From time to time, people ask me if I ever get sick of Asian food. The answer is yes, I most certainly do. The same thing happened when I lived in Italy, and sometimes just wanted a break from cured meats and pasta. That was, of course, until I moved home, then missed them so much my soul ached.
This year, when I really need a break from sushi or dim sum, I get any meal involving bread and cheese. Yesterday, as I ran around collecting Thanksgiving dinner groceries and more decorative gourds than our table can actually fit, I decided to try out Pizza Express. It’s a small, rather run-down shop just north of Brighouse Station, and sells pizza by the slice as well as whole pies to go. I needed something quick, easy, and cheesy.
You can choose your own toppings, or a pizza from their set menu. While I could have chosen one of their Super Specialty flavours, I decided to come out of the Hawaiian lovers’ closet and declare my nostalgic preference for ham + pineapple.
When I was a kid, there were only two kinds of pizza: Hawaiian and Pepperoni. Having a birthday party? Hawaiian and Pepperoni were on the table FOR SURE. Pizza day at school? Hawaiian and Pepp were the only options, unless some picky kid insisted on plain cheese. I even feel relatively sure that when McDonald’s went through its (fortunately short) pizza phase, two of their flavours were indeed The H and The P.
Just as every kid had his or her established doughnut flavour from Tim Hortons, so too did they have their pizza preference. My doughnut was Boston Cream, and my pizza was Hawaiian. Hawaiian all the way. I loved the sweetness of the pineapple and the saltiness of the ham, and of course, just the carb-y, cheesy greatness of pizza in general.
So while standing in a shop that looked unchanged since my childhood, I went with the old classic. Actually, I upgraded to the Super Hawaiian with bacon, because why on earth would I say no to that option?
It cost $13 for the small, and took about 10 minutes. I took it outside and dug in. You know what? It tasted just like my 1990’s memories of it. Not fancy, but ever so satisfying, with a good soft crust (baked in a pan like at Wheat House) and a decent amount of toppings.
Pizza Express doesn’t make groundbreaking pizza, but it does do inexpensive, quick, and traditional flavours from a convenient (if not slightly old-school) location. For the more gourmet side of things, I’m still looking forward to trying Steveston Pizza. And don’t worry, I won’t be asking for Hawaiian pizza there.
Now, as I mentioned before, my roommate and I are hosting a Thanksgiving meal this year. I always have Thanksgiving dinner at home if I can, but not everyone has the resources and/or time to do so. If you’re looking for a fix of turkey and cranberries, here are a few places offering up feasts this weekend in Richmond!
Cash and cards accepted
Vegetarian options available