As you may all have noticed, that is my faithful few, I'm quite fond of food. It has to be admitted that pizza is not one of the healthiest ever but it does have plenty of veg on it so its not too bad. I'm trying to make it an honourable duty to try out as many popular pizza places as possible, only Pizza Express to go, but for some reason I've never really fancied it. So the item for our perusal this evening is Deep Pan Pizza, I've left off writing this for months mainly because the two in Bristol are so very different from each other as to be untrue and I just wanted to get a fair picture. I'll give you the run down on the one in the centre of Bristol, but this op will general be about the one in Avonmead just outside the centre. A quick word then about the one in the centre. If you go in, don't sit in the first booth on the left, the seats broken and has been for years. Go to the toilet before or after, not during your meal. The toilets have been broken for years, there is only two and one was closed because it was leaking and the tiles and plaster falling off the walls. I have walked into the other one and nearly vomited on two occasions. It has a habit of blocking, I went on one occasion and it was overflowing with urine, faeces, paper and even blood 'Oh' says the manager 'I'll get a plumber. The service can be appalling, the buffets rubbish and after I say the chef with the massive dreads flicking them all over the place because they were not tied back I've never been there since! But the one in Avonmead is far superior, its a separate purpose built building so instantly more tidy and stylish. They've tried to recreate a kind of Mediterranean look, terracotta colours, pictures of flowers and vases, some greenery and some multicoloured lights, relaxing and pleasing on the eye.. Good old wooden tables and chairs, always clean. I've not seen dirty cutlery, n
apkins or glasses yet, which is a decided bonus. I'm usually happy that when its clean front of house, its usually clean at the back. The kitchen has a large open area through which you can see the chappies working. But I don't come here for the shiny spoons, I come here for the food! Are we going to be greedy and have a starter? Yes sirree! There's not a huge choice though. I particularly recommend the tomato and basil soup (£2.29), very rich, very creamy and very nice. Potato skins (£3.99) seem to be popping up everywhere, the quality varied but there are 3 toppings available and a very nice dip. You can also for £5.99 get the Big Dipper to share, 4 Chicken Dippers, 2 bacon and spring onion Potato Skins, a stack of dressed nacho chips, two pieces of garlic bread and sweet chilli and sour cream n' chive dips. Oh the inevitable garlic bread (£2.49) and cheesy as well (£2.99), I will admit its quite nice and more of a generous portion than Pizza Huts. Of course many people bypass starters and go straight to where I'm going...the main courses. I'm sorry but you're going to have to realise you're going to be quite limited as to what you're going to be able to have! You have a huge choice of past, pizza and salad. The choices come with what you have on top it. I have to be hones, I've never had the pasta, I go to a real Italian restaurant for that. When I have seen them they look a huge plateful and come with a slice of garlic bread. Obviously there's lasagne, Spaghetti Bolognase and Taglietelle Carbonara. There's other original pasta dishes, Chicken Pasta del Sol, has pasta ribbons with chicken onions green peppers and sun dried tomatoes with tomatoes sauce and garlic dough balls on the side. Spicy Chicken and Pepperoni Arrabiata has penne pasta, mexican spiced chicken strips, pepperoni and mushroom in spicy tomato sauce. They all cost from £5.29 up to £6.99 Now
something I can really comment on, the pizzas! No frozen bases here, its all made from fresh dough daily, all come with their special sauce, mozzarella and oregano. Their 'famous' Deep Pan Pizza's are served up in regular, medium and large. Now where do I start with the set toppings, its one if the few places where I have a bit of difficulty choosing what to have. Although I do mourn the demise of the 'Italian Job', bolognase sauce pizza, yummmm! All pizza with the exception of the Margerita and Fully Loaded, £5.99, £8.99 and £11.49. Rooster Booster usually features somewhere, chicken breasts, sweetcorn and green peppers, plenty of toppings and big strips of chicken, sounds plain but is in fact very tasty. We had the Meatissimo last night and it was packed with pepperoni, Italian style chicken strips and smoked ham, meaty without being too spicy. Fully Loaded is always a bit of a disappointment, beef, pepperoni, ham, spiced pork, mushrooms and green peppers, plenty of taste but doesn't seem to have as much topping as I would like or imagine it to have. There's also the usual Margherita, Ham and Mushroom and Hawaiian as well as a few others. The thin crust pizza only come in 12" and costs between £6.29 and £6.40. The rather loveliest is the New Orleans, BBQ Chicken, red peppers, spring onions on a BBQ base. Chicken, Bacon and Tomato, a particular spicy one is South of The Border; mexican chicken, red and yellow peppers, baby corn and hot spicy salsa base. Of course you can make your own, but this can work out quite a bit more expensive. Salad, Bah! But you can have Chicken Caesar and Chicken Italienne Salad £6.29 and £6.49 respectively. If that's not enough they have a very limited amount of side orders, help yourself salad bar, garlic bread, garlic cheese bread, coleslaw and Chunky Fries with garlic mayo or tomato dip. You've got room for a dessert? You pigs! 'Ya
wn', the usual ice cream, chocolate fudge cake (which is nice), apple pie and the ultimate chocolate sundae, but this is chocolate and vanilla ice cream with chocolate sauce, whipped cream, Cadburys buttons, Cadburys flake and chocolate powder! There are a few different ones no, the following are £3.49, with the exception of the desserts designed to share which are £5.49. The Chocolate Snowball is a white chocolate ice cream encased in white chocolate, a chocolate mini bar and chocolate sauce. The Chocolate Mint Bombe is an absolute killer, dark chocolate-coated mint ice-cream laced with Creme De Menthe and chocolate sauce. But of course there's an ultimate chocolate challenge, choose this and then just choose how many spoons! Its a huge glass of hot chocolate fudge cake, with chocolate and vanilla ice-cream, studded with chocolate beans, chocolate raisins, whipped cream and two chocolate wafer curls, verry nice! There is a full range of drinks including the rather nice Pepsi floats which unfortunately I have to pass up as I don't drink caffeine. There is also a special kids menu where they got a lovely little toy and well as a special pack with quiz's, etc. There's quite a good food range, pizza with two toppings, spaghetti bolognese, chicken nuggets, etc, retails for about £3.50, dessert is included. They also do the eat-as-much as you like buffet, don't go to the Bristol centre one though, I have seen 3 pizzas appear in 45 minutes with a full restaurant of people, I nearly got crushed in the stampede! My main reason for choosing Deep Pan Pizza at the moment? Their special offer, the one at Avonmead is about 5 minutes drive from me so we all collect out pizzas, they're a bargain! Buy one pizza, get one free, of the same size that is, or of course the cheaper one free. Practically everything else on their menu apart from the desserts is also available to take away. £11.49 for two large pizzas is a great
price especially as you're not tempted to but starters, desserts or expensive drinks, nor do you have to worry about crap service, but you get to sit in the comfort of your own house and watch the telly. Saying that I have no qualms about sitting in and eating either. Pizza Hut or Deep Pan Pizza? The choice is beginning to be a tough one!
Yesterday, we were all taken out for a meal by my ex-husband (!). We went to Deep Pan Pizza, the branch in Avon Meads, Bristol. I hadn’t ever tried a Deep Pan Pizza before, being more likely to eat at Pizza Hut, but we enjoyed it there. We had seven people in our party, so they kindly pushed two tables together to make one long one. There were three adults and four children in our party. The restaurant was maybe half full, with a children’s birthday party going on behind us. The noise was very loud though, not just because of the kids, but also due to the way the place is designed with high ceilings. I would have preferred somewhere quieter, it certainly wouldn’t have been any good for a romantic meal for two! The service was quick and efficient, very friendly and eager to help, so no complaints there. The kids all chose from the special menu for under-10s (My eldest conveniently forgetting she has just turned eleven!) and were given balloons. The kids’ menu was very well priced at £2.95 for a main course, ice-cream and drink. Two of my children chose a baked bean and cheese pizza, the other two deciding to try the choose your own pizza type, picking two toppings from a list. There weren’t any milkshakes available, which was a shame, but they were happy enough with Coke and Fanta, except for my son who chose a hot chocolate instead, which wasn’t included on the kids’ menu and cost £1.50. It did look nice though! The adults had coke (£1.50), still mineral water (£1.50) and a glass of red wine (£2.40). Nope, you guessed wrong, mine was the water!! The three of us all had vegetarian deep pan pizzas, a medium being priced at £7.50, a large (12”) at £10.50. This was accompanied by garlic bread at £2.30 each and a side salad at £3.45. The garlic bread was delicious, not too greasy, with nice herbs on it. The side salad had much more variety than the salad at P
izza Hut, but I still felt it was overpriced. The pizzas were crisp and tasty, no-one left much on their plates. I do prefer the Pizza Hut ones though, they taste better, and I felt the Deep Pan versions were a bit ordinary. The desserts also were inferior to Pizza Hut, although still very nice. The kids’ ice-creams were generous portions, well presented and tasty. An adult portion of ice-cream costs £1.95 and is similar, but larger than the child size ones. I had a tropical sundae (£3.25) which was a bit watery, with big chunks of fruit but not enough cream for me. The chocolate sundae is also £3.25. Most of the desserts seemed to contain chocolate, so if you weren’t keen on it, there were few options left – such things as a boring sounding apple pie being the most tempting. Overall, it was fairly cheap really, costing £53.20 for the seven of us. (It’s a good thing my ex knows I write opinions, or he might have wondered why I wanted the receipt!) The service was excellent, the food was pretty good too. The only real downside was the noise level. This would be ideal for a kids’ party, but not so good for adults wanting a quiet meal.
Deep Pan Pizza restaurant is brilliant! Where else can you go and eat a whole trough full of food for only a fiver? I started to go to Deep Pan Pizza in 1994, when I went with a male friend. We were both broke students at the time and used to get a “one trip” salad bowl for £2.50. We were so cheeky that we used to fill the bowl level and wedge 3 large melon slices round the edge to make a platform over the side. We then proceeded to pile it up as high as possible before anything fell off! And if you think that that is bad, we used to share the bowl between us and drink tap water! I don’t know quite how or why they tolerated it, but as students you will do anything to get a decent meal on the cheap and working out at £1.25 each for a good fill we thought we did pretty well. Anyway, thanks to their tolerance of our exploitation – 7 years later, I am still going to the same Deep Pan Pizza restaurant with my male friend who is now my husband! These days, however, we both have a buffet meal and diet cokes as we aren’t impoverished students anymore! DEEP PAN PIZZA IS EXCELLENT FOR A NUMBER OF REASONS! PRICE Obviously the price is good - £5 for unlimited trips to the Pizza buffet & Salad bar. (See how many slices you can eat without bursting if you have to!) You can choose off the menu, which is more expensive, but if you are in a hurry or looking for excellent value then go for the buffet as it can’t be beaten, you also don’t have to wait for it to be cooked! If you consider that you can pay about £4 for a burger, fries and coke in a fast food restaurant – then this isn’t much more expensive but it’s much more filling and probably better for you (especially if you eat the salad)! AVAILABILITY This can depend on the restaurant – a few Deep Pan restaurants don’t do the buffet, but in the restaurants that do, the buffet is generally open all day from wh
en it opens until closing time (approximately 12pm-11pm). This is much better than the Pizza Hut whose buffet meals are only open at lunch times (generally 12-3pm). As I like meeting up with my husband after his work and grabbing a buffet meal, this is ideal, but we wouldn’t be able to do it at the Pizza Hut. WHAT DOES THE BUFFET & SALAD BAR HOLD? There is generally a choice of two pastas, a spaghetti or pasta bolognaise for the meat eaters and a pasta in tomato & herb sauce for vegetarians. There are usually about 6-8 pizzas – depending on the size of the hot plate and whether the restaurant is busy or not. Usually a selection of different toppings such as pizza margarita (sorry can’t spell it -plain pizza!), vegetarian pizza (sweetcorn, green peppers, mushrooms or a variation of this), tomato slices pizza and for the meat eaters, ham & pineapple, beef, pepperoni etc. Salad – the salad bar is excellent. It’s nice to have a healthy accompanying salad, as so much fast food is just lots of grease and no vitamins! At least if you have the salad, you can pretend to be healthy! The selection of items is usually huge, it generally has lettuce, tomato, cucumber, beetroot, sweetcorn, grated carrot, pineapple, croutons, cottage cheese, potato salad, coleslaw, spring onions, mixed peppers, orange slices, melon slices and a selection of salad dressings. Bread sticks and Ryvitas are also on offer. Most people would find something that they liked there! Deep Pan also offers tomato ketchup sachets, which I like, as I need ketchup with my pizza! (I have noticed that the Pizza Hut doesn’t offer ketchup which I really miss if I eat there – I have no idea why they don’t offer it!) OTHER FOOD There is a large menu, but I can’t remember the last time I looked at it because it’s buffet every time for me! :@) (such a pig!) I do remember that they have a selection of small, medi
um & large pizzas of various sizes where you can choose your own toppings. You can choose a one off trip to the salad bar or a salad buffet plate, you can get various side orders such as garlic bread, fries, potato skins etc. They do other meals such as lasagne if you don’t want pizza and they have a good selection of deserts. (But if you can manage to eat a desert after a buffet meal then you are doing well!) DRINKS These are extra to the buffet. You can get a small or large soft drink – coke, diet coke, sprite, fanta. Generally I would recommend coke or diet coke, as usually in fast food place and restaurants as a rule cokes are the only drinks that taste ok. I find that the others tend to be either over or under concentrated and usually taste horrible and certainly not like the drink that they are supposed to be! I would also recommend getting a large drink rather than a small one as the difference in the price is just a few pence, but the large glasses are much bigger! They also have mineral water (not sure how much it is) other minerals, beers (approx £2.50 for a bottle) and wines. You can of course ask for tap water if you are on a tight budget! PROMOTIONS Sometimes they have various offers such as including soup or chips with the buffet, or more recently if you got soft drinks like coke you got free refills. Unfortunately they dropped the free refills probably because it worked out very expensive for them. (I used to drink about 3 each time and I’m sure that I wasn’t the only one!) You will have to check the posters in the window for the current offers. TASTE Objectively the special order pizzas are much tastier than the buffet, but far more expensive – one single size plain one costs about the same as a whole buffet so I’m not complaining! The buffet is very filling as you can eat exactly what you want – you can have a selection of different tasty toppings and of course
the salad is very tasty too. I have no complaints with the food at all. I would however, recommend watching how long the pizzas have been out for. This is only because new pizza tastes heavenly while some of the older pieces start to get leathery! Generally I find that they do not mind if you tell them if you find that the food is a bit cold or leathery as they will quickly replace it with nice fresh pizza. They can’t always tell it has gone cold by looking at it and it only takes about 15-20 mins or so after it was fresh to go cool. Another thing I find is that as a vegetarian, occasionally they will bring out 4 meat pizzas while I am waiting (impatiently!) for a veggie one – if that happens I usually ask them nicely if they are making any more veggie pizza. They don’t mind me asking as they are there to help and it saves me waiting for ages while they might think that I am happily eating the meat ones! TAKE AWAY Deep Pan also has a take away facility. I haven’t used it myself, but it is cheaper than eating in! Check the leaflet in the restaurant when you order. FAMILY FRIENDLY This is a fantastic restaurant to take your family. It’s very family orientated and children are welcomed. Children have their own menu or can have a child’s buffet (obviously cheaper at under £3 for all children’s meals). As well as being welcomed, children’s toys and balloons are provided to keep your kids quiet and happy. My little son loves the balloons, they keep him very happy for hours – I tie them to his pushchair when we leave! They provide highchairs and what is great is that they do not mind the mess that my son makes while he is eating. I don’t know if all babies are as bad, but my son prefers playing with his food to eating it. Hence the restaurant round his highchair looks like the aftermath of a food fight! I do pick up some of the pizza pieces, napkins etc. but the staff never mind about
it which is great. Sometimes as a mother you feel a bit guilty when your child makes a huge mess and some restaurants are less than happy about it, but at Deep Pan they have been great. I feel really welcome and not on edge about my son’s table manners (or lack of them!) STAFF I can’t fault the staff – helpful, friendly and very nice people, although this refers to my local restaurant obviously! Most of the senior staff have worked there for longer than I have been going there, so they know us very well by now! This restaurant chain comes very highly recommended – if you are looking for a quick, filling eat at a good price – then this is your place! (A big thank you to all the staff at the Notting Hill Gate Restaurant, London for always making us welcome.)
Deep pan pizza is very much like Pizza hut in that it sells a great number of different Pizza and salad, and at a very reasonable price. There is so much variety to be found here! Go to a restaurant of Deep Pan Pizza and you'll be spoiled for choice. It is always very clean and the service is good with incredibly friendly staff. I do however prefer the Pizza Hut as they have the stuffed crust Pizza which cannot be beaten! There are many Deep Pan Pizza places throughout the UK, but you'll find them in places than the highstreet. Very good, although not as good as Pizza Hut. There is an all you can eat buffet here on most days - not just during the week, so they are good in this respect. Thanks for reading, Tim.
Like Pizza Hut, when I discovered Deep Pan I discovered what I'd been waiting for all my life! As a life long toasted cheese lover, the pizza was a wonderful discovery - why did it take so long for them to get to the UK? Films about New York always had shots of chefs spinning pizza dough in restaurant windows. In some ways I prefer DP to PH because (at least near Peterborough) the ambience was much better, all Tiffany lamps and so on. BUT, what has happened to the said Peterborough restaurant? It has changed to somebody and somebody (I'll edit that bit later) though my daughter says it is still as good. I don't know why, but PH do actually warm up slightly better (always take leftovers home!) but otherwise, nothing but good to report - especially as noted by other contributors, the cut-and-come-again £5 lunches!
'Scoff till you drop' there are plentiful amounts of Pizzas, pasta dishes, garlic bread, fresh salads the food is fresh and tasty and never runs out -you will not leave hungry and this eat-as-much-as-you-can lunch time buffet is definitely good value for money. I remember several years back when both of my sons ate 16 large slices of pizza each!!, needless to say they enjoyed their lunch despite my embarrrassment when the restaurant manager told me they had broken the record! If the pizza, pasta and salad is not enough the ice-cream corner lurks in the corner - an extra £1 for the children (as much as they can eat) or £2.50 for the adults. Freshly baked pizzas keep arriving in a variety of flavours,(Including vegetarian, sea-food, chilli, beef, chicken and plain)there are usually three or four hot pasta dishes and fresh imaginative salads to consume in unlimited amounts with four or five sauces to accompany) and there is hot garlic bread too- needless to say some fill themselves to the brim! We were seated quickly without queing and the seating was comfortable and there is no overcrowding of tables/seats. Seats are available in smoking or non-smoking. We didn't wait long for our drinks to arrive either, I also ask for fresh water and glasses which they are happy to provide. The main reasons I find it so good is that the food is fresh & hot, salads are freshly made and there is a wide choice,and because this is 'eat as much as you like' there is a relaxed and congenial atmosphere with no feeling of having to rush and leave the table. Of course there is the risk when going to this type of place of eating too much especially if your favourite food is there in inordinate amounts and you can literally eat as much as you like but just remember the old but very true saying 'five minutes on the lips is five years on the hips'
When my family and I visited London in February, we were amazed to find a Deep Pan Pizza Co. in Trafalger Square which had the usual eat as much as you like buffet for just £4.99, the same price as every other Deep Pan Pizza Co. in the country!!! We thougt that in London, they could have got away with charging any price, as everything else is much deerer in London! Therefore, this must be the best value restaurant anywhere in London! The deal is excellent, you get unlimited pizza, pasta, and salad, and they are constantly bringing out fresh lots of it as it goes quite fast with everybody keep going up to the counter for more! The pizza is heavenly, as good as Pizza Hut or any other chain, with loads of different toppings to choose from. One problem is that the restaurant is quite small, so we had to stand around waiting for a table for about 15mins. However, this restaurant is well worth going to, especially as it's the same price in London as anywhere else!
If you are looking for a light lunch or a more substantial evening meal, then the chain of Cafe Rouge restaurants will be ideal for you. There are many of them dotted about, but the two particular ones that I have used are in Blackheath village and Greenwich. They offer a reasonably varied menu and always have daily specials which are written in both French and English on a blackboard ( I once spent ages trying to work out what the French specials meant in English, only to see the English equivalents written on another board nearby!) A wide selection of wines is available and the house wines are served in carafes. You can expect to pay approximately £10 for a two course lunch (including two glasses of wine) or £20 for a two course eveing meal. The restaurants are generally fairly busy and have a good atmosphere.
Pizza comes and pizza goes, but all you can eat goes on forever. Of all the pizza restaurants that there are in central London, Deep Pan are the ones I visit most often. Not for their range, not for their style, but for their all-you-can-eat buffet. Every single time. At 4.99 plus drinks, you can fill yourself with assorted pizzas, 2 choices of pasta (1 veggie, 1 meat - although you might be a little stuck if you don't like tomato sauce on your pasta), and a full salad bar in case you're pretending to be healthy. The salad bar itself can be wonderful - of course, occasionally you catch it at a bad time, but the chefs do tend to keep it well stocked. If you are really lucky, it will have a full fruit salad range (melon slices, orange slices, diced pineapple), as well as many salad vegetables and accompanyments, which makes a nice starter. The pizza is also kept well stocked, with lots of combinations (although normally meaty, and so I haven't tried them all - but there are also typically at least 2 choices for vegetarians) that aren't always on the menu. At a lower price than a full pizza, and with such a range - and most people don't eat a whole pizza's worth when they visit - the restaurant wins, the customer wins, and everybody's happy.