Pizza, West Brompton

28 Jan

IMG_0403Restaurant one-upmanship is so fucking tireseome; it’s macho top trumps at its worst, all ‘oh, Nigel, you haven’t lived until you’ve tasted the caponata at this little place I know…’. Yuck. Everybody bores on about how their local deli, ocakbaşi or pizza parlour is ‘so authentic’, ‘the best, Jerry, the best!‘. Arseholes.

But my local pizzeria really is The Best. Wedged uncomfortably between a Christian Science reading room-cum-café and the hilarious mock-epic approach to Earl’s Court Exhibition Centre is the glory of Pizza @ Home, one of only two restaurants where I have ever wholeheartedly enjoyed myself.

It’s not so much the food that does it- although Hancock, my flatmate, contends that the pizzas are better here than anywhere in Naples- but the unaffected, vaguely low-life glamour of the place. “Glamour” may raise a Mozzarella-tangled fork or two, but there’s no other word for it. It’s more transport caff than, say, Sketch, or for that matter, Pizza Express, but if you sit down to eat circa 8pm, you’ll find it half-empty, peopled perhaps by a couple of Italian men in black coats talking shop, looking like they’re auditioning for The Godfather Part 4, and a solitary, impossibly beautiful Albanian girl drinking a Peroni and waiting for a plate of lasagne. You can feel like a nighthawk at the diner here.

Pizza @ Home (was the name chosen to ward off the foodie crowd? Part of me actively hopes so) is unlicensed, meaning that a large meal with alcohol need not break the £10 mark. When Hancock won a couple of grand on horses the November before last, we celebrated here with champagne and pizza napoletana. Paradise. Or at least, it would have been, had it been warm enough to sit outside.

P1060192The “garden” at Pizza @ Home is little more than a couple of flat-pack tables and chairs on a large slab of worn concrete, bordered by a wall that blocks a view onto the District Line below. The ambient noise is thus a strange mélange of clanking Victorian train tracks and foreign pizza chefs shouting at each other. However, on a decent summer evening- the existence of which you start to doubt by this point in the year- it is the best place to sit in West London. Just look at the faces of these two happy campers… sweet, innit?

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