This is a love story. Old world style. With Mama’s and Papa’s and the whole family in the mix. On 118th Avenue in the heart of Alberta Avenue in Edmonton, a little shop called Battista’s Calzone Company opened in October 2010…and you can taste the dedication to goodness in a hot little bundle.
It would seem that the principle of doing one thing, and doing it well, is finding success among Edmonton’s independent food establishments…from coffee gurus at Transcend, to macaron magicians at Duchess, to Liege waffle experts at Eva Sweet, to the BBQ king at Bubba’s BBQ and Smokehouse, these local masters are finding faithful followings from their food loving fans.
With a little monkey who has a serious aversion to all things vehicular, I was fortunate enough to have my food loving sister volunteer to deliver calzones from 118th Avenue to my little house in Allendale. She arrived with the food and the story, which was later elaborated upon by my food loving Aunt and Uncle.
First the food. With four selections to choose from, I was immediately drawn to the meatball calzone. Handmade meatballs, mozzarella, in a golden crust. Good decision. Even after being transported across the city, it was perfection. Tender perfectly seasoned meatballs, lovely delicate tomato sauce, generous mozzarella, chewy but soft golden crust, assembled perfectly for one handed eating. This was no beginner calzone. You only need four things on the menu when those four things are expertly executed. I’m not ashamed to say that I had no problem finishing the whole thing off despite its generous size.
The accompanying stories of this charming, gentlemanly, famiglia loving owner made me love Battista’s calzone even more. Treating each customer as if they are a guest in his home, asking real questions about their experience of his food because he ALWAYS wants to keep making his product better and better, insisting upon helping my sister and her bundle of piping hot calzones and Oranginas to the car, and telling my Aunt and Uncle that he has had a hard time convincing his Italian mother than she simply cannot make each and every meatball that goes into his calzones herself.
Old school charm, plus mama’s recipe for meatballs, plus dedication to making the best calzone in town, equals a recipe for success. If you haven’t already, then you must go and meet Battista AND his delicious calzones…and if Allendale happens to be on your way back home, I’ll take a meatball calzone please…extra sauce and an Orangina. Grazie mille!