Sherman's Food Adventures: Hearthstone Pizza

Hearthstone Pizza

Almost 10 years ago, I had visited Hearthstone Pizza out in PoCo (more like Coquitlam, but technically PoCo).  Fast-forward to the present, Jacky and I were invited to check it out.  Despite still being a pizza place, it is now run by a wonderful Korean couple where they have put their own touches on the menu.  Sure, there is still classic stone oven thin crust pizza, but they also have Korean-inspired pizza featuring a thicker crust that is actually not heavy.  Of course, they've added Korean snacks and dishes for their dinner menu as well as a pop-up of cream buns.  They are also licensed.

We ended up trying out most of their menu starting with the classic pizza.  These featured a thin crust and barely-there edge.  We started with the baseline in the Margherita.  This consisted of tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, tomatoes and fresh basil.  There was a good amount of everything on top, but despite that, the crust remained fairly crispy.  I found the tomato sauce to be mildly tangy with a balancing sweetness.  The decent amount of cheese made each slice rather hearty.  Despite the big slices of tomato, it didn't make the pizza too wet.

To get an idea of the other offerings, we did half-and-half of the Meat Lovers and BBQ Chicken as well as the Mediterranean and Hawaiian.  As with the margherita, the crust was relatively thin and was uniformly firm from edge to centre.  I liked how the toppings and cheese made it almost to the very edge of the pizza.  My favourite of the bunch was the meatlovers with the ample amount of meat.  The Hawaiian was also solid with plenty of ham and pineapple.  They weren't shy with the cheese either.

For the Premium K-Pizza featuring a thicker dough, we had the large No. 1 Signature that had a bit of everything atop its square pieces.  Each piece represented the different pizzas available on the menu.  The amount of mozzarella cheese on this pizza was ridiculous but welcomed.  Very cheesy and filling.  As for the crust, it was still thin on the bottom while thicker on the outer edge.  However, it was airy and light while filled with more cheese!  I feel that a large K-Pizza would easily feed 4 people (as long as they are not football linebackers).

Even though we had all of the pizzas represented already in the Signature, we ended up with 2 medium pizzas so we could try them in a bigger slice.  We got the No. 4 Gold Rich and the No. 7 Garlic Shrimp.  As much as there was just as much cheese and toppings on the gold rich as the signature, I wasn't a huge fan of it as it ate very heavy.  The sweet potato puree sure tasted great, but carbs on carbs make for a heavy slice.  However, the garlic shrimp was primo as the generous amount of melted mozzarella melded well with the buttery and well-seasoned shrimp.  Each slice was so delicious and aromatic, I wanted to eat more of it.  Alas, I was getting quite full at this point!

In addition to pizza, they also feature a few flavours of baked Chicken Wings.  We ended up with the Honey Garlic.  To ensure we were able to try the other flavours, we had side sauces of the BBQ and Spicy too.  Since these were baked, there was no batter on the outside, which made the skin more rendered.  As for the meat, it was fairly moist given that the wings were baked enough for the skin to be rendered.  The honey garlic was mild and only lightly sweet.  I loved the BBQ sauce, it was plenty tangy and sweet.  The spicy did have a nice kick to it.

Onto the Korean eats, we had some snacks including the K-Corn Dogs and
So-Ddeok So-Ddeok.  I really enjoyed the So-Ddeok So-Ddeok as the rice cakes were crispy on the outside and soft and chewy on the inside.  Such appealing texture.  Also, there was just enough sweet and spicy sauce drizzled on them.  The sausage was meaty and nicely grilled.  Lastly, the corn dogs were coated aggressively, but the batter was not as heavy as it appeared.  Nice crispiness on the outside and plenty cheesy on the inside.

At night, they serve certain Korean dishes including the Gamjatang and Korean-Style Sausage Stew.  I really enjoyed the pork bone soup as it was served bubbling hot and was flavourful.  There was a nice meatiness to it while exhibiting a noticeable spice.  The pork bones were fall-off-the-bone tender.  The sausage stew was a smaller version of the dish and sported noodles in a spicy broth.  There was a good amount of sausage and tofu as well.

One more snack was the Corn Cheese that was
served on a long and deep plate, the corn cheese had plenty of cheesiness while the corn niblets were nicely textured and sweet.  Our last Korean dish was the Steamed Egg and if you look at the picture, it was plenty fluffy and light.  There was a good amount of green onion on top which partially dominated the flavour profile (dependent on where you scooped).  Otherwise, it was sweet and mildly flavoured.

Also located within Hearthstone Pizza is Golden Brown where they have a selection of savoury baked buns as well as their sweet cream buns.  We tried all 3 of their savoury options including the Corn Cheese, Basil Pesto & Chicken and Ham & Cheese.  All 3 featured a firmer exterior that was slightly crispy while inside was soft and nearly pillowy soft.  There was no absence of ingredients and seasoning to make these tasty.  I very much enjoyed the basil pesto as it was herbaceous and the corn cheese was sweet from the niblets.  Ham & cheese was pretty basic, but had a good mix of cheesiness and saltiness.

Now those were really good, but I found their Cream Buns to be even better.  The bun themselves were pillowy soft and had a slightest of chew that gave it a great mouth feel.  Inside, there was so much filling that you can't help but get it all over your face.  My favourite of the bunch was the basic milk cream as it was like eating an eclair but in a soft bun.  The Oreo cream was good too, but sweeter.  Chocolate was similar to the milk cream except tasting like milky chocolate.  If red bean is your thing, the matcha & red bean had plenty of impact from the slight bitterness, but balanced off by the sweet red bean.  So as you can see, there is a lot to eat here at Hearthstone.  A bit misleading from the name, but rest assured, the Korean food is legit and the buns are heavenly.  I guess you might have to make multiple visits to try everything!

*All food and beverages were complimentary for this blog post*

The Good:
- That K-pizza has so much cheese and toppings (even in the crust!)
- Solid Korean dishes
- They even have Golden Brown cream buns

The Bad:
- They do a good job in pulling it off, but maybe a bit too many items on the menu?


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