Curse or blessing? My new favorite pizzeria in Montreal is just a stone’s throw from my house. And I just can’t get enough of it! Located in a particularly residential corner of Villeray, a stone’s throw from the Crémazie metro station, Maps serves the neighborhood’s households, but also attracts many curious people to the north of the metropolis.

Percy Carrière and David Reilly are long-time friends. Music and food are their shared passions. The name Maps is also the title of a song by one of the tandem’s favorite rock groups, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. When Percy enrolled at the Pearson School of Culinary Arts a few years ago, David, who worked in architecture, thought, “It’s now or never. » He signed up too. Before the pizza, there was the sourdough bread – you can also leave Maps with its very dense square for your toast the next day. David did a baking internship at the popular Hart Bageri in Copenhagen. Then the two men wanted to open their business before COVID. Their plans were delayed.

Many Maps customers choose to take their large cardboard box home (or to the park!), but pizza is never better than straight out of the oven, eaten on the spot. And now that there’s Wills beer, wine and a few side dishes on the menu, it’s more pleasant than ever to sit down at one of the large communal tables or at the glass counter.

It still took several months to get there. Initially, there were only five pizzas on the slate and empty walls. The capacity of the beginnings being limited to around sixty “pies”, it sometimes happened that everything was sold before 7:30 p.m. A true fact!

For example, we can imagine that the pizza dough was not made in a day. It contains four types of flour (including “bise”, semi-whole wheat flour, and spelled), then a mixture of sourdough AND yeast. This is the result of long experiments and long fermentation.

Not claiming to belong to a specific school, Percy and David decided to simply make the pizza they like. “We were looking for good coloring, crispness and lightness,” they say in unison. If Brooklyn-born institution Roberta’s has been a leader in neo-Neapolitanism, for example, the Maps guys think they’re probably practicing “neo-New York.”

Since the pizzas are large (16 inches), enough to feed two people, it takes time (or friends) to work your way through the menu, even if it’s short.

Pepperoni fans are very well served with crispy cutlets. Adding a dash of spicy honey makes all the difference. The white one, with garlic cream, chives and sesame combined with mozzarella and parmesan, has its fan club.

For my part, it was the “Sausage”, with peppers and red onions, which won my taste buds. It is garnished sparingly, spicy just enough, and therefore just as digestible as the others. An ephemeral pizza appears from time to time, depending on the tests that the chefs do. But I always come back to my first sausage love.

To the delight of plant lovers, two salads were added to the menu a few weeks ago. Both the Caesar and the green one, with its fried shallots and roasted pumpkin seeds, are exemplary. As I said, nothing makes it to customers’ mouths until perfection has been achieved. And quietly, small fresh starters will complete the slate. Only missing one or two desserts!

First there were sodas, Zamalek (excellent hibiscus juice), then beer from the Wills microbrewery, in Mile-Ex. Now you can also order a glass of artisan wine. The choices are limited at the moment, but well chosen to accompany the pizza.

Pizzas range from $22 to $30 for 16-inchers that feed two people. Salads are $13 and $15. As for wine, we’ll pay about $11 a glass for it.

You have to climb two steps to enter Maps and the toilets are not suitable for people with reduced mobility.

Open Tuesday to Saturday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.