This week I spent four days in Brockville Ontario teaching a course for the Ontario Recreation Facilities Association. I made some new friends and certainly enjoyed this beautiful city on the St. Lawrence River.
I am dieting or watching what I eat more carefully and when you are doing that you are always thinking of food. It may have come up during class…one of the recreation professionals in the room, Sonja, suggested ‘Thousand Island Pizza’. “You have to try it”.
Wednesday was my last night in Brockville and I was going to make it Pizza night. This personal and solo Pizza night is not to be confused with the infamous Pizza Nights of Penn’s Landing, Fat Hogs Bay, BVI. But a pizza night it would be.
In order to ‘watch what you eat’ and have a pizza night it requires walking to and from the pizza establishment. I was fine with that, even though it was 2.5 miles each way. I was surprised how small this apparently infamous place was. Small pub sized establishment.
As I was passing through the door my pizza night began. My server greeted me with a genuine smile and engaged in conversation that also seemed genuine. I was whisked to a table and presented with a menu. Before I had even got my iphone out she was back for my drink order…I had a Stella (100 calories oh well it’s Pizza Night). Since I had already been prepared by Sonja and other members of the class I knew what they said I wanted and I ordered.
What happened next surprised me. We’ve all been to those other restaurants where various newspapers lay disemboweled and flayed here and there around the restaurant. Once my food was ordered I started to become fixated on my iPhone when another server, the guy in charge it seemed brought three different newspapers over to my table. They were fanned out in an obviously practiced maneuver and offered with a “would you rather look at a newspaper while we cook your dinner?” I was blown away. These were virgin newspapers and you can tell.
I put my iphone back into my pocket and started to pay attention to what was happening around me and what was this place really like? There was a steady stream of people coming in to pick up their phone in orders. Obviously the majority of the orders are take out. Most of the folks picking up pizzas are well known and greeted by name. There were a couple of families in the restaurant who were engaged by all the servers and were having a great time. They were accommodated with pizza orders with 1/3 this and 1/3 that…
I ordered a TI special from their menu. Sonja et al had encouraged me to order the Antijitos. If you are thinking I am on a calorie break away you are right. They were some kind of a baked tortilla with cheese and peppers and stuff in them and they were amazing. I scarfed them down.
My (small) pizza arrived and it was as I had anticipated. It was amazing. It was obviously hand prepared. There was no discernible pattern to the pepperoni or any of the ingredients. It was a small pizza and I mowed down 4 pieces. This left two and the dilemma. I have to walk 2.5 miles back to my hotel. My server was shocked that I did not take the two pieces with me. She was almost as shocked that the two pieces even still existed as she had watched the four disappear with ease. I seriously considered trying to get them back with me but when I walk in a city there are instances of horn honking and locking of brakes etc…they might not have made it back.