I've had Bella Pizza at a couple of different locations already and none of them so far have lived up to the hype my girlfriend instilled in me. Hemlock was next.
Typical pizza-dive with a small front counter and bolted down tables and chairs (a la 90s McDonald's vintage). It doesn't make me flinch, however. This means the pizza should be good, right?
I order a couple of mediums, an all meat and a double cheese. You get a good amount of toppings but I'm more interested in the dough and sauce, the key foundation for good pizza. The dough was overly chewy, bland and lacked the overall outside "crisp". The tomato base was almost laughable, acidic and bland with resemblences to a can of Hunts. We really had to rely on the saltiness of the toppings to coax a little flavour on our palettes. Mediums run small, but they seem to run small everywhere else these days. At $29 for the 2 mediums, it was rather pricey for what we received.
Most of the staff are surly but nothing out of the ordinary.
My boyfriend and I used to get the garlic fingers, as well as their regular pizzas, from the Homer location on a regular basis. Their pizza was delicious, and the garlic fingers were absolutely outstanding, particularly the dip that comes with them. Then we moved, and now we live closer to the Hemlock location, so the Homer location refuses to deliver. However, the Hemlock location is much, much worse than the Homer one. How can this be, if they use the same recipes?!
The garlic fingers are average, and the dip that comes with them is actually bad. All you can taste is vinegar. The pizza is not great either. If you're looking for great pizza, go to the Homer location. Don't even bother with the Hemlock one, it will just be a huge disappointment all around.
Service was decent.
I've had pizzas delivered from this Bella location before, and they've been pretty good in the past. So tonight I wanted to have a pizza delivered, but knew I had to leave the house at 6:45. Since it was only 5:30 and they told me it would be about 45 minutes, no problem right? 6:30 comes and goes, and I give them a call inquiring as to the whereabouts of said pizza. The guy on the phone apologizes and says the pizza is on its way out the door at that very moment. Hmmm, I didn't know that Wednesday nights were that busy, but maybe I'll at least have time to wolf down a slice before I have to leave?
A good 15 minutes pass (bear in mind that I live all of 4 blocks from the pizza place) and the delivery guy phones me and complains that my apartment buzzer isn't working. I confirm that he has the correct buzzer number, and volunteer to meet him downstairs. He says he left and is calling from a payphone a few blocks away, since "my cellphone is out of minutes". Ooookay... I go out front to wait for him (by which time I'm late for my appointment, but still hungry). When he finally arrives he points to the buzzer he was pressing, again complaining that it doesn't work. I point out to him that he's pressing the wrong button, to which he responds that he'd forgotten his glasses. Maybe if you're delivering pizzas, you might want to bring those along next time?
The pizza, when I finally got to have some a few hours later, was pretty good, but after this experience, I don't think I'll be troubling Bella Pizza with my business in the future.
A lot of pizzerias don't understand when you request them to cook the pizza for a few extra minutes. Especially in Vancouver, they freak out. Back east it's more common for people to ask for this, but no one ever does it here. The few times I've asked for it, I've just been given puzzled looks, the pizza place worries that it will burn but it doesn't. It's just well-down and tastes better as the cheese is well-browned.
I've learned to just pop my pizza in the oven after it's delivered.
Otherwise, Bella pizza is pretty solid, and aren't stingy with the cheese, and I like their pizza sauce. It's a chain so some locations are better than others.
The day was Monday, the one day that my go to Pizza guy takes the night off. So I read some reviews on Bella Pizza and all seems well and I go in with good expectations. I figured, hey, this might be a godsend the next time a Monday and a unquenchable pizza urge comes around.
They have your regular topping options, nothing spectacular, nothing exotic, but sometimes thats all we want right? "What could go wrong with a Pepperoni Pizza, double cheese cooked well done"
I said to myself.
Well come on, first thing. It's a Monday, it's not busy so lets try to follow directions and leave the pizza in the oven a couple minutes longer and give the customer what they want. Dough was thick which is all fine and well if it's cooked properly, cheese was oily which can be combated by cooking it well done and crisping the surface of the cheese. Good thing I got it to go so I could bring it home and cook it myself.
The other two "chain" pizza shops next door and across the street are just as good and sometimes better, at least there you know what your going to get.