Famous Peppers Pizza a delicious slice of life

Bob Gray
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Soooo, the lightning was crackling down last Saturday, the rain was pounding on the deck and the thunder was rattling the walls of the house.

What to do, what to do?

Why, evacuate somewhere for supper of course. We wanted to drive away from the scary dark clouds, which was tricky to say the least, and the only direction which appeared a little less dark was east.

So off we scooted up the 48 Road, which was deserted and relatively dry, at least for the time being. The 48 Road ends - or begins - at Cardigan, and Cardigan is home to the legendary (to pizza aficionados) Famous Peppers Pizza.

It was a meteorologically-inspired supper choice, and it turned out to be a good one.

I first heard of Famous Peppers when it became active with local schools who were trying to follow the new school Healthy Eating policy, and it began to nudge out the big chains for school pizza days with some healthier choices.

Since then, I have heard a number of serious pizza eaters sing its praises as well.

It's a very small take-out place, with a nice deck overlooking the Cardigan marina, ideal for pizza inhaling.

However, with lightning bolts still thundering down from on high in the near vicinity, the deck wasn't much of an option.

A brand new air-conditioned eat-in area was rapidly nearing completion, and may be ready even as you read this. But it was not an option that evening for us, either. The parking lot was full of cars with people waiting for their orders when we drove up, always a good sign.

So the plan, which worked out perfectly, was to order take-out pizza and then have a classic in-the-car supper, parked at the marina, watching the storm clouds boil down the river in front of us.

Upon entering Famous Peppers, we were greeted cordially by Sue Donahoe who, along with Tanya Campbell, was in charge of the place that day.

I was extremely impressed by the cordiality of the greeting, to tell the truth, as the temperature in Famous Peppers that afternoon was approximately the same as that of the planet Mercury, and the power kept snapping off and on from lightning strikes in the area.

It takes a special person to be friendly in that kind of situation, and Donahoe obviously is.

We checked out the list of possible house signature pizzas, from the Sgt. Pepperoni to the Cardigan to the Doctor (veggie) to the Meatster to the Five Peppers (looked outrageously spicy) and decided to invent our own.

First, we had to choose a crust. We went with the whole wheat (regular as opposed to thin) and loaded up with tomatoes, green peppers and chicken.

And then just to celebrate being so healthy, we slapped bacon on the top. Yippee!

You can also get pizza by the slice at Famous Peppers, and slices were disappearing out the door at a rapid rate the whole time we were ordering and then waiting (just 15 minutes).

Just before heading back to the car to wait, where it was much cooler, I peeked back at the cooking area, and was enthralled by the sight of the women hand-throwing the pizza dough, spinning it up over their heads.

Now this is the real deal, I thought to myself.

We took the pizza back to the car, drove over to the marina and then opened the box and doled out the first pieces. Our initial reaction was delight, as the bottom of the box was definitely not greasy under the pizza - at all. It was remarkable.

The pizza was just as good as we anticipated it to be. The whole wheat crust was absolutely delicious, and the toppings were remarkable.

"Big" was the operative word. Nice large round slices of fresh tomato and red onion, big hunks of chicken and significant pieces of crisp bacon.

The piece de resistance (pun certainly intended) was the long crisp slices of fresh green pepper. Cheese and sauce, but just a bit, complemented the toppings without overwhelming them.

What we had was so far removed from chain pizza as to be a whole other food, and we wolfed down all but two slices of our 12-inch order. We took the two slices home, where they lasted about 18 seconds after the visiting vegetarian son spied them.

"Uh, you know that has bacon and chicken on it."

"Not a problem, they've both been declared vegetables for the evening," he mumbled gleefully with his mouth absolutely stuffed.

You can get serious spice at Famous Peppers, of course - hot banana, habenero and jalapeno peppers dot the menu - but they aren't for me.

They'd still be holding onto my ankles at the edge of the wharf if I had gone for the hot peppers.

Twelve inches of some of the best pizza I have ever had, two pops and a great view of the thunderstorm along the river all came to $18.45 tax included. We finished things up with ice cream at Gillis' Drive-In just down the road toward Montague, and thanked the thunder for sending us east.

Summer Savoury will add some flavour to The Guardian every Friday. Bob Gray welcomes comments from readers. He can be reached at bgray@pei.sympatico.ca.

Geographic location: 48 Road

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Recent comments

  • Benny
    June 21, 2010 - 20:10

    Loved the artiticle on Famous Peppers in Cardigan. I agree with your comments regarding the excellent pizza and the friendly servers.
    Benny Nabuurs