This month, we released our Best Neighbourhoods issue. Calgarians filled out the survey, Leger Marketing crunched the results, and the top neighbourhoods for the year were released.
Village Flatbread, which opened this spring, has a few different ideas when it comes to neighbourhoods. For this restaurant, neighbourhoods have tastes and toppings. The restaurant chose to name all its menu items after Calgary neighbourhoods that “have it all.”
Ryan Wright is one of the managing partners at Village Flatbread, along with Chris Iturbe. He shares why the restaurant chose such a distinct naming system and explains the ideas behind a few of the dishes.
Where the idea came from
Wright says that it all began with the name of the restaurant. After naming it Village Flatbread, the team began thinking about great neighbourhoods in Calgary and how they could pay homage to them. Wright says some pizzas were named through gut feelings about a place, some through particular experiences and some through word associations. “Each neighbourhood evokes something different for people,” says Wright. “Naming them was an art and everyone will have a different experience when they taste the flavours.”
The point of the naming system is to pay homage to great ‘hoods in Calgary that are in line with the restaurant’s vibe and values. “We chose neighbourhoods that are local, sustainable, organic, that harken back to the way things used to be, community oriented and inclusive,” says Wright.
Flatbreads named after your neighbourhood
The process was very much by trial and error. It involved a lot of making flatbread and a lot of eating flatbread.
The team started with a pizza and then worked backward to think of the perfect neighbourhood. (Wright’s personal favourites are the Mission and the Richmond.)
$11 half order/$21 full order
The key distinguishing factor with this flatbread is the basil. Rather than having each flatbread with toppings that are associated with a neighbourhood, some flatbreads are named to help the servers and have word association instead. (Basil for Bowness, marinated chickpeas for Marda Loop, for example.)
This variety of flatbread has three different kinds of meat: salami, pepperoni and sujuk sausage. Wright says that the reason this meaty pizza was named after this northeast ‘hood was because of its Italian roots. The toppings are intended to pay homage to that.
The Kensington is topped with chicken, Monterey jack goat cheese, black bean and corn chili, smashed tortilla chips and cilantro. Wright says that he associated this BRZ with the (now extinct) Sun and Salsa Festival. “The neighbourhood also has a Latin vibe, so we decided to give it Latin flavours,” he says.
Since Village Flatbread is located in Richmond, Wright wanted to name a flatbread after the surrounding neighbourhoods. (There’s also a Killarney flatbread.) The Richmond has roast beef, potato and chimichurri. Wright says the flatbread has a unique flavour profile and lots of different ingredients, reflecting the idea that this neighbourhood has everything you need as well as a mix of different people.
This flatbread has a free range egg on it. Cute.
Sandwiches and drinks are named after neighbourhoods too
The Forest Lawn is housemade hibiscus tea. Wright grew up in Forest Lawn and the first time he ever tasted hibiscus tea was in this area.
The Parkdale is a pizza sub. This neighbourhood was chosen for the dish because Avatara Pizza, another pizza restaurant where Wright is the managing partner with his business partner Chris Iturbe, is located in that area.
Village Flatbread, 2511 17 Ave. S.W., 403-888-1200, myvillageyyc.com