Stabbing Caesar: Pizza Factory

Beware the Ides of March! And by “Ides” I mean garlic, and by “March” I mean the Pizza Factory’s dressing.

Stabbing Caesar is a one-person quest to review every Caesar salad in Peterborough.

Our first adventure: The Pizza Factory, est. 1980. Located at the intersection of Lansdowne and the Parkway.

The menu at The Pizza Factory proclaims their Caesar salad as “World Famous.” I am skeptical. For one thing, I doubt anybody in Bolivia knows or cares about the Caesar salad at a family restaurant in an Ontario city. For another thing, “World Famous” doesn’t specify what they’re famous for (it’s probably the garlic).

I was there on the Tuesday after Labour Day. The dinner crowd was mostly grey haired seniors, with a few young couples. Let me lay the scene for you. The dining area is richly decorated with columns and urns of flowers. On one wall, a mural of Peterborough landmarks. On another wall, a mural of the sort of Greek landscapes that owner Peter Bouzinelos once called home. The soundtrack to my dining experience was provided by an incessant mix of traditional Greek and Italian music. Heavy on the bouzouki and accordion.

I ordered a large Caesar salad, priced at $10.99. If you want to be frugal, a small is $5.99; or if you crave a heartier meatier salad, you can order a chicken Caesar salad for $14.99. Now it’s time to deconstruct the components of the salad, to try and get at what makes a good Caesar salad so good.

Lettuce? Romaine, chopped into good size pieces.

Dressing? House made, the lettuce is well covered. My friend euphemistically referred to the taste as “hot.” Hot as in extremely garlicky. Good, if you like that sort of thing.

Croutons? A good number. Crisp, airy, and lightly seasoned.

Parmesan? A good dusting of cheese over the plate.

Bacon bits? NO BACON BITS?? A bit of research reveals that bacon bits are not an integral part of the Caesar salad, but I remain shocked and appalled. If they don’t offer bacon, how am I supposed to ask if you can order a salad with no bacon?

Overall diagnosis: a decent Caesar salad. Extremely garlicky! Take your date here if you’re worried they’re secretly a vampire and you want to know. Or, if you kind of know they’re a vampire but want to continue living in ignorance, then don’t expose your significant other to the significant levels of garlic in the Pizza Factory’s Caesar salad. You should also try their pizza, considering it’s the Pizza Factory and all. You could even get it as take-out.

Check the next issue of Arthur for more food adventures!

Fun fact: Julius Caesar started a reform of the Roman calendar, which is why September is the ninth month even though sept means seventh. Go figure. ALSO the Roman calendar was originally lunar, and didn’t line up well with the solar year. Determining when a year ended was in the hands of the pontifex maximus, who abused this power by giving more time in a year to the politicians they liked. Julius Caesar’s “year” of his third consulship lasted 446 days.