Friday, October 13, 2017

#FoodPornFriday - Windsor Style Pizza

A Large Meatlovers from Capri Pizza

Today I have a practical #FoodPornFriday post all about Windsor Style Pizza.

A Queen take out Pizza
from Windsor Pizza
Nine times out of ten when I post a picture of Windsor Style Pizza and mention that I'm having/enjoying Windsor Style Pizza I will get at least one comment asking what exactly Windsor Style Pizza means. I've answered that quest now at least 20 times, maybe as many as 50 times. It doesn't matter how often I answer it, I'm certain that the next time I post a picture of Windsor Pizza on some social media site someone is going to ask me: What's Windsor Style Pizza.

So that's why today's #FoodPornFriday post exists. So that the next time someone asks me this question I can just provide them with a link to this blog post. Instead of typing out the same answer over and over I will just have to share this link. So let's get to it:

What is Windsor Style Pizza?


Small 2x Cheese Peperoni Sausage
from Armando's
Though it seems many people don't believe it, Pizza in Windsor Ontario is unique. Most people have heard of Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza or New York style pizza. Some people have even heard of Detroit Style Pizza (it's square). But it seems that Windsor Style pizza is something only people from Windsor or people who have been to Windsor know about. 

Now that's starting to change. If you Google Windsor Style pizza you will find quite a few articles. There's a great one titled How Did Pizza Become One of Windsor, Ontario's Hottest Exports? and another great one about Volcano Pizza titled: Volcano Pizzeria: A look into one of Windsor's most famous pizza palaces. Check them out if you have time. 

Volcano is where the whole thing started. It was the first pizza place in Windsor and it set the standard for everything that came afterward. Every single 2nd generation pizza place (many of which are still around to this day) owe their success to Volcano and most of them were opened by previous employees of Windsor's first Pizzeria. 

There are many places in Windsor where you can still get Windsor Style Pizza. Armandos, Franco's, Koolinis, Acrata, Capri, Antoninos, Riverside, Roma's, Rivera, Naples, Sam's, Winsor Pizza and probably 20 more I'm forgetting about. Personally, my favorites are Windsor Pizza, Capri, Antonino's, and Armando's. 

What makes Windsor Pizza Special?

Medium Bacon and Scallop pizza
from Sam's
Windsor Style Pizza has a thicker doughy crust that should be crusty on the bottom but soft in the middle. This is middle thickness, not deep dish at all but not the flat style you see at many wood oven places. The sauce is a spicy sweet arabiata style. Differing levels of sweet and spicy are one of the main things that set various Windsor pizzerias apart. Toppings go on top of the cheese never under (sometimes if you get extra cheese that goes on top, usually part way through cooking). 

There are a few idiosyncrasies in regards to ingredients. Pepperoni (often just called sausage, whereas what most people would call sausage can be found as Italian Sausage on many menus) is sliced, never full circles. Sausage (Italian Sauage) is a local brand that is usually small balls and rather fennely. Mushrooms are canned and are usually Success brand. Vegetables and other meats are usually roughly cubed. Additional fennel and sometimes oregano either in the sauce or sprinkled on top (some places like Antonino's have shakers for you to add your own once you get your pie).

The pies themselves are oven baked. I personally have no idea if there's such a thing as a Windsor Style Pizza oven, or if all pizza places use the same style but I do know that pretty much every place I stop in for pick up has similar looking ovens. The important part though is that they use an oven, the whole wood-fired thing, while good, isn't Windsor Style. 

Random slices from Koolini's
The biggest Windsor Pizza secret for years was the cheese. The mozzarella comes from a local shop called Galati Cheese Company Ltd. This was an industry secret for a long time and was what caused many "Windsor Style Pizza" places that opened out of town in London or Toronto to fail. They had the recipes from the Windsor places but couldn't get exactly the same ingredients. Now the Galati secret is out and you can now see all Windsor Pizza places with signs stating "Proudly serving Galati cheese" prominently displayed.

So yes, Windsor Style Pizza is a thing. A big thing for the people who love it. If you don't belive me just check out this article: Sask. couple orders beloved Windsor pizza for long-distance Super Bowl delivery, where a Sask. couple paid $140 to have an Arcata pizza flown out there for their Super Bowl Party.

Note not every pizza place in Windsor does Windsor Style Pizza. May people consider the Caboto Club to have the best pizza in town and it's a thin crust wood fired style pizza. One of the best pizzas I've had comes from the newly opened Downtown Pizza Co and they also don't serve Windsor Style. I just wrote about their pies last week

Friday, October 6, 2017

#FoodPornFriday at the Downtown Pizza Co.

Walk in the Woods

A week ago my wife and I had the pleasure of attending the Friends, Family, and Foodies preview night at the Downtown Pizza Co. so I thought I would talk about it for today's #FoodPornFriday post.

This is the latest restaurant by Mark Boscariol who also owns Snackbar-B-Q and the Willistead. It's right downtown at 255 Ouelette Ave. where you used to be able to find Chanosos.

As expected they specialize in gourmet pizza. This isn't Windsor Style pizza though. Instead, you will find both white and red sauce wood-fired pizza on very tasty sesame seed crust.

During the event, my wife and I got to try two of their pizzas and both were fantastic. 

At the top of the page here you can see my wife's Walk In The Woods. A white sauce pizza with honeyed mushroom, mozza, fior di latte, parmesean, roasted garlic, thyme and sesame crust.


Over to the left there, you can see my Mario & Luigi. A red sauce pizza with genoa, calabrese, hot capocoolo, roaster garlic, green olive, chili flake, fior di latte, mozza, paremesaen and seaseme crust. 

Along with great pizza, the Downtown Pizza Co. also has a great craft beer selection. I was very happy to see that they had at least one beer from pretty much every local brewery. You could get Walkerville, Brew, Frank, Craftheads and even GL Heritage from Amherstburg.  In addition, they also brew their own beers. 



That night they were featuring the pizza and beer and a couple mixed drinks so that's all we got to try. It's worth noting that their menu also includes salads and a selection of excellent sounding sandwiches.  They also sever fresh made soft serve ice cream.

Overall I was very impressed. The beers were great. The pizza was even better. I happily welcome Downtown Pizza Co. to the city core and hope to be back there often. 



Friday, September 22, 2017

#FoodPornFriday featuring Etta's Greeklish Eatery

Okay I know it can't be good for me. There's no way anything with this much meat and cheese is really good for anyone, but I don't care.

Today's #FoodPornFriday post features one of my favourite local breakfasts. This cholesterol killer is the Meatlovers Casserole from Etta's Greeklish Eatery. IT's a massive bowl of bacon, ham, sausage, fried egg and grilled potatoes covered in cheddar and mozzarella cheese. by massive, I mean even this big dude can't usually finish a bowl. There's probably enough food to feed a family of four here. I've never left Etta's without leftovers, and that's not a bad thing.

You can find Etta's at 5975 Wyandotte E in the heart of Riverside. I strongly recommend going for breakfast, though they are open all day and serve a great lunch and dinner. I'm just partial to their breakfast (and not just this casserole).

Friday, September 8, 2017

#FoodPornFriday featuring Cheeseburgushi


Today's #FoodPornFriday post comes from Universal Studios in Orlando Florida. Specifically from an amazing restaurant called The Cowfish that is part of the Universal Citywalk.

As you may expect from the name, The Cowfish specializes in burgers and sushi. But they also have something else: Burgushi. That is what you see here. Specifically Cheeseburgushi.

I will fully admit I was leery when my mother in law ordered this. I did have to admit it looked pretty damn good when it showed up though. Come on look at that picture, you can't tell me that doesn't look appetizing. So how was it?

This was by far one of the best things I've eaten in my entire life. It was so damn good!

After finishing just one piece of this burgushi I looked at the three other specialty rolls on our table and wished they were the other varieties of burgushi. That's knowing that Cowfish has really damn good sushi, but it's nothing compared to this monstrosity they have created. An amazingly tasty monstrosity.

My only regret is that we had meal plans for the rest of our trip and getting back to The Cowfish was not part of the plan. If we ever make it back down to Orlando I will definitely make sure that a trip to Cowfish is on the itinerary and when we get there I'm ordering one of each of all the different types of burgushi.

Friday, August 25, 2017

A why didn't I think of that? #FoodPornFriday


Everyone in Windsor knows the place this came from, though they probably don't recognize what it is. This was my side with my Chicken Delight. That's right Windsor's Penalty Box.  

When I asked what the soup of the day was the last time we were at the Penalty Box the waitress said: "Grilled Cheese and Tomato soup" and I was sold instantly. I love that particular combo, at least when it's two separate things, a grilled cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup. Putting them both together as one thing sounded too interesting to pass up.

As you can see in that lovely #FoodPornFriday picture up there, when the soup came it was basically a twist on a French Onion Soup (another personal favourite of mine). Here I had a big hot bowl of tomato soup filled with garlic croutons and topped with melted mozzarella.  It was fantastic and brilliant. I keep sitting here thinking, man why did I never think to do this. Why haven't other people thought to do this? I should be seeing this soup everywhere. 

The only problem with this soup is that you can't just go get some right now. It was a soup of the day and who knows when Penalty Box will have it again. Maybe it's worth calling to find out? Hmm.


Friday, August 4, 2017

A sad #FoodPornFriday post about The Leaf



Yes, you can believe your eyes. I actually managed to post two #FoodPornFriday posts in a row. Actual consistency. Now next Friday we will be in Florida so I double I can make it a hat trick but we will see.

While I'm happy I managed to actually post two weeks in a row this #FoodPornFriday post makes me quite sad. What you see pictured here was my favorite dish from The Leaf Neighbourhood Grill. I say was my favourite dish because The Leaf recently closed its doors, for good.

This bummed out my entire family. The Leaf was our favourite 'family restaurant.'  It was the place we went the most often with my parents. It was somewhere we went regularly with our kids. It's also somewhere my wife and I would go when we just wanted some down to earth good food.

This particular dish I always ordered as Butter Chicken. On the menu, they called it Chicken Mahkani. Boneless chicken breast grilled and smothered with Indian butter sauce. Serviced with Jasmine rice, hot Naan bread, and the seasonal vegetable.  Nine times out of ten when we went to The Leaf this is what I got. I loved it and I miss it.


Friday, July 28, 2017

#FoodPornFriday featuring my all time favourite comfort food: Hot Hamburger.


I love sushi. I love a flavorful steak. I love bacon wrapped panko encrusted chicken stuff with ricotta and spinach. Sometimes though I just want something traditional. But, sometimes I want some good old fashioned comfort food. So this #FoodPornFriday I'm sharing this pic of my favorite comfort food: Hot Hamburger.

I love a good Hot Hamburger. To me, a good Hot Hamburger has to be a freshly made beef patty and has to come with mashed potatoes, never fries. The rest can be changed up. A side of veg? Sure. Chicken gravy instead of beef gravy? Sure I'll try that. Swap that white bread for biscuits? No wait, the bread should be white bread. I guess I'm a bit pickier than I thought.

I'm guessing many Windsorites can guess in an instant where this particular Hot Hamburger came from. If the placemat menu doesn't give it away the wood table should. The Lumberjack has been a Windsor staple since 1980. I remember going there when it first opened and it was much, much smaller than it is now (and so was I). My biggest memory of that trip was the heaping mound of mashed potatoes my meal came with. I remember being reminded of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I don't remember what meal I got with that huge mound of potatoes but I'm willing to bet good money it was a Hot Hamburger.

Friday, February 3, 2017

#FoodPornFriday Cinnamon Toast Crunch French Toast from TOAST


I really don't know what I can say for this #FoodPornFriday post. This Cinnamon Toast French Toast from TOAST on Erie Street pretty much speaks for itself. 

The actual toast is coated with ground cinnamon toast crunch cereal. There are almonds and oats on there. Even the whipped cream isn't your average whipped cream but is instead vanilla whipped cream.

I do have one warning about this one, though it should be obvious at this point: this breakfast is sweet. Okay, more like SWEET! Which I have to admit went really well with TOASTs great coffee.

Friday, January 20, 2017

#FoodPornFriday - a Sunday tradition of comics and coffee


Our family has something we love to do every Sunday. It starts with stopping at Windsor's best comic shop: Rogues Gallery Comics

We have a pull box at Rogues. For the non-comic book fans, that's when you ask the store to set aside certain comics for you each week. They put them in your box, and when you show up they pull them for you. This is done to make sure you don't miss any issues. Myself I've been reading the new Marvel Star Wars comics. My wife is still huge into ElfQuest and the kids love the two current My Little Pony runs. 

Once we are done at Rogues we had downtown to The Coffee Exchange. For some drinks, sweets, and to read our new books.

I've loved the Coffee Exchange for years and have been going there since it was right across from The Palace Theater. It has moved twice since then and is now a bit further down Ouellette closer to the river. 

The coffee exchange has fantastic coffee, the best cappuccino in the city (according to my wife), great tasting and reasonably priced kids drinks (mine go for the kids hot chocolate every time) and some great snacks. 

So who out there has a pull box at the local comic shop? How about lazy Sunday traditions with the family?