Monday, November 3, 2014

Olive, 12th October

This place is more local caff than Meditteranean café. Cheap and cheerful is the name of the game here – with basic tables and chairs and a few paintings on the wall to avoid it becoming too drab. They've managing to be bother a permanent place and a street food van. Their famous known value-for-money pizzas are cooked in a dedicated van parked up outside the café. 

This is what brought me to the place. I can’t claim that the pizzas here are exactly authentic, but they’re more than a cut above your average pizza takeway joint. They have a thin base, nicely crisped but where they differ from a more Italian pizza is that they’re not shy of loading the thing with toppings, rather than a few artfully arranged ingredients. I had the Mexicana – jalapenos, peppers and chilli flakes, which also, surprisingly, came with a great deal of rocket. It was a tasty pizza, cooked well, if not as spicy as I would have liked. The cheese was nicely stringy and there was plenty of it, a little more tomato on the base wouldn’t have gone amiss. My 12-incher (which at first I thought I wouldn’t finish – how naïve of me) was only £5!

The café seems to be a friendly place, with clearly quite a few local regulars. One young lad came in to say hello, explaining he hadn’t been in for a while because he’d had a falling out with his friend. His friend had nicked something from him - friendship over! The guy behind the counter counselled him to forgive and forget but the lad was having none of it. You don’t steal PS3 controllers from your mates!

It was pretty empty when I went in but a steady trickle of people ordering pizzas to take away arose, and a group of local hipsters came in for a catch up and a pizza each (making me feel a lot better about my greedy guts having a whole one to myself). They also have sandwiches and a surprisingly varied amount of coffees to order. 

Is this pizza that you would walk through fire in order to have just one bite? No. There’s nothing ‘artisan’ about it, no bleating on about locally sourced ingredients. But it’s tasty and no-nonsense and I’d happily pop in here again to satisfy my pizza cravings. 

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