Fredericton — Authentic Greek restaurants across the region were petrified today as their cultural cuisine’s name was dragged through the Maritime mud.
The annual “Authentic Greek Cuisine” prize, presented by the Canadian Hellenic Association, was awarded to Atlantic Canada’s own Greco Pizza.
The chain, which barely passes for Italian cuisine and brags about having the most rundown pizza parlours in all of Eastern Canada, was handed the award by Dimitrios Azemopoulos, 57, Greek ambassador to Canada and self-described “foodie.”
“What the hell is this shit?” said Azemopoulos, who had his first Greco dining experience yesterday while presenting the award. “My father smuggled out our family cookbook during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus, only to be usurped by a place that shares space with Mr. Submarine?!”
Andrew Lombardi, 36, a local Greco manager who nominated the chain for the award, says that he really had no choice when he saw the competition.
“Over Christmas my brother forced these ancestry kits on us, and it turns out I’m six percent Greek. I must’ve had the only good one — the rest of my siblings had entirely Italian DNA! Not a shred in me, though.
“I googled ‘Greek food’ before I filled out the application,” he went on. “Wikipedia says that they eat vegetables, olive oil, grains, fish and other meat — all the same stuff we have here in the Maritimes.”
Still anxious that the restaurants wouldn’t make the cut, Lombardi got creative with what he had.
“We left some open tubs of donair sauce out in the alley for a week and BOOM! Homemade Greek yogurt.”
The only actual Greek delicacy on the Greco menu is gyro meat, or donair meat.
“Our spinning meat machine thing broke down a few months ago, but we finally have a reason to get it fixed,” said Lombardi. “I also ordered the Greek flag, or the ‘blue and white’ as we nationals call it, off Amazon.”
Eager to capitalize on their newly won authority, the bosses at Greco have started charging prices that reflect the economic turmoil Greece has experienced over the past decade.
“We’re starting small by charging $9 for a single can of Coke, and soon enough we’ll be implementing new fees for delivery,” explained William Galey, 88, CEO of Greco Pizza.
The staff of Lombardi’s Greco have also warmed up to the chain’s identity change.
“Both of my parents are always going on about how I’m wasting my, uh, potential. Ha, what a cliché,” said Steven Dow, 19, sitting in his delivery car and lighting a joint. “There’s tons a, whatya call it, culture, in this job.”
On top of the distinguished accolade, the pizza chain is also in the running for “most likely to be held up,” and “place where customers are most likely to be assaulted.”
Despite its newfound national pride, Greco will most likely be disqualified from next year’s competition.
“The only Greek thing about these dumps are the signs,” said Azemopoulos, pointing out the seemingly Greek chef on the logo.