Monday, 6 December 2010

Pizza Hut: BBQ Civil War

Pizza Hut have two pizzas with barbecue sauce on instead of tomato. Do you give a shit which one's the best? Of course you don't, but carry on reading anyway because that time's not going to kill itself is it? It's way too jolly.

On the left hand side we have the BBQ Steak. He's got chicken, steak and onions. It was a pretty good combination, and I got over excited and started eating before I took the above photo. That's why there's a teeth shaped hole in one of the slices. It's not because the delivery man got peckish on his way over and hoped no one would notice. I wouldn't have blamed him for having a cheeky chomp but I would have noticed and chased him back to Pizza Hut like Robert Patrick in Terminator 2, latching onto the back of his moped with my liquid metal fists and killing his ass.

On the right it's the New York Meatball. Something about having 'New York' as a prefix makes a food automatically sound tastier. I'm not sure why this is. American cuisine could be considered a slow form of suicide. The yummiest suicide mind you, but suicide nonetheless. Incidentally, one you're all bearing witness to right now, AND YET DOING NOTHING TO PREVENT. Hope your bags are packed because I just sent you on a guilt trip. Zing.

After much consideration I've decided my favourite was the BBQ Steak. I think that's because it's toppings were most in keeping with the barbecue theme. I don't know whether this means consistency is an attribute I value in my pizzas or whether, if the government were made up of pizzas, I'd vote Tory because I hate progressive pizzas (This won't be why because I love wacky pizzas, look). Either way BBQ Steak, I crown you 'king of the Pizza Hut pizzas with barbecue sauce instead of tomato', a trophy you can proudly place next to your trophy for 'being a pizza that exists' and 'getting digested frequently'. Bravo you cheesy scoundrel, bravo.

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Pizza Quest vs Papa John

As far as high street pizza delivery companies go I've always had soft spot for Papa John's. Unlike Domino's their pizzas don't taste like they should have a "Made from 100% Recycled Materials" stamp on the base, and unlike Pizza Hut I don't feel like I'm committing a cardinal sin against blood pressure when I eat one. Look, here's me being pretty happy with a Papa John's. That said, I have recently been on the wrong end of a rather nasty trait within Papa John's delivery policy: laziness. Now I know this is a bit like Josef Fritzel calling the NSPCC because he doesn't like the way his next door neighbour shouts at his kids, but humongous hypocrisy aside, for a pizza DELIVERY company Papa John's sure hate DELIVERING.

Here's the premise: I was at work, I wanted a pizza, I went to Papa John's website to order one, I was told I was outside of their delivery area, I thought this must be a mistake because there is a Papa John's literally five minutes away, so I e-mailed them.

From: Me
To: Papa John's

If I was on a moped, it would literally take me 5 minutes to get from your store to my house yet somehow I am still 'outside' the delivery area. May I suggest upgrading from horse drawn carriages to actual motorised vehicles so that you can deliver to people outside your immediate eyeline. You cannot be serious.

P.s. I will bury you 'John', BURY YOU!!!


From: Papa John's
To: Me

Dear Joe,
Thank you for your recent email.

In order for me to fully investigate this matter I would be grateful if you could recontact me with your full postcode.

Once I am in receipt of this information I will then be in a position to fully investigate this matter and respond to you accordingly.

In the meantime I would like to thank you for bringing this matter to our attention and I look forward to hearing from you in due course.


From: Me
To: Papa John's

Yes, hello.

The address I was ordering from was E8 2PB. Good old Google maps says it would take a whopping five minutes to drive there from the store. I'm curious as to what the cut off point in journey time is for a trip to not be worth it? 4 minutes? 3 minutes? The few seconds of airtime a pizza thrown like a frisbee has before landing?

Forgive the whole "bury you" threats on my previous e-mail, I was just really hungry. REALLY hungry.



From: Papa John's
To: Me

Dear Joe,

Thank you for recontacting me with the information I requested.

I have now had the opportunity of investigating this matter and I can confirm that your address lies just outside of the specified delivery area for this outlet.

Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience that this may have caused you however Im sure you will appreciate that a boundary has to be imposed at some point.

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you require any further information.

Kind regards,


From: Me
To: Papa John's

Dear *****,

Thanks for getting back to me. I understand that there has to be some kind of boundary, but it's not like I was ordering a pizza while sitting in my little wooden shack in the Himalayas. I was literally five minutes away. I mean, why bother having a phone ordering service at all when, to get it delivered, people have to be so close to the store they could just shout their order at you? You could save a fortune on phone line rental; money that perhaps could be put towards hiring a second delivery boy, maybe this time one without a crippling case of agoraphobia.

 I'd be very interested to know where the 'imposed' boundary of the Hoxton Street branch lies. This is my local Papa John's you see, (that's 'local' as in the generally accepted definition of 'being within the same geographical area', not the Papa John's definition, which is apparently 'being within arms reach without having to stretch too much, or get out of my warm, comfy chair '). I very much look forward to hearing from you.



This was last week, and since then I ain't heard shit.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes: New York Hot

In the photo, on the corner of the table, that's a regular box of Tic-Tacs. As you can see, this pizza was huge. 26" in fact. In dick terms that's about four and a half average male dicks or twenty-six average Danny Devito dicks. That's a lot of Danny Devito dicks. I was going to go on to how it tasted but I realise that's going to sound a bit gay straight* after all the dick talk, so I'll chat about bowling instead. Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes is in west London, near Holborn and Russell Square. They have this whole 50's Americana vibe going on, which is fine except some of the bowling equipment is actually from the 50's and looks so old it's about to explode. The conveyer belt that brings you your bowling balls back nearly resulted in us getting our fingers crushed about ten thousand times. I guess all the danger adds to the wild thrill that is the extreme sport of ten-pin bowling. Surprising no one, I suck at bowling.

They have a diner there with actual, leather-lined booths and everything on the menu is stereotypically american. Hot dogs, burgers, corn dogs, religious fundamentalism, milkshakes, French toast, basically anything a yank away from yankland could want. Most importantly though, they have 26" pizzas. I have to confess, and I don't know whether this will cost me respect or perhaps earn me some: I didn't eat this pizza all by myself. I had help. But only from a girl which is almost as good as no help at at all, amirite lads? Lads? Chest bump?

You'd think the issue of quality over quantity would arise with pizza like this, but it didn't because this pizza was really, really good. And massive which meant there was a lot of the good to be had. I was tempted to give this 10 out of 10 but I'm kind of reluctant to because I think I'm saving my first 10 out of 10 for a pizza that I just 'know' is the one. Bloomsbury Bowling Lanes pizza, I can't marry you but you will always be a immensely important pizza in my life. Always.

9 out of 10  

*"gay straight" LOL.

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

The Orange: Regina

At the moment 'The Orange' have an offer where you can get any pizza for £4.99. Orange are good at offers. 'Orange Wednesdays' made Wednesday my third favourite day of the week. My favourite is Thursdays because it means it's almost the weekend and, like Christmas, the real fun is in the anticipation. Sundays are my second favourite because you're encouraged by God to be lazy. I think one of the cons of being Jewish, besides never being able to lick a pig, would be having your Sabbath on a Saturday. It must suck having to sit around putting effort into not doing anything while at the same time your less Yiddish friends are running around having a blast, probably eating hot dogs and having sex without  a blanket in the way. But then I guess you'd get to go wild on Sundays so it all balances out.

In Orange all the staff wear these disgusting lime green sweatshirts with matching New Era caps. Most of them seem to be typical Hackney yoofs, sporting delightful almost-beards and some pretty imaginative ways of wearing their caps. One guy had perched it so far forward on his head that it was covering his eyes and he must have been operating the till by detecting rebounding soundwaves.  He was Daredevil if Daredevil had chosen to sell pizza instead of being a ninja.

I was pleasantly surprised with this pizza. They actually had a proper pizza oven and for a cheap takeaway pizza the base wasn't a total stodge fest. Sadly it's on Kingsland Road, almost directly opposite where I work which means it could end up being way too convenient, so the chances of me finally becoming a supreme fatty are looking pretty high.

I should perhaps point out that Orange the phone people have nothing to do with Orange the pizza place. They just have the same name. I wouldn't want anyone making an idiot of themselves because they tried to negotiate margerhitas into their talk plan after I'd misled them.

7 out of 10

Also posted on CuiZine

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Due Sardi: Due Sardi

You know how sometimes bands release a song with the same name as the band, like "One Night Only" by One Night Only* or "Love City Groove" by Love City Groove? That's basically what Due Sardi have done, but with a pizza. I imagine that happens when a band is so thrilled with the name they've come up with they want to stick it to as much stuff as they can. Sort of like how George Foreman thinks 'George Foreman' is such a shit-hot name he wants to give it to as much stuff as possible. Like all six of his sons or his most favoured child, his grill.

Due Sardi is a Sicilian establishment down the bottom of Kinglsand Road next to Jaguar Shoes and Catch. This is the first pizza I've had for a while that tasted like it was made by a real-life, honest-to-the-Catholic-god Italian from Italy. I don't know if the guy who cooked this was actually Italian, but if not they certainly do a good impression of one. Much better than mine, but then all I really have as influences are the chef from the Simpsons and Mario, so it's not my fault my Italian accent is borderline racist.

It had pepperoni, red onion and pecorino cheese on. Although, as you can see in the photo, the pizza base was kind of wonky and the onion distribution was a little haphazard I feel these imperfections added to the authenticity. I could imagine this pizza being made in the hills of Sicily in some old, stone shed containing a woodfired pizza oven, surrounded by olive trees that rustle in the warm Mediterranean breeze and a bunch of old dudes with moustaches sitting around eating bruschetta and chuckling about how awful daughters are. If that's the case and my taste buds have nailed it I should also commend the delivery guy for how quickly he must have bombed it through Europe on his little moped. Sicily to Dalston usually takes more than twenty minutes.

9 out of 10

*I've just remembered the song is called 'Just For Tonight', not 'One Night Only'. Although they're different words they mean more or less the exact same thing so my point still stands, as does my laziness because I can't be bothered to think of another example to replace it with.

Simultaneously posted on CuiZine 

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Pizza East: Spicy Sausage, Mozzarella, Padron Peppers

Pizza East is a restaurant on the corner of Shoreditch High Street and Bethnal Green Road; if you know the area, it's where T-Bar used to be. I went to T-Bar once about five years ago and all I remember is that it was really hot and everything was kind of orange. It's possible I've confused this memory with the Britney Spears Slave 4 U video, but what I do know for certain is that I kept buying really expensive beer and reluctantly danced to minimal techno. Basically it was awful and when I die, for all my sins, I will wake up in T-bar and never be able to leave.

I'm much happier with this incarnation, I can't imagine an instance where I'd prefer minimal techno more than pizza, but then I can't imagine an instance where I'd prefer minimal techno more than lying in a bath full of angry fire ants, so that comparison may not carry much water. Even so, Pizza East, I like what you've done with the place.

Another thing I liked was how all the waiting staff had matching Levi's, Converse, and high levels of Italian sexiness. That was a nice touch. I'm pretty sure I fell in love with our waitress about eight times. I do however have one small criticism, I feel the menu should point out that it is totally literal in the toppings it says your pizza will have. You'll notice in the pizza description above there is an absence of the word 'tomato'. Under the weight of my skull-crushing naivety I assumed that, considering it was a pizza, it would have tomato on, in the same way I'd assume that because it is Lindsay Lohan's nose, it would have cocaine in. Apparently not (I can only vouch for the pizza, I have not personally checked the contents of Miss Lohan's nose and, as of writing, have no plans to).

This was a shame because everything else on the pizza was really good, and I had a slice of my friend's pizza, avec tomato, and it was delicious. Obviously this made the gaping hole in my pizza about a eight times worse and, as a result, too salty because of all my tears. With hindsight I regret not asking our sexy waitress two things. Primarily whether my pizza would have tomato on but also whether she felt it was too soon in our relationship for her to spend this Christmas with my family and I.

7 out of 10

Monday, 4 October 2010

Chicago Town: Ltd Edition X-Factor Takeaway Pizza

Just in case you never talk to anyone ever, sprint past tabloid stands with your eyes shut and the only time you leave your sealed-off, soundproofed cave is to go to the frozen food section of Sainsbury's, Chicago Town have kindly come up with a pizza to remind you that it's X-Factor time. Unsurprisingly it's an unhealthy, artificial cheesefest, and the pizza's not great either. Zing! How do you like those apples Slime-on Bowel? 

I never really understood that phrase, because I like really apples. I'd probably put them in my top three fruits of all time, along with mangoes and satsumas. (I find oranges too much hassle to peel and they're too big whereas satsumas are kind of like natures fun size Mars Bars; way more manageable). Point being, if somebody asked me how I liked those apples, chances are I'd probably say something like "yes, they were delicious, thank you" which would no doubt lead to an awkward silence. 

This pizza was kind of boring. I usually like Chicago Town but this one was just a bit "meh", less a pizza, more of a pizzzza. I think I need to start branching out into more interesting pizza places in London. If you've got any suggestions then please, by all means, suggest away, because this guy left the mustard as uncut as a DVD rerelease of Cannibal Holocaust

4 out of 10

Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Cirrick: Mixed Pidde

I know what you may be thinking, the 'Z' button on my keyboard is broken so I'm using the 'D' one instead and hoping you won't notice. What a silly idea, of course you'd notice, you're not an idiot,* and anyway, my 'Z' key works fine, look: zzzzzzZZzZzzzzzZzzzzzzzzZZZZZzzZZZZ.

'Pidde' is actually what Turkish people call pizzas. It sounds too much like 'piddle' for me, which isn't something I want to be thinking about when I'm getting down to some intense cheese ingestion. I think they should just stick with 'pizza' or if they're going to be picky about it, 'Turkish pizza'. Less of this 'pidde' nonsense please. Basically Turkey, if you could kindly readjust your entire dialect and culture to make your food sound more appetising to a pedantic, whiny English boy that would be just super.  

Cirrick is a Turkish restaurant in Hackney. When we asked the waiter for any recommendations he said we should get Chinese food. I didn't say at the time but I felt this was poor waiter-ing. Does he not realise that were we to take his advice and leave to get Chinese food instead then his restaurant would miss out on our valuable cash-money? This would lead to a dip in profits, which could result in cuts in staff and he might get fired? 

Maybe that's what he wants, maybe he hates his a job, but doesn't have the guts to quit, maybe the restaurant owner is a sweet old man, whom, even though the waiter hates his job and wants to join the circus, he doesn't have the heart to leave. If this is the case I'm sorry I judged you so harshly Chinese-promoting-Turkish-waiter. You have a good soul and I almost feel guilty that I did not storm out to buy noodles. Next time I come in I will tell the manager that you squeezed my thigh for eight seconds and would not stop even though I asked you twice. I'll shave and wear a Digimon t-shirt as well so I look younger, which will make you look creepier, and make it more likely that you'll get fired and put on the sex offenders register. It's cool, I don't think the circus gives a shit about rapists.

Despite a name that sounds like a phrase used during potty training, it turns out Piddes's are pretty good. I couldn't work out what cheese it was, it wasn't mozzarella, but it was tasty. Also the bread was good. Well done Turkey, (the country, not the bird, I don't want those guys stealing any of Turkey the country's credit, so back off Turkey the bird).

8 out of 10

* I have no proof for this, in fact it's quite possible you are an idiot, perhaps even likely, after all, you have chosen to spend precious minutes reading about some pizza I ate this one time. 

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Ask: Napoletana

Hey, Aquaman, I know that oil spill is more or less sorted out now but don't go hanging your jellyshoes over your very-hard-to-light fireplace just yet, there's another nautical disaster at hand. Someone is taking all your subjects and dumping them on my pizzas. On the Ask menu it makes out you'll get a normal amount of fish, like a couple of anchovies and a prawn or two, nothing extravagant. That's a total lie. On my plate there were half the inhabitants of the Pacific Ocean. Due to the overhead perspective of the photograph there is a slight loss in depth perception so you may not be able to tell but those toppings were about 4ft high. My pizza was basically a cheesy mass grave for a tunacide. Although say what you will about mass graves, they're certainly cost effective.*

I've been getting quite into fish recently, I think it's because I'm trying to do less supermarket shopping and go to littler shops instead, so I've started visiting the fish men on Stoke Newington High Street. I've only been in a few times but in six months I expect a conversation like this to be the norm:

Me: Hey Paul, hey Terry. (these might not be their actual names but these seem like fish guy kind of names so quit whining and go with it.) 

Fish Guys (in unison): Joe, how you doin' guvnaa?

Me: You know, same old, same old. How was your weekend away Paul? Where was it you went? Bognor Regis?

Fish Guy Paul: Yeah it was nice you know, just me n' the misses. Mind you, she didn't want to do nothin' but sit on the beach all day. Bored me 'alf to deaf it did.

Me: Women eh? (I'd do that sort of half eyebrow shrug, tutting thing, which Paul would reciprocate).

Fish Guy Paul: Yeah, tell me about it.


Then I'd buy some scallops and leave. I think I've got the basis for a sitcom there, I might make Paul and Terry ex-mafia goons trying to go straight and call it Sleeping with the Fishes. I could play a clueless middle-class secondary character who occasionally gets tangled up in their hair-brained, fish-based, crime heists. Bet you wish you'd thought of that one, don't you Larry David? 

4 out of 10

*I stole this joke from the Onion, I have no remorse and it won't be the last time I do this.

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Fire & Stone: Sydney

This was my second foray into Fire & Stone. This was my first, read it if you haven't, so I don't have to repeat myself or, if you've already read it, re-read it if you don't have anything better to do. Those are sort of trick choices, because the 'nothing better to do' option is kind of defunct in that, if you actually have nothing better to do than re-read me natter on about a stupid pizza then may I suggest suicide as something 'better to do'. Basically, re-read it only if you are somehow incapable of suicide, e.g. paralysed, Roman Catholic, wimp etc. If any of these labels apply to you then you are excused, and by all means re-read away.

Sydney is both a city in Australia and a pizza in Fire & Stone. The former may be more well known than the latter at the moment, but I have a feeling a shifting of the scales is on the cards. This was a damn tasty pizza. Possibly my favourite Australia related thing since the TV show Oz and that wasn't actually about Australia, it just sounded like it was. It was more about brutal prison violence and gang rape. What a lark. Still, sounds preferable to five minutes in a pub with an Australian. I'm joking, those guys are great, and definitely don't have an annoying attitude or accent, no way Jose, top blokes, the lot of them. Everybody needs good neighbours and all that.

There was meant to be an egg on this pizza, and I think there was but I couldn't find it anywhere. I think it was mixed in with the sauce somehow because I could kind of taste it. Unless of course my brain was tricking me into thinking there was egg so it wouldn't have to think up creative insults and threats for the waiters when it was bill time. This is possible, my brain is terribly lazy. If it can get out of doing any work at all it will. It delegated my A-level psychology exam to my lower intestine. I got a U. Seemed my lower intestine knew absolutely nothing about cognitive theory, sorry Mr Dixon,

8 out of 10

Monday, 30 August 2010

Whole Foods Market: Vegan Calzone

I now live in Stoke Newington. Stoke Newington's full of hippy cafes and yummy mummies with graphic designer husbands and over dressed babies; so it should come as no surprise that there's a Whole Foods Market that charges £80 for a pepper.* I went in once, mostly to see what rich people look like but also because I was hungry. They had this guy for sale for something like £3. At first I thought that was pretty good, but I realised that it was cheap because not only were there no dead animals in it, there was nothing from living animals in it either. Apparently some people have to eat food like this. It's a condition called 'veganism' and as far as I know, there is no cure. When's Blue Peter going to wake up and do a 'Save the Vegans' appeal? Kids could put signs up in their local butchers, have fund raising barbecues and hog roasts, maybe even sell a few t-shirts.

Sadly they didn't have any meat calzones, but if they did I would probably have had to take out a small mortgage to pay for it so maybe that's for the best. Just to be clear, I like animals, they're cute and it's funny when they think they're humans and do things we do, like wear clothes or act surprised when they're put in a microwave. However I like animals the most when they are dead and in my belly, so it was a shame there was aubergine pretending to be a slice of ham. God knows what the cheese was made out of, and anyway, don't cows like being milked? Surely it's like getting a sexy nipple pinch every day. Their self esteem must be through the roof.

6 out of 10

*This is hyperbole, I never saw a pepper that was £80, but you get the gist. If you don't, here is an explanation of the gist: The food is expensive.

Monday, 23 August 2010

Papa John's: Papa John's Favourite

People have been hyping up Papa John to me for ages and I feel bad that I've never tried one until now. I think I have a fairly legitimate excuse in that there wasn't one that would deliver to my house in Nottingham. Like any reasonable person I got so sick of this I to moved to London, where the streets are paved with mozzarella. If you've never been to London, don't worry, this is a metaphor. Mozzarella would surely be one of the worst materials to use for paving a street, other bad choices that spring to mind would be honey, oil paint, soap or eggs. Thankfully they seem to stick to concrete in most places, which is far more sensible. Good call Hackney council!

This pizza was apparently 'Papa John's Favourite'. I hope they didn't mean this literally, and just meant the topping. I'd hate to imagine Papa John hunched over a photo of the actual pizza I actually ate, sobbing tomato puree tears while other mythical food mascots, (Ronald Mcdonald, the Dolmio muppets, Tony the Tiger etc.) try to comfort him. If this is the case John, and I've more or less eaten your son, is it any consolation that he was really tasty? Because he was.

The delivery man couldn't find my friend's house so our pizza arrived slightly colder than I would have liked but that's cool because Good Will Hunting was on TV. I like that film. I like the bit where Robin Williams keeps telling Matt Damon that "It's not [his] fault" until Matt Damon starts crying. I'm going to try that one day, just keep repeating the same sentence over and over again at someone until they break down.

8 out of 10

Wednesday, 18 August 2010

The Old Angel: Pizza Burger

I liked this guy. I had the option of getting curly fries with him, but for some reason I chose wedges. I don't know why. I wish I'd chosen curly fries, I love them and I think I must have forgotten I love them. For me, curly fries still seem like some kind of exotic, exciting treat that you only have on special occasions, like the last day of school before summer or at some rich kid's twelfth birthday party. I'm talking about this all retrospectively of course, about curly fries evoking a sense of nostalgia; as in 'going to children's birthday parties when I was also a child', not going to them now I'm a hairy grown-up. I don't go to the birthday parties of twelve year old's anymore, (they've stopped inviting me, the little shits). I'm going to give this pizza credit simply for having curly fries as an option, regardless of whether I had them or not.

I know the picture's a bit crap but have you noticed something odd about this pizza? Something peculiar that you can't quite put your finger on, something that sets it apart from all the other pizzas on this blog. Like the others it had tomato puree and cheese, ingredients traditionally essential for something to qualify as a pizza, but something's still not quite right, so what could it be?... 

It's not a pizza you dummy, it's a burger! You see how it says 'Pizza Burger' up there and how the photo is a photo of a burger and not a pizza? See how all the little clues come together? Like the second time you saw The Sixth Sense, or the first, depending on how old you are, it suddenly seems so obvious. I hope I haven't made you feel like a schmuck with this shocking twist. Don't feel bad if I have, I got outsmarted by a postbox the other day and had to go ask the lady in the post office what to do. 

8 out of 10

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Rescue Rooms: BBQ

If you live or have ever lived in Nottingham then skip this paragraph because this will all be old news. If you haven't lived there skip it anyway because it's going to be boring. Rescue Rooms is a bar and venue that has a small kitchen that sporadically churns out pizzas. On most of their clubnights they sell massive slices for a pound that, like an insecure fat woman, are big, sloppy and fall apart if you try to pick them up. During the day however you can get a whole, real-life sized pizza all to yourself, which is what I did.

I like pizza as a party food, especially at £1 a slice. Pretty girls and cheap pizza lead to the video below happening on an almost hourly basis. To such an extent that now a group of Korean (at least please) 18 year olds thrusting pizza and god knows what else in my direction means eyelids barely get batted and pulses stay at a consistently unimpressed rate.

Anyway, as usual this is irrelevant because the pizza I had was eaten at a far more respectable hour and I was barely drunk or anything. It was BBQ and had chicken on I think, I can't remember, it was a while ago. You can get 2 for 1 on Sundays or something unless they've closed the kitchen, which they may have done considering, as I said, it was a few weeks ago I ate this. A lot can happen in a few weeks. I remember that the cheese could have been a bit better. High quality cheese never hurt anyone, except the livelihood of cheap cheese farmers who have to be laid off because of plummeting business. Wizard of Soz cheap cheese farmers, don't hate the player etc.

7 out of 10

Monday, 26 July 2010

Zizzi's: Mare E Monti

My Grandad came to visit me the other day, I think it was because I recently graduated from Uni and am now a real-life, grown-up adult man with responsibilities and duties and shit. If this was the case I should think about graduating more often because if I got a pizza like this every time it would be totally worth it. I didn't go to my actual graduation ceremony. I don't really understand why anyone would. I've had this conversation with a few people about my controversial stance on this issue so forgive me if I'm sounding like a grumpy, broken record. Basically if I wanted to pay £100+* to the institution that I'd spent the past three years paying over £10,000 to for about four hours a week of their time, just so I could sit through a three-hour ceremony where I applaud hundreds of people I don't know for getting qualifications that only they, and the forty other job applicants waiting in the company lobby will have, then it would suggest I hadn't been so educated after all.

Do you hate it when people have a rant and then say "rant over" like it's not obvious that it's over because they've stopped ranting? I do. You wouldn't do that for anything else. Like if you said "What do you call a Mexican victim of car theft? Carlos." and then felt you had to say "joke over" just in case people were still waiting for a punchline. But that rant, and this minor rant about rant closure policies are both, mercifully, over. Back to the pizza! (starring Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd.)

Mare E Monti means 'Sea and Mountains', which almost makes sense as this was half courgette and prawns and half spicy sausage. Prawns definitely live in the sea but I'm not so sure about pigs living in mountains, but then you do get goats in mountains so what do I know? Well, when it comes to the average altitude of a pig's natural habitat, apparently not much. To anyone reading this in search of juicy pig trivia I can only apologise and ask that next time, could you perhaps misspell 'pig' three times less drastically. Anyway the pizza was really good, and quite big and had dollops of creme fraiche and I almost couldn't finish it. Obviously I could finish it and did, but it was less of a walkover than usual. Take that, my ever-diminishing chances of a healthy adulthood.

9 out of 10

* Three tickets: £75, hat and gown rental: £30, hotel room for the parents: £50, photo of you dressed like a tit holding a piece of paper: meaningless.

Tuesday, 20 July 2010

Bella Italia: Carne Mista

I've only been to Bella Italia once before. It was when I was about twelve and I went with my Dad and all I remember is my Dad getting angry with the waiting staff because they kept asking us if we had finished our meal when we obviously hadn't. I don't think we left a tip. So with such a troubled history I was understandably hesitant about whether they'd remember and spit in my pizza and make jokes from the kitchen about my new haircut. It's really short so I was thinking they would be little digs about me looking like a U.S. marine. "Here's your pizza sir, hoo-rah!" and so forth. Witty kitchen bastards.

I went for the Carne Mista. I haven't checked and I won't because I'm sure I'm wrong but wouldn't be be great if, in English, Carne Mista meant Mr. Meat? It would be totally appropriate because this pizza had a modest zoo worth of animals on. All dead obviously. Don't worry, one of my pizza comrades had one coated in vegetables so it all balances out karma wise.

Dare I say it but it might have been a bit too meaty, perhaps a little plant life would have balanced out all the death. My other pizza buddy had the right idea, a bit of meat AND a bit of veg. Radical thinking from her there, well done.

8 out of 10

Thursday, 15 July 2010

Fire & Stone: Bombay

Fire & Stone is a pizza restaurant in Oxford. I think they have one in Covent Garden and Portsmouth as well but who's ever been to Portsmouth? I know I haven't, at least I don't think I have. Actually maybe I have been to Portsmouth. Yep, to get a ferry to the Isle of Wight when I was younger, I'm sorry, I lied. So in answer to my own question: who's been to Portsmouth? I have. Have you? Don't worry about answering, I honestly don't care!

Fire & Stone's menu is divided into six sections, one for each continent. And I do know there are seven continents but they leave out Antarctica because coming up with Antarctica-themed pizzas would be tricky. Is penguin even edible? I guess Eskimos eat seals all the time but I always imagine they'd be really chewy. And I wouldn't fancy eating a seal either! A-HAR!

This international menu kinds gives out a 'pizza will save the world' vibe, that pizza is an oven in which the dough of world peace will be baked. I'm not sure if I agree with this, I mean, yeah I'm obviously pro-pizza and everything but I doubt Palestine would chill out about everything just because Israel cooked them a couple of pizzas; unless of course they were Hamas and pineapple! A-HAR no.2!

I had the Bombay which was like a chicken curry pizza. It was pretty good, except it had yoghurt on, which is a bit weird for a pizza, but i guess you get yoghurt in curries all the time so maybe not that weird. I don't know. It was good, I liked it, our waitress was nice. In fact she was too nice, like she wanted something from us...

 For that I'm deducting a point.

8 out of 10

Monday, 28 June 2010

Pizza Party

A couple of weeks ago I became a serious contender for the title of 'oldest living human'. To celebrate my entrance onto the world stage of professional not-dying I had a few buddies over. True to one-trick pony form I asked everyone to bring pizza toppings so we could all build, cook and then eat some pizza. Preferably in that order. This is what went down.

Being an arty-farty bunch, people seemed pretty keen on out-pizzaing one another. I'm all for innovation and originality and everything, but this here is a pizza with dough balls on. Call me a cynic but when you have bread below a topping and above a topping, that's not a pizza, that's a sandwich.

I sort of asked people to choose toppings that they felt represented themselves. If you had to describe yourself to someone but couldn't use words, only pizza, how would you do it? People came up with some pretty good ones. Jason, for example, is a little bit Caribbean, so his pizza had a little bit of Reggae Reggae sauce on, which is a little bit Caribbean, like him. What a clever chap, here is a photo of the proudest moment in Jason's life. 

Most people, due to, I imagine, chronically stunted imaginations, were boring and just chose toppings because they liked them. I suppose it could be argued that this may suggest my friends have pretty healthy self-esteems, but I doubt it, or if they do they shouldn't. Generally they're pretty rubbish. Here are some examples of people thrilled by their own mediocrity:

I'm joking of course, my friends are all beautiful people and I am head-over-heels in love with all of them. Look, here's Nick rabbiting on about who-gives-a-shit:

Putting Brian Sewell on a pizza is pretty inspired. I think Nick should enter it into the Turner prize next year. I'm sure Brian would love that. He should call it 'The Art Critizza'. However Brian Sewell-pizza was only one half of a two-part pizza exhibit. This is Pete; he made a Jackson Pollock-pizza that Brian Sewell-pizza was going to be critiquing. Pretty high brow stuff eh? I guess it raises that age old question of "Does pizza imitate art or does art imitate pizza?" Here's Pete being adorably downhearted about it all:

I managed to annoy even more of my guests with inane pizza-questions.This is Shiri being asked pointless questions about ricotta, after you watch it I'm going to tell you another cheese joke.

Q: What cheese do furry, heavy-metal listening, fresh-water mammals enjoy?

A: Rock-otter!

Here are some more people being polite and humouring me by pretending to enjoy my party. Thanks guys, you're all the best.

How wonderful for everyone. 

I call this photo "A Proud Father".


Friday, 18 June 2010

Chicago Town 'Knork'

If you buy four packs of Chicago Town Deep Dish pizzas, cut out the tokens on each one and send them off to Chicago Town (the company, not the city) a few days later a Knork will arrive. Too much hassle? You can always take the more practical route of starting a god-awful pizza blog in the vain hope that a nice lady at Chicago Town will read it, pray for your swift death by heart failure and send you something to make the shovelling of pizza into your mouth all the more efficient.

At least that's what happened to me. I have four tokens sitting on my desk that I was going to send off but the big CT beat me to it. A 'Knork', for those that don't know, or more likely, don't care, is half KNife, half fORK. I suspect what they've done, and I can't be sure, is combine the two halves of both words. I guess they didn't go for 'Fife' because sex sells and men (and lesbians, it is 2010) might send off for a Knork hoping to get a parcel containing a single, solitary boob.

I'd say it's more fork than knife. That is to say, were I to try and mug Crocodile Dundee with my Knork and have him disparage the knife-ness of my Knork by demonstrating how much more knife-y his knife was I'd have a hard time disagreeing with him.

They sent me a three page press release with my Knork, detailing how revolutionary my new Knork will be to my life. Obviously they are right, because it is. I now think of my life as having two separate eras: pre-Knork and post-Knork, and in my head, everything pre-Knork is grey. They also go on about how great Chicago Town Deep Dish pizzas are but my favourite bit is at the end where they say "available in all major supermarkets... and Iceland."* 

*I added the ellipsis for comic effect, they didn't put that in but they should have. I don't think I've ever been in an Iceland, but then I am very middle-class. 

Friday, 11 June 2010

Primavera Sound 2010: The Definitive Review

Primavera Sound is in Barcelona which is in Spain. I can't decide which is worse, Spanish music videos or Spanish haircuts. I guess I'd say Spanish music videos probably have the edge because usually more money has been invested in a music video than a haircut so it's more of a failure that they're so awful. That said, the amount of dudes sporting dreadlocked mullets (dreadlet? mullock?) was terrifying. It's just the grossest haircut ever.

See? It looks like his head is taking a massive shit down his back. Ew.

I think that's why people go to Primavera, a chance to escape these hippy wankers. Either that or the bands. I mean either that, or the bands OR THE PIZZA!

Anyway, enough mild racism, on with the reviews...

Margherita with Oregano

I had this guy on my first day in Barcelona and he cost two Euros. 'Euros' are what they use in Spain instead of Pounds. They're like the Pound except worse, but at least they're better than the Dollar. Here's a handy algebra equation explaining what I just said:



I think he tasted pretty good although I'm not sure how much attention I paid because I was too busy keeping passing dreadlocks from dropping into the cheese. Seriously it was like juggling except with filthy clumps of dead tissue instead of juggling balls.

I remember he was pretty herby. Like, if this pizza was a robot he'd be R-Doob-D-Doob. That's cool though, I like herbs. At least I don't mind them. If they keep themselves to themselves, don't go flaunting their herbiness in my face or nuthin' we ain't got a problem. I am herb-tolerant.


Pepperoni Pizza-Cone

There'd been a lot of hype surrounding these guys, and I'd heard stories about them before I even bought my Primavera ticket. You probably don't have to be Jonathan Creek to work out what a Pizza-Cone is, but just in case you're his idiot sidekick that used to be in Two Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps I shall tell you. A Pizza-Cone is a cone filled with pizza. Yum, right? Wrong, not yum.

Whether you like Pizza-Cones depends entirely on how much you like things that taste gross. If you love things that taste gross, you'll love Pizza-cones. You know how Cornettos have a lump of chocolate at the bottom, well the same could be said of Pizza-Cones if you substituted the word 'chocolate' for 'bitter-uncooked-yet-somehow-burnt-stale-death-bread'.

DOS out of DIEZ

Telepizza BBQ

I think Telepizza is the Spanish equivalent of Dominos. If I owned a company who a customer would ring up on a TELEphone to order PIZZA, it makes about a thousand times more sense calling it Telepizza than naming it after a game grandmothers play in nursing homes while quietly awaiting death. Nice work Telepizza.

Gripe time: Have you ever been to a barbecue and been served minced beef or ham? If you have, shut up, because you'll invalidate my argument. I think that for a pizza that is working the 'BBQ' angle, the meat has to be representative of that. I guess the sauce was a little barbecue-y, but barely. In my head I'm shrugging my shoulders. Less nice work Telepizza.


Catalunyan Bread

Okay, I know this isn't really pizza, but I felt three posts was a bit pathetic for a whole week in Spain. It's sort of pizza, it's bread with tomato on. No cheese though, does that still count? Actually, cheese is probably essential when it comes to constructing a pizza. If this isn't pizza and I review it then I'm basically just reviewing food, and if I decided to review all the food I ate, rather than just the pizza, I'd be writing (at least) three posts a day. I can honestly say, I could not be arsed to do that.

That would probably be quite a good weight-loss scheme. If you had to write about everything you ate, you'd barely eat (assuming you're operating on similar lazy levels as me). I can see Kerry Katona or someone endorsing that diet. Although it might be a bit implausible if she did it because I'm not sure whether she can read, let alone write anything. Girl can eat though.


N/A out of DIEZ.

Friday, 4 June 2010

Simply Chicken and Pizza: Ham and Green Pepper

On the street I live on there's about a million takeaway places that do pizza. People, I can't remember who specifically, have asked why I don't review those pizzas, and I've said, in my snootiest voice, that I don't review them because I'd only eat them when I was drunk. Well right now, I am drunk so it seems fair to review the pizza I just bought and then ate. Deal? Deal.

In Simply Chicken and Pizza you can get a medium pizza, (2 toppings), chips and a drink for £5. "Alright!" I said in my head, and possibly out loud. Not out loud, just in my head. for realz. I got ham and green pepper, because it seemed like a pretty safe option and the list of potential toppings was quite small so i couldn't really see it so i thought i better choose something they'd definitely have.

For my drink I chose a passion fruit Rubicon because, and I think you'll agree, Rubicon is the best thing to ever come in can form. I don't know why big shops don't sell it, it's so good. I wish taps came in 'hot, 'cold' and Rubicon.  I'd wash in that stuff. I'm not even joking. I am joking, think how sticky you'd be. You'd die of wasps.

Chips were chips, pizza was gross, Rubicon was phenomenal.

Rubicon out of 10.

Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Co-op: Stonebaked Pastrami

I don't mind when supermarkets start branching out into non-supermarket things, like Tesco Mobile or whatever, but I think Co-op go too far. Co-op Funeralcare for example. Now call me paranoid, but I find the idea of eating food sold to me by people who will potentially make money if I die, slightly unnerving. That's like buying skis from a wheelchair salesman, or shampoo from a wigmaker.

Mind you, it seems I don't find it that unnerving as I happily wolfed this guy down. I like it when pizzas think outside the box almost as much as I like it when pizzas ARE outside the box, so I really enjoyed the whole New York vibe this guy was going for. Pastrami with a sachet horseradish mustardy stuff is something I haven't come across before.

Have you ever been to New York? It's great. If you haven't, it's pretty much exactly like how it looks in Ghostbusters 2, or in Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist or Crocodile Dundee. Basically any film set in New York is an accurate and reliable depiction of what it's like. Except for Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II: The Secret of the Ooze, that shit's ridiculous.

8 out of 10

Sunday, 23 May 2010

The Walk: Chicken, Sweetcorn and Olives

The Walk is a little tea shop in Nottingham owned by Cake-Fairies. In the kitchen Granny Cake-Fairy sings this song about cherries and sugar and kittens while she bakes, and there's a constant stream of woodland creatures coming through the door. It's all quite childish and girly, like something out of a Disney movie except pinker. Obviously I am way too much of a hetero-dude to like all that but the five year old girl inside me, (the one I ate for lunch LOL*) loves it.

They also have Uncle Cake-Fairy, who is, as was a condition of his parole, employed as their pizza cook. He's drunk and racist and you can hear him making lewd comments from the kitchen about the pixie waitresses. It's fine though because he churns out some pretty good pizzas.

They serve the pizzas on pieces of slate. My suspicion is they let drunk Uncle Cake-Fairy write the shopping list and he misspelt 'plates', so they got lumped with 'slates' instead. No-one wanted to call him up on it because he gets violent after a couple thimbles of dizzy water. 

Obviously I didn't eat the olives because I don't hate myself, but the rest was all pretty good. The base was a bit hard, kind of like a breadstick, except not in the shape of a stick, and also not bread. So actually nothing like a breadstick. 

7 out of 10

*Not LOL, it's been a slow week.

Saturday, 15 May 2010

Ask: Calzone con Carne Piccante

You guys know what a Calzone is don't you? If you don't, first I slap my tongue stuffed lower lip/chin at you and then I tell you it is basically a folded over pizza. Yumz o'clock right?

Go to an online translation website. Try this one. Type in 'Calzone' as an Italian to English translation and see what you get.

Yeah. I know. What the hell is that all about? My guess is some hilarious Italian dude folded a pizza in half, it caught on, as a joke he called it a 'Calzone' and, like a bunch of trusting idiots, we just assumed that 'Calzone' was Italian for 'folded over pizza'.

I bet whenever Italians overhear tourists go on about how tasty that Calzone was, or how much they enjoyed putting that Calzone in their mouth, they have a little snicker and do a tiny, patriotic high-five in their heads.

It would be like if kebabs suddenly caught on in Rome and the Italians were begging to know what these suspiciously hairy parcels of almost-meat were called and we decided to be really funny and told them kebabs were called 'scrotums' and then Italians would be all "Yeah, let's go eat some scrotums, boy, I'd love a good English scrotum right now. Mmm, mmm, mmmm. Yummy, yummy scrotums" And then we could all have a laugh because it was a really elaborate, nation-wide joke we were all in on.

That said, it was perhaps one of the tastiest pranks I've been on the receiving end of, so this time Mario, I'm going to let it slide.

9 out of 10

Monday, 10 May 2010

(> 4-Way Pizza Rumble <)

I haven't posted anything on here for over a week. If anyone thought that this was because, like a normal person who has been eating the same food almost daily, I'd got sick of pizza and had given up then, I'm afraid, you'd be both wrong and an idiot. 

Four pizzas go in, only one comes out. As in 'four pizzas go into some kind of metaphorical battle', not 'four pizzas go into my digestive system, only one comes out'. Were that the situation I'd desperately need to see my doctor about a nasty case of pizza retention. Anyway, meet the contenders:  

Pizza Express: American Hot


This is the supermarket version of Pizza Express and it was half price in Waitrose because it was out of date or something. So far, so good. When I was younger I'd avoid ordering this because, in my head, it was dangerously spicy. If I could go back in time I'd slap nine-year old me for being such a wuss, force him to eat one of these and then tell him to not waste possibly hundreds of pounds on Warhammer over the next two years and buy a skateboard instead.

Chicago Town: Footie Feast (Limited Edition)

I don't know what connection this pizza has to football. There were sausage balls on it, does that count? I don't know. I don't like football very much, it's not the actual game that bugs me I think it's just how worked up people get about it. Everyone just needs to chill out. I think if the players didn't get so excited when they scored then that would help. Maybe a little thumbs up to the crowd, a polite handshake for the guy who crossed the ball in, none of this triple-flip-rip-my-clothes-off-kiss-you-on-the-mouth stuff. 

BBQ sauce stuffed crust ftw btw.

Pizza Express: La Reine

This is another supermarket Pizza Express. It was also reduced, but only by 75p, so I'd say the American Hot has the edge. And it had olives on, obviously I picked them off, for they truly are the grapes of Satan. 'Reine' is French for 'queen'. Do you think they mean royalty or camp, gay guys? This didn't seem like a very gay pizza, I mean, the mushrooms were a bit herby but I don't think anything can be inferred from that. 

Bakerino's Sausage Pizza

This guy is definitely the underdog but it has the advantage of being part of a deal where you get any pizza, any cookie and any drink (not vitamin water) for £2.99. The pizza was pretty shit but the cookie was amazing. It was oat and raisin. Seriously, I would have this again just for the cookie. That's not to say the bottle of coke wasn't good, but it was just a bottle of coke. Anyway, I'm getting side-tracked and god forbid I deviate off the topic of pizzas. The pizza was pretty boring and the sausages were just Wall's or something. Nothing to write home about:

"Dear Mum,
                   I ate an uninteresting sausage, just thought you might like to know.

See? What a shit letter.


Chicago Town: Footie Feast!!!

Congratulations Chicago Town. You were my favourite. You won because when I ate you I was super hungover and was watching a shitty Bill Murray movie, a.k.a. the perfect Saturday afternoon. Well done.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Chicago Town 'Edge to Edge' New York Deli

I've come up with, what I feel, would be a rather good advertising campaign for this pizza. Basically U2, the band, have finished doing a concert or whatever and their guitarist or bassist, (I neither know nor care), 'The Edge' walks over to a pizza and picks up a slice. He's about to eat it when he is hit over the head by a steel chair. It is revealed that the wrestler 'Edge' really wants the pizza and takes it from 'The Edge's' unconscious hand. I like this idea because it's a visual metaphor for the name of the pizza as it shows the pizza's passing from 'Edge to Edge'.  Plus watching members of U2 getting hit with stuff would never get old.

This pizza hates crusts. It's crustist. I think I agree, I might be a closet crustist. I'm not one of those losers that leaves a plate full of crusts, but I think I eat them just so people don't think of me as a crust-leaving loser. Is that bad? Should I stick to my guns and just leave the crust and not a give a shit what anyone else thinks? Maybe if I say I'll only leave unnecessarily fat crusts, but is that too much of a compromise on my crust policy? Should I maintain my integrity and leave all crusts, regardless of size?

What a dilemma!

6.5 out of 10

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Pizza Express Capricciosa

I once got angry with Pizza Express for messing up my order. (Here I am in a rage that will burn your eyebrows off, read if you dare or need a quick alternative to plucking).

Guess what. It happened again. You'd think I would have totally hulked out and beat the waiter's face into a Sloppy Giuseppe, but I didn't. This was because, this time, it was my fault. In my head I definitely said "no olives" but turns out the waiter wasn't psychic so lo and behold: I got olives.

How great would psychic waiters be? They'd walk up to your table, everyone would be all quiet and thinking about what food they wanted and the waiter would just scribble it down, and at the end you wouldn't have to do the 'bill please wave', or ask for another drink or anything that involves the now glaring impracticalities of talking. They'd just know. From now on I'm tipping at 5% until they get psychic waiters.

When it said there was going to be egg on this guy I had an image of a fat, fried egg in the middle, which would have been great, not lame-o, boiled egg slices. A psychic waiter would have known this and sorted it out. Just saying.

7 out of 10

Sunday, 25 April 2010

Pizza Hut Buffet

About two years ago I made a promise to myself that I would never have the Pizza Hut buffet again. Sorry me, turns out I'm/you're an untrustworthy, weak-willed sneak. In my defence I only ate it for the sake of this review, because I was walking by and that it's £5.49 for unlimited pizza.

  1. Pizza Hut pizzas are cooked in motor oil.
  2. That whole 'Pasta Hut' thing never happened. It was just a dream you once had.
  3. The CEO of Pizza Hut is called Jabba. 
These are just a selection of the slices. I didn't want to review them all because it would be boring for you and embarrassing for me. I'm not going to tell you my magic number either. It's gross.

No meat? Seriously? There was a mysterious yellow cube on this guy, I didn't know what it was, all I know is that it wasn't meat and was poorer for it.

4 out of 10

This guy had little white lumps on that turned out to be chicken. He also had BBQ sauce instead of tomato. I really like BBQ sauce on pizzas. This is an awful, shameful secret that I hide from people like I'd hide the dead bodies of nine-year olds in my attic. (Don't worry, I don't have an attic).

7 out of 10


I almost wrote 'nuff said'. God, imagine if I had. That would have been dreadful. 

6 out of 10

This was a slice of Hawaiian. It was only when I got back to the table that I realised there was no ham on it, just pineapple. It was a fruit pizza, and therefore one of my five a day. Healthy living!

5 out of 10