Every neighbourhood has one: an "old school" diner that is a fusion of the family who owns and operates it, with the popular food choices of the area.
In this case, "Greek meets pizza" but they also serve "fatboys" (what most Greek restaurants dub their hamburgers), gyros, sandwiches, all-day breakfasts, fish and chips, chicken prepared more ways than I could count and a bevy of omelettes. The place I am referring to is Johnny’s Maples Pizza Restaurant. Don’t go there looking for a maple-flavoured pizza, though.
On this day, we were ogling the Greek pizza, with feta blended right into the dough, but we had heard how delicious and plentiful Johnny’s salads were, so we opted for two half-salads and a pizza. We decided we couldn’t go wrong with Johnny’s favourite salad and tucked into a crazy concoction of pepperoni, salami, ham, mozzarella and cheddar. The protein was more than generous, so that every forkful produced a mixture of meat and cheese. The lettuce, red onions and tomatoes were appreciated to round out our vitamin intake.
The Hot Greek (not what you might be thinking) was a delectable Greek salad topped with nuggets of chicken that had been marinated in souvlaki seasonings (lemon, oregano & garlic) and then pressed onto the grill to sear. So the hot chicken made the Greek salad hot, not that it was prepared by a hot Greek... Oh, never mind. It too was enormous and was dotted with chopped green pepper, cucumber and big, ripe wedges of tomato.
Both half-salads were a tad light on the dressing but came with enormous cuts of savoury garlic toast that had also been prepared on the grill. We could tell that Johnny must make his own homemade breads as well as the airy pizza dough. Loving the pungent, salty taste of all things, but especially black kalamata olives (named for the city of Kalamata in southern Greece where they are grown) and feta cheese, the Greek Pizza was the perfect choice, although selecting a large meant that our eyes were way too big for our tummies. Happily, leftover pizza is our favourite lunch treat, so all was well.
Johnny’s Maples Pizza Restaurant
670 Sheppard St.
Surface parking available
Open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, seniors’ breakfast, kids’ menu
Kathryne Grisim’s foodmusings.ca blog was named best local blog in Uptown Magazine’s Best of Winnipeg readers’ poll.