Since the inception of Tyne and Dine, I’ve been the silent consumer who accompanies Ellen on her journeys into Newcastle’s finest eateries. When Pizza Storm, who unfortunately don’t offer any gluten-free options, invited us down to try their quick-fire pizza restaurant, I was excited to accept. Ellen had to bow out – so any other coeliacs or gluten intolerant diners will also have to dodge the place.
For the rest of us, Pizza Storm offers up a novel dining experience – or at least it recycles an idea usually reserved for sandwiches and applies it to mankind’s greatest invention: pizza. Basically, you head to the counter, pick your ingredients and then sit down as your culinary masterpiece is cooked. Which, rather impressively thanks to their thin base, takes just 180 seconds.
When I approached the restaurant I found myself impressed by the branding – and, having brought along a designer friend, had a bit of a chat about it. It’s a cool looking place, no two ways about it. Inside, we were a bit lost over whether or not we should take a seat until we were waved over by a really friendly member of staff who walked us through the options. For £8.45, you get a create-your-own pizza that comes on an 11” base. You can also get set options, but since we were here to review we both dived into the DIY pizza magic.
Like Subway, you walk along the counter as the server behind it jazzes up your pizza. Being veggie, I went for standard mozzarella and hand-pulled mozzarella for a dose of double dairy. Another good point was that it highlighted the cheeses which are non-vegetarian. You can even pick your base, with a choice of four, but I’m an old romantic and tomato is always best. Ryan, the aforementioned designer I’d brought along with me, opted for white sauce – whatever that is.
On to the toppings, and I basically attacked my pizza with all the veggies I could fit. From mushrooms to olives, from artichoke hearts to courgettes, there’s really nothing you can’t have. In total, I had mushrooms, olives, artichokes, courgettes, butternut squash, spinach, peppers and tomatoes. Ryan had much the same, but then opted for ricotta and sausages.
After we’d chosen our toppings, we helped ourselves to delicious cordial drinks – although there was also plenty of soft drink choice. I went for elderflower and apple, Ryan for rhubarb and rosehip. We both enjoyed the chance to have a flat, non-fizzy drink. Before we’d even got settled though, the pizzas were ready. Even when they’re done and you head to the till to collect them, you get to add more toppings in the way of ‘finishers’. I had pesto and rocket.
On to the actual eating, and we enjoyed a bit of a starter in the way of a garlic bread which was light and tasty (I say starter, but they all came at the same time.) My pizza was delicious, with a furry of taste probably brought on by my own lack of knowledge when it comes to topping choice. Ryan enjoyed his too, saying the meat was tasty and the pizza just enough food.
Ultimately, that’s the best thing about the place. The pizza is not too big or too small, and it’s served fast. Is this a replacement for a genuine eating-out restaurant? No. Is it a much better alternative to Subway and a great spot for pizza? Yes. If every storm brought as much pizza with it, I’d be out in the rain with my mouth open.
A no-go for gluten allergies or vegans, though. Perhaps they’ll bring on a gluten free base in the near future and maybe a vegan cheese.
Disclaimer: we were invited to Pizza Storm to review free of charge. However, all opinions are our own. Nobody buys my loyalty.