I was a bit sad when Elmer’s in Myaree closed down.
The small goods store had a large authentic range of German snags and meat, and probably did the best bratwurst and kransky south of the river.
However, the last time I visited it looked a bit like the last days of the Third Reich – empty shelves, tired displays and the only other customer was an Austrian pensioner, banging on about sauerkraut and arthritis.
From the meaty ashes of Elmer’s has risen The Good Pizza, a spin-off from The Good Grocer IGA next door, which has a splendid range of everyday goods and deli treats (it even does square sausage if you are a Scottish ex-pat).
The Good Pizza had all the old favourites covered including capricciosa, prosciuttini, mixed seafood, meat lovers-style, vegetarian and the beloved margherita.
There wasn’t anything that exciting apart from the truffle and mushroom, but if it did things well there would be no complaints, as I prefer simple well-executed dishes.
There was also an antipasto menu with a small range of focaccia (rosemary, garlic and bresaola) and a couple of desserts (Nutella stick, gelato).
Although cosy, you can sit inside the stylish pizzeria or outside in the shaded alfresco, and if you like a glass of vino its BYO (if you buy your grog from The Good Grocer Cellar next door there is no $5 corkage. See what they did there – clever cross-marketing).
I went for the Fisherman pizza ($29). It said “mixed seafood” on the menu and while there was a few prawns and calamari, it was mostly mussels and thick chunks of salmon, which was a bit unusual.
There was a subtle garlic oil on the seafood and it was finished off with parsley and cherry tomatoes.
I like my pizzas thin and well-fired, but this was Neapolitan-style with a thicker, slightly chewy base.
I wasn’t a fan of the San Marzano tomato sauce – not thick enough and tasted a bit like a jar of passata.
Things improved with the All In ($28) – a kitchen sink pizza including mozzarella fior di latte, mushroom, capsicum, pineapple, ham, pepperoni, Italian pork and fennel sausage, anchovies, olives and fresh basil. You may want to get the defibrillator ready for this bad boy.
It was so overloaded with toppings, I could barely lift up the slice without it collapsing under the weight.
But once safely inside my mouth, it was a pleasant if rather chaotic cacophony of flavours and textures.
“I really like the Italian pork and fennel sausage,” noted my wife.
“It adds a subtle sweetness.”
The kids brought up the rear with their margherita ($21).
After two weeks of swimming lessons at school, they wolfed it down and were deathly quiet (usually a sign they are eating, playing the iPad or plotting to get me – like putting cling film over the toilet seat).
My wife and kids really enjoyed their pizzas, so it will probably come down to this – do you like Neapolitan-style or the thinner and crispier Roman-style.
If you fancy a snack, The Good Pizza also do by the slice and from 11am-4pm sell a range of schiacciata sandwiches (made from crisp and chewy Tuscan-style bread) including Italian, Favolosa, Pistacchione and vegetarian.
I think Good Pizza will need to up its game if it wants to compete with the likes of Blend, Terra Mare and Eugene’s Pizzera, but it’s early days and I’ll be back to try their gourmet sangers.
The Good Pizza
67 North Lake Road, Myaree
Open 11am to 9pm,
7 days a week.
by STEPHEN POLLOCK