128-560 Johnson St
Phone: (250) 590-2648
The difference between the different types of pizza available out there — Neapolitan, Sicilian and traditional American — is distinguished by what type of flour is used for the dough and what ingredients are used. For Neapolitan, San Marzano tomatoes must be used, and the Market Square based operation is Famoso for it. Okay, bad pun, but when this establishment is technically a franchise, neither James or I were quick or that highly interested in checking this place out when it came into business years ago. Now that I’m seeing this place is a permanent fixture, perhaps it’s finally time to check this place out and give a very late answer if Prima Strada should worry about their competition.
I say there’s none to be found. Very little overlap really exists. The Strada offers wood fired (and wonderfully scented) tastes whereas Famoso only reveals the fact their product is baked in a clay-shaped oven. I didn’t ask but I’d be curious in learning what form of heat is used. In a decades old building, I do not think allowing age-old techniques would be allowed by the fire marshal so adapting the space was important. When considering the Mexican place next door had a fire and closed down as a result, I’m sure safety is a huge concern.
La Tana Italian Bakery
101-3 Fan-Tan Alley
La Tana is a bakery located a few doors away from Fan Tan Alley‘s south side entrance and when I was crossing the street from Market Square to head to Triple Spiral, I was detoured away by the luxurious smells that emerged out of here. The lunch time crowd was fairly sizable, and when the sandwiches are made out of fresh ciabatta bread, I can understand why this place is popular.
Not only is the owner raised on traditional values when he was growing up in Italy but also he gave up a more brilliant career (he was to be a computer programmer) to focus on his love for bread. I can see why with the scents that drew me in like a mouse to cheese, and with plenty of baked snacks lining the displays, I was tempted to get more than just a sandwich on this visit. Each day presents a different variety of baked sweets and I thought about grabbing some Lingues and Pizza Blancas.
Unit 140 – 560 Johnson St.
If Indonesian food simply means adding prawn chips to the dish then I’m sold! Ayo operates out of a corner space in Market Square and the small space should not be a deterrent when the space downstairs is a stage to sit, snack and relax in. In any season, this hub is a nice place to visit. I miss it; I frequented this space more in my youth during the early 90’s when Island Fantasy Comic Shop occupied the lower quarters beneath this food operation. Ever since they closed their doors, I don’t frequent this space as often.
102-560 Johnson St.
J: Wannawafel as a business is a complete no-brainer. Victoria has always been accepting of a good waffle recipe but it took a local Belgian family with their own recipes to turn something good into what might become a multi-million dollar franchise.
The family has gained previous success on an episode of CBC’s Dragon’s Den, a show where millionaires sit and listen to business ideas and product pitches only to get richer in the process. It’s not my cup of tea but something must be right if the Dragons see the potential.