I’ve been so keen to try all the new and exciting eateries opening up recently in NewcastleGateshead that I’ve been a bit guilty of overlooking some of my old favourites. So when an invite landed in my inbox to go and try the new lunch menu at Pizza Express, I thought, ‘Heck, why not? Maybe there is such a thing as a free lunch afterall!’
To fair, with prices from just £3.45 I wouldn’t exactly have begrudged paying the bill, I’ve often paid more than that for a bland butty and a packet of crisps!
So I invited a colleague and made the short trip from my office to Dean Street. This particular branch of Pizza Express is housed in a beautiful listed building and has quite a bit of character, as do many of the stunning Georgian buildings in this area of town. I especially loved the huge windows and high ceilings! However, we were the only diners in the whole place which meant there was a real lack of atmosphere, shame, as I bet there’s a good vibe when the place is busy.
Oh well, every cloud had as a silver lining and in this situation it was the fact that our ‘express lunch’ didn’t have to wait in a queue to be prepared and left us with enough time for treats afterwards!
For my lunch I chose a salad of ‘chicken, goat’s cheese, seasonal mixed leaves, pepper, olives, croutons and tomato with house dressing and warm mini dough sticks’ (above). It was sounding quite healthy till I mentioned the dough sticks wasn’t it? I can’t resist them!
My colleague Brenda opted for a Pollo ad Astra pizza, which was made with chicken, sweet peppadew peppers, red onion, mozzarella, tomato, cajun spices and garlic oil. We thought this might arrive in the form of a mini pizza as Pizza Express described it as ‘our famous, thin-based Romana pizza, but smaller’. However, the base was smaller in thickness not diameter! This means you get the same amount of delicious toppings but less of that usual bloated feeling from eating a whole load of dough, perfect! Needless to say I had a little bit of food envy at this point!
As we were pleasantly un-bloated and still had about 20 minutes left of our lunch break we decided to indulge in the ‘Dolcetti’ which is a mini dessert served with tea or coffee. What a great idea this is! I often crave something sweet at the end of a meal but feel too guilty to order a large dessert all to myself so this mini sweet treat was ideal!
All in all it was a quick and easy lunch that would be hard to beat price wise, the service was fab too and there’s even the option to takeaway!
If you know of any other old-favourites in NewcastleGateshead that I should re-discover, let me know!
By Rachel Kershaw