Piazza Tomasso's "Pizza Plus"
My sister and I, former Montrealers who grew up on Piazza Tomasso, Miss Montreal, House of Wong (dinner #4 for two), etc., have been craving Piazza's Pizza Plus, along with their spaghetti with breaded ribs and their risotto with chicken livers, mushrooms and meat sauce. (Wherever in Italy did these people come from? Such unusual dishes!)
Anyway, the Pizza Plus was made on a thick crust, with tomatoes (I seem to recall that it wasn't quite a tomato sauce; more like chunky tomatoes) and ham (?) and mushrooms and green peppers, I think. The cheese is something we just can't place. It definitely wasn't mozzarella. It was kind of funky -- a bit strong and slightly nutty and sort of stinky-foot smelly, all in a really good way.
Does anyone know anything about the Tomasso family, where they came from and, most importantly, what kind of cheese and pork product was on the Pizza Plus?
Having grown up in Montreal in the 1960s and 1970s, I adored Pizza Plus along with their spaghetti and meat sauce and meat balls. and chicken "burger" (really a type of chicken salad sandwich served on a burger bun) . About ten or more years ago I contacted one of the Tomasso brothers asking for the Pizza Plus recipe, but he was reluctant to divulge much except for the following: yes, a thick crust of which a few commercial brands are available and reasonably similar; marinara tomato sauce, the Tomasso brand of which was still available a decade ago for commercial establishments, fresh Italian sausage, fresh green peppers and fresh mushrooms. Last but not least, the cheese, believe it or not, is Kraft SWISS singles (white square shaped slices) which I had seen for myself in the 1970s at their take out kitchen and which Mr. Tomasso confirmed. He admitted that his own daughter had cravings for the old Pizza Plus. You may wish to contact one of the Tomasso brothers yourself to see if they would reveal the recipe or sell/ provide it to a restaurant that could resurrect our old favourite!
My brother and I used to enjoy Piazza Tomasso, MM and House of Wong on Queen Mary. The P-T restaurant on Decarie and de la Savanne was opened in 1934. In those days it was quite far out in the country and our parents had fond memories of driving out there on dates. The restaurant was opened by Mrs diTomasso and in later days run by her son Tommy. In the 1960s and 1970s "Magic Tom" Auburn used to entertain children there. I remember all the celebrity photos that adorned the walls with happy tributes and testaments from the beautiful people of the day. It was one of my favourite eateries.
The demise of the restaurant began in the late 70s when Tommy's son who had been sent off to Cornell's school of restaurant management decided to create another P-T restaurant downtown in Eaton Square. The original restaurant co on Decarie closed down and all that remained was the frozen products. We left Quebec like so many other English- speaking Montrealers in the late 70s but I would always bring a few packages of their meat sauce back to Boston in a cooler. It was great. But it seemed to disappear off the shelves in the early 2000s.
A year or so ago I found it again in a Metro store and brought it home. However it was total garbage. Sadly, another wonderful childhood pleasure is gone forever. I'd sure love the recipe though.