Italian Supermarket, Calgary

On Saturday afternoons, the Italian Supermarket fires up its wood-burning oven and churns out homemade thin-crust pizzas til 4 p.m.

I figured it’d be fun to stop by and grab one as a snack one Saturday, not realizing there’s only one size — large. But what a deal. We got a quattro stagioni for $13.99. There are about half a dozen basic choices.

It’s amazing to watch the ladies make the pizzas in front of you on the impossibly tiny counter, with vegetables from the store and meat from the deli down the aisle. They write your name on the box, so they know it’s yours.

While you’re waiting, you can look around the countless different kinds of espresso, canned tomatoes, and of course, pasta.

Italian Supermarket, Calgary

Our pizza only took about 15 minutes but it was late afternoon already. The four quarters were split into (I think): ham and red peppers; sausage, roasted green peppers, artichokes; black olives, onions and mushrooms; and red peppers, mushrooms and black olives.

Lina’s Italian Market, just a few blocks away, is brighter and bigger, but the Italian Supermarket has more of an old-country character. When we were there, there was a table of Italian men chowing down on pork chops and sausages for lunch as a World Cup game played on the TV.

Italian Supermarket, 265-20th Ave. NE, Calgary, (403) 277-7898 or 277-7875. Open weekdays 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Click for website here.

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