Sunday, 3 March 2013

For some reason: A crisp review.

These turned up in my living room the other day, I'm not sure where they came from, but I try not to ask too many questions about that sort of thing; my guess is magic. Magic snacks happens a lot in my house and is how keep myself from dying from not enough food, or whatever the technical term for that is. Things I find on/under/in my sofa account for about 80% of my sustenance and if/when (when, definitely when) the non-Jurassic Park Attenborough decides to document my life in a series called 'Animal Losers' that looks at the world’s most pathetic creatures, there’ll be a great episode on my foraging techniques. I imagine it would include ol’ Dave dropping the line, “Mother Nature, it seems, is not without her sense of humour” and then cut to a clip of me slouched like a human puddle watching DMX films, eating a bag of two week-old Morrison’s own brand nachos I found behind the TV.

I like that there’s a picture of a pizza on the packet, just in case you needed a reminder of what these are supposed to taste like. But then I guess you kind of do, as they mostly just taste of ketchup and herbs, but that’s fine because I like both those things. I’m not really sure about these. I guess they’re kind of shaped like pizza so maybe they get some points for that. I don’t know, I have no idea what I’m doing really, there’s no method to this madness. This isn’t even pizza, it’s crisps. What the hell is going on? I should just write these off for trying to trick me into think they’re pizza with fancy packet design and artificial oregano. However, that said, there is a skateboarding cheetah with sunglasses so I’m going to give them some extra credit for at least having a mascot that's cool and relevant to my interests.

4 out of 10

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Can't a Brother get a little peace? There's a war on the streets and a war in the Pizza East.

I’ve had a little moan about Pizza East on here before. In fairness, my gripe was more my fault than theirs and was down to me not reading the menu properly. However, as I have yet to receive a box of my family’s fingers sent by some shady, multi-national pizza review watchdog, I’m happy to keep dishing out unfair, emotionally influenced scores like a recently divorced, newly alcoholic Olympic gymnastic judge. 

Being the Jesus-like pillar of white-light virtue, decency and altruism that I am, I decided to give Pizza East a second chance. Also I was totally Romania.  As in: ‘beyond Hungary’. As in: ‘really hungry’. As in: ‘I stayed in on Saturday night and watched cartoons until I fell asleep in my clothes’. 

Anyway the pizza was better this time. Largely down to me learning from my past mistakes and making sure I chose one with tomato sauce. I think me and Pizza East can finally get along again, and so, as a token of our rebuilt friendship I’ll offer them the greatest gift one person can give to another besides news socks. The gift of advice. And this is it: Pizza East, you shouldn’t have called yourself Pizza East because it really limits your ability to expand into other parts of the city*, unless you’ve already copyrighted Pizza West, Pizza North and Pizza South, but I doubt you have. Also what if you want to open a restaurant in another city? What if that city’s Eastside is gross? What if it’s Swindon? That whole place is gross. Don’t go there.

I guess that wasn’t really advice and more a damning critique of their business model but it’s too late now, I’ve written it and the thing with writing things on the internet is that once you’ve typed it out, it's there forever.

8 out of 10

*I have since been informed that there is in fact a Pizza East in West London. As a result I'm putting 'Research' on my to do list, just below 'Pay TV license 2008' and 'Die a quiet death at sea'.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Shorewitch H∆use

For those who don’t know, Shoreditch House is this multi-story members club in Croydon Shoreditch that has a whole bunch of bars, a restaurant, spas – like health spas, not the chain of convenience stores, (although, if you’re reading (you’re not), Shoreditch House bigwigs, maybe that could be something to think about), a gym, sofas and an outdoor swimming pool that steams when it’s cold. It’s the kind of place that, were I a young, troubled heir to an eight-figure fortune, I’d spend my days there, marching around, shirt open, mumbling about Faulkner, drunk on £200 scotch at 3pm on a Tuesday. I would think I knew all the staff by their first name but would be wrong and mildly racist about 80% of the time. They’d all hate me, largely due to the time I grabbed a waitresses thigh, asked her if she “liked to pogo” and then fell asleep, perhaps pissing myself and ruining a velvet sofa cushion. I wouldn’t apologise, mention or possibly even remember the incident. However they’d tolerate me because I’d constantly overtip due to not really having any sense of money or value or anything and my Dad would be a pretty big deal and had asked the owners to “For God’s sake, keep an eye on him”/me. 

The only thing standing between me and making this dream a reality is a really big, unclimable wall made out of money. Also I never read The Sound and the Fury even though it was on my reading list at university because rules, like promises to myself to stop watching fail compilations on Youtube for literally three hours and just go to bed already, are made to be broken.

Anyway, they do pizza at Shoreditch House and surprising hopefully no-one, I ate it. It had salami on and I’m no salami expert, or as I desperately hope they say in the industry, ‘salami barmy’, but I think a good way to determine the quality of salami is whether it’s in a circular ‘log’ (gross) or a slightly oval one. I don’t know why this is. Perhaps no one except God and the pigs that poop out salami do.

7 out of 10

Saturday, 12 January 2013


What was cool about this pizza was that when I asked for no jalepenos, instead of being spineless, subservient wimps and complying to my outrageous demands, Vesuvio went ahead and, as you can see in the photo above, totally ignored me. I like that. That shows a real strength and belief in your vision. The unwillingness to compromise or waver in your certainty that you know what's best for your customer. That level of artistic integrity is rare, and the fact that it exists in a little pizza restaurant just off Clapton roundabout is a testament to the spirit and resilience of the human desire to create. It brings to mind inspirational figures like Ai Weiwei and Salman Rushdie, standing fast in the face of public opinion, refusing to budge no matter what. People and government are telling them what to do and they simply ignore them because they have a higher calling. Congratulations Vesuvio Pizza Takeaway, your legacy and example of fearless defiance will live on in the countless people who's requests you totally ignore, regardless of how much it disrupts their poop cycle.

This was pretty good even though I had to pick off all the jalepenos myself. I stupidly did this with my fingers and before I took out my contact lenses. If you've ever man handled chili and then given your eyeball a big old poke you'll know how fun it is. My eyes frazzled up like bacon bits in a deep-fat fryer and I am now completely blind. I've just been randomly bashing away at the keyboard for the last ten minutes like an ADHD five year old at a piano. If what I've written so far actually makes any sense then it's a miracle and I am that one monkey  with a typewriter, out of an infinite number, that managed to hammer out Shakespeare. My mum's watching and crying because of what's happened to her family. It's pretty sad.

On the plus side the hospital gave me these sick new sunglasses. In my head I look like James Dean.

6 out of 10

Thursday, 13 December 2012

The Hotfella: a pizza, not a gay dating site.

The Hotfella is Goodfella's new spicy pizza. It's like their regular frozen deep-pan only a bit spicier. I can't tell you much more than that because I was pretty drunk when I cooked it. Whenever I have a naughty little pre-bed, hangover-thwarting, booze pizza I wake up convinced that I left the oven on and burned my kitchen down, or worse, wasted loads of our gas credit. So far, to the best of my knowledge, I haven't caused any drunk pizza related fatalities, but that said, I can be quite unobservant and it's possible I'm directly responsible for numerous casualties in a Sgt. Frank Drebin from the Naked Gun kind of way. Happily whistling away, totally oblivious to the motorway pile up I just caused by throwing away that banana skin. Or something like that. Ignorance is bliss so it's probably best if I don't ask too many questions about my frequent memory blanks between 11pm and 4am, the bloody kitchen knives under my bed and the growing pile of prostitue corpses that I keep finding in my cupboard. I'll just do what Leslie Nielsen (R.I.P.) would; a wide-eyed grimace, a gulp and a nervous shuffle away from the scene of the crime. Because that will work. If slapstick comedy has taught us anything it's that old men know gymnastics, people being shot and falling off buildings is hilarious so long as they're relatively insignificant characters and that OJ Simpson was too funny to have done it.

I'm usually a bit of a wimp about really spicy food. Partly because it can give me a dicky belly, but also because once my brother decided he was a big dog and ordered a Vindaloo at an Indian restaurant. He got a third of the way through and had to be given two massive jugs of water, cucumber dipped in yoghurt and a cold towel on his forehead to stop him passing out. I'm way too self-conscious to handle that much attention. Anyway this pizza wasn't that spicy at all, and if there was any justice in the world then Will.I.Am's career would have gotten no further than 'Canned Goods Aisle Manager', and this pizza would be called something more accurate. Like the 'Warmfella', which in my opinion, sounds just as homoerotic, albeit in a slightly fuzzier, long-term commitment, kind of way.

6 out of 10

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Halo. Is it me you're looking for?

Well no-scope me out of a Warthog and call me the Reclaimer, if Pizza Hut haven't thought of yet another way to make me hate them, myself, the world, you probably, and just about everything ever. You don't have to be Cortana to know that the thing stuffed crusts are definitely not lacking is more cheese. So it's slightly perplexing as to why 'the Hut' have decided to celebrate the release of Halo 4 by sprinkling – although it's more like 'coating' really, let's call a horse a horse – their stuffed crust with Red Leicester. I guess it's because it's in the shape of a halo, and the video game's called Halo, and those two words are the same and so it all makes sense and could be totally justified in a war crimes tribunal. Which, after experiencing what can only be described as digestive genocide, seems a likely direction for events to unfold in. I don't know if you've ever played Halo. If you're not sure either, a good way of checking is to quickly assess if you have any or all of the following: 

1. A healthy, non-racist-expletive filled, social life.
2. A girl/boyfriend who doesn't thoroughly resent you. 
3. Regular interactions with sunlight.

If these sound familiar, then chances are you haven't played it. If however, you're like me and have decided a worthwhile way to spend the dwindling remnants of youth is to perfect your four-shot with the Battle Rifle, then add a brother up and we'll go smoke some suckers. My Xbox Live gamertag is 'Ninjoe'. It's a combination of the the word 'ninja' and 'Joe'. I thought of it about ten years ago and it is, by far, my greatest achievement and contribution to the world to date.

Anyway, this pizza is gross and unnecessary and I hate it and I hate Pizza Hut. Also, the other night, at the bar I work in, I got talking to a guy who said he does the advertising for Pizza Hut and apparently their CEO is some sadistic, psycho-devil woman who everyone in the industry (the pizza advertising industry presumably *vom*) totally hates. Kind of like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada, except with pizza instead of fashion magazines. So there's that too.

0 out of 10

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Reggae Reggae Jerk Chicken Stonebaked Pizza

The pizza so nice, they technically named it once but repeated a word. Levi Roots, the man behind Reggae Reggae sauce, not a new denim heritage collection, has decided that just selling sauce in bottles is boring and that he needs to step in and give people ready made examples of what they could be putting the sauce on. All that time spent in the Dragon's Den - presumably fighting off dwarves and sleeping on huge piles of gold or whatever, I dunno, I don't watch the show. LOL JK I do. Loads. I live for that shit - has really rubbed off on him and turned him from a mildly eccentric Jamaican man who sings to grumpy rich white men for money into a shrewd capitalist, devoted to expanding his jerk sauce empire. I read somewhere (possibly in a daily publication I get called My Imagination) that a couple of years ago, Reggae Reggae sauce outsold Heinz Ketchup. I find that hard to believe because I get through, on average, four bottles of tomato sauce a day. And I don't buy any of that Daddie's shit. But then I am just one man and can only do so much. For now at least... *glares at nervous group of bioengineers locked in my basement. They yelp and scamper back to work on their cloning machine*.

Jerk chicken is great, and I feel far less of what psychotherapist's don't call, but should, 'Carnivore's guilt', when eating it. It's reassuring to know that I'm eating a very unpopular chicken, that chances are, the chicken community is grateful this chicken is dead. I like to think that jerk chickens would bully the other chickens, perhaps make jokes about their cowardice, throw their unborn children at their coops, or dress up as Colonel Sanders for chicken Halloween. Stuff like that. And now they've got their comeuppance by being eaten by someone like me. Surely the ultimate, final humiliation.

6 out of 10