Pizza. Always a hard one to get right for Alex and I.
I’m all about sourdough. Artisan. Anything new and interesting. Anything a little different, sometimes even veggie. I’m there.
Alex is all for the toppings. Give him pretty much anything thin base with five types of meat, some sort of chilli and perhaps an olive here and there and you got the direct route to his heart.
So as you can imagine. Pleasing us both is tough. But we found a place (other than Mod which is firmly at the top of Alex’s list)…and we were both really impressed.
Pizza Pilgrims has been about for a while. I’m late to the pizza party, I know. Now with seven restaurants, it’s come a long way from it’s street food days.
Pizza Pilgrims prides itself on its authentic Neapolitan pizza. The *secret* recipe to the pizza bases was created after the founder’s pilgrimage around Italy, tasting pizzas and fresh ingredients as they went – a pizza created straight from the heart of where pizza was born.
The Exmouth Market pizzeria is a tad on the small side, but there is a downstairs too. However on a Saturday when we visited, at prime dinner time, we still got seated straight away.
All of the Pizza Pilgrims branches have the same look and feel – like an Italian diner, with black and white tiled walls, plastic check table cloths on all the tables, mirrors and pretty standard seating.
Eyeing up the pizzas on surrounding tables, the margarita appeared to be the most ordered – not surprising as they’re well known for this. The menu actually features ten pizzas, with both pizzas with a red base and a white base (no tomato) taking pride of place.
Intrigued by the white Pizza, and how anyone could live without that rich tomato sauce to accompany the cheese and toppings, I took the plunge with the truffle mushroom. Oh I did not regret my decision.
With a thin yet doughy authentic base, rich truffle and umami flavours, and plenty of stretchy mozzarella, it was like one delicious cheesy flat bread, but better. And I did not miss that tomato one bit.
The chilli and elemental crust dips made the difference when it came to those thick, leftover squidgy edges. The chilli, a creamy sauce with a good kick of heat, whilst the elemental sauce was strong in taste and thick – you only needed a little. Between these two dips, no crusts were left behind.
Alex got drawn in by the special at the time. The Hawaii not. Fresh honey roast pineapple, spicy nduja, buffalo mozzarella and fresh chilli, it was designed to settle the debate on whether pineapple should be used on a pizza – we came to the almighty conclusion that yes. Yes it should.
A fab mix of potent nduja and sweet, juicy pineapple on a tomato base pizza – the combination was always going to be a winner in our eyes. Not as many toppings as Alex would usually like, I was surprised to find how much he loved it – he was sad to find he finished it so quickly. That boy can eat I’m telling you.
Beer being the ultimate pizza companion, we both opted for a can of Birra Morreti, which went down smoothly. The drinks menu has plenty of other options too from cocktails to soft drinks for any non-beer drinkers.
We desperately wanted to save space for the Nutella pizza dough ring, as it looks and sounds insane. But the savoury pizzas were way too good to stop ourselves from devouring the lot. Consequently being very full – even if Alex did eat some of my crust too. I’m telling you, those crust dips are the one. Alex didn’t want to leave anything.
We were done, paid up and debating routes home within just over an hour. Service is speedy yet friendly, and they don’t rush you out – you can sit and enjoy the rest of your beer easily as your food settles.
- Price: Pizzas between £5.50 and £11 – standard for an artisan pizzeria
- Food: The pizza is amazing. Don’t be afraid to try a white pizza, and make sure you get a crust dip for the full experience.
- Drinks: Quite a selection but beer and pizza = best friends
- Atmosphere: Relaxed, diner style
- Wait: None. Seated quickly and food arrived before I could change my mind through food envy of those around me
We think we found a contender to top pizza place in London! In my eyes, it beat Franco’s hands down – even without the sourdough base. I’m already thinking about when we can go again.
Have you tried a white pizza before?