Today I had a bad day. A real bad day. To the point where I finally decided to resign from a job I once used to love so much but unfortunately I don't any more and forcing myself to stay is getting in the way of my health and happiness. And yes, I do have a couple more freelance jobs going but with this recession going on, taking such a step is very scary..So, needless to say, when I got home I was not the picture of happiness and positive energy and even though I tried to mask it as best as I could, after all these years together my boyfriend can see right through me. And ALWAYS KNOWS WHAT TO DO TO MAKE IT BETTER.
But tonight he exceeded himself. First, he took me for a long walk in the park as he knows I always feel calmer when I'm in the middle of nature (and hopefully able to see a few cute doggies running around), then, as we sat by the lake watching crazy ducks trying to hit on each other in what I can only describe as a very forceful and slightly uncomfortable to watch way, he told me he would treat me to a pizza at Franco Manca. Which is why I'm actually writing this post.
''PIZZA AT FRANCO MANCA''. Four little words that instantly made me forget everything that happened today and brought the biggest smile to my face. Because as a picky Italian who has tried many pizzerias throughout my 9 years here in London I am well aware that Franco Manca truly is the best pizza in the city.
I KID YOU NOT. The first time I tried Franco Manca was thanks to a lovely make up artist who lived in Brixton and suggested I gave it a try in their Brixton Market shop. And I've never looked back since.
On top of that, my prayers were definitely answered when not too long ago they opened a new branch just down the road from my house, in Northcote Road. Which is where we went tonight.
It's such a relaxed and cool atmosphere and it always feels a bit like home for me.
There's something about hearing other people speaking Italian around me and to me in this small but cosy pizzeria that makes me feel some kind of camaraderie you know? AAAhhh...My people...
And it's not just the funny but oh so true uniforms consisting of a white t-shirt with a chubby Italian man in a tank top playing a game of football, it's the relaxed atmosphere, it's Roberto, the waiter that by now remembers my boyfriend's name and my order without mozzarella because I can't have any dairy...
It's these small but wonderful details that make our experience at Franco Manca such a lovely night out.
And of course let's not forget the main reason that brought us here. Pizza. Aaaahhhh...Here, they use a sourdough base that allows the pizza to stay soft and moist until you've had your last slice, unlike other pizzas that can become a bit dry and rubbery by the time you're done.
All the ingredients are fresh and of excellent quality and as appetisers I often order their big green olives which are the same exact ones that my grandma used to put on the table so we could munch on them before a meal.
Taste of home and really well priced too?Yes please!
They even make their own organic lemonade which, by the way, is absolutely delicious and reminds me of my summers on the beach as child..Now, I don't drink alcohol but my boyfriend does and he loves the beer they serve, it's called Green Daemon and he says it's a smooth and refreshing ale.
Tonight though I felt like I needed a bit of a kick, without the actual help of their chilli oil which, let me warn you, does pack a punch indeed..So I ordered Patrick's favourite : Pizza with Chorizo.
Knowing that I am dairy intolerant, the waiter told us I could swap ingredients around so I requested wild mushrooms instead of mozzarella on mine and it worked beautifully.
They added not one but two types of chorizo: dry and semi-dry. Both out of this world.
I strongly recommend it to those of you who like a bit of spicy in their life!
The only issue we encountered tonight was a small surprise we found on our final bill, which was still a reasonable £19.70 tip excluded for two chorizo pizzas, a beer and a lemonade (oh, and they always bring you a small bottle of tap water on top of that as soon as you sit down) BUT as we were looking at the receipt we realised that what had previously been offered to us as an alternative topping to mozzarella had in fact been charged as an extra topping. When we asked the waitress, we were told that the register charged us the difference in price between the mushrooms and the mozzarella which we still didn't think was very fair..
Having said that, I must underline that we have been here many times before without any kind of problems and we will definitely go back in the future to enjoy more of their exquisite pizza..
And I sure hope you do too!