Newest Review: ... style with the local area in mind which stops them from looking like any other Italian chain restaurant. I also love the company as t... more
Express, but not 'Fast'
Member Name: jasminesarah
Advantages: Great food in lovely environment
Disadvantages: Can't fault it
For a limited time, Pizza Express are joining the select group of restaurants at which Tesco Clubcard Deals can be used to pay for the food part of the bill (drinks have to be paid separately). Until the end of January 2009 this offer will stand. Because of this, and because I happen to be going there for lunch today, it seemed like a good time to pass a few comments!
From time to time, and generally due to the persuasive techniques of my children, I succumb to ordering takeaway pizza from somewhere like Pizza Hut (sorry, Pasta Hut), or Dominos. This goes down well at the time, greasy as it is... but to me is not 'proper' pizza. I also like to make my own, which are much nicer, but for a real treat I would go to Pizza Express.
The restaurants are clearly part of a branded chain but do have some of the charm of a 'real' Italian restaurant, unlike their fast food competitors. The two restaurants I visit most are in Exeter and Bristol. The Exeter branch is situated in an old building overlooking the Cathedral Green, very picturesque and a good spot for people watching if you get a window seat. (It is however being refurbished at the moment, so don't go today!). I shall be eating in Bristol today, in a majisterial building with very high ceilings. Both of these buildings have great character and are lovely places to eat.
As the name might suggest, Pizza Express's menu is dominated by pizzas. These are of the super-thin base variety, with a huge range of toppings to choose from. My personal favourite is the goats cheese and onion marmalade, but I am also tempted by the asparagus of the Giardiniera. They also provide pasta, and salads, as well as a delicious range of desserts.
For me, the best thing about Pizza Express is that although I have always found the service to be reasonable quick, and certainly very attentive, this is not 'Fast Food'. The restaurants are based on the principles of Italian eating. That means good, simply prepared food enjoyed with good company. The restaurant is currently working with reknowned chef Theo Randell, who has developed several dishes for them. Food is prepared within sight of the customers, which is another nice touch.
Although I imagine prices vary from area to area, here in the South West starters and desserts are from £2-5, and a main course is around £8. This is not as cheap as Pizza Hut, but it shows! If you have a hoard of 10 year olds wanting to celebrate a birthday, Pizza Hut is ideal, but for good quality food, and a quieter chat with family or friends, Pizza Express is the place.
For those of you who don't know, Tesco Clubcard Deals are worth 4 x the face value of your Tesco points vouchers, meaning a substantial saving. If you've just received yours and were going to spend them in store, I'd recommend looking at this or one of the other offers as an alternative.
Summary: Recommended, especially at the moment!