‘Pizza makes me think that anything is possible’ – Henry Rollins
It’s surprising considering the amount of pizza I eat now (at least once a week) that I haven’t always been a pizza lover. As a child I was a pretty fussy eater, if it wasn’t fish fingers, Sunday dinner or ‘chips and sauce’ I wasn’t interested. Now of course, having grown up in ‘eat it or go hungry’ household I’ll eat pretty much anything (except mushrooms – which are, as Helena calls them – satin’s nipples) but would always say that if I could only ever eat one thing for the rest of my life it would be pizza. I mean, it covers every food group right?
I’ve been lucky enough over the years to sample pizza in Italy and New York, two places I think it would be hard to argue, do a pretty damn good slice. So I was excited yet dubious to find out an authentic style pizza kitchen had opened in Newcastle. I’m by no means a pizza snob, I love a Chicago Town Pepperoni Stuffed Crust as much as the next gal but every time I hear the word ‘authentic’ my eyes narrow and I think ‘really…?’
So it was a wet Wednesday evening and me and the girls needed something stodgy and something fizzy to discuss our forthcoming weekend away and I’d heard good things about Manny’s Pizza Deli on Ridley Place. I liked the idea of sharing one massive pizza between the 3 of us and when they told me they’d just starting doing Prosecco as well? Well I was there before you could say ‘extra pepperoni’. The vibe inside is very casual, much like Zapatista across the road, lots of wood and high benches. They have a deli counter at the front where you can take away pizzas by the slice – if I still worked at the RVI or Civic Centre I think this place would do serious damage to my waistline as at only £3/4 a (massive) slice, it’s incredible lunchtime value.
They have further seating downstairs, with a couple of larger tables if you’re not taking away AND you can reserve tables, which I love (not being able to reserve a seat is one of my biggest bugbears – why wouldn’t you want guaranteed custom?!) Our chilled bottle of Prosecco arrived instantly and after perusing the menu of New York themed names it didn’t take us long to decide on the ‘Meatpacking’ full pie at £20 which was topped with fresh locally sourced ingredients (Pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, bacon, grana padano, mozzarella and marinara sauce)
I have to say the service was excellent, we chatted animatedly with our server who’s clearly very enthusiastic about her new business, and she offered us personal recommendations on what to have. When our full fresh pie arrived it was HUGE, proper dustbin lid sized, and was piping hot. The ratio of tomato to cheese was spot on, it wasn’t too gloopy and the thin crust bases were nice and crispy. I know I said I hate the word ‘authentic’- you usually are setting yourself up to fail with that, but this was one of the nicest pizzas I’ve tasted outside of New York City. Special shout out to the meatballs which were beautifully seasoned – from a Campbells tin they certainly weren’t.
Of course the one downside of sharing a dustbin lid of awesomeness is that you tend to pick one flavor (although they do offer a half and half option) I’m dying to go back and try The Empire which has a cracked egg on it which is in my top 3 pizza toppings – along with sausage and pepperoni. If you can still manage something after you’ve devoured your pizza-heaven (haha see what I did there, ahem) some of the desserts they have on offer are pretty spectacular too, I’d be interested in getting my hubby (and resident cheesecake expert)’s opinion on their homemade cheesecake, and in the interest of a fair and balanced review I would try their oven baked cookie dough (with Hershey’s Sauce).
Probably also worth a mention is you can order online for collection or delivery, servicing the NE1, NE2, NE3, NE4, NE5, NE6, NE7 and NE8 postcodes with a £2.50 delivery charge, which I’m thinking will be a welcome addition to the Newman X-Factor nights over the winter!
So, all in all, despite my narrow eyed skepticism, Manny’s gets two thumbs up from me in terms of authenticity. Being right round the corner from Primark as well means I’m more than likely to be embarking on some pizza fueled bargain hunting in the near future!
*We got a cheeky discount on our Prosecco because, well writing a blog has it’s perks but they have a Living Social Voucher available for January 2016 offering a similar deal to what we had which is exceptionally good value. You can buy it here.
25 Ridley Place
Newcastle Upon Tyne