Sunday, September 18, 2011

O Kanada: ein Land zu arm für echte Teller

I have nothing good to say about Ron Telesky Canadian Pizza. First and most importantly, the food is awful. Berlin isn't one of those towns where you can get a good slice of pizza just anywhere, but with a little trial and error, you can find decent pizza. I'm not even sure if Ron Telesky is better than the individual frozen pizzas you can buy at greasy Imbisse for 2 Euros. I have no problem with thin crust pizza, but floppy and soggy are not good qualities. Neither is greasy. Moreover, Ron is clearly using the cheapest ingredients one can possibly buy and this comes through in the flavor. Interesting toppings are supposedly Ron's thing, but on the night we visited, they had only a few options: marinara, pesto with mushrooms, mushroom-onion-bacon, and spicy (lots of different kinds of peppers), and a dessert pizza. Between the two of us, we sampled all four savory pies. The marinara and the mushroom-onion-bacon were the better of the four. Not that I would recommend them or go back for them, but they weren't completely disgusting. The pesto tasted of nothing but jarred pesto, which as you may know, tastes nothing like the real stuf, but oddly musty. The spicy pizza was so spicy it had no real flavor (this is not one of those situations where it's a relief to discover real heat in Berlin). As I may have mentioned, I do enjoy my sweets, but the dessert pizza (unimaginatively named "the Pothead") brown banana slices, scatalogical lumps of brownie, and scary congealed vanilla pudding was not remotely tempting. The German beer selection is perfectly adequate, but the only Canadian beer they had was blackberry-flavored Moosehead. Blackberry-flavored Moosehead?!

As if awful pizza isn't bad enough, everything about this place proclaims, "I don't care." The giant moosehead, which even the owner admits is the only really Canadian thing in this place is draped with a Canadian flag like a teenager had discarded a dirty shirt on the floor of his room. There are a few odd condiments on the counter - a spicy maple sauce in an old bottle (might work on the sweet potato pizza, but it certainly doesn't work with your more standard pizzas). "Homemade tabasco sauce" (tasting nothing like tabasco) and some kind of a honey mustard were both in crusty looking cups, like you might see at a party at some guy's first apartment. Ron Telesky isn't exactly dirty, but there is an overall dinginess that I don't enjoy when dining out. I can accept (although the environmentalist in me doestn't like it) that they only have paper plates, but the slices of pizza are much too big to fit on them (they aren't full size). As if this wasn't annoying enough, there are almost no tables or chairs at RT, so you end up perched on a tree stump on the sidewalk trying to balance your floppy slice of pizza on your knees, inevitably getting grease stains on your pants. You see, at RT, they are "totaly addicted to swing dancing" (not my spelling - the website is chock full of spelling errors and I'm not talking about words like colour) and twice a month they host a swing dance. We happened to visit on one of these nights, which could have been great. I like swing just fine, but a restaurant the size of a postage stamp (if it's dedicated to being a restaurant that is) does not get to do away with all of the tables. And, I'm sorry, but the decaying canoe on the sidewalk in front of the restaurant cannot seriously be considered a table, especially when they aren't providing big enough plates.

What is Canadian pizza, anyway? My pre-dining interest research turnedup this bizarre explanation. The German owner told me he lived in Canada for a while and worked at a pizza place specializing in non-traditional toppings. He brought the idea back here and decided to call it Canadian pizza. I'm certainly not Canadian and I find their flag-plastered backpacks absurd (if you don't want to be mistaken for a US American, don't act like one), but I think the Canadian embassy might want to take action here.

Ron Telesky Canadian Pizza
Dieffenbachstrasse 62

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