Wednesday, May 29, 2013

For lunch today I checked out the 13th annual Windsor Star Pasta & Pizza Fest

I've been hearing about this event for weeks, mainly over on Eyes on Windsor where I've done a couple of guest blog posts. I didn't think I was going to be able to check it out this year but then I had a sudden schedule change at work so my time was freed up and I was even able to bring my wife along with me.

This year marks the 13th annual Windsor Star Pasta & Pizza Fest. This event is put on to benefit The Kidney Foundation of Canada, Windsor & District Chapter. There's a long list of local sponsors including The Windsor Star, AM800, RBC, McDonalds, Riverview Steel, The Windsor Police, Champion and the aforementioned Eyes on Windsor.

Big crowd even half an hour before the end.
The event was hosted at the Giovani Coboto Club, always an impressive place to visit and the hall was packed. It cost us each $12 to get in which seems like a great price for all you can eat food and supporting a good cause. Due to my work schedule we got there a little later than I would have liked: in the closing half hour. Due to this I was sad to find that most of the food was rather cold, especially the pizzas. Almost none of the vendors brought ovens or anything and there were just boxes of king size pizzas sitting out and pasta in chafing dishes.

Volunteers were on hand to serve you and there was an insane amount of selection. I counted 35 different local restaurants, clubs and hotels in attendance. Most places were offering at least one type of pizza and a pasta dish. Most of the pasta offerings were some form of penne with meat sauce but I was glad to see some other variety including gnocchi and even a rice dish and some stir fry. Most of the pizza places were offering cheese and pepperoni or some type of deluxe pizza. There were some notable exceptions like the Napolitana from Antonino's.

Capri, Arcata and Antonino's 
Personally I stuck with mostly Pizza but did have to try The Hilton's Chorizo and Shrimp Penne as I just love Chorizo. Everything I had was good, though I still wasn't a big fan of the temperature. I tried pizza from about six different places and two different pastas. My wife grabbed more pasta than pizza and also tried a mix.

I fully expected to attend this and leave with some new places to order from and maybe somewhere new to take my parents out for dinner (My Dad loves pizza and my Mom is a huge penne fan). I didn't get that. While we were enjoying our styrofoam plates of food we would go back and check to see where our favourites came from. My wife found two pastas she really enjoyed. Looking into it they both came from Koolini's. Well we already knew the pasta there was fantastic. There were two cheese and pepperoni pizzas I enjoyed the most. I checked, Capri and Anoninio's. I already knew those were two of the best Windsor Style pizzas in town. So while everything was good there were no surprises except for one.

Armando's Revs and Hilton pasta
The biggest treat of this event for me was trying something totally new from Armando's. This was their new Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza. This stuff was great. Real authentic deep dish pizza mixed with that stuff that makes Windsor Pizza some of the best in the world. A really amazing combination. I actually spent some time talking to the man behind this new pizza (totally should have written his name down, sorry dude) and he noted that this would be something new that would be available in the next couple weeks from their Cabana location only. The good news for those of us not local to that location is that to start out they will be willing to deliver it city wide. From there they have plans to expand it outward to two or three more stores.

Overall I was glad we managed to find some time to stop in. Next year though I will make sure to get there early while everything is hot and the desserts haven't run out.


  1. Hi Moe it was great seeing you and your wife today! The deep dish pizza from Armando's was awesome! It's definitely going to be a big hit when they add it to the menu!

    1. Agreed, it was nice to put a face to the name, well a 3D in real life face :) I think it went very well today and I'm going to try to make sure to make it out next year, though earlier :D