Pizza Pilgrims Neopolitan pizza – BYOB at Shoreditch E1

Casual dining with ‘bring your own booze’

When Mary Berry says it’s the “best pizza” she’s ever had, that’s quite an accolade (Mary Berry Everyday March 2017). But then, she also admitted she’d never ordered a pizza delivery (and got some stick in social media – just how much of a pizza expert is she?). On the other hand, if you can get the Pizza Pilgrims duo to come and cook fresh Neopolitan pizza in their 3-wheeled pizza-oven-van in your own garden, that’s a pretty special kind of pizza delivery.

Is it really the best pizza ever? Time to stop wondering. And go and check out Pizza Pilgrims for myself. I’m heading to the Shoreditch branch where it’s bring your own booze (BYOB) – a bottle of chilled prosecco, Italian sparkling wine, seems appropriate for an Italian feast.

 

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Sharing: Salsiccia + friarielli (left) and Aubergine parmigiana (right) with mozzarella in the middle

 

It’s £2.50 a head for corkage, which helps keep costs down if you’re after a cheap and cheerful pizza meal.

Here, the pizza is Naples-style – proved slow for 48 hours and cooked fast at 500°c.

For two, we order:
Aubergine parmigiana – margherita with roast aubergines, baby plum tomatoes, topped with parmesan + breadcrumbs @ £9.00
Salsiccia + friarielli – White pizza with fresh fennel sausage, chilli, wild broccoli, parmesan, basil + white truffle oil @ £10.00
Buffalo mozzarella with smoked tomatoes fresh from Italy every week @ £5.50 (so good!)

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Smoked tomatoes

 

Service is welcoming and friendly, the restaurant has a very casual feel, and all of the food arrives within minutes. The pizzas are absolutely gorgeous – the bread base looks quite dense, but it isn’t. The crust is airy and the actual base is relatively thin and light. The combinations of toppings are also interesting (it took some serious deliberating to narrow our choices down to two, eventually choosing one ‘white’ and one margherita) and fresh and tasty. Our side order of mozzarella and smoked tomatoes with rocket goes down well – the mozzarella is really soft and stringy when we cut into it, and the smokiness of the tomatoes is something else.

 

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Casual dining at Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch 

 

The verdict: Seriously good pizzas served in a casual environment, and BYOB at the Shoreditch branch keeps costs down.

 

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Aubergine parmigiana – roast aubergines, baby plum tomatoes, topped with parmesan + breadcrumbs

 

Read more about the Pizza Pilgrims duo and their  3-wheeled pizza-oven-van.

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
– Type: Pizza, Italian
– Address: 136 Shoreditch High St, London
– Postcode: E1 6JE
– Nearest station: Old Street tube, Shoreditch High Street train stn
– Website + menus: Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch website
– Photos on flickr: Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch photos
– Location: Pizza Pilgrims Shoreditch map

Pizza Pilgrims Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Just Eat delivers

Pide delivery through Just Eat

We’re back ordering take-aways through Just Eat after a few weeks trying out Deliveroo (unsuccessfully).

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Peynir Pide – Feta cheese, hellim cheese, mozzarella, cheddar, fresh mint & fresh tomatoes

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Three pidesSucuk (beef pepperoni, chicken sausages, mushrooms + fresh tomatoes), Acili Sebze (mushrooms, red onions, peppers + green chillies) + Kusbasi (roasted lamb, spicy minced lamb, green chillies, crushed red chillies, red onions + peppers) and feta salad

Last night we ordered a delivery from old favourite, Pide the grandfather of pizza, through Just Eat. Easy to order, the Turkish pizzas and salad arrived promptly within the hour. The order was correct; pizza was fresh and hot, salad chilled, and all very tasty.

Check out LardButty’s review of Pide

 

Just Eat Vs Deliveroo

Just Eat
– easy to use website
– many restaurants to choose from
– reasonably priced
– fairly reliable in that food usually arrives within the hour and is usually hot (any issues are generally taken care of in time for your meal)
– a takeaway aggregator that lists menus for its users, Just Eat passes orders onto the restaurants for them to deliver the food to customers (Just Eat gets commission)

Deliveroo
– website has limited functionality (eg. you can’t ‘favourite’ your preferred restaurants) but does have really appealing food photography
– limited number of restaurants to choose from
– over-priced in that Deliveroo charges restaurant prices for ‘restaurant food’ but without the restaurant experience
– a delivery service that doesn’t take responsibility when there’s an issue with an order – the customer is left trapped somewhere in between the restaurant and Deliveroo’s (lack of) customer service
– food usually delivered by bicycle courier meaning food can be scrambled and cold
– the artful food photography on their website does not reflect what the food looks like in real life
– unreliable in that they use a pool of rider-couriers and can not always guarantee couriers in your area

Luciano’s wood-fired pizza deliveries in SE London

Anyone who likes a good stone-baked, Italian-style pizza will know how difficult it is, to get it delivered in the Lewisham area of South East London (sure, deliveries from the likes of Papa John’s, Domino’s, Pizza Hut, etc are plentiful – say no more).

But then I saw this instagram post by @SouthLondonClub about Luciano’s:
SouthLondonClub insta about Lucianos - for LardButty blog
Check out this short video-clip on Instagram

Being late home from work this evening, I decided to give them a try. I phoned and ordered two 12″ pizzas. I was unable to order salads and side veggies as apparently their kitchen where ‘other food’ is prepared was out of order. I was told that only the pizza kitchen was working. So I ordered a third pizza, totalling £30.00:

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Selection of pizzas from Luciano – vesuvio; fiorentina; create-your-own

  • Vesuvio – mozzarella, tomato, onion, salami + meatballs @ £10.50
  • Fiorentina – mozzarella, tomato, spinach, Grana Padano cheese, egg, black olives @ £8.50
  • Parma ham, mushroom + black olives @ £11.00

 

Delivery time was expected to be about 45 minutes but was closer to an hour and a half. By the time it arrived, it wasn’t hot. But it was nice enough.

Luciano’s delivers to a 2.5 mile radius around SE12, SE3, SE13. That’s these areas:

  • BR1 Bromley
  • SE10 Greenwich
  • SE12 Lee
  • SE13 Lewisham
  • SE14 New Cross
  • SE3 Kidbrooke
  • SE4 Brockley
  • SE6 Bellingham
  • SE9 Eltham

If you have a South London Club card, there’s currently a 10% discount off Luciano’s deliveries. And now, you can use Just Eat to order online.

The verdict: Finally, good wood-fired Italian-style pizza deliveries in South East London. It’s reasonably priced and long overdue. Hopefully, the teething troubles preventing ‘other food’ apart from pizza being available, and slow delivery will be overcome.

Alternative option: They don’t deliver, but the fabulous La Pizzeria Italiana will do take-away orders if you collect.

 

Luciano’s info:
– Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
– Type: Italian, stone-baked pizza (deliveries)
– Address: 129-131 Burnt Ash Road, Lee, London
– Postcode: SE12 8RA
– Tel: 020 8297 0800 – or order online
– Website + menus: Luciano’s website
– Photos on flickr: Luciano photos on flickr

Luciano's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Firezza fire baked pizza – various locations London

Perfect pizza – fire baked and super fast

We’ve been spending quite a bit of time in south west London recently. So we’ve been enjoying perfect pizza from Firezza Battersea too.

Firezza sell themselves as delivering pizza that is “fire baked and super fast”. And that is exactly what they do.

 

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Salsiccia –  *new* White pizza with Sicilian sausage meat, friarielli (Italian wild broccoli), fresh cream, garlic, mozzarella, olive oil and red chilli

 

Firezza currently have about 20 branches around London (none in south east London yet… please take the hint @firezza) and are expanding to other UK cities like Milton Keynes and Exeter too.

Last week – making the most of being somewhere that Firezza will deliver to – we ordered:

  • a spicy piccante @ £9.25 – ‘nduja (spicy, soft calabrian sausage), gyulai pepperoni, fresh basil and green chilli with tomato and mozzarella, and
  • a porcini Di bosco @ £9.75 – white pizza with wild porcini mushrooms, fresh field mushrooms, Tartuffata (truffle cream), creamy Taleggio cheese, mozzarella, Gran Moravia (Hard Cheese) shavings, cream and tarragon

Ordering through Just Eat, the estimated delivery time was 45 mins. It arrived within 30 – we were happy customers.

This is seriously good pizza made with fresh ingredients. It’s fire-baked and everything Firezza claim it to be, and some. It’s not the thinnest base Italian pizza but it’s a great freshly baked bread base. It’s simply all-round great.

 

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Piccante pizza – nduja (spicy, soft calabrian sausage), gyulai pepperoni, green chilli with tomato and mozzarella

 

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Porcini di bosco – wild porcini mushrooms, fresh field mushrooms, Tartuffata (truffle cream), creamy Taleggio cheese, mozzarella, Gran Moravia (Hard Cheese) shavings, cream and tarragon

 

This week, we would probably have ordered the same but the menu had changed. That’s either a frequently changing menu – from week to week – which would be exciting and impressive, or an updated menu for the season change from summer to autumn. I suspect the latter. The oh-so summery spicy piccante was no longer listed.

On the plus side, Salsiccia was new to the menu – white pizza with Sicilian sausage meat, friarielli (Italian wild broccoli), fresh cream, garlic, mozzarella, olive oil and red chilli @ £9.95 for a quarter metre. And so we tried it. It seemed that the kitchen made a mistake so we received that too – half a metre instead of a quarter. Hey ho, accidents happen.

 

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Top: Salsiccia @ £9.95 – *new* White pizza with Sicilian sausage meat, friarielli (Italian wild broccoli), fresh cream, garlic, mozzarella, olive oil and red chilli

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Porcini di bosco @ £9.75 – porcini mushrooms, field mushrooms, Tartuffata, Taleggio cheese, mozzarella, Gran Moravia shavings, tarragon

 

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Capricciosa @ £9.65 a quarter metre – Prosciutto cotto ham with fresh field mushrooms, Gyulai pepperoni, black olives, fresh basil, tomato and mozzarella – so good!

 

The verdict: Perfect pizza, made with fresh ingredients that arrives ‘super fast’. As far as I can tell, Firezza are achieving what they set out to do (keep opening more branches pleee-ease). So I’ll follow their mantra – demand proper pizza.

 

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 4 / 5
– Type: Pizza
– Address: 40 Lavender Hill, Battersea, London
– Postcode: SW11 5RL
– Website + menus: Firezza website
– Photos on flickr: Firezza photos
– Location: Firezza Battersea map

Firezza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

The Stable pizza place – Whitechapel Rd E1

It’s been a fortnight of team lunches, after-work drinks and altogether much merriment. Seems like Spring’s on the way. And to celebrate Lottie’s birthday today we wandered over to the newly opened Stable on Whitechapel Road for a cheeky lunchtime cider and pizza.

 

The Stable is a new chain across the UK that takes pride in “best quality food” and a “keen interest in cider”. With over 80 ciders to choose from at this, the first branch in London, they’re not kidding.

 

IMG_6219b_The Stable Whitechapel
Former industrial space

 

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Lunch and pizza menus

Most pizzas are £11.00 – £13.00 but there’s a lunchtime offer between 12-3pm on weekdays whereby pizzas and wraps are only £6.50.

 

IMG_6224b_ciders at The Stable Whitechapel

Many ciders to choose from …and other drinks

 

There’s an extensive choice of both ciders and perries – on tap and bottled – at the bar. With such a wide choice it’s probably best to ‘try before you buy’. It’s a fiver for a pint or £2.50 for a half. I ordered a West Country Gold @ £2.50 (nice but too sweet for me, so I moved on to Devon Gold).

IMG_6223b_ciders at The Stable

The birthday girl having a taster or two… it’s a big decision

 

Sticking with the West Country theme, I also ordered a West Country salad which read as though it was pretty exciting on the menu – “crabmeat infused with red chilli, roasted red peppers, avocado…with a lemon creme fraiche dressing” – but paled into insignificance when the flat, stonebaked pizzas arrived at our table.

 

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Crab salad @ £7.00

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Hawaiian – dried pork loin (bacon), pineapple + avocado @ £6.50

 

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Pizza – the one with field mushrooms and roasted red peppers @ £6.50

 

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And another with dried pork loin

 

The verdict: It’s newly opened so it’s got the novelty factor for now. The industrial style space is pleasing, as is the choice of ciders. While the pizzas are really good, there are other good pizza places nearby (like Pizza Union) that serve freshly made, stonebaked pizza (much cheaper too). Worth visiting at lunchtime for the £6.50 pizza offer though.

 

Restaurant info:
– Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
– Type: Pizza, Cider bar,
– Address: 16-18 Whitechapel Rd, London
– Postcode: E1 1EW
– Nearest station: Aldgate East
– Website + menus: Stable website
– Photos on flickr: The Stable images
– Location: Stable map

 

The Stable Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

John’s of Bleecker Street – New York Pizza

Prepare to queue for John’s coal-fired brick oven thin-crust pizza

There’s always a line for John’s pizza. It’s not exactly cheap and the original Bleecker Street restaurant is quite grubby, in need of a good interior refresh. So why is it so popular – what’s the attraction?
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Tired old mural

 

Having visited other branches, we went to the original Bleecker Street location last night to find out. We queued – as expected – and got shouted at periodically by staff, telling customers to keep away from the door until we were eventually shown to a narrow formica-topped table for two. Shabby wooden panels on the walls were engraved with years and years worth of names and comments, while a dirty old mural of a lake and mountain scene begged to be cleaned. This wasn’t stylishly retro, it just felt unclean and in need of re-decorating.
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Battered wooden panels

 

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Large pepperoni and mushroom pizza @ $32.00

 

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Thin pizza and salad
K ordered a Goose Island beer @ $7.00 and I ordered a glass of white wine @ $6.00. It didn’t seem to come as a surprise when I told the waiter it tasted of vinegar and was undrinkable – he readily swapped it for a glass of house red (a pinot), which wasn’t great but slightly more drinkable. The pizza itself – @ $32.00 – was a good thin base pizza, while the salad – @ $8.25 – was covered in a sharp, vinegary dressing.

 

The verdict: To revert to my original question what’s the attraction with John’s pizza? I am unsure. Perhaps the reputation and brand is so well established and firmly tied into all the tourist guides that the punters just keep flocking? But to me, it’s over-rated. After all, good thin pizza isn’t hard to find anymore. It just isn’t, when the hay days of stodgy deep pan pizza from big chains are long gone.

But if I’m missing something please do let me know.

 

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 2.5 / 5
~ Type: Pizza
~ Address: 278 Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village, New York
~ Zipcode: NY10014
~ Website + menus: John’s of Bleecker Street website
~ Photos on flickr: images of John’s of Bleecker Street
~ Location: John’s of Bleecker Street map
John's of Bleecker Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Topolski Café-Bar – South Bank

In the railway arches by Waterloo station, Topolski gallery-café-bar-venue (a part of the Southbank Centre estate) serves ‘East meets West’ Lebanese flatbread pizza, sharing platters, and a good range of cocktails and drinks (with a 2-for-1 offer on selected drinks between 6-7pm, Mon-Sat).

As you might expect, the interior has an industrial feel (great look, poor acoustics) and – being Feliks Topolski‘s former studio – the walls are covered in his paintings.

 

Topolski restaurant_Hungerford Arches
Topolski interior, Hungerford Arches
 

During the day (10am-5pm) you can relax in this airy café-bar (maybe after experiencing a cultural event on the South Bank) and choose from pastries, light bites, sandwiches and soups and pizza. Then, from 5pm, only pizza and sharing platters are served. It’s £6.50 for a margherita pizza and £1.25 for each topping (so £9.00 total if you choose two toppings).

 
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Parma ham and mushroom pizza @ £9.00
 

On our visit last night, after seeing Circus Geeks: Beta Testing at the Udderbelly festival, I ordered a mushroom and parma ham pizza, while L had artichoke and ham.

We ordered at the bar (no table service). Our order included a bottle of prosecco @ £29.00. And food arrived quickly. It was quick and easy, and there seemed to be a fairly rapid turnaround on tables, making this is an ideal place to come to for impromptu dining after a South Bank event (as restaurants around here are often booked up, making it a challenge for walk-ins).

The freshly baked flatbread base was udderly (doh) thin and gorgeous – a really good pizza. A slight downside was the noise: with loud music playing and a lack of soft furnishings in these exposed wall arches, it was quite hard to hear each other talk (so not the most ideal place if you want to have a good catchup).

 

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Parma ham + artichoke pizza
 

The verdict: Spacious venue. Fast (but decent) food. Handy for South Bank events.

Restaurant info:
~ Lardbutty rating: 3.5 / 5
~ Type: Pizza, international
~ Address: 150-152 Hungerford Arches, Waterloo, London
~ Postcode: SE1 8XU
~ Nearest station: Waterloo
~ Website + menus: Topolski website + South Bank Centre website
~ Photos on flickr: images of Topolski food
~ Location: Topolski map

 

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