I’ve eaten pizza in little places all across Canada. I check out three common foods in every new place I go – butter tarts, rice pudding and pizza. Gastronome! Yes?
I recently found myself on the less-than-inspiring Highway 401 between Montreal and Toronto. It’s a five and a half hour drive if the traffic is good (which is not very often) and it gets a little tedious. This part of eastern Ontario along the north shore of the Saint Lawrence River is quite beautiful, but this is not the road to take if you are looking for scenery, so it’s a relief to get off along the way and take a break.
About the half-way mark is the City of Brockville. Named after the War of 1812 general Sir Isaac Brock, it is one of Ontario’s oldest settlements. It has spectacular civic and residential architecture and a very pleasant by-the-river, small-town feel. Besides being a stalwart representative of Upper Canadian dignity and Loyalist sentiment, Brockville is home to one of the best pizzerias in central Canada.
Holding down the middle ground of a mighty pizza triumvirate – Colonnade Pizza (1967) in Ottawa, Olympic 76 Pizza (1976) in Toronto and Pizzeria Napoletana (1948), or maybe Bottega, in Montreal – 1000 Islands Pizza (1970) in Brockville renewed my flagging faith in the mom & pop comfort food continuum. But most importantly, their food is brilliant.
Patriarch and guardian of the family recipes, Nick will probably be making fresh dough in the kitchen. He’s been doing that for more than half of his 80 years. Son George will be working the till and the front-of-house staff will be kibitzing with the regulars (many of whom are featured in the framed pictures that cover the walls) while presiding over a continuous flow of hot pies and sensational caesar salads from the back.