The place where pizza comes to be written about

You know that thing where you discover a totally unexpected pizza delight? That.

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.

Hello. I look delicious, don’t I?

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!

Me, helpfully indicating the pizza in this shot

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.

He is happy because he is going to the Blackfriars Wine Bar later for a lovely pizza


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