“ Address: 2 Silver Street / Bristol / BS1 2DU / Tel: 0117 9298014 „
Most Bristolians will know this place as Deep Pan Pizza, indeed this place on the corner of Silver Street always seems to have been a pizza restaurant as long as I can remember and I'm 37 now!
The problem with Deep Pan Pizza was that when you went in for the first time that was likely to be the last, the toilets in the Ladies were disgusting, broken and it was not unknown to have urine and raw sewage up to the top of the toilet and even spilling onto the floor as they frequently blocked.
The last time I went there we'd only just sat down before I saw the chef with his unsecured knee length dreadlocks swinging everywhere, I was gone and never went back.
So unfortunately any pizza place on that corner is heavily tainted with the memories of Deep Pan Pizza
This is presumably why the staff were out on the streets advertising with leaflets especially as Bella Pizza is situated in a place most people wouldn't walk past.
My mum and I were quite tempted though, we'd had quite enough of shopping for my Bridezilla sister and anywhere would have done.
I will admit it was with some trepidation we went there, but the temptation of a £4.99 buffet won us over.
Well, Bella Pizza has had a bit of a makeover, but lighting people lighting! Let's have some brightness in the Place! It may have large glass windows in the front but it still looks dim. Now a place can have low lighting without looking dingy. Bella Pizza is at risk of looking dingy, not helped by the big high ceilings and brick walls.
We were seated by a thoroughly pleasant waitress who showed us the 'normal' menu, this is the usual mix of pastas and pizzas, these start from about £5 but I don't think there was a single person ordering from it. She also drew our attention to another offer by which we paid £7 and were entitled to the buffet, a drink and ice cream. We declined this as well, fixated on the £4.99 buffet and to wash it down with a nice glass of lemonade at £2
Have you spotted what we didn't until a few hours after we left? Lets see, £4.99 buffet plus £2 drink equals £6.99, £7.00 was buffet plus a drink and ice cream, for the sake of 1 penny I missed out on a lovely creamy dessert. I probably wouldn't have been able to eat it but still!
The food available is what you expect, pizza, tomato pasta, cream pasta, garlic bread and a salad bar. No surprises, except if you really enjoy oranges on your salads!
The salad bar was so unmemorable I can barely remember it and certainly didn't eat any. It was lettuce, cucumber, sweetcorn, onions, etc.
The pasta was so, so, typically frozen chopped up spaghetti with the mince hiding behind bits of tomato!
Do I mention the chips? I don't want to because they have no place here! But they were here in a tray, golden and chip shaped!
My eyes however were straying towards the obvious! The pizza! Oh my, 7 nearly full pizza trays filled with cheesy golden crusty goodness. And what a selection, I am really impressed. Obviously you have the basics that everyone likes, Margheritas, Hawaiian, Harm & Mushroom and Vegetarian. We could also treat ourselves to a thin crust with chicken and peppers, meat feast with spicy beef, spicy pork and pepperoni. On some pizzas the chefs had obviously been given free rein with ingredients from the above, mixed and matched. And it did work, every single unexpected moment of it.
Compare this to my last visit to a Pizza Hut buffet, the chef had obviously ordered a surfeit of tomatos as practically every pizza had tomato chunks on it. Fine if you like tomato chunks, but if you don't like them like me and my partner you ended up being restricted to Hawaiian. Oh dear, Other Half doesn't like pineapple, a bit of a disaster that visit!
Back to Bella Pizza. A Deep Pan Hawaiian, soggy base, stringy amount of cheese, hiding an even stingier sprinkle of ham and pineapple..........well that was my nightmare. This was actually crispy edged, a good helping of topping and lovely cheese. I like to bite my pizza and have strings of cheese that I have to rescue before they wrap under my chin and that's what I got. I don't like my thin crust to be so crispy it snaps when I bite it and this didn't disappoint. The chicken to pepper ratio was also admirable.
My biggest annoyance of luke warm food was also thwarted. Then there's the issue of going up for a plateful and finding a solitary slice of sad Margharita. Not here, it was a quick turn-around, pans were replaced as soon as they were empty, so no hovering around waiting for the next batch to be bought it and a fight for the food that resembles women at the Next Winter Sale! The consistency of every mouthful of pizza was fantastic, as good as the last.
And I visited the toilets! Thank God, I don't care if it was the staff, the owners or Environmental Health, the tiles have been replaced, the doors have locks on and it's clean!
I cannot fault Bella Pizza at all, everything was fine, although I would check the opening hours as I'm not sure they open in the evenings. But it looks like the spectre of Deep Pan Pizza is finally getting exorcised!
Me and my flatmate the other day were walking through Bristol as we were picking up a few things for our flat that we are still trying to sort out. We felt really hungry but didn't want to stop for too long and as we were discussing our hunger pangs a woman popped out of nowhere to give us vouchers to use at Bella Pizza which was a short walk from where we were at the time. The offer was simple. £4.99 lunchtime special for all you can eat pasta and pizza and we decided it was just what we needed so off we trotted!
The Restaurant Itself:
Very nice and clean looking and rather large with Italian music softly playing and lots of dark wooden seating and tables of various sizes. Lots of helpful staff who explain what you are to do and that in itself is very straightforward indeed!
If your having the buffet like us just go up as many times as you want and help yourself. As well as the deal we had gone in for there was another one we were made aware of and that's for £7.00 (our buffet without the flyer usually costs £5.99). For the £7.00 option you get the buffet, a drink (from a large list of alcoholic and none alcoholic choices) and a choice of dessert from a list of ice creams. If you don't want the buffet that's fine there is a set menu to choose from and individual pizzas start from around £5.00 and there are choice of pasta dishes, side dishes and desserts to choose from there too.
We stuck with our simple £5.00 option and ordered a couple of soft drinks, for that the coke is £1.99 a glass and we soon noticed we should have upgraded to the £7.00 option and got a free dessert...but hindsight is such a wonderful thing isn't it lol.
The tables are pre set with knives and forks and there is salt and pepper too. All that you then do is go to the front which has two big hot plates and a salad bar and grab a plate or dish.
The pizzas were wonderful. Really big, all deep pan and covered in toppings. There was two vegetable ones, a cheese and tomato and a pepperoni. Not a massive choice I grant you but these did get replaced rather often to be fair and were piping hot and very fresh looking. There were also fresh made chips. In a large pot there was a spaghetti bolognaise and then there were slices of garlic bread pizza and cheesy garlic bread pizza. There was plenty of salad to choose from too with all the usual bits of salad you would expect to see along with olives and jalapeño peppers and oddly enough some sliced orange. There were also a couple of sauces to choose from including blue cheese through there wasn't alot of those to choose from and I think the other one was mayonnaise and you could ask for ketchup if desire which came out of a bottle and chilli flakes were available to shake over your meal along with olive oil.
The food was lovely and fresh and its shocking when food is nice how much you can put away! There were constantly staff looking at what they needed to refill and so there was always something to eat even though the place was rather busy.
The staff cleaned down quickly and when it was time to pay you could pay by cash or card and you simply took a receipt with you when you wanted to leave.
I noticed no disabled toilets or baby changing facilities though I did visit the ladies (up some steps) and found them to be really clean and with secure locking doors (its surprising recently how many places I have been into that don't have that!).
All in all both me and my flatmate enjoyed the food on offer here. Ok there wasn't an amazing amount of food to choose from but what there was tasted really nice and we didn't half eat loads of it! I wouldn't hesitate to go back here for some cheap and cheerful food in the future and their pizzas truly are yummy!
As far as I know this place is only open for lunch between 12pm and 4pm.