Occasionally I get the odd ranty person having a go at me when I feature chains, but when I started this site I made a firm decision not to become a food snob – I wanted to cover all type of dining for all budgets and tastes, inclusive of larger chains.
PizzaExpress has been established since 1965, the first restaurant was in London’s Soho. A couple of weeks back I was invited to Edinburgh’s Queensferry Street branch. It has recently been refurbished taking inspiration from Edinburgh’s inventor and pioneer of the telephone, Alexander Graham Bell. Artwork reflects Bell’s contribution through photographs, contemporary illustrations and vintage telephone posters. Displayed on the walls are retro-style trim and rotary telephones. It’s a nice nod to one of our own.
I’ll admit that I am not a PizzaExpress regular, in fact, this was only my second time having a meal in one of their restaurants (I have bought their products from the supermarket before). I decided to take my daughter as PizzaExpress is apparently pretty popular with kids/teens, and I’m on a constant quest to be a ‘cool mum’ (not really).
We ordered a Watermelon Chill and set about deciding what to have. I opted to share some things from the adult menu as the kids pizza looked quite small, Erin’s 11 and has a growing appetite!
I think Dough Balls are pretty much a must when you go to PizzaExpress – what’s not to like about soft pillows of bread dipped into garlic butter?
I decided we should try something more adventurous alongside so ordered some Calamari which Erin had never tried before. I have bad memories of my mum telling me they were like onion rings and almost putting me off for life, so I opted for the vague but slightly more accurate description of ‘seafood’. She happily tried them and described the flavour as similar to prawn and was more than happy to share the full portion with me.
Erin chose the American pizza (topped with pepperoni, mozzarella, and tomato) on a Romana base, so if you’re wondering if they’ll cater to specific requests, yes they will. It was huge and looked very tempting indeed!
I spotted the healthy Leggera pizzas and decided to try and limit the damage (I’m sure my PT will be so proud). These pizzas are all under 600 calories and feature the Romana with the middle removed and replaced with a salad. It’s a nice option if you find a whole pizza a bit heavy and would prefer a side salad. I chose the Leggera Padana which was topped with goats cheese and caramelised onions.
Onto the desserts then – Erin’s favourite bit! We teamed a very good Chocolate Fondant (and I’ve had a few mediocre ones on my travels) with a portion of their light and refreshing Coconut Sorbet.
Good food and good conversation – well worth a visit to enjoy a nice family meal. The service was friendly and welcoming and I really couldn’t have asked for more.
Location: 32 Queensferry Street
Price: Mains £11-£15
Good for: Good quality food and a nice atmosphere for family dining