I'm pretty sure by now everyone knows the house we found was in Kanata, Ontario. It is a western suburb of Ottawa on the Nepean side (I still don't get, NOR care, why there is an "Orleans side" and a "Nepean side"...I think it just confuses people, especially the Ottawa natives. NO one drives without GPS up here. You ask someone for directions, they'll begin to give them and then stop to ask "Well...don't you have GPS??" in an exasperated/desperate voice. Heaven help me if I ever get put in the middle of the wilderness with a Canadian instead of a map!). We won't be talking much in this flog from here on out about this "side" junk, just know it is a total hassle to finding my places sometimes and we'll move on...
In Kanata and all the other 'burbs there are a crapTON of strip and mini mall areas. In one of ours on Kanata Avenue is a Best Buy, PetSmart, theater and various restaurants. In the middle of this retail jungle is this tiny little place, literally "blink and you miss it", called Tomaso Grilled Pizza & Panini.
I had no idea what they were "known" for but I knew before I walked in that I was Jonesing for some meat. Lucky for me they have it on their pizzas, on their sandwiches, pastas and even in their salads if I chose the "add Chicken for $3" option. When I walked in it was pretty plain that these guys were all business and not about trying to wrap the place up in a nice neat bow. That's fine with this lady... Their menu was on a chalk board wall handwritten in white chalk. If you check our their website before you go you'll discover there are a lot of things online that they didn't have room to write on the wall. It doesn't really matter though, all the combinations I read sounded FABULOUS.
There was only one other person in when we arrived. A hungry trucker that was getting his lunch to go. After studying the menu briefly I decided on a large "After Work" and a side of chips with dip. It took an IMMENSELY long time for our food to come up. I have come to the conclusion that I have to STOP telling people I am a flogger before they make my food. I realize the extra effort they put in is to make it "perfect" but when you're hungry...it just doesn't matter how it looks. It is all about taste. Taking a long time doesn't improve that fact. The place was all the sudden inundated with the lunch crowd. I couldn't believe it. In 15 minutes there were about 20 other people in there. But when I took my first bite I understood what they were all doing there.
I love a crispy panini and mine was PERFECT! The combination of the cappicolo, provolone, hot peppers, mayo was fabulous and just the right level of spicy and salty. The flavors really married so well it was hard to imagine anything needed to be added and there was NO way that I would have wanted anything removed. The chips and dip however I could have done without. The chips were really greasy rippled potato chips with what tasted like it was just Ranch flavored salad dressing out of a bottle. I'd never order the chips and dip part again. It was a mistake I'll get over in light of the triumph of the sandwich find. For SURE! In spite of how small this place was they even had a high chair for the Sprout. Scorrrrrrrrre.
With panini, pizza, pasta and a variety of salads to choose from Tomaso is a great find for lunch OR dinner. I'll try the "Modest Start" when I go back next. That is a panini made out of sun-dried tomato pesto sauce, grilled chicken,roma tomatoes, baby mozzarella cheese...sounds delicious to this foodie!