thick and doughy. The sesame seed outer crust was a bit crispier. The pepperoni count, however, was at only 2-1/2 slices. Perhaps it’s just the luck of draw. More samples were needed to make these counts statistically significant. The garlic black pepper sauce was a bit runny and not as garlicky as Megabite’s. The spicy sauce was really spicy.
It was really difficult to pick the winner of these two rivals. Both have their own pros and cons. If I were a drunken frat boy, I would go with whichever nearest to the bar. But as a food lover, I chose Numero Uno as a winner by a hair. Their signature sesame seed crust came to the rescue.
NUMERO UNO PEPPERONI PIZZA: ©©© 1/3
MEGABITE PEPPERONI PIZZA: ©©© 1/4
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