Charles Pizza Restaurant is located at 131 Droop Street, Footscray, 3013.
Being a Footscray local the wife and I had often driven past Charles Pizza located at the North end of Droop Street in Footscray, we remarked “Gosh it looks nice in there” or “I can’t believe we haven’t been there before”. One day after a long day in the field for Barkley Street Uniting Cricket Club the opportunity arose to give Charles a try as we were both ravenous; me after a long innings on a hot day and the wife faithfully watching in-between reading the latest happenings of the Kardashian family in full-colour magazine glory.
We were greeted by Charles himself as we entered his establishment. It was slightly disconcerting as he was a dead ringer for Tuco (Eli Wallach) from ‘The Good, the Bad and the Ugly’. The reception was none-the-less warm and we were seated at the back of the restaurant behind a rather bizarre red velvet curtain. The wife ordered the drinks and I excused myself and went to the bathroom which was located outside past the kitchen. On my way through the courtyard come smoking area there were some hastily arranged tables offering the Charles Pizza ‘Al Fresco’ experience. Perched on top of one of these tables eating the crusts of a leftover pizza was a stray cat. Things were getting weird at Charles..
On my return from the courtyard I failed to mention the cat incident for fear of freaking the wife out but she had a horror story of her own. To the left of our table on window ledge were a number of used toothpicks! The toothpicks were caked in dust and had obviously been there for a length of time. Now was the time to leave, however the waitress was bringing over the VB’s and garlic bread…….
Out of desperation and hunger we put it down to Charles cleaners having a bad month and waited for our mains with fear and trepidation. Next instant from the back of the restaurant came a sound akin to a box of sparklers igniting as a procession of staff carried out trays containing ‘lava rocks’ not seen since 1982 at a ‘Sizzler’ restaurant.
The ‘lava rocks’ frying the steak at a volcanic temperatures managed to spit hot oil over anyone seated in a three meter radius including us. What was immediately more concerning however was the thick acrid smoke that started filling the room and had customers gasping for breath. It was fair to say that Charles Pizza was a bit worse than what we’d been hoping for.
The food arrived soon after needless to say it was inedible, a spaghetti bolognaise drowning in oil and a really dodgy looking pizza that went untouched. Charles himself turned out to be a total pervert constantly leering at the wife as he stroked his hair that was as oily as the bolognaise. An unforgettable dining experience for all the wrong reasons.