PEI Pizza

June 25th, 2008 by Potato

In Charlottetown, we found that Little Christos is open again. This used to be my favourite pizza place when I was a kid — pizza worth driving 2 days in from Ontario for. Unfortunately, they closed down about 10 years ago after coming out with their own line of frozen pizzas for the grocery store (which perhaps cannibalized their restaurant business). While it was good, it wasn’t quite like I remembered. The story is that the son of the original guy is running the place, with all the original recipes… and over a decade does dull the memory a bit, but nonetheless I couldn’t help but feel that the pizza I had this week was a lot cheesier and a lot less fluffy than the ones I remember. I also recall the pizzas having more sauce, and a bit more spice to them — but then, lacking in sauce can just be a variation thing even with the original recipe. Talking with the staff, they say that sometimes the pizzas just don’t quite rise up as much, and that the fluffy thick crust with the really large bubbles was their signature back in the day. It might be upselling, but she said that next time I should order a large since the smalls and mediums don’t rise as much in the oven.

Little Christos aside, PEI always seems to be at the forefront of pizza technology. Garlic fingers, for one, are an awesome and incredible invention that for some reason is quite slow to spread to Ontario (though we do load up on them when we’re at Pizza Delight in Penetang!). Dipping sauce also got it’s start out there, AFAIK, and is now way more popular in Ontario than it ever was out there, helped no doubt by the switch from “donair” to “creamy garlic”. This year, I saw in the Greco pizza place fridges for their pizza slices. Rather than having the pizzas that you order by the slice sit under hot lamps or wither at room temperature for hours on end, they throw them right in the fridge to “preserve freshness” and then heat them up again when ordered (which you have to do anyway with the heat lamps or room temperature displays). If you think cold pizza is even better than fresh (which is a particular breed of insanity that only seems to affect females in my experience) then you can even get it cold, right out of the fridge. Will this trend catch on and move west to Ontario? I kind of doubt it, since it seems kind of sketchy and would require a lot of equipment and changing of displays — Greco may have done it partly because they co-branded with Capt. Submarine, and turned their former pizza-by-the-slice display into a sub topping/prep area; the “pizza fridge” looks to my eye like the same fridge they used to store their bottled pop in, just with some new decals. Nonetheless, I’ve got to hand it to them for their clever ideas, and if I see chilled pizza taking off in Ontario, I’ll know that it was out there first.

Another not-quite-pizza invention is the bread bar from Piazza Joe’s. I wish I had thought to take a picture of it, but it’s basically a very large open grill where you can toast your selection of a number of different types of bread and top with a selection of spreads. It seemed to me like a huge waste of energy: this giant grill pumping out heat non stop when a couple of toasters could do almost as good a job. It was, however, a neat and entertaining way to get your pre-dinner bread, and it was nice to have a selection of breads with everything from white sandwich bread to sourdough baguettes. The bread bar idea has now been implemented in the Cornwall Pizza Delight, so it’s spreading…

In other news, I’m back in Ontario. The trip went well, but the internet over the dial-up really sucked balls. I haven’t read the Liberal Green Shift plan yet, but hope to soon and to share my comments with both of my readers. Stay tuned! The Canadian Capitalist has posted his take on it and there’s a small discussion going on over there.

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