Location: 1706 Dundas Street East, Mississauga
Papa John’s seems to be slowly but surely expanding around Toronto; I guess they must be doing okay, because they opened their first location a few years ago, and they’re still opening new ones.
I have fond memories of eating Papa John’s during my childhood trips to Florida, so I guess there’s always going to be a nostalgia-fueled spot in my heart for the place. Because the pizza from Papa John’s was pretty bad, but I still kind of enjoyed it.
The crust is tasteless and vaguely gummy, the cheese is rubbery, and the toppings are mostly what you’d expect (except for the sausage — I can’t even sugar-coat that one, the sausage is flat-out gross). But there’s still something inexplicably appealing about it. It’s junk, and yet you find yourself compelled to take another slice.
There’s that old saying about how even when pizza is bad, it’s still pretty good. That’s Papa John’s in a nutshell: it’s bad, but… it’s also kinda good?
This definitely also applies to the dipping sauce, which is basically just a tiny tub of garlic-powder-flavoured grease. I enjoyed it in the same way that I enjoyed the pizza: with a furrowed brow and a not-insubstantial hit to my self-respect.
Location: Check their Twitter
The Canuck Pizza Truck is one of the more eye-catching food trucks out there — it’s a 1946 Chevy Stovebolt, and it features a real, no-foolin’ wood-burning pizza oven. At first I thought that they had perhaps made a gas or electric oven look like a wood-burning one — but nope, you can peek inside and see the logs burning, so it’s the real deal.
They have a few different options, but I went with the Meat-za, which comes topped with bacon, sausage, and pepperoni. They sell by the slice for six bucks (which is a quarter of a pizza) or the whole pie for $23.
The pizza basically tastes like a cross between the Neapolitan style you find at places like Queen Margherita Pizza and Pizzeria Libretto and the cheesier, more traditionally North American style found at pizza joints everywhere.
It’s good. The cheese, sauce, and toppings are all pretty solid, and the wood-burning oven gives the crust a satisfyingly crispy/chewy texture that you can only get from an oven that hot. It’s not exactly the best pizza I’ve ever had, but if I find myself in the vicinity of this truck again, I’ll probably get another slice.
When I went, they were a bit disorganized (putting it mildly) and didn’t seem to have a much of a system for taking and delivering orders; it was a mess, but given that they’re a fairly new truck, I’ll cut them some slack on that.