Grabbing a slice of Newcastle thriving foodie scene, Pizza Punks is the latest joint to arrive in toon. Located on Grey Street in the former Cafe Rouge site the team has ploughed £400,000 into creating a unique new look for the eatery.
Being the food enthusiast that I am, I’d caught wind of the opening and was kindly invited down to give my take on the place! Pizza Punks has built up a sparkling reputation at its other venues in Glasgow and Belfast by allowing customers to have unlimited toppings as they like on a sourdough base for the same standard price so you could say I was rather excited. Vegan pizzas and local variations have also been added to menus, including an Ulster Fry version in Belfast and a Full Scottish in Glasgow.
Myself and my other half decided a date day in Newcastle was on the cards one Saturday a few weeks ago and what better place to spend an afternoon with your lover than eating pizza?!
Upon arrival, we were met with the manager who was full of fun and very friendly. I say this in most of my reviews but I can’t stress how much better an experience is when the staff are attentive, we instantly felt excited about what was in store for our visit when we met him. He showed us to our table and then explained a little bit about the menu.
As we were left with the unfortunate job of choosing what to eat from the menu and I say unfortunate as there is SO much choice, every dish tantalised my taste buds, I took in my surroundings. Pizza Punks is such a quirky and funky place. I adore the interior, it has such a vintage presentation yet it feels so contemporary. I was worried it would feel very ‘chainy’, chainy as in like a Frankie and Bennies, not personable yet I was wrong. It feels very personable, the team have gone above and beyond to create little touches to make the Newcastle restaurant feel like home! They even have Newcastle Brown Ale Beef Brisket has a topping for your pizza.
Pizza Punks has a fruitful selection of cocktails and drinks which are all reasonably priced including ‘Freakshakes’ and classics including ‘Desperatia’s. We went for the Sherbet Cherry which is a mix of Tanqueray Gin, Raspberry Liqueur and Cherry Sherbet Foam.
After much deliberation over a drink, I decided on a ‘Punk Up Your Own Pizza’ (£10) which you can create in 4 steps:
STEP 1 – ALL ABOUT THAT BASE choose one from – SOURDOUGH OR GLUTEN-FREE (our bases are opened & shaped by hand, roughly 12”)
STEP 2 – THE SAUCE IS BOSS pick your sauce – Red: San Marzano Tomato, Basil & Garlic / White: Creme Fraiche & Double Cream /
BBQ: A blend of BBQ sauce and San Marzano TOMATO
STEP 3 – CHEESY LOVER sort out your cheese – mozzarella, Scamorza, goats, vegan, parmesan
STEP 4 – punk it up unlimited toppings
I choose sourdough with parma ham, red onion, mushroom, tortilla chips, mozzarella, and some rocket. My boyfriend stuck to a pizza on the menu from the ‘Newcastle Loves’ section, the Philly Cheesesteak calzone (£10) which is basically cheese sauce, seared steak and caramelised red onions. We also decided to get one side each and we went for the Sourdough Cheese Burger Bites a homemade beef burger patties mixed with American cheese & gherkins, served with burger relish for dipping (£5) and the Buffalo Chicken Wings smothered with a buttery buffalo hot sauce and blue cheese dip (£4).
Each dish pretty much came at the same time which was ideal, we didn’t wait long and even got a view as the chef made them which is always good to see. So from the above, I guess you’re all thinking carb overload or what?! But it was cheat day, and I was hungover! I was craving the carbs. They all looked insanely good and equally tasted amazing. Me and my boyfriend are at that stage in our relationship where we get stuff on the menu we both fancy and then share them between ourselves, therefore we both tried a bit of everything.
We started with the sides and let me tell you all about those cheeseburger bites, oh my. They were literally melt in the mouth good, the meat was so succulent and juicy I urge anyone visiting to get them! The wings were a taste explosion, the hot sauce was truly divine.
Now for the most important bit, the pizzas. The dough was cooked to perfection on both pizzas, crispy but not burnt! My creation was a whirlwind of flavours, I was apprehensive of what the tortilla chips would do to the taste but they actually complimented it and rather just an added a crunch. Each topping added a unique twist to my creation and it was delicious, I really liked the idea of being able to add whatever you want on it! The calzone was absolutely out of this world, the cheese sauce saturated the dough making a great combination with the steak which was very tender. I was trying not to eat all of it but it was hard not too, totally scrumptious!
We had a fantastic afternoon at Pizza Punks and can’t wait to go back to discover more of their menu. I thought the food was of a fantastic quality and it was really good value for money for what you get it. I’d definitely recommend everyone taking a visit!