Lunchtime of­fer­ing was mu­sic to my ears

Grab­bing a pizza the ac­tion on Cow­gate

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Eating Out - By Brad Barnes on twit­ter @PTbrad­barnes

The naysay­ers were quick to grum­ble when “an­other pizza restau­rant” opened in Cow­gate in Septem­ber last year.

But four months on The Pizza Par­lour and Mu­sic Cafe, to give it its full ti­tle, is go­ing from strength to strength - hardly sur­pris­ing if my visit on Satur­day was any­thing to go by.

Yes, it sits on a city cen­tre street dubbed Piz­za­gate, along­side the es­tab­lished indies Pizza House and Topo Gi­gio’s plus na­tional chain Prezzo. But, hav­ing eaten in all of them, they all of­fer some­thing slightly dif­fer­ent - and are all worth a visit.

Pizza Par­lour’s USP is the mu­sic, and I did tap my feet along with a fan­tas­tic swing­ing six­ties, soul and Mo­town groove (go­ing a step fur­ther there is also live mu­sic on Sun­day and Mon­day).

The walls lined with mem­o­ra­bilia from the decade add to the feel­good fac­tor and the ser­vice was very friendly and help­ful.

What did sur­prise me, if I am hon­est, is how child friendly the place is, very ac­com­mo­dat­ing given the grown-up “theme”. High chairs and buggy park­ing is no prob­lem and there is a nice se­lec­tion on the chil­dren’s menu, a choice of pasta dishes or pizza, a drink and ice cream to fin­ish (£5.95). There is even a colour­ing com­pe­ti­tion to boot.

In keep­ing with the com­pe­ti­tion, there is a lunchtime of­fer - £6 for half a pizza or pasta with a side dish, al­though I chose from the main menu.

First up: cala­mari fritti (£5.95), which has be­come some­thing of a favourite. The por­tion was plen­ti­ful, nicely cooked, the coat­ing had a lit­tle flavour and nice tex­ture and it came with a de­li­cious home­made tartare sauce on a bed of rocket. Ab­so­lutely lovely starter.

There were plenty of mouth-wa­ter­ing dishes on the pasta menu, not to men­tion steak and chips, but as the place prides it­self on its wood-burn­ing pizza oven and its sour­dough - which is just how I like mine cooked - it was a no brainer.

My choice, even­tu­ally, was the Toscanna (£9.95) boast­ing Ital­ian sausage, ba­con and pep­per­oni.

It cer­tainly de­liv­ered; no sog­gi­ness but not too crispy around the edge and it was as fully loaded as any pizza I have had in a long time.

There were hints of sausage and salty ba­con but the flavour was dom­i­nated by the pep­per­oni. A real de­light - the only dis­ap­point­ment was I couldn’t fin­ish it, in part down to the por­tion of chips, tossed in rose­mary, fen­nel and salt ( a lit­tle price at £3.75).

The two girls did their best to de­vour huge por­tions of spaghetti bolog­nese and cheese and ham pizza but still found room for two scoops of ice cream. Funny that.

A very pleas­ant ex­pe­ri­ence in­deed, small but com­fort­able, and the bill - £35 - would have been much less had I made the same se­lec­tion from the lunchtime menu.

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