Story and photos by Rudy Waldner

Type Dominica into your search bar and you’ll most likely find links to the Dominican Republic, even though the Commonwealth of Dominica has been an independent nation since 1978. It lies between Guadeloupe and Martinique in the Caribbean Sea. There aren’t many non-stop flights to this island nation for sure, but that’s part of the allure. There aren’t many mega hotels, resorts or fast-food chains, either. What you will find there, however, are rivers, mountains, hiking and gorgeous vistas, along with ethereal sunsets and sunrises. And, of course, local restaurants.

But beware: Bring Dramamine for travel inland and on the water.  

That said, how does one find a remarkable pizza restaurant on a mountainous island nation covered with tropical rainforest? It wasn’t easy, and luck has to get some credit.

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We booked a few nights at Blue Whale Villa in the town of Calibishie, managed by the accommodating host, Nick. With or without renting a car, transport is dicey. Some research suggests that “driving is treacherous.” The roads are extremely curvy so it takes a long while to cover short distances, and car sickness is a definite possibility. Steering wheels are on the right side of the car, and traffic drives on the left. Almost 50% of the highways aren’t paved, nor are side roads. So, when Nick suggested a restaurant just a few hundred yards away, we were wonderfully encouraged.

We walked over to a cozy four-table restaurant surrounded by jungle, although we initially passed the entrance as the location was well hidden in the greenery—off of a dirt road.  Greeted by smiles, we ordered island food that isn’t easily found stateside—conch in coconut curry sauce and coconut shrimp. The real deal, too, with thick strips of coconut visibly confirming that an actual coconut was slaughtered, sliced and slapped around a juicy fresh shrimp. Both dishes were delightful.

Rudy Waldner and Troy Dixon

We struck up a conversation with the owner, Troy Dixon, who seems to be everyone’s friend. In fact, he later explained that, because of his positive energy, the locals named him Poz, and he named his establishment the same: POZ Restaurant & Poolside Bar. We chatted a while and perhaps finished a bottle or two of wine (affectionately referred to as Jesus’ blood—Troy is a funny man!). Before parting I asked him if he knew of any pizza joints on the island. He smiled ear-to-ear and said, “Sure, come back tomorrow, and I’ll show you real pizza.”

So we did.

Brace yourselves: This correspondent is about to overuse adjectives as we finally get to the part we’ve all been waiting for: the gourmet pizza in the jungle.  

Pizza in the Dominican Style
Troy started us off with none other than a lobster-topped pizza. Savory, moist, crispy crust, all culminating in a whirlwind of flavor that’s making my mouth water as I type. No exaggeration.

Troy offers a thicker crust as he wants his customers to get satiated but also have a delectable experience. Well, he succeeded. His crust is about twice the thickness of a New York-style crust. But to balance the thickness, he piles the ingredients high. Green peppers blended very well with the lobster, along with garden-grown red onions, tomatoes and buttered garlic. Everything was topped with nicely melted and evenly distributed mozzarella. Excellent is an understatement.

Mr. Dixon’s sauce was rich and satisfying and worked perfectly with both the lobster and the soon-to-be-introduced meat lover’s pizza. A peak into the chef’s sauce ingredients included Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, bell peppers and a pinch of brown sugar.  Bellissimo!

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This photo shows a pizza topped with lobster meat, red onions, tomato slices and green peppers.

The pièce de résistance was POZ’s meat lover’s offering. Rather than the standard toppings like pre-sliced and pre-packaged pepperoni, salami and ground meat, Chef Troy goes way above and well beyond. His pizza comes topped with an avalanche of meats prepared in his kitchen. The beef chunks are stewed for hours on the stove top. The chicken is cooked with enticing seasonings, while the pepperoni gets sliced in-house from a local source. And the pork belly is smoked to perfection.

That rich red sauce is slathered on the not-so-thin crust, the medley of meats are spread plentifully, and all is topped with end-to-end mozzarella. Oh. My. Goodness!

Having been to 100+ countries and territories, I don’t often vow to return to a place that I’ve already visited, but you can bet that I’ll be dining with Troy again at POZ Restaurant & Poolside Bar. Before I left, I sat down with him and asked a few questions for PMQ:

This photo shows a pizza topped with stewed roast beef, chicken and pepperoni.

Rudy Waldner: What makes your pizza unique?

Troy Dixon:
 I don’t get cheap with ingredients. I serve a thicker crust to support the heavy and filling homemade toppings.

Waldner: Who are your customers here?

 Local Dominica residents. I’m so ingrained in the community that when I was delivering pizza during COVID-19 lockdown, authorities might or might not have said, “I don’t see you.”  

Waldner: How do you market your business to new and existing customers?

Dixon: Word of mouth, because my service goes a long way. I also use WhatsApp.

Waldner: What are your most popular menu items?

 The meat lover’s pizza, topped with beef that’s stewed for 4 1/2 hours.

Waldner: I knew it! What’s been your biggest challenge?

Dixon: Bringing the business back to life three times from annihilation: 2015’s Tropical Storm Erika, which led to a flood event, 2017’s Hurricane Maria, and then COVID-19.

Waldner: How do you compete with surrounding pizzerias?

Dixon: We don’t compete, it’s a collective effort.

Waldner: What’s your most successful marketing promotion?

 Two for one with the purchase of drinks.

Waldner: Are you currently using social media marketing?

Dixon: Yes, I use WhatsApp to communicate specials and happenings and accept orders.

Waldner: How do you get involved in the community?

 I sponsor cricket and soccer teams named the POZ All Stars.

Waldner: Do you currently offer online ordering?

 Yes, through WhatsApp.

Waldner: What’s been your biggest accomplishment?

Dixon: Creating something from literally nothing in a struggling economy and then resuscitating it back to life three times.

Waldner: What do you do when you’re not making pizza?

 I drink wine, sometimes with interesting travelers such as yourself, and spend time with my significant other.

Waldner: What’s next for your business?

 To write a book.

Waldner: Think back and tell us your very first pizza memory.

 It was at Pizza Pizza in Toronto. I loved it and immediately developed an addiction.

Rudy Waldner is a restaurant consultant, food writer, world traveler and the author of “Marketing from the Trenches: Your Guide to Retail Success.” Visit his website to learn more about him at

Featured, Pizzerias