I love Brixton, my family have come from there for generations and it’s a great place (always has been, in spite of popular belief) so we opted for the Brixton Market Row branch of this small chain for our Thursday supper. The market place is lively and a bit of a foodie heaven allowing us to make mental notes of future venues for our Thursday suppers.
We walked through the covered market precinct, spotting a few intriguing places – it was packed, which is gratifying… for the local area (which I love) for the traders, and it provides a great vibe, bustling, noisy, atmosphere.
Franco Manca does not take reservations, there is invariably a queue but it goes down surprisingly quickly so if ever you are there do not be put off by this.
There are not really starters but there were 2 ‘bites’ specials and we shared the ‘Burrata Pugliese’ – a meltingly soft sack of unctuous creamy cheese, that once broken oozed its creamy deliciousness over the olive wood board on which is sat. It’s a form of mozzarella stretched, but is somehow lighter.
The Pizza’s are sour dough bases, all ingredients are organic, their website demonstrating a high level of food traceability and seasonality.
For the Pizza’s we ordered the one with Gloucester old spot ham, buffalo ricotta, mozzarella and wild mushrooms – and the other was the Courgette, Basil, Mozzarella, Buffalo ricotta, and pecorino – we added two toppings which were some tomato and the wild boar salami.
There are interesting organic wines and beers that make a refreshing change from the humdrum offers that have become standard in many eateries.
Sitting at small shared tables isn’t everyone’s cup of tea but this works and our table companions left us alone and us them for the food part – but chatted happily with us once we’d eaten….this works for us.
The only gripe I’d make is the extra topping of wild board salami didn’t come up on the Pizza. When we asked the waitress about it she got a dish of salami from the kitchen and handed it to us, which was a bit odd…BUT and it’s a huge but the salami is entirely fabulous and so it’s a small point that I make only in the interest of brutal honesty….
We had a couple of drinks each, the shared starter and 2 pizzas, which are delicious and also quite substantial due to the sour dough base. The bill came to £35 – you cannot beat that for quality and value a great evening in a fab location with great food and tip top ingredients… http://www.francomanca.co.uk/restaurants/brixton/