I’m Dining Out Here
by Andrew Sprague
I feel a little embarrassed. I do my best to cover as much of the Island’s restaurant scene as possible and I try to make sure few stones are left unturned. I admit, there are a couple of dozen restaurants spread all over the Island that I haven’t been to at all, and many more I haven’t written about. I tend to be a little Charlottetown centric, but if I hear about an exciting place out of town I almost always pay a visit. That’s why I’m embarrassed; eight years in and it took Famous Peppers coming to Charlottetown for me to sample the Island’s best pizza.
Since 2003 Famous Peppers has been a mainstay in Cardigan. The waterfront restaurant boasted a great view and great pizza and pasta. As many of the ingredients as possible were sourced locally and the pasta was made in house. For almost nine years residents there were treated to one of the Island’s best kept secrets. But this year owners and siblings Dan and Jocelyn Mitchell decided to make the move to Charlottetown. In a recent Guardian article Dan Mitchell cited tough economic times in Kings county and the impending replacement of the Cardigan Bridge as the main contributing factors.
Well, let me be the first to say, welcome to our humble city. I hope you do well here. You make great pizza and I’m so glad you decided to come to town rather than closing the doors all together. I’m also very glad to hear you’ll be re-opening in Cardigan in the summer.
I ordered my first Famous Peppers pizza delivered. I asked the young lady on the phone for a recommendation and she suggested the Cardigan. Fitting, I thought. It included pepperoni, ground beef, green pepper, onion, double smoked bacon, oregano and mozzarella. I asked her to hold the green pepper and add mushroom and we were good to go. After four dollar delivery charge, and a dash to the store to get cash, I had my medium, slightly altered, Cardigan. It was delicious. Arguably the best crust and sauce on the market. The ingredients were great, especially the bacon and the slightly burnt red onion. All in all, it was the best pizza I’ve had in ages, anywhere.
In the last two weeks, I’ve been back to Famous Peppers twice, and they haven’t let me down yet. They have a good, consistent product. The ingredients are all over the map and include such rarities as mango salsa, honey glazed ham, toasted coconut and my personal favorite, crumbled chorizo sausage. They even have two types of crust; white flour parmesan oregano and Island grown whole wheat. You can also order gluten free.
The one thing I haven’t ordered yet is the pasta. That’s mostly because it’s only served in house. It’s also hand made by the Mitchell’s and sells under the name “Prince Edward Island Pasta Company.” They supply a few local restaurants, but I’m very anxious to try it at Famous Peppers. If it’s anything like their pizza, I have a feeling I’m in for a treat.
There has been a tremendous buzz around Charlottetown about Famous Peppers since it opened its doors here this summer. I’ve had at least a half dozen conversations with people who rave about the place, or who are at very least curious to try it. And rightly so. Famous Peppers makes a great pizza. I think they’ll be around for a long time.