Friday, 9 August 2013

La Pizzeria Ristorante, Manchester.

I never go to openings of restaurants. They're just not my sort of thing, standing there drinking warm cava with a bunch of strangers wondering who everybody is, is not my idea of a great night out. You only have to write a few blog posts and you get invited to them. Probably to make the numbers up. I ignore them normally.
However one came up for a new Pizza restaurant in the Northern Quarter. How bad can it be? I said to Mrs B. We'll be in town anyway. May as well pop along. I love pizza. I can even eat crap pizza if I'm drunk enough. We went along.
It was a room above the Market restaurant next to Luck Lust Liquor and Burn. As soon as we went upstairs my heart sank. There were no chairs or tables, just people stood around with complimentary glasses of Prosecco. The PR lady told me there would be a 'big surprise'. What could it be? A new style of pizza? I really couldn't have guessed.
'Might as well stay around for a bit just until the free pizza arrives then we'll bugger off,' I whispered to Mrs Bacon. We hung around chatting. Then we met fellows bloggers Good Gobble and Hungry Manc. I've never really met other food bloggers before. I was having a great time drinking free wine, munching olives and chatting to them.
There would be an occasional pizza floating around. They weren't that bad, but they did taste like dry supermarket pizzas. You could tell the base was pre-made. I've eaten worse though. I still scoffed as many as I could get hold of obviously. After a few wines, this is what always happens! Then the big surprise slowly filtered through. They were really Dr Oetker supermarket pizzas! This was quite funny, it was all a fake. I think they honestly thought we'd all say wow really, but they're so good! Obviously nobody did. The general atmosphere was one of incredulous hilarity with our lot, not one of I feel so exploited (drinking free wine and eating free pizza) how could they humiliate me in this way!
We needed to get some proper food so we went over to Solita for a Big Manc, still laughing about it. It was genuinely the funniest night out in ages!
It's funny though, after the event loads of people who weren't there put their own twist on it. You weren't there man, you don't know! The idea that a load of 'blaggers' were fooled into going to a fake opening and humiliated is a very attractive one for people with their own axe to grind.
But in reality Dr Oetker really thought that this would be good publicity for their brand. Obviously it went disastrously wrong for them and backfired. Absolutely nobody there was fooled into thinking they were good properly made pizzas whatever their PR people say.
The PR woman was genuinely shocked when she asked us what it was like, as we were leaving and I told her "awful processed supermarket pizza!" (*Unless she was an actress in on the funny ruse in which case it was an entertaining post-modern night out.)
A terrible night out for me is standing in a cold warehouse £25 down after eating 2 hot dogs and a can warm of beer, I queued a bloody hour for, not standing around chatting to like minded folk necking free wine and eating crap pizzas. I can do that any day of the week no problem. (Email me.)
So folks, not all publicity is good publicity, I can confirm to you now that Dr Oetker pizzas do indeed taste like totally shite supermarket pizzas, crap, dry and processed, but they gave us a real laugh and a memorable night out, so I thank them for that!

Score: 9/10 for entertainment.
1/10 for the pizzas.

Tune: Shaddap You Face - Joe Dolce.

La Pizzeria Ristorante on Urbanspoon


  1. Brilliant. Love the pic too!

  2. Hrrmmm the spin doctors seem to be trying to claim you all were duped. SO glad I'd read your post a few days ago!!!

    1. It's been really interesting seeing how this story has been fabricated by PR and the Mail online. I guess nobody really wants the true story; people eat crap supermarket pizza & say it's crap! The fake 'silly season' story is so attractive to people, they just want to believe it. The real headline should have been - man tries to drum up publicity for his restaurant on the back of industrial pizza brand - but who wants to read that?