CITYLIFELOCAL SLICE OF RUDY’S IS PIZZA PER­FECT

SI­MON BINNS TESTS OUT THE CITY CEN­TRE VER­SION OF A REVERED BRAND

Glossop Advertiser - - City Life Local -

ONE was never go­ing to be enough. For any­one who’s been to Rudy’s in An­coats - and if you haven’t, why not? - you’ll know that get­ting a table there was rarely a case of walk­ing through the door and park­ing your back­side on the nearest seat.

If you wanted pizza, more of­ten than not, you were in for a wait.

Why? Well, quite sim­ply, Rudy’s served up the best pizza in town.

You could slide a pep­per­oni slice in be­tween them and Hon­est Crust but for me, Rudy’s al­ways just edged it.

Day-long dou­ble­fer­mented dough to give a chewy, charred at the edges base and a range of sim­ple but well-cho­sen (and faith­ful) top­pings de­signed to show off rather than cover up the sweet tomato sauce be­neath.

If Rudy’s were in Lon­don, it would have been splat­tered all over the capital like Franco Manca, with which it shares its sense of ex­cel­lent pizza at the heart of a keenly priced but pleas­ingly short menu.

Be­tween them, an uber-com­mit­ted Jim and Kate Mor­gan had cul­ti­vated a spank­ing lit­tle out­let that pretty much any­one else serv­ing up a slice in the city would have given their moz­zarella balls to du­pli­cate. But in Manch­ester, it op­er­ated as a lone unit - un­til a new regime stepped in.

As well as bars like Trof and the Deaf In­sti­tute, Mis­sion Mars owns Al­bert’s Schloss and the Al­bert Hall. And in the Peter Street unit next door, the new branch of Rudy’s they re­cently opened since tak­ing a ma­jor­ity stake in the busi­ness.

Why try to cre­ate your own much loved con­cept when you can buy some­one else’s? Shrewd move.

The same semi­in­dus­trial fit out ap­plies to the new unit, although the old one was lov­ably lo-fi for cost­ing rather than aes­thetic.

It’s a big space, feel­ing al­most like two restau­rants, front and back - out­door seat­ing means those hour long queues are un­likely to be a prob­lem here.

The Rudy’s ethos has been well-pre­served but it’s re­ally all about those piz­zas, isn’t it?

Luck­ily, they are much as they were. Ex­cel­lent.

At 10p less than a fiver, the Mari­nara is sim­ple per­fec­tion and goes straight to the top of the city’s cheap eats list. It’s big enough to wear over your head like a sloppy red hat and share­able be­tween two, un­less you’re me.

The Meridio (£8.90) mixes up sun-dried tomato, red onion and red chilli to give a sweet bite with plenty of kick and it is out­stand­ing. For me, the best on their menu.

An­coz­ese (£8.90) is a close sec­ond - wild broc­coli and Tus­can sausage make per­fect bed­fel­lows and prove that any more than a mean­ing­ful two­some is just for show.

The salame pizza (£7.90) comes laden with strips of smoked meat that melt into the pizza, glee­fully folded up and rammed in to our gobs like sloppy news­pa­pers be­ing im­pa­tiently shoved through a let­ter­box.

Un­gainly, but so sat­is­fy­ing.

Craft beer - Shindig­ger IPL (£4.50) - and a gin fizz (£5.90) are first class pizza eat­ing li­ba­tions.

On the sweet side, choco­late torte is de­cent, and it may be the York­shire in me, but £4 for two scoops of ice cream - how­ever good it is - lets the pre­vi­ously price savvy menu down. The afo­gatto is bet­ter value at the same price and gives you the caf­feine kick you might need to lift you from a dough-based haze.

That said, five peo­ple fed and wa­tered for £72 is ex­cel­lent value - and the orig­i­nal stan­dards are be­ing up­held.

Ser­vice can oc­ca­sion­ally be a bit ab­sent and middle dis­tance. It starts as charm­ing and ends up be­ing slightly an­noy­ing. It will get slicker, you hope.

Rudy’s is an em­i­nently ex­pand­able brand - and only a fool would think MM have picked it up to lov­ingly repli­cate it just the once, as some sort of trib­ute act on the other side of town.

No, Rudy’s is un­doubt­edly set for big­ger things - and as long as they keep the place true to Jim and Kate’s orig­i­nal vi­sion, they should be con­fi­dent about the brand mak­ing that of­ten trou­bled leap from fa­natic-laden in­die to (whis­per it) suc­cess­ful mini chain.

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