It seems to me that restaurant options in small towns across Manitoba usually look something like this:
- Locally-run diner/bar
- Chicken Chef
- Chinese restaurant
(all of which smell like an old curling rink, except for Subway, which smells overwhelmingly like Subway)
When these are the only options, which is the case in many Manitoba towns, one of these places has to fill the pizza void. None of these establishments specialize in fine Italian food, but the pizza demand is real, so the local bar/restaurant usually makes it work.
Q: How do they make it work?
A: cracker crust
If you’ve ever eaten pizza in a small town, this photo likely looks familiar. It’s doesn’t taste bad; it’s just different – less authentic italian, and more flakey, crumbly crunch. I call it the cracker crust. Small town diners order frozen cracker crusts by the case to fill the pizza void.
Small town pizza has grown on me as a sort-of comfort food. On Friday evenings when I don’t feel like making supper, a loaded cracker crust pizza from the River Inn sure hits the spot!
It’s funny though, when you hear someone refer to small town cracker crust pizza as “good pizza,” especially when they’re not saying good in the sense that it’s yummy, junkie, comfort food. When someone thinks this type of pizza is good pizza, it leads me to believe it’s the only pizza they’ve ever had. For me, any big slab of carbs smothered in melted cheese is always going to be enjoyable, but that doesn’t mean it’s good pizza.
I’m sure there’s a small town out there somewhere with a great pizza restaurant. But for the majority of us, it’s cracker crusts for supper on Fridays.
Small town diners filling the pizza void with frozen cracker crusts – just another one of those small town things