You know that feeling when everyone else in the whole world has been somewhere and you haven't, and you're desperate to try it but life just keeps on getting in the way? That was me about Barbarossa Pizza on Bedford Street in Middlesbrough. So many people were going, posting photos, checking in, eating ALL OF THE PIZZA and I wasn't and frankly it simply wasn't on! The temptation to spit my dummy out was high! After many failed attempts at trying to organise it, Dave and I finally got our bums in gear and decided to go there to celebrate our 8 year 'non-iversary' (thus called because we're not actually married, except we practically are in everything but the piece of paper declaring it legal and all that boring stuff). Wednesday evening at 6pm, the table was booked, I stayed behind at work cos there really was little point in going home then coming back - excitement levels were high!
First up let's talk decor. Like many of the foodie delights along Bedford Street there's a definite trend towards minimal, NYC loft-style with all the brick and all the wood. This pleases me no end as it's a style I really like and is really appropriate for the small size of most of them. The best thing about this place though is the GIANT pizza oven that you can see through the open kitchen hatch. The giant pizza oven that basically cooks up the most delicious of pizzas that taste just like they do in Italy. I'm actually drooling just remembering how utterly divine it really was...
Next up the menu. Just the right amount of toppings to choose from and three different options for the dough: sourdough, wholemeal, and gluten free (yay for the GF family!) We opted for the sourdough base with chicken, peppers, and rocket, with a side of patatas bravas, just in case there wasn't going to be enough carbs with the pizza...a glass of pink for me, a red for Dave, badda boo badda bing, bring on the pizza!
The pizza: oh me, oh my. Perfectly proportioned, there is no other way to describe it other than dreamy. The base was perfect, the sauce was just right, the chunks of fresh mozzarella were so fresh and so yummy that I can't even...the chicken, the peppers, the peppery rocket with the balsamic dressing. Oh. My. God. Pizza of dreams. Easily the best pizza I have eaten in years, and definitely - DEFINITELY - authentic. Which didn't really come as too much of a surprise to me as the chef is Sicilian, plus the one million reviews I had read from friends who had been/seen/checked in/drooled, you know the drill.
Expectations were high. Expectations were met. Since going there I too have raved to about one million people, and my new boss was so utterly convinced by my review (and the fact that they have gluten free) he is planning to take his wife there soon.
I'm not gonna lie, since going I've probably looked at the photo of that pizza at least 3 times a day. It's like I can't get it out of my head! I'm not sure my usual 'highly recommends' even comes close. If you're a pizza fan I urge you to go and try it.
Make sure you book a table, it's small and understandably always full up. You can call to reserve a table: 01642 802409 and you can follow their Facebook page: Barbarossa Pizza.