Thursday, October 13, 2011


Winter has come. I know it's only October, but here in Montreal fall is merely an excuse to buy overpriced cashmere sweaters and consume gluttonous amounts of pumpkin pie. As I write this from underneath my Ninja Turtle Snuggie all I can think about is one thing: pizza. More specifically, Jane pizza. Confession: I think about pizza more than people bemoan the price of gas. If it wasn't for the copious amounts of Halloween candy I consumed earlier today, I'd even consider venturing down to Griffintown to fetch some.

Not only does Jane have the best pizza in Montreal (I'd notarize this if I could), but there's something about this place that beckons you to spend an evening on its cozy banquette or bar-high back table, (the site of last Hanukah's gift exchange among my gal pals. In case you were wondering, I received a very handy pair of Blackberry/iPhone'ing gloves, sort of like these, only less OJ Simpson'ish.) As I was saying, Jane beats the devil out of any restaurant that's ever been described as "warm and inviting."

Maybe it has something to do with my memories of parallel parking into snowbanks on drafty Notre-Dame Street or of klonking into the place with my Sorel boots, but whenever I'm cold I automatically crave Jane.

Last Saturday was no exception. Snow's southern cousin, Rain Storm, was in town and had set up shop for the night. I had been looking forward to our 10:30 p.m. reservation since 8:30 that morning. Samburger, DF (Samburger's BFF) and I rolled in ready to gorge. 

Buffalo fries ($6)
Joined by our friends KR & BG, we started the meal off with two orders of Buffalo fries. Anyone who's ever ordered Buffalo Bills will feel me on the following. Remember how when ordering the "combo pack" the fries would get all coated with wing sauce? Remember how freakin' delicious that was? Well, that's what these fries taste like, but better. 

Taco: Minced beef, salsa, guacamole, cheddar, coriander, sour cream - olé! ($22)
After a night of too much tequila and grappa, a taco and a pizza got together and created this sweet love child. What makes this pie work is the symmetry of the toppings. No one thing overwhelms the other. I particularly love the sour cream; I will definitely experiment with a dollop next time I make pizza at home (Dr. Oetker's, that is).

Bianca: Béchamel sauce, Mozzarella di Bufala, parmesan, pesto, truffle oil ($17)
When most people hear the word "rich" they think of Hermès, Rolex watches and Apple shareholders. I think of the Bianca. And just like the infamous Birkin, the Bianca is a true indulgence.

Mac 'N' Cheeza: Cheesy macaroni, tomato sauce,  3 cheeses (ominous), truffle oil ($19)
One word comes to mind when I see this picture: bulbous. It's practically giving birth! Unlike some other crusts, these orbs are far from hollow. This perfectly puffed pizza platform is all dough through and through.

The Mac 'N' Cheeza may seem like overkill, but it actually makes sense together. The macaroni adds a wacky layer of texture to this otherwise "normal" plain pizza. Don't get me wrong, Jane's so-called "plain" offering, the Rossa [not pictured], is far from normal. It's a revelation. 

The nice thing about Jane, aside from it being all-around awesome, is that tax is included in the prices. Hence, no need to pull out your abacus come cheque time.

In terms of price, this place is definitely Plebe-appropriate. Each pizza easily feeds two. But what really makes it Plebe is the atmosphere. In a zip code where mortgage-breakers like Joe Beef and Liverpool House reign supreme, anyone can waltz into Jane (with a reservation) and be treated to an incredible meal for under $20. 

Price: $20 per person + tip. Samburger paid. 

1744 Notre-Dame West
Montreal, QC
(514) 759-6498
Reservations are a must!

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