This is a role I’ve been training for my whole life – reviewing pizza. My only concern is, like a brain surgeon suggesting a throat lozenge, I may be overqualified.
Our original idea was to cook maybe four pizzas and watch a movie, but two things happened which changed that to something far more exciting. Firstly, our oldest son, Master23, and his girlfriend, Charlotte, turned up to reconnect with us for a few days. And secondly, Tracey and I had to duck off to run an errand and when we arrived home Miss8 had convinced everyone they should run a pizza restaurant.
“We’ll be waitresses and bring you drinks, and you have to pay us,” she announced.
We’ve done this sort of thing a couple of times in the past, but usually it’s just with Tracey and myself. The idea of sitting with Master23 and Charlotte under the stars to chat was even more appealing. So we cooked all the pizzas and set them up on the balcony table for the kids to eat and serve from.
There are, near as I can tell, nine types of Dr Oetker Ristorante pizzas. We tried eight of them (the funghi – or mushroom – option wasn’t in store).
Miss8 presented us with a menu and stood ready to take our order.
“What would you like?” she asked.
I ordered the Prosciutto and encouraged the others at the table to place their orders quickly. I could see our other kids sitting at the table, chomping away. I began to suspect the whole idea of setting us up at a table in the backyard was so they could have a free hand at the pizzas. Master10 was on his second slice already.
Unfortunately for our pizza preferences, I hadn’t thought to label which pizza was which – so my first slice was Pizza Pollo, a mildly spiced chicken, spinach, corn and sour cream number. Fortunately, it tasted yummy.
And given the difficulty Charlotte was having getting her order for something vegetarian, despite three of the eight being suitable, I couldn’t really complain.
“Here you go,” Miss5 said, holding out a slice. “You’ll like this one.”
“It looks like you did,” I said to my daughter. There were several bite-sized chunks missing.
“It’s okay,” said Charlotte, ever the sweetheart, “the half eaten kind are my favourite.”
It ended up a great night with three of our girls performing a traditional dance routine on the trampoline, just like the Romans used to. Apparently. And I eventually got a couple of slices of the Pizza Prosciutto, which made me happy too. It and the Pepperoni-Salame were the bomb.
“What’s this?” I asked when Miss8 pushed something onto the table beside my arm. It was a saucer with a note on it. The dessert menu was my first thought. Or possibly a poem.
“The bill,” she said.
Given the number of zeros she’d managed to fit onto that deceptively small scrap of paper we had no choice but to do a runner.
As for the pizza itself, let’s face it, you are unlikely to chose a frozen pizza over a freshly made one. However, if you are pushed for time and just want something easy in your belly, this is the way to go because you won’t be chewing away feeling sorry for yourself, this is what you want sitting, waiting in your freezer section. You’ll actually enjoy your meal.
The fact is you’ll pay a little more for Ristorante pizzas compared to many options out there. Not horrendously more, just enough that if you do spend it you want to know they’re worth it.
So how do they compare to the usual frozen pizzas we eat?
Let’s just say I can understand why these pizzas are not only the number one frozen pizza in the home of pizzas, Italy, but also in the home of the world’s most discerning and ravenous pizza taster, me.
Things to love about Ristorante pizzas:
It doesn’t in any way resemble frozen pizza cardboard. It doesn’t look like cardboard, feel like cardboard or, most importantly, taste like you’re eating cardboard. It’s surprisingly thin and crisp and easy to enjoy.
The Vegetarian Options.
Usually on any menu vegetarians get a choice of one meal and it’s labelled ‘vegetarian’ to help the meat-eaters know which one to stay away from. Not so with Ristorante pizzas – no less than four of the nine toppings are vegetarian – Pizza Mozzarella, Pizza Quattro Formaggi, Pizza Spinaci and the aforementioned Pizza Funghi. And what’s more, I still liked the vegetarian ones I tried, despite their lack of meat.
The All Important Taste.
Usually when we eat frozen pizza we have to add more cheese, and more often than you might think, more ham or tomato or capsicum. When I first opened the box and slid out a Ristorante pizza I thought I’d be reaching for the grated cheese once again. In fact, I would have except for the purposes of this review I obviously had to try the product as is. I’m glad I did, because they didn’t need anything added. I suspect in the past I’ve been using the extra cheese to hide the cheap flavour. That isn’t necessary here.
We’d like to say we hosted the first frozen pizza restaurant, but Dr. Oetker opened its own restaurant for some unsuspecting diners to a few surprises.
Please like, share or comment using #pizzeriaathome – or all three if you’ve got the time!
~ raising a family on little more than laughs ~