Italian on the Drive – Fratelli’s & Urban Grain

Two of our favourite places on Commercial Drive in Vancouver, are Urban Grain Pizza and Fratelli’s Bakery. Naturally, I couldn’t go to Vancouver for the weekend without visiting both. (Thank goodness they are just a hop, skip and cannoli away from one another!)

It was no accident that I timed our trip to Commercial Drive to coincide with lunchtime. After browsing the aisles of gourmet treats and gadgets at Gourmet Warehouse on Hastings, we made our way over to the Drive, parked in front of Fratelli’s (What luck!) and bee-lined straight for Urban Grain. Well, we may have made a detour or two (I’m looking at you, Wonderbucks and Barefoot Contessa).

Urban Grain specializes in ready-to-eat slices of pizza with inventive toppings on a too-good-to-be-good-for-you multigrain crust. I have never had the same slice twice, and this trip was no exception. I was going to break my rule and have the mushroom pizza again, but then I saw that they had one with roasted BEETS. I know, right? It, and my slice of eggplant and peppers, were sublime…and cheap! The three of us stuffed ourselves for $12 (6 slices and 3 canned drinks). You can’t beet that! (Sorry!) It’s a good thing we live 2000 km away, otherwise we’d be there every day.

Of course, if I were to go to Urban Grain every day, then I would have to go to Fratelli’s, too, and that would be dangerous. Very, very dangerous.

Our standing order at Fratelli’s is one chocolate éclair for the mascot, one coconut macaroon for me, and one oatmeal chocolate chip cookie to share. Since this was a special occasion, we ordered an extra chocolate dipped coconut macaroon…and an extra chocolate chip cookie…and a loaf of lemon poppyseed loaf….and a vanilla napoleon for Mumji. Then, in a purely gluttonous display of joy, we ate everything (save for the lemon loaf) in the car right outside the bakery. I mean, why waste a perfectly good parking spot?

*please excuse the janky, out-of-focus pizza photo. I was in such a hurry to eat it that I didn’t bother to take a good shot. I have artisticized it for your viewing pleasure.

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