NàRoma Pizza Bar

Do you remember that episode in the first season of Futurama (which I am currently marathoning on Netflix) where Fry finds out that he’s a billionaire due to interest accrued in his bank account over 1000 years and then he buys the last tin of anchovies for $50 million? Well, it inspired me because I’ve never eaten a pizza with anchovies on it before. I didn’t even know if pizza places still had them as an option because I’ve never ordered them before. Of course, this would happen at 1 o’clock in the morning so I had to stave off the inspiration until the next morning. Enter the new challenger: NàRoma Pizza Bar located in the hip Locke St. of Hamilton.

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 215 Locke St S, Hamilton, ON

NàRoma is one of those places in Hamilton that consistently gets rated as the one of the top places you’ve got to visit. It was a toss-up between NàRoma and Earth to Table Bread Bar, but Bread bar did not have any mention in their menu about anchovies except in their caesar salad. Both located on Locke Street but would have to be an adventure for another time.

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When eating here, you have two choices: order by the slice at the counter, or pick your own pizza. The premade slices are great if you want to grab a quick slice on the go. Their website boasts authentic Italian pizza, but I have never been to Italy so I can’t judge.

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They have some set pizzas with very fun flavour combinations and you can also add or take away ingredients to your liking, both meat and vegetarian options. I swear, the menu is extensive. The waitress was super friendly and helpful. I informed her of my anchovy pizza virginity and asked for suggestions. At first she suggested the Napolitana pizza which comes with tomato sauce, black olives, anchovies, and chilli flakes, but try as I might, I just am not a fan of olives. She said that anchovies pair well with red tomato sauces and with my affinity for spiciness, we settled for the Calabrese: Tomato sauce, mozzarella, cacciatore sausage, and hot pepper oil, adding anchovies on half of the pizza, just in case I didn’t like it.

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Calabrese, Coppia size ($17)

Being by myself, I don’t know why I didn’t order by the slice or something, because even though I saw that their smallest size, Coppia, came in 12 slices and served 2-3 people, I still ordered it. I thought I was a beast. I thought I was sooooo cool. It was huge. I did manage to eat a third of it though, which I am proud of.

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Latte ($3.90)

I also ordered a latte because I thought it was the thing to do. In my mind, coffee doesn’t go very well with pizza, but they’re both Italian (right? or is that espresso…). She also asked me if I wanted some dipping sauces. It’s like she knew I was a sucker for sauces. I ended up getting the creamy pesto and the spicy Caesar. They were both very nice. The pesto didn’t really taste like pesto to me, but the Caesar was very garlicky and right on. Unfortunately, I didn’t know they cost about a dollar each until I got the bill.

Get to the point, Judy. How were the anchovies? Was it horrible? Did you throw your pizza at the waitress and pee on the floor???

Because usual “hate it or love it” opinion on anchovies, I honestly thought I wasn’t going to like it. I’m usually pretty sensitive to salt, but wow oh wow! After comparing the anchovy slice and the non-anchovy slice, the anchovies definitely bring a whole new dimension to the pizza. I had the slice with anchovies first, and the second one just didn’t have as much POW to my mouth. It elevated the other flavours to a whole other level. I think it’s safe to say that I will now include anchovies in my pizza repertoire.

The rest of the pizza was great too. The cheese wasn’t a soggy mess.  The base was thick, but not dense and made for a nice solid base for the toppings. The sausage was great, nice and meaty, and the chilli oil was actually quite spicy! And I am not averse to spice! However, the crust was dense, but not crispy, which was a downer for me.

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Nutella Slice ($2.50)

I always have room for dessert. This was basically a pizza base, warmed up (the bottom was toasty and crispy!), with a generous spread of nutella, topped with some cannoli cream filling, and sprinkled with icing sugar. It was a great way to end the meal. You can also order these in bigger sizes to share with a group. Yummy yummy!

I wish I had gotten a pizza with fancy cheeses, or the margherita pizza which I’ve always wanted to try, or something with a lettuce (like arugula!) on it because those are on my pizza bucket list too. I guess that’ll just be another reason for me to come back to NàRoma.

I did not pee on the floor.

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The Old(e) Spaghetti Factory

Don’t worry, Montreal, I am taking this place by storm. Sampling some delicious thangs. One place I went to was the Old Spaghetti Factory, on Esplanade and Church. It’s so fawncy. The interior is large, mostly wooden, and stained glass everywhere. It’s like being in a really cozy church, without all the churchiness.

Never underestimate the power of freshly made butter. This was so soft, so flavourful, the butter just explodes in your mouth. The left is fresh churned butter and the right is fresh churned garlic butter. Garlic butter you say? Garlic butter. Oh yes, I’m in heaven. They serve this with a nice crispy french baguette. Working at a bakery has done wonders for my bread vocabulary.

Some nice and chunky clam chowder. The way it’s supposed to be made. It’s like I drank all of the sea in one bite. Long John Silver’s lost booty is in me.

Look at how beautifully ornate their plates are! This is just a regular spicy beef marinara sauce. Perfectly seasoned.

This is their most famous pasta, and you either love it or you hate it. Brown butter and cheese pasta. If you’re not afraid of clogging your arteries and butter and cheese sounds appealing to you, this is it. This is not just your plain butter and cheese. It’s actually got a pleasantly nutty flavour to it, but really, warning, before you order this dish, it is dripping in butter. I really liked it, but the one who ordered it, ahem ahem, didn’t enjoy it that much after a few bites. If you aren’t picky and like to try new things, I would, without a doubt, recommend that you try it this.

We ended it with some nice Spumoni ice cream, which I had never heard of before coming here, but I recently saw some at the supermarket. It is a vanilla, chocolate, and pistachio flavoured ice cream. The hot Italian cousin of Neapolitan ice cream.

All in all, we both agreed that the Old Spaghetti Factory had a great atmosphere, and half of us enjoyed the food immensely. Even for lunch portions, I was pretty full by the end of it.