So checking out my online banking statements, my debit charges at Pizza Pizza downtown come up as "Pizza Pizza #1".
This merits some investigating. As a Bank of Montreal customer, when I deal at the central Hamilton branch, it comes up as branch #012. If I go to headquarters at Place d'Armes in Montreal, it's #001 (which is why you go).
So Pizza Pizza #1? Here in the Hammer? That can't be right. It's certainly not the first, but is it the first franchisee (as the East Main Crappy Tire is the #1 Crappy Tire franchise, but not the first Crappy Tire overall)?
Teh Wiki says no. All through the T-dot first, and Etobicoke. Hamilton isn't even mentioned. The #1 thing must be some centralized banking system within the Pizza Pizza network.
AND THEN I read that Pizza Pizza has exploded in Quebec. Like TimHo before it, in NDG, and then spreading out through the rest of the city. (TimHo in NDG was good for curing homesickness during my school daze there, but it was certainly a trek. Now, of course, it's everywhere, and so nothing special.)
It's too bad. Montreal had fantastic pizza, all little mom and pop places that sold a buck a slice. On Rue Guy, close to school, there were two next door to each other that were having a price war, 49 cents and 47 cents. Those were good days for hungry students. There was a great one at the top of the escalators in the Guy Concordia Metro station, and its smell would waft downwards to greet you on your way up. Maaaan, that was fucking fantastic. And good places on the Main, and meh ones in Le Colisee which you could bring home still hot, for those days when you just didn't want to cook, and FFS it's only a dollar. Pointe au pizza. Such an institution.
Pizza Pizza is fine. Nothing wrong with it. But it was nothing compared to those Montreal locals. It's a bit sad that Pizza Pizza is pushing in, no doubt at the expense of Lebanese guys selling Italian pies at 47 cents a slice.
Good times, good times...