Thursday 8 January 2015

Word on the strada

I remember the first time I went to Strada - and it was with L.  We were both new to London and happened across the Camden branch.  Back then the garlic and rosemary bread was complimentary and the food was - well, we were rather impressed.
Since then I have eaten at various Stradas many times - and, sadly, I have to say, it never lived up to that first impression.  The pizza base lost it's crispiness, the restaurants stopped looking so new and the bread - well, they started charging for it.  But, I'm a fair person, and when I recently ate there with my parents, I decided I should do so with a critical eye.

I was pleased to see that the Holborn branch had reintroduced it's old menu, getting rid of the apparently Italian burgers (yes, really!) and bringing back my personal favourite, the Rustica pizza, with Italian sausage, artichokes, capers, caramelised onions and sun-dried tomatoes.  What pleased me even more was the confirmation their pizza oven was wood fired, and, upon my request, the provision of fresh buffalo mozzarella.  But the icing on the cake?  A free bottle of Prosecco.  You see, Strada also send me lots of special offers, including a bottle of bubbly on my birthday.  Sweeet....
Anyway, enough about such cheap ploys - what I was interested in was the pizza.
You know what?  It was pretty damn good.  In fact, it rivalled those I'd eaten at Fratelli la Bufala and Papagones - perhaps even Santore.  Then there's the central location, the reasonable price and the free booze.  Interesting.  Very interesting...
But was it a fluke?  Well, it has to be said that it was the best pizza I'd had at the chain for quite a while, so it could well be.  Or maybe Strada have upped their game?  To be honest, I don't know.  But I know how I can find out.  Now where did I put those vouchers...
I'm feeling generous.  8 out of ten.

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