January 30, 2013 • 9:06 am 0
July 6, 2012 • 2:22 pm 0
Despite this blog often receiving as many as two hundred hits IN A SINGLE DAY, which must be some kind of world record, it is essentially a thankless and rewardless task. I get no money for it. The book deal that I assumed would be a formality, has yet to materialise – the army of publishers inevitably chasing me down probably don’t know that I have moved flat. I’ve gotten some free pizzas out of it, but I expected that – indeed, I would never have started it in the first place if I thought I wouldn’t.
But occasionally, it justifies the long, hard hours I spend sweating over its creation and upkeep, and today was one of those occasions, as I spent a lovely lunch in the company of Claire McGill, talking about pizzas. We talked about crusts (mainly about how Pizza Hut appear to be going bonkers and coming up with crust concepts like Alan Partridge desperately pitching TV show ideas at a disinterested BBC commissioner), customer service (mainly about how Papa John’s effectively don’t have any) and above all about how the pizzas placed in front of us, from the estimable Blackfriars Wine Bar (who, brilliantly, are now displaying the address of this blog on their main pizza sign, which means I can now die a happy man), were so bloody lovely.
To explain, Claire McGill, or CMG as I don’t call her, is the PR for Dominos, and an entirely lovely lady to boot. I’m not saying that because she just bought me lunch, but because she makes the PR lark so very, very simple. No faffing, no painful negotiations, no doublespeak. Need pizzas for a picture? Here are some pizzas. Doing a charity rap battle event and want some pizza vouchers to give away as prizes? Here are some vouchers. Simples, as those irritating meerkats would say. And she’s also passionate about good pizza and preserving the essential aceness of Dominos too.
Anyway, she was in town and I wanted to introduce her to the hidden treasure that is the Blackfriars Wine Bar and so she came, she ate, they conquered, and they even gave her a quick tour of the kitchen and the opportunity to fondle their fancy live yeast (because that is what makes their pizzas so fluffy and vibrant, fact fans) into the bargain. In the style of the Observer Food Monthly I can reveal that:
Claire ate: Chicken, chorizo and peppers pizza, two orange juice and lemonades
Pete ate: Double chicken, chorizo and jalapenos pizza, two large Fitous, diet Coke to deal with the pre-dinner thirst
And they were as good as they always are. So big up Claire, big up Terry and all the gang at the Blackfriars Wine Bar (mention my name and they won’t give you 10% off your pizza purchase but they may knock a few quid off mine, which is even better) and big up yourself because it’s the weekend. Yes, I just said “big up” three times. I’m having a mid-life crisis, deal with it.
June 8, 2012 • 3:05 pm 0
Sorry for the ongoing neglect of this blog which, were it a child, would almost certainly have been confiscated by social services by now and given a new life as sacrificial fodder for an Isle Of Man death cult. But I have been busy becoming Wolverhampton’s eighth best battle rapper, tending to the new Cashmore Heights, and generally having what I gather some people call “a life.”
Under such circumstances, it’s only natural that I should be provoked back into the pizza blogging game by a happy accident, and quite honestly, accidents do not come as happy as those that involve pizza. To cut a long story slightly less long, there is a wine bar near my offices called the Blackfriars Wine Bar and a lovely little spot it is. Great food (they used to do a fish pie to absolutely die for), lengthy wine list, dashing proprietor who makes an unholy fuss of you the second you enter – it’s a great little spot for luncheon or after-work unwinding and it’s odd that I have only eaten there a handful of times.
Well, since I moved house, I have to walk past the Blackfriars on my way to my new bus stop, and about two weeks ago, I noticed it had one of those pub blackboard standees outside it informing the world that they were now doing wood-fired oven pizzas. “Hmmm,” I thought. “Pizzas. You like them. Indeed, if memory serves, you even write about them online from time to time, usually about how nice Dominos are or how the latest Pizza Hut stuffed edge monstrosity is a crime against nature. Maybe you should pop in sometime and see what their pizzas are like, mayhap to write a blog piece thereupon.” Well, today I went there for lunch with my friend Sarah, whose photographic handiwork you can now enjoy.World, you need to know that the Blackfriars Wine Bar’s pizzas are INCREDIBLE. Like, among the best I have ever had in London standards of incredible – and I’m not just saying that in the hope that I’ll get a free lunch out of them. They are 13 inches or thereabouts of blast-furnaced perfection – judging by the topping blisters and the succulence of the meat, I’d imagine that their wood oven temperature is high and their cooking time relatively short, although not to the extent of Franco Manca’s 90-second dough blitzes. What you get is plumply fluffed, but by no means heavy, and loaded down with toppings. And at this point I should point out that you can have TWELVE toppings if you so wish – if you want to order the full topping menu of Parma ham, chicken, salami, chorizo, chilli beef (which is AMAZEBAGS), red onion, pepper, tomato, mushroom, olive, mozzerella and jalapenos, it costs you the same £8.50 as if you just ordered a basic marguerita. Why, in these recessional times, that’s little short of daylight robbery! I can’t recommend it highly enough – the only complaint, and this is no kind of complaint at all, is that the pizzas were a touch too big for a lunchtime feed, but all you have to do is ask and you get a traditional pizza box in which to carry away your leftovers, for redistribution or later reheating. I gave mine away to some work colleagues I ran into, and their verdict was approximately the same as mine. I think I may have discovered my new spiritual home – but then, it has pizzas and wine in it, so it was always going to be thus. To finish, and to fully communicate to the world the extent of my joy, here is a picture of a shark smiling.
May 22, 2012 • 3:52 pm 0
These are exciting times at 12 Inch Pete Treat, and not because I am confirmed to go and work at shift at Dominos on my birthday this year with two top Page 3 girls flanking me and nibbling coquettishly at my spicy sausage (copyright Carry On Butcher, 1965). Nope, a mere several days after we – by which I mean Jon Horsley, estimable top brass at TV Bite, a much better site about food than this sorry shower of shite ever will be – managed to purloin for ourselves a fully exclusive interview with the living god that is Adam Richman from Man Vs Food, we – by which I mean Jon Horsley, estimable etc – have managed to do the same with Marco Pierre White, arguably an even bigger name in the culinary world. Although I personally would not make that argument. Adam Richman is THE MAN.
So here, in all its unedited glory, is our fully exclusive, world exclusive, 100% exclusive interview with top cheffing type Marco Pierre White, who my sources tell me is pretty handy with a whisk.
12 Inch Pete Treat: What’s your favourite pizza topping?
Marco Pierre White: I find that if they get the bread right, it doesn’t matter what’s on top of it. It’s all about the bread.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why we continue to get all the big names, all the time.
May 15, 2012 • 9:28 am 1
Firstly, allow me to apologise for the tardy running of this blog of late – I’ve been doing all manner of different things, including moving into my new home, dealing with a rather unpleasant bout of depression, becoming a top-tier battle rapper and generally living the life of a particularly miserable bull inside a strange and unfamiliar china shop.
Anyway. Regular visitors to this virtual pizzeria will know that I love the TV show Man Vs Food. I find its on-screen depictions of Stateside gluttony to be stimulating and comforting and they have, on occasion, even inspired me to do some cookery of my own, with spectacular results. The show’s presenter, Adam Richman, has become something of a hero to me. In fact, I want to be him.
Well, baste my turkey and roll my meatballs if I haven’t gone and got an interview with him. Well, I say me – it was actually the esteemed journalist and friend of this blog, Jon Horsley, who purloined this exclusive chat with the man himself for me, so I would like to thank him and refer you to his own vastly superior food-related enterprise. Here, then, is the full transcript of the first 12 Inch Pete Treat interview with Adam “Man Vs Food” Richman.
12 Inch Pete Treat: What is your favourite pizza topping?
Adam Richman: Sausage. Or fresh garlic.
And there you have it. The questions that you all wanted answering, answered in the sparse, pared-down style of classic Elmore Leonard. I can tell you that this interview actually did happen and has appeared nowhere else on the web. Yep, another genuine exclusive for the blog for which, frankly, I’m starting to lose my enthusiasm.
April 20, 2012 • 3:41 pm 0
Pete’s note: One of the more happier happenings of my recent life has been my discovery of the Don’t Flop rap battle league, in which I am proud to say I have now become an active participant. I’ve made a great many friends through the league, too many to mention in detail, but one of the main ones is Micky Worthless, who is not just a brilliant battle rapper and very funny man, he’s also a thoroughly genuine and adorable bloke. Micky is unemplizzle – that’s “between jobs” to me and you – so I asked him to give me his guide to pizzas when there’s not much cash in one’s pocket. He did not disappoint…
I was gonna take a picture of this pizza I was eating for lunch but forgot to until the last bite. It was nice. I got it half price at Tesco. I don’t normally buy the Pizza Express ones but I saw it on offer and thought “fuck it” and got it. Normally I buy Iceland pizzas because they have good variety for cheap money or Sainsbury’s do a BANGING stonebaked pizza for £1.60 so I normally go for the Chicken or Hawiian one of that.
I eat pizzas way too much. I love them because they are easy and they taste good. You just throw it in the oven and BOOM. 15 minutes later you are eating a good old dinner. Buy some coleslaw for like 46p and a tin of macaroni and you are set for about £2.50. I eat pizza so much, I got embarrassed to eat in front of my flatmates. It was like a pizza habit I was trying to hide. Every time I was going in the kitchen, one of my flatmates would say “what you having for dinner Micky? Pizza?” and everyone would laugh. It was kinda funny at first then it got mad corny and played out but it kept coming up. I got so sick of that joke. Kinda like the Mexican jokes in my battles.
I never really liked Mexican pizzas. Chicken fajita pizza? Nah man, sounds like a mess to me. I don’t dig seafood either. I just read Cashmore’s entry about seafood though. He seems to like it! Barbecue sauce on pizza is okay, but it’s overrated.
April 20, 2012 • 8:26 am 3
One of my great regrets about this blog is that, because of its general air of celebration and appreciation, I never get to use one of my favourite phrases, which is “you know what really makes my shit itch?” Brilliant phrase, that. Well, I’ve bided my time, lay in wait like a crocodile on the hunt, and now I get to use it.
You know what really makes my shit itch? The fact that you can’t get a decent seafood pizza anywhere in this day and age. I don’t know why, you just can’t. I could count the number of good seafood pizzas I’ve had in London on the fingers of my hands, and it’s certainly true that none of the major chains do a decent seafood pizza. Order a seafood from most delivery pizzerias and you’ll most likely get one with tuna, maybe prawns if you’re lucky, probably anchovies, and that’s your lot. It will be bland, it will be aggregational and it usually won’t be very nice.
Regular visitors to this parish will remember that I recently made a seafood pizza myself, partly because I really fancied one, but mainly because I knew that I wouldn’t be able to order it in from anywhere. Upon it I had the very bare bones of a good seafood pizza – scallops, octopus and prawns. Had I really been pushing the boat out I would also have thrown some New Zealand green-lipped mussels on there, perhaps some cockles or whelks too. Aah, whelks. Anyway, THAT was a seafood pizza, a miniature riot of deceased shellfish all jostling for my affection. You will also notice that I hardly used any cheese – this is key in a seafood pizza. Mussels and cheese don’t really mix, unless it is in a delightful dish of moules farciés, which I mention solely to get across how very cultured I am.
The only decent seafood pizza I have had in living memory was at an Italian bar in Camden whose name escapes me. I ate it after a rap battle and ended up paying for Micky Worthless‘ dinner, but the financial blow was softened by a seafood pizza on which they had basically dumped an entire octopus. I may go back there and sample it again sometime – or maybe you can help. If you happen to live near a pizzeria that does a good seafood option, then I want to know about it, and if it happens to be in South London, so much the better. There’s a prize for the person who suggests the best one. I don’t know what it is yet, but it will be shiny and impressive. Alright, friends – seafood me up. To finish, here is a picture of me being scared by a small tarantula, for a bit of colour.
April 14, 2012 • 9:54 am 6
Pizza Hut have got to be taking the piss. Indeed, many people suspect that they are, the consensus among many being that their new base, the Hot Dog Stuffed Crust (and I don’t believe I have to explain the USP of this particular venture) was actually a hoax. Well, I knew that it wasn’t, because I knew about their last unique crust, the Crown, which consisted of tearable cheese-stuffed chunks interspersed with meatballs – when you can dream that up, why would you baulk at a crust stuffed with frankfurter meat?
I’m not going to dwell on the HDSC too much – too much has already been written about it elsewhere by minds more restricted in their thinking than my own when it comes to matters pizza. Suffice to say that it is disgusting – the sausage is plasticky and juiceless and has the texture of a dog chew, and its reflux-inducing rankness seeps into the dough such that even tearing off the crust (which really SHOULD have been just a hoax) doesn’t work. Normally, when I don’t finish a pizza, I pop it into the fridge to reheat for breakfast the next morning – well, I left my Hot Dog Stuffed Crust from Pizza Hut (topped with double cajun chicken and crispy bacon, both, for the record, also substandard) out on the front porch like a shamed cat. It was, and I am a man who very, very rarely uses this term in conjunction with a pizza, disgusting. And it cost me £18. This is the price of being London’s foremost pizza blogger, with apologies to the many who are better than me.
So. What WOULD make a good alternative stuffed crust? Here’s a few suggestions!
1) OVEN CHIPS. We live in miraculous times, where you can engage in jovial banter with your mobile phone and where Danny Baker is STILL allowed to ruin my Saturday morning radio listening with his breakneck-paced drivel-gush. So SURELY some boffin somewhere can come up with a way of making a crust that contains chips that emerge correctly cooked just as the pizza is ready? As an aside, I myself claim inventorship of the potizza – pizza sauce and toppings on a potato cake base. But people keep telling me it has been done.
2) CHIP SHOP STYLE CURRY SAUCE. I don’t believe I have to explain this one. Okay, it might not work with, for example, a seafood special, not that any fucker does any decent ones of that type anyway. But there are plenty of outlets who are trying their hand at tandoori and balti flavours nowadays. Mmmm, curry sauce crust!
3) DADDIES SAUCE. Quite simply, a match-up in Heaven waiting to happen, and if any of the major pizza outlets happen to be reading this blog – and I know they all are – then they need to get on this. Levi Roots and his Reggae Reggae tackle is all very well, but Daddies is a British institution. If this happens, and it will, I want royalties or a finder’s fee.
4) FOUR CHEESES. You’ve done it in a pizza topping, you can do it in a crust. But I don’t mean a blend – I mean an even dispersal. So you do it in an eight-slice serving, and you have two crusts with mozzerella, two with Cheddar, two with something mad like Stilton, and then two with that aggregational herby stuff they already put in the crusts. Again, finder’s fee.
5) SCRAMBLED EGG WITH CHORIZO. I am, I know, just dreaming now. Can you imagine how nasty that would be? Oh pizza, you dirty, DIRTY birdy!
6) CHILLI CON CARNE. Of all the options that I raised at the pub last night – and some of the rejected options included ‘onion gravy’, ‘spaghetti hoops’ and ‘batter’ – this one was the one that met with the most enthusiasm. Just imagine: “Hello, I’d like to order a large chilli con carne stuffed crust with spicy beef and jalapenos, please. Oh, and some onion rings.” Yumbags!
7) STUFFING. Thinking outside the box here. But what could be a better stuffing than actual stuffing? In a meaty pizza, it actually makes sense. So much so, in fact, that I’m not even going to finish with a joke. 12 Inch Pete Treat is not that kind of blog. When we’ve actually come up with a good idea, we just put it out there.
March 22, 2012 • 6:18 pm 0
There comes a time in every man’s life when he has to wake up and smell the coffee-flavoured pizzeria dessert item. For me, that time came this week when, as I showered myself down at Cashmore Acres one mild spring morning, I looked in my bathroom mirror and what looked back at me looked rather like that famous Baby Bird album cover. And, for those of you who are too young to remember who Baby Bird are – which I’m assuming is most of you – that album cover looked like this.
Yes, my slavish devotion to having a pizza every five days without fail has taken its toll on my otherwise perfect physique and I have become, in the parlance of the common man, a big fat fucking bastard. So I have decided to abandon the pleasures of the dough for a while in favour of wholemeal pasta and rice, chorizo and extra cheese will be replaced by chicken and fish, and chockarocka chunkychocka chockablocka chickachocka pie and all its variations will be replaced by two fingers jammed down the throat.
Of course, you can’t just expect a heroin addict to merrily descend into cold turkey with a smile on his face. It’s just not an option. So, last night I decided to enjoy my last pizza for a while, and enjoy it I did. I pulled out all the conceptual stops with this one, and went for a chicken, spicy beef and jalapenos on a medium barbecue stuffed crust base with sun-dried tomato sauce from a local company who shall remain Dominos. And if you’re reading that back and thinking, “Criminy, that sounds rather delicious, actually!” then I can tell you that you are not wrong. It really was.
As you can see from the above photo, I chased it down with a bottle of fancy Rioja that probably really isn’t that fancy at all, it just happens to come in a sack and so idiots like me think it’s posher than it is, and coincidentally, I am also knocking the wine on the head for a while too, mainly because I am participating in a rap battle next weekend (stop sniggering at the back – and indeed, everywhere else) and I want to do so with a clear head and functioning short-term memory, but also because I am moving flat next week and I’m not going to even be able to afford extra-long straws with which to slurp the pooling dregs from the bottom of bottle banks.
All this being the case, I would like to present this last pizza as the first, and maybe only, example of the Pre-Abstince Property Acquisition Pizza, or PAPA-P for short. PAPA-Ps can only be consumed when the pizza-lover is about to forego the object of his or her affection for a while, AND when he or she or they has just secured a fancy upscale new pad into which they must imminently move. Upon which subject, I need to hire one of these if anyone can recommend a local chap with reasonable rates.
March 16, 2012 • 9:43 am 1
HI THERE PIZZA BLOG FANS!
So. As you all know by now, I love Man Vs Food. I love it a lot. And I love that I am still finding new episodes to watch, like the one I saw on Dave last night, which was in Florida. One of the features was about a sandwich joint in Sarasota (nope, me neither) that basically created subway sandwiches so stuffed with nutritional evil that they would… Well, make me want to make one.
And so I made one.
I was actually in a bit of a TTWOAPWD mood anyway, but I decided to forego the pizza in favour of something a bit more ridiculous. So I went out and bought: a large baguette, a tin of Fray Bentos meatballs in tomato sauce, a small tin of Heinz macaroni cheese and some mozzerella shavings. And with those ingredients, in the spirit of and in tribute to last night’s Man Vs Food, I composed what I am calling THE BAGUETTE OF SHAME.
And as you can see, the whole lot cost less than a fiver. Unless you are adding the wine, for the cheapness of which I can only offer my profuse apologies.
Step 1: Turn on your grill. Heat up half of the meatballs and the macaroni cheese in separate saucepans.
Step 2: Slice off, slice open and flatten down half of the baguette. Give it a liberal coating of tomato pasta sauce, which, if you are me, you already have in the fridge.
Step 3: Coast with the now-heated macaroni cheese.
Step 4: Add a layer of meatballs in tomato sauce.
Step 5: Sprinkle liberally with mozzerella shavings and season with (if you are me) red pepper sauce.
Step 6: Place under hot grill.
Step 7: Put saucepans in a bowl of hot soapy water to soak. DO NOT WASH THEM UP YET. Or else that defeats the point.
Step 8: Remove from grill when cheese starts to brown and bubble.
Step 9: Eat the motherfucker. And drink the wine that you have close to hand, obvs.
This being a tribute to Man Vs Food, it would be remiss of me to say that I didn’t finish The Baguette Of Shame, it was a bit too hefty for me to put away in one go. But it would also be remiss of me to fail to note that it was ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY AMAZING. As, indeed, is anything that has meatballs on it. And yes, I know this technically has nothing to do with pizza. So sue me. 12 Inch Pete Treat is a blog that grows and evolves, verily like the bubbles that expand and pop on the top of a Franco Manca pizza.
Adam Richman,wherever you are right now and whatever you’re eating, this is my salute to you.