Old Meets New at Santo’s
10821 95 Street
At Santo’s, the times have changed and it is change for the better.
Mention of the newly renovated Santo’s has been made several times over the past few issues of the paper. We’ve met the new owners and discussed the huge transformation that has happened in the space. The interior is much more inviting and there is more of a separation between the gaming and dining areas. A new set of washrooms in the dining area means that someone who wants to avoid the gaming area altogether does not have to venture near there at all. The outside signage is also being revamped as this is being written.
While we have been hearing a lot about the physical changes, we haven’t been hearing much about the food. I have been visiting the restaurant regularly since it reopened. Here is a basic summary of my experiences.
First of all, the menu is in general similar to the old one. Prices are still reasonable. There is a huge selection of pizzas and pastas, and some interesting additions include an all-day breakfast menu and daily appetizer specials.
But let’s get down to brass tacks. How does it taste? My gnocchi with bolognese sauce was a huge portion with lots of meaty sauce. I was as happy with it as before.
Then, I tried the steak sandwich. I had found the steak at Santo’s to be rather bland, but this was very flavourful, coated in sautéed mushrooms, and served with a heaping helping of fries.
On a Saturday afternoon, I had the appetizer special which on that day of the week is the chicken fingers and fries. Three plump pieces of breaded white breast meat faced me alongside fries and a small glass of beer on tap.
I was definitely curious about the breakfast menu, so the following Saturday I had the “Little Italy.” The plate of two eggs, toast, and hash browns was not little at all! At only $4.95, this is one of the cheapest breakfasts in the area. Other choices include a cheese omelette, and various egg and meat dishes.
But the truest test was still to come. I had to try the pizza. A 12 inch pizza will still cost you around $13 and there are some new toppings from which to choose (like donair meat). There is now also a 10 inch pizza for only $7.95 for two toppings. It was a perfect choice for me, as I was dining alone. I enjoyed how loaded the pizza was, literally dripping with cheese and my choice of toppings (mushrooms and black olives). The crust was quite a bit different than the previous incarnation. I was glad it stayed crispy throughout the meal, surprising considering how much topping was on the pizza. Still, I found myself nostalgic for the puffier, hand-tossed crust from the days of old. Perhaps this will improve with time.
Santo’s is now completely an 18+ venue. The bar has also been totally redone, and there are flat screen televisions tuned to sports throughout. I will continue to come here for the great food, friendly service, and very affordable prices – and to patronize a business that cares about the community.