Thursday, December 31, 2009

Pizzarellys - lost its touch?

Christmas tree bauble hanging on with a papercip - Pizzarellys

Having caught the late afternoon showing of Nativity! in the Odeon (Tuesday tickets are only £3!) we fancied something to eat. Under impressed with the food outlets in Victoria Square – that is, under impressed with the food outlets without queues snaking out their doors – we headed back to Lisburn to grab something to eat.

We’d been to Uno’s quite recently, and having walked across to Lisburn Square we found that the excellent CafĂ© Square Bistro had closed early. So we headed back to that old favourite, Pizzarellys in Bachelors Walk.

Growing up in Lisburn, I spent most of by birthday teas eating in Pizzarellys. (All except a couple of meals over at Angelo's half way down Market Lane tucked in-between Reids shoe shop and the Health Centre. I’ll always remember being in there when the bomb went off at the fun run.) So while the owners may have changed over time, it’s an established fact in my mind that Pizzarellys is a reliable place for a meal.

But it has changed. And going by Tuesday night’s experience and feedback since then from other people, it’s lost much of its charm and quality.

The honey chicken strip starter was a bit too tough. The pizza was ordered with “no onion” (and it was underlined on the order), but it came festooned with more onion than any other ingredient. To be fair, when I pointed this out, the waitress did immediately volunteer to wipe it from the bill.

Their selection of pizzas on the menu is quite strange too. I wouldn’t want everywhere to be the same, but it’s odd not to find Four Seasons or BBQ Chicken on the menu. In fact the standard ones (which nearly all come with onion by default) are plain, simple and frankly uninspiring. And while you can build your own, it’s a much more expensive option than choosing the standard ones off the menu. But I digress ...

The vegetarian courgette lasagne had a millimetre or two of vegetable at the bottom of the stack, but you had to go looking to find it.

Is that an Emu at the top of the Christmas tree?

On the plus side, customer service was good, the milkshakes were large (and half the price of a lot of other establishments) and the Emu on the top of the Christmas tree was unique.

But unless I hear that Pizzarellys has improved, I’ll not be back. The less-than-perfect Uno’s down the street, and amazing Market Square Bistro in Lisburn Square will get my business instead.

You can check out other people’s reviews on Lookaly.


square bistro said...

Hi Alan;
Sorry we were closed on new years eve we thought we would give the hard working staff an early finish to bring in the new year, Thank you for the positive comment's and thankyou for your continued support we hope to see you soon and wish you a happy new year,
Many Thanks
Stevie Higginson
( proprietor)

Alan in Belfast (Alan Meban) said...

Wasn't surprised you were closed! Not a bad idea. Don't worry - we'll be back.

Vivienne Souch said...

I echo your words entirely Alan. Since Pizzarelly's opened in 1985, I was a complete fanatic. Every Friday night with the girls without fail, birthdays, special landmarks. Very happy memories, even on xmas eve the proprietors Margaret and James Tolerton pulled their chairs up and joined us by the roaring fire with a glass of wine after an excellent meal well after closing time. It is only recently that I've noticed how much it has changed and not for the better- Fried food smells cramped tables screaming kids, noise what a disaster. I would have liked to boast about it over the next 25years, but I'm afraid those days are gone, what a loss to the local folk of Lisburn. Sabai Thai and Cafe Bistro win hands down for good food and welcoming atmosphere.

Vivienne Souch

Anonymous said...

Had meal tonight.Also wont be back.Chips half cooked and staff never came back to check if everything ok or needed anything else from when meal arrived. When husband pointed out re chips etc no offer of slight reduction in bill. Still had to pay £27 pounds for two sorry main courses. Spoke to two friends tonight who also had been recently and wont be back.Wish I had known that before we went!!

Alan in Belfast (Alan Meban) said...

While you were suffering dodgy chips, we were across in Cafe Square Bistro (near Next and Argos). Beautiful meal, lovely staff, consistently good.

paddymed said...

Anyone tried Me:nu Belfast, had a great meal there earlier today, 2 people , 2 courses with wine £11, bought it on that website.