With great food comes great responsibility. At least, that’s part of the thinking at Without Papers Pizza. After all, with pizza this good, there needs to be great service to boot, which in this case, means helpful staff, late hours and free local delivery. Located in Inglewood, co-owners Jesse Johnson and Angelo Contrada opened up Without Papers just over a year ago, sitting on top and slightly to the right of Sugo, their popular Italian restaurant that’s been a fixture on Calgary’s dining scene for more than 10 years.
WoP’s atmosphere switches gears from Sugo, creating a casual and intimate pizzeria with bright south-facing windows, exposed ductwork and original red brick walls. The space is reminiscent of its previous tenants, Nectar Desserts, with the addition of a completely exposed kitchen giving onlookers a chance to watch the magic roll, flip and bake in the red flame-broiled oven.
Throughout the day, movies play on the projectors set up in the centre of the room, with staff choosing their favourite black and white, Disney or other random flicks.
But what separates this joint from the rest is all in the dough. Hand-made, seasoned, thin crust and light, it’s the kind of carbs you’d enjoy eating by itself that doesn’t taste or feel like eating sliced bread. Coupled with toppings like wild boar sausage, spicy braised rapini and roasted garlic panna — the stuff on my personal favourite pizza, the Hog Wild ($22) — it forms a cornucopia of New World flavour unlike any other.
With a decent list of appetizers to choose from, I highly recommend the mini mountain of assorted meats and cheeses ($19) filled with three different kinds of cured meats and cheeses, along with homemade chutney and oven-roasted flatbread.
Although comfortable, the small space can make for a crowded and fairly loud meal; your best bet is to come during lunch hour, or book a dinner reservation after 5pm each night. 1216 9th Ave S.E. 403-457-1154; Monday to Thurs: 11am – 10pm. Friday and Saturday: 11am – 11pm. Sunday: 4pm – 9pm.
Image courtesy of Adam Trinh.