Here’s a short story that makes little sense – despite the pixelated mess at the top of the blog I don’t eat a huge amount of pizza. My problem is that the combination of bread with melted cheese is my kryptonite. I'm confident that if someone were to sit me down and keep sliding pizzas in front of me I would end up as the pizza filled human equivalent of a foie gras duck. Enjoy that mental image.
I felt it was pretty unacceptable to have only reviewed two pizzas in my time on here so I decided to set things right by paying a visit to Pizza Pilgrims in London to what is fondly regarded as one of the best pizzerias in the UK. Sure, everyone has a favourite local or backstreet place tucked away but the consensus about the Pilgrims seems to be overwhelmingly positive. I thoroughly enjoyed a slice of one of their pizzas many moons ago at a Street Feast down south, and despite some vague whispers on the internet that the quality had dropped over time; I'm pleased to report this is absolutely not the case.
I took a seat in the window at street level (they also have a fantastic downstairs which is laid out like an Italian cafe with a table football taking pride of place) to bask in the almost overwhelming heat from the wonderful oven, providing a great view of a Pizza Express positioned directly across the street. Watching people walk down the street to try to decide between the two was pretty comical at times, with the heaving Pizza Pilgrims on one side and the half empty alternative clearly causing a couple of dates some serious issues.
I ordered the aubergine pizza (toppings were aubergine, mozzarella, parmesan, cherry tomatoes and basil) and it arrived in front of me piping hot straight from the oven less than a couple of minutes later, exactly as you’d expect. I have no complaints – the aubergine was spongy and mixed well with the melted cheeses and there was enough basil hidden away to give it the flavour but not overpower things. The blistered sourdough bread made for an ideal base and honestly, the pizza was up there with the best I've enjoyed in various trips to Italy. A bottle of punchy ReAle IPA was an ideal partner for lunch.
Dessert was one of the most simple yet excellent desserts i've had in some time, a couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream drizzled with extra virgin olive oil and a sprinkling of sea salt. The bitterness in the oil was 90% offset by the sweetness of the ice cream, giving it just that little extra something flavour wise to keep it totally interesting. This is definitely a dessert i'll surely be stealing wholesale to eat if the sun ever comes out up North.
Bill came to £18.50, with no service charge - the £6 beer was a ‘premium’ imported one which I suppose did bump things up considerably and honestly the quality and freshness of the pizza alone was more than worth it. I came so close to immediately ordering another but did the right thing for my waist line and wobbled off into the London sun (not just to the pub…..honest guv).