Oddly, Good Pizza

I picked Catherine and Oliver up yesterday at the airport around supper time and, what with our cupboard being bare at home after a two-week absence, we decided to go out for dinner. Although Oliver pushed hard for The Noodle House, I pushed back with a suggestion that we try the new Boston Pizza out by the mall.

After the whole Mike’s debacle four years ago — Mike’s was the last chain pizza restaurant to open out by the mall — I didn’t have high hopes for Boston Pizza. But you have to try everything at least once.

And to our surprise and delight, they make a very good pizza: thin crust, not drenched in sauce or cheese, and available in a stunning variety of combinations (we shared a “Thai Chicken” for example). Their staff are obviously very well-trained — we had several “well, that was very nice” episodes — and they are family-friendly both in attitude and with a kids’ menu that includes more than just dinosaur-shaped deep-fried chicken (Oliver had the quesadillas and salad).

The place was packed, so the word must be getting around. A shame it has to be part of the University Ave. urban sprawl, but it’s the best pizza in town right now — Catherine said it was the best pizza she’s ever had in Charlottetown. We’ll be back.


Dale's picture
Dale on December 12, 2006 - 15:13 Permalink

Hi Peter, perhaps you or your readers can help to settle a debate we are having here at work. It has to do with franchise restaurants in Charlottetown. What was the fast food chain that originally occupied the Paul’s Flowers location on University Avenue?

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on December 12, 2006 - 15:30 Permalink

I just phoned Paul and asked him personally. It was Pizza Shack.

Dale's picture
Dale on December 12, 2006 - 15:33 Permalink

Thanks Peter! That ends the debate! Two people here were convinced it was A&W, everyone else believed pizza…

Cyn's picture
Cyn on December 12, 2006 - 17:10 Permalink

We tried Boston Pizza as a family as well. There was a huge crowd in the restuarant side so we went to the bar (kids are 23 and 21 so it worked out for us, but many families were turned away or were made to wait. Opening growning pains I guess.)

We liked the food in a mediocre kind of way and the bar side has a good atmosphere. Big honkin’ mugs of beer too. The service was fab, but the bill was outrageous. We each ordered a moderately priced entree, 6 beers all together, and one dessert for a grand total of 120 buckaroos.

I don’t mind paying that price at say, Sironellas or even Pilot House, but not at a franchised big box food factory, allbeit a well-thought-out place to go.

Alan's picture
Alan on December 12, 2006 - 18:03 Permalink

When we moved from PEI to Ontario in 2003, one van’s transmission fell out right in front of a Boston Pizza. We were very grateful that it did not come off as badly as their TV ads might suggest.

Andrew MacPherson's picture
Andrew MacPherson on December 12, 2006 - 19:25 Permalink

I recommend avoiding the non-pizza entrees. We lived in Cold Lake, Alberta for three years where Boston Pizza was the only “decent” restaurant. I hope to never eat there again — it is way too salty. Another negative memory was the customer service but I think that was more due to northern Alberta than the chain.

Ann's picture
Ann on December 12, 2006 - 20:07 Permalink

A friend of mine ate there recently and had to order 4 things before she hit on something on the menu that they actually had.
I dunno. Something about chain restaurants rankles me.

Kevin's picture
Kevin on December 14, 2006 - 00:35 Permalink

I’m not a pizza snob; I’ll eat almost anything and enjoy it. I went to Boston P a few days ago and was disappointed. You said, “…they make a very good pizza: thin crust, not drenched in sauce or cheese…” I found almost the opposite of that — a thick crust, that would have been soggy on its own, soaked in sauce but, on the “upside”, there was hardly any cheeze. It may just be because they only recently opened and perhaps things are inconsistent, but if what I got was their usual fair then Grecko (when ordered with HALF sauce) or Pizza Delight are tastier (and cheaper).

Charlie's picture
Charlie on December 14, 2006 - 13:45 Permalink

Here in the HRM we have Boston Pizza locations in Bayers Lake, Dartmouth and Sackville and according to the business section of the Herald a new location opening on Granville downtown soon. We always go to the sports bar side, it’s less noisy than the dining room on a busy night and the staff is usually not so overworked. Any place that offers free drink refills on pop/ice tea and actually drops off new ones before I have to ask gets big points with me. The bandera pizza bread appetizer is always a winner, as are most of the pizza dishes. Other things can generally be hit or miss with better success ordering a few appetizers rather than one entree.

Next time you are in Halifax I’ll look forward to your review of Bubbles’ Mansion ;)

Al's picture
Al on December 16, 2006 - 16:29 Permalink

Boston? I could never figure out why a Canadian franchise headquartered in BC chose the name of one of the most Irish cities in the US for a big-box pizza chain… New York, maybe, but Boston??? My family’s from Providence and believe me, New England is not a hotbed of Italian cuisine.