If you found yourself in that desert island scenario, and you were only allowed to eat one thing, what would it be? Mine would probably be pizza. God I love pizza. Even just thinking about pizza, or someone suggesting the potential for pizza, gets me excited. How can such a simple concept have so many options? It is essentially bread! Hats off to the ingenious bakers of Naples for thinking “I know, I’m going to top this flat bread of mine with many a tasty ingredient” (I don’t speak Italian, but I imagine, this is exactly what was said in the 18th century), and starting the evolution of what we now know as pizza. I am eternally grateful. So, when you think about it, it was these Neapolitan’s that gifted our beautiful seaside village of Westward Ho! with super tasty pizza, which once again reunited me with two fantastic friends. Fun fact: that wasn’t a typo – Westward Ho! is the only UK place name to include an exclamation mark. You’re welcome if that ever comes up in a quiz. Anyway, back to pizza and friends. What a combo.
Two weeks prior to this epic pizza experience, Ellie, Kiomi and I met for a Saturday morning outdoor coffee, funnily enough at The Pig on The Beach. Fun fact two: I don’t like coffee, unless it is flavouring a cake paired with walnuts and topped with buttercream. Instead, I had a really tasty coconut tea which had a flower in it. An actual flower that opened up after a few minutes. It was so pretty, and a little mind blowing, I took a photo which I will place at the end of this pizza fest. Fun fact three: none of that will ever aid you in a quiz.
To cut a longer story short so we get to the pizza faster (I know that is what you are all thinking because I am too), it was during this pretty flower tea drinking catch up that blog conversation started. Ellie and Kiomi gave me that final nudge, along with so much support and follow up group messages, that One Shy Foodie was born after many years of not being confident. Thank you. And what better way to celebrate and catch up again than a top pizza based restaurant over looking the sea! Fun fact four: there isn’t.
Arriving at The Pig on The Beach on a warm, sunny, Friday evening in the summer holidays, and walking straight in to a sea view table, without booking, is a massive achievement. If you are a local, you will definitely know what I mean! The first thing I notice? The undisputed smell of fresh dough, one of life’s most rewarding scents to our noses. You could feel the fire oven warmth in the air like a big, doughy (gluten free if you ask) hug. Which was perfect given the current social distancing guidelines. A one way system to the bar to order, with stand out distancing floor stickers, sanitiser and staff screens; another local restaurant making me feel safe, welcome and so happy to be there. And they were happy to see us too. Pre-warned it would be a 40 minute wait for pizza, we ordered and eagerly awaited our modern Naples flat bread. Except for Ellie; she ordered the Beach Burger, which for the record, looked insane. A proper burger stacked high amongst a circle of proper chips (I may have had a few chips). Fun fact five: I am a human dustbin.
If that photo doesn’t make you want pizza, well, I will eat the pizza for you. Look at it! It filled the plate, with a little bit of wiggle room for slicing at your own desire, and was bigger than my face. A plate of pure happiness. What more could you ask for! The base was super thin, the way a pizza should always be (in my opinion), whilst still being slightly soft in the middle with an epic crust surrounding my choice of toppings for that evening. And by soft, in no way do I mean raw or under cooked. When you pick up your slice of The Pig on The Beach pizza, it slightly droops, holding itself proud and the toppings standing their ground on the perfect amount of mozzarella. The epic crust, slightly thicker; crunchy on the outside, adding texture and even more satisfaction, with further softness in its middle, which was perfect for tipping into a pool of ketchup.
Fresh Mushrooms With Spinach, Red Onion & Mozzarella
Too many toppings can ruin a pizza and overload it with one too many flavours. With all food, you want to be able to taste each ingredient you put into it, or on top in this case. My choice on this fine, dough filled evening was the mushroom and spinach pizza, with an addition of red onions (there is something about roasted red onions that I just love). Biting into the soft, slightly crunchy, base, you are hit with each flavour. First off, the sweet, smooth, tomato base layer, whilst noticing a hint of herb action going on too. Second, the creamy, subtle taste of the mozzarella cheese. A perfect amount that melted itself over the tomatoes, keeping the pizza light and bouncy. Then finally, the top-notch toppings distributed over the pizza, laying there like a holiday maker on Westward Ho! beach the past couple weeks; hot and maybe a bit crispy. Like their friend mozzarella, just enough of each of my chosen vegetables to cover the pizza and give your taste buds the flavour of each in every bite. The earthy flavour of the mushrooms and spinach, matched with the sweet and sour red onion.
If this pizza is not your flavour, the menu does not disappoint! You are spoiled for choice with 12 different pizzas. Yes, 12. Three of which are premium if you are feeling particularly wild of an evening. Plus, like me, you can pimp up your pizza to meet your own style with an even bigger array of fresh, local toppings and have a pizza party all of your own creation.
And if you do find yourself a bit hot and crispy from enjoying the sunshine on our stunning Westward Ho! sand and unique pebble ridge (unless it is winter or probably raining), you can have your perfect pizza as a take away too, and enjoy it with all your friends.
Fun fact six: I very rarely share food.