Regina Pizza

petros

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No, it's not a law firm.

Canada Owes Regina Pizza to Four Greek Immigrant Brothers​


ByRobert Besser
November 9, 2022

In North America, the best-known pizzas are without a doubt the pies originating from Chicago and New York. However, in Canada, pizza aficionados have to thank four Greek immigrants for the country’s own unique pizza, known as Regina Pizza.

Regina Pizza was created when four brothers named Kolitsas opened the first “Houston Pizza” in 1970 in Regina, Saskatchewan. They had just immigrated from Greece, bringing with them both a strong work ethic and a love of food.

The Kolitsas’ pizza was once mouth-wateringly described by Allan Pulga, a restaurant critic for the CBC. “The crust is crispy on the outside, chewy and tender on the inside, and a touch sweet,” Pulga said. “It has a bite similar to a bagel. Homemade pizza sauce is generously applied, meat is stacked high and there is an obscene amount of cheese on top, baked at high heat and browned like the top of a crème brûlée.”

Jim Kolitsas recalled growing up in the pizza business. “I remember making dough with my grandfather,” he said. “We were panning the dough. He would throw me empty pans like frisbees and I would stack them on the counter. I remember asking why we put a wet cloth on the dough. I thought that was strange as a kid. I was seven.”

Regina Pizza, created by Greek immigrants, is beloved all across Canada​

So well-known is the Kolitsas’ beloved pizza that they routinely ship their pizzas all the way across the entire country of Canada.

While Regina Pizza was created by the Kolitsas brothers in the 1970s, it should also never be forgotten that another Canadian pizza which became a household word was also dreamed up by Greek immigrants.

Hawaiian pizza, an unlikely mixture of pineapple, ham and cheese, was created in the 1960s by Greek immigrant Sotirios “Sam” Panopoulos, who arrived in Canada in 1954 from the village of Vourvoura in the Peloponnese.

By the early 1960s, Sam and his brothers had opened a chain of restaurants throughout Ontario. Acting out of curiosity, Panopoulos decided to put canned pineapple on a pizza just to find out what it would taste like.

“We just put it on, just for the fun of it, to see how it was going to taste,” Sam Panopoulos told the BBC in a 2017 interview he gave shortly prior to his death.

The result, Hawaiian pizza, was an instant hit and is still popular throughout the country and in the US as well, where there is a great debate as to its culinary value.

The many detractors of placing pineapple and ham atop pizza are equally vociferous, but no one can say that this unique creation is going away anytime soon.

Greekreporter.com.
 

Ron in Regina

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Growing up in Regina, I just assumed that what we found locally was what pizza was everywhere….& then I found out once I started to travel that pizza was generally just shit elsewhere. It was a real eye-opener.

People from elsewhere see our pizza here that comes 40mm thick (1&1/2”) but done well and amazingly awesome, & are blown away. Houston’s, Regent, Vern’s, & the old B-52 where simply amazing, and just assumed that was the standard everywhere.

The discount pizza chains (pizza-pizza, domino’s, little Caesars, etc…) survive by being cheap instead of good, & didn’t exist here when I was young.

Probably the best Pizza (aside from B-52) I’ve ever had was from a Bar/Restaurant that’s long gone called BillyBobs (again I had a couple of relatives working there). The staff was allowed to make their own pizzas at a staff discount….& they took things to a whole new level!!! Once The pizzas came out of the oven then they would have to go onto the grill and get fried….because they where about 65mm (2&1/2” thick). Absolutely incredible.

Big Clock Pizza was a hole in the wall that made amazing pies! It only lasted about two years and then it absolutely disappeared one weekend. The guy who owned it was a friend of one of my cousins so I know the backstory… but it was so incredible that it’s worth mentioning in this thread.
 

spaminator

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a pizza place owned by greeks. i think i will skip the souvlaki pizza. ;) 🍕
 

Dexter Sinister

Unspecified Specialist
Oct 1, 2004
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Regina, SK
There's a place on south Albert called Red Swan Pizza that makes a first class pie in my experience, excellent crust, a good variety of toppings, and daily and weekly specials. We first tried it because it's fairly close to where we live, and now it's usually our first choice for take out.
 

spaminator

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Oct 26, 2009
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How’s that working out for you?
not well. the pizzas are crap. eg. expensive, small, few toppings etc. the worst pizza i had had toppings consisting of cold cuts and mixed vegetables. an employee told me his coworkers would pick up fallen toppings off the floor and put them on the pizzas. 🍕 🤢 🤮 :eek: :(
 

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
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Regina, Saskatchewan
not well. the pizzas are crap. eg. expensive, small, few toppings etc. the worst pizza i had had toppings consisting of cold cuts and mixed vegetables. an employee told me his coworkers would pick up fallen toppings off the floor and put them on the pizzas. 🍕 🤢 🤮 :eek: :(
Yikes. It’s much better here from the sounds of things.
 

petros

The Central Scrutinizer
Nov 21, 2008
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Growing up in Regina, I just assumed that what we found locally was what pizza was everywhere….& then I found out once I started to travel that pizza was generally just shit elsewhere. It was a real eye-opener.

People from elsewhere see our pizza here that comes 40mm thick (1&1/2”) but done well and amazingly awesome, & are blown away. Houston’s, Regent, Vern’s, & the old B-52 where simply amazing, and just assumed that was the standard everywhere.

The discount pizza chains (pizza-pizza, domino’s, little Caesars, etc…) survive by being cheap instead of good, & didn’t exist here when I was young.

Probably the best Pizza (aside from B-52) I’ve ever had was from a Bar/Restaurant that’s long gone called BillyBobs (again I had a couple of relatives working there). The staff was allowed to make their own pizzas at a staff discount….& they took things to a whole new level!!! Once The pizzas came out of the oven then they would have to go onto the grill and get fried….because they where about 65mm (2&1/2” thick). Absolutely incredible.

Big Clock Pizza was a hole in the wall that made amazing pies! It only lasted about two years and then it absolutely disappeared one weekend. The guy who owned it was a friend of one of my cousins so I know the backstory… but it was so incredible that it’s worth mentioning in this thread.
Reject (regent) has the best pie these days followed by Juliana.
 
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Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
23,801
8,390
113
Regina, Saskatchewan

Ron in Regina

"Voice of the West" Party
Apr 9, 2008
23,801
8,390
113
Regina, Saskatchewan
We’re off to buy snails in Glen Elm, as variety from getting crabs in North Central.

I think we’re outside Juliana Pizza delivery range…just barely by a few blocks being east of Winnipeg Street.
 

IdRatherBeSkiing

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May 28, 2007
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When I moved out east from Regina, I really missed good pizza. Whenever I am in Regina I have a Houston Pizza. When I was in university we always hung out at Western Piizza which had very similar tasting pizza. The Western Pizzas we hung out at are all gone now but I did find one just north of Northgate Mall a couple of years ago and still enjoyed their pizza.