What did I ever do to you, Pizza Express?

October 10, 2014 at 4:06 pm 4 comments

pizza expressI have been a loyal customer of the Pizza Express franchise for far more years than I care to mention. Indeed, proximity to a Pizza Express outlet is one of the must-have-items on C’s criteria for moving house, along with a Waitrose and other such necessities. Pizza Express is an eating-out experience that we have enjoyed very much together. Typically we would do so about once a month.

Over the years, Pizza Express has been a comfort zone. We would escape there to get away from our mad, noisy neighbour, Val. We would meet with friends and family. We would plan our holidays and put the world to right. It was a safe place where the food and service was familiar and the atmosphere amenable to conversation, celebrity spotting and people watching alike.

peroniThe Pizza Express at Wilmslow and at Knutsford have been our regular haunts of late, with occasional forays to Manchester and Cheshire Oaks when doing a spot of shopping. C would have a (small) glass of  the Montepulciano, and I would partake of a Peroni Gran Riserva, while we peruse the menu.

I am not sure why we bother with the menu as C would invariably select a Fiorentina with a runny egg, and I would have a……now wait…..No, no, no, no. They have bloody well gone and done it again. They have removed my favourite from the menu!!

Back in the day I used to really enjoy the ham, egg and dough balls in tomato sauce. Until they removed it from the menu. Then I used to like the Neptune, with tuna, anchovy, olives and hard-boiled egg. Until it also disappeared from the menu. Then I moved to the Capriciossa (especially when it came with ham hock). Disappeared. The Da Morire. Gone.

All of my favourites have disappeared over the years. And now the Pizza Express chain has been sold to a Chinese venture capital company. And, they have just launched a new menu. I don’t think the Chinese do pizza. I think they have pizza and pasta mixed up. Which is why they now do a Carbonara pizza with a béchamel sauce base – perfectly acceptable with a bowl of spaghetti, but on a pizza base it just sounds like something that the cat might have thrown up. The new seafood option is the Mare Rossa – prawn and oak-roasted salmon with tenderstem broccoli,spinach, garlic, chilli flakes and mozzarella on a lobster bisque, béchamel and passata base, finished with fresh parsley and Gran Moravia cheese. I won’t be eating any of that pretentious twaddle either.

Why are they messing with a good thing? Why are they fixing something that ain’t broke? Why are they picking on me!

So, Pizza Express, is this how you reward decades of loyal service? You are almost as bad as the time when KFC ran out of chicken on me. Shame on you. 😦


Entry filed under: Cautionary Tales, food memories. Tags: , , , , , , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. sooocheshire  |  October 10, 2014 at 4:32 pm

    I think you will find that triangulating Waitrose, Pizza Express and, erm, anywhere selling Jo Malone is known as geodemographic profiling, Middleman.
    Another cruel betrayal by Pizza Express was the “Guest Pizza” concept; introducing tantalising delights such as the Valentine Warner fennel and salami pizza with rocket and lemon oil (2012) only to whisk them away some months later, never to be seen or tasted again…It’s culinary sadism.


  • 2. bookvolunteer  |  October 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Here here!


  • 3. Peter  |  October 17, 2014 at 12:23 am

    I absolutely loved the Da Morire too, and was so looking forward to one this evening. Instead, it’s now either spice-filled pizzas loaded with chilli and peppers (not very Italian), vegetarian nonsense or, as you say, that awful-sounding Carbonara mess. Sigh… Please, please bring Da Morire back! I will miss it.

    Liked by 1 person

  • 4. Middle Man  |  October 17, 2014 at 8:27 am

    Thanks for the moral support Peter, you are clearly a man of discerning taste….



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