So, I realised that I had all these photos backed up from late last year onwards where I was meaning to post some restaurant reviews alongside my other posts. Somehow, I got sidetracked and I thought I might as well get a move on, if only so I can now delete the photos and free up some space on my poor iPhone!
Even though my blog is mainly about weight loss and trying to achieve my 130lb goal, part of what keeps you sane is still allowing yourself treats or occasions where you’re not worried about food. I mean, don’t go crazy and eat about ten brownies alongside your pizza and starter of something fried and wash it down with a bottle of wine, but now and again, it’s just what the soul needs.
My first restaurant review is of The Hop in York. It’s been open since 2013 and my sister and I decided to pay it a visit in December 2014. It’s known as a craft ale house but we weren’t really into all that (our alcohol intake is usually limited to cider and spirits only) but we did have a massive interest in the wood fired oven which apparently conjured up some delicious pizza.
When you first walk in, it is quite similar to any other pub. It’s a little dark and there’s a long bar with spirits lined all along the back. There are quirky quotes written on the walls in the front half of The Hop and then when you walk further in, it opens up to more seating space where the Pizzeria is right at the back.
You order at the bar and the menu is quite limited and written on a chalk board on the back wall. Luckily we perused the menu online beforehand and knew what we wanted as otherwise we’d be stood at the wall for a good ten minutes trying to decide! I will tell you now that we ordered way too much food. I think we ate about 2/3 at the very most. We ordered a garlic bread to share (with garlic, olive oil, mozzarella and oregano – £4.50) and I ordered the Fresca (baby courgette, sun blushed tomato, mozzarella, fresh basil and homemade tomato sauce – £7.50) whilst my sister went for the Bosco (Italian sausage, porcini mushroom, red onion, red wine, mozzarella, home made tomato sauce, oregano and topped with rocket – £9). The other choices were a Margherita, Napolentana with anchovies and capers, La Tropical with ham and pineapple and Spicy Pepperoni with Italian pepperoni and fresh chillies.
The price was really reasonable for the pizzas and garlic bread. They were all a decent size – I say about 12 inches and the base was just stunning. I am a massive fan of thin based pizzas which take a couple of minutes to cook and The Hop got that perfectly on a plate. The only sad thing was that because it was so big and we couldn’t eat it fast enough, it went cold relatively quickly. I loved all the vegetables on mine and all of the flavours were harmonious. I tried some of the Bosco, which my sister loved, but I think it would have been a bit too heavy for me. I’m not a massive fan of rocket either and I personally don’t think it added anything to the pizza (except some greenery!) and gave the pizza a bit of a bitter aftertaste. The garlic bread was absolutely gorgeous, though a tad too oily. The garlic was nice and powerful but probably not what you’d want to eat on a first date. We didn’t sample any of the beers but I hear from a reputable source that they do a good job.
We went on a Monday and it wasn’t very busy but they did have quite a few covers. The atmosphere was nice and laid back but they could invest in actual plates rather than the paper ones the pizzas were served on – though I guess less washing up for them. Also as typical for a pub, there wasn’t much service. The only person we saw were the guys at the bar when we ordered and the guy who brought us the pizza. The pizzas definitely are value for money – they weren’t expensive and the ingredients were high quality. The pizzas would have been enough for two people if they did sides such as a salad or veggies but the menu is limited to the pizzas and garlic bread mentioned above.
Overall, it’s definitely a place I would return to. Unfortunately not with OH as he is allergic to both wheat and egg, but this pizza is good enough to rival Il Paradiso further down the road and the ones I’ve had from Toto’s around fifteen minutes walk away. Oh, and bear in mind that they don’t take reservations – it’s first come first served.
Food: 4/5, Service 3/5, Atmosphere 4/5
Pizzeria opening times: Mon – Thurs: 12-2:30pm, 5-9pm. Friday/Saturday 12-9pm, Sunday 12-7pm. Visit their website here.
Until next time.. x