You just can’t go wrong with pizza and pasta if you’re looking for a filling feed.
For some reason, I had never ventured into Pizza Punks on Glasgow’s St Vincent Street, despite my self-proclaimed love of Italian foodstuffs.
The word ‘punks’ is one that’s associate with rebellion and standing up against the establishment, and, to be honest, on entering the building, that attitute was loud and clear – and there’s anarchy in the oven, given the A in the company logo.
It’s a welcoming atmosphere inside – the staff are all friendly and nodded an acknowledgement as we were led to our table. The atmosphere is lively, the music is just the right level so you can hear it and identify the songs, without being so loud as to drown out any conversations.
Pizza Punks has just introduced introduced a new menu, from small plates and sides to pizza and pasta, plus desserts. The pizza is made from sourdough sourced from the famous Boudin Bakery in San Francisco, straight away making the restaurant different from the rest of the crowd.
Our party were impressed by the selection. The junior diner, who has been difficult to please in the past, was quite content to pick a small plate, and was spoiled for choice, with the buffalo chicken wings (£6), in ranch sauce, being her choice. We did fear that the sauce may be too strong for her, but the wings were very quickly devoured, and were perfectly juicy, without any overcooked dry meat left behind. Only the bones were left behind.
My companion picked the mozarella dough balls, which were lip-smackingly good, packed full of flavour. The dough itself had a great flavour, and the filling was top notch.
I contemplated the Punks Anti Pasti Plate and the bruscetta, but in the end my love of macaroni cheese (£5) was ideal, made with mature cheddar, Parmesan and mascarpone. It was cooked inside a tinfoil container, placed inside a stoneware container, and was warned of the heat – yes, it was ridiculously hot, but I made short work of it with my asbestos-like mouth. Creamy, rich, and everything I like. I noted there were ‘Nduja and vegan versions also available for Mac and Cheese.
Pizza Punks’ new menu has expanded its pizza offerings such as Tuscan, Mushroom, Burrata and more, and have freshly and handmade daily pasta including Linguine of Tuscan fennel sausage & ’nduja, Rigatoni of ’nduja & confit lemon mascarpone, Linguine of king prawns, courgette, chilli & garlic, Linguine of courgette, pea, baby spinach, basil & mint.
I agonised over my choice – literally changing my mind over and over again until the last minute when I ordered. Pizza Punks offers a standard pizza for £11, where you can create your own meal, with as many toppings as you like, for a standard price.
I picked a standard tomato sauce, with basil and garlic, and topped it off with a host of my favourite things – goats cheese, lemon and herb chicken, caramel pork belly and best of all, black pudding.
I was delighted when it was presented up, with a feast of colour, and the base was just heavenly – sourdough definitely has its own taste, and was cooked to perfection, with that slight droop when you pick it up. The toppings – heavenly. Black pudding on pizza is the future!
My companion’s pizza was topped by a white sauch of creme fraiche and double cream, with a slightly less busy list of ingredients than mine – she picked anchovies, and lemon and herb chicken. The white sauce topping was definitely unusual but there wasn’t anything left on her plate by the end. The chicken had obviously been marinated and the anchovies had a strong, but not off-putting, flavour.
The junior diner’s plate was a pasta option(£9), with linguine, cherry tomatoes (a favourite), meatballs and pepperioni. Again, this was made short work of – the pasta was good, soft and just past al dente, and the red sauce was not overpowering. She was a happy camper.
We were full to bursting by the time we had finished, and had to leave the dessert menu behind – and that mean no caramelised pineapple cheesecake, candied bacon, creme brulee, choc chip ice cream cookie sandwich or caramel biscoff… Next time…
We also had some fantastic drinks with our meal. The cocktail menu is extensive, and you’ll be hard-pressed to pick just the one. So we had three! I had a raspberry mojito (the mint on it was packed with flavour and I emptied the glass!), whilst my companion enjoyed a Blue Monday (pineapple-infused tequila, blue curacao, lime juice and passion fruit syrup) and Dead Punks Society (£8), with bacardi, bacardi spice, old J spice, tiki fire rum, pineapple juice, passion fruit syrup, grenadine and lime juice. Both were, I am told, top notch.
Pizza Punks may do food and drinks with attitude, but that’s where the attitude stops. The staff are friendly and attentive, and couldn’t do any more for ourselves, and indeed the other diners.
We’re definitely heading back soon.
Pizza Punks, 90 St Vincent Street, Glasgow, G2 5UB.
0141 237 8020