My girlfriend is always pointing out how much I eat pizza. Apparently it’s my favourite food even though I never noticed, but I’m slowly becoming aware of just how much pizza I consume. Last Saturday I suggested that I should try and go a month without pizza, however, I’d eaten pizza on the night before, so I would have to start next month… and then two days later I find myself heading out for pizza!
My friends and I organise one of Europe’s largest ukulele festivals, a Grand Northern Ukulele Festival, and on early May bank holiday Monday we had our final meeting before the festival (which happens at the late May bank holiday weekend.) It was about 2pm and we realised we were all famished and needed to eat something, so we decided to gather everyone and head down the road from Hebden Bridge, where GNUF HQ is, to Todmorden, famous for a not-lucky-lucky-dog-statue, a larger than average lesbian population and Harold Shipman… We were off for pizza at newly opened pizzeria, Site! The whole festival team, Mary, Rob, Clarice and myself, and Robs two kids all piled into Clarice’s 7 seater and set off to fill our empty bellies.
Site does have a tinge of hipster, with its construction site theming (more on that later,) bare light fittings and mismatched furniture, but it was a welcome site to see a wood fired oven in the restaurant.
After a good five minutes of waiting, menus were brought over to us, and then began the explanation of their construction themed menu… “You’ve got ‘foundations’, that’s your nibbles, then ‘the build,’ that’s the pizzas, ‘snag list’ is extra toppings and ‘cavity fillers’ are the side salads,” to which my feelings are “what is the bleeding point?”
Menus work perfectly when split into separate sections without gimmicky names that have to be explained to you. The menu also annoys me with it’s over reliance on colons (one pizza is described as “crème fraiche : new potato : caramelised onion : brie : thyme” which sounds delicious but surely they should have called it A Brie History of Thyme? No? Just me?) and also prices presented as “3.5”, “8.0” & “6.5” which just look like operating system updates to me…
“bread : olive oil : sherry vinegar” is acceptable, though I’m in no doubt this was just a tiger bread baguette bough from the Morrisons around the corner. I’m also unconvinced the vinegar was sherry vinegar, it just tasted like balsamic vinegar to me.
“Site marinated olives” do an excellent job of convincing me that I don’t hate olives after all, I prefer the black ones and enjoy the slivers of garlic and caper berries lurking amongst the olives.
Pizzas arrived in two waves, firstly the three that were all different, followed by the three that were all the same.
Robs oldest, Thing 1, went for a margherita, or as the menu says “mozarella : tomato : basil”, with an addition of ham from the “snag list.” I’ll be honest, it looked a bit insipid and could have done with a little while longer, however Thing 1 enjoyed it.
Clarice, Ukulele Pirate Queen Extraordinaire, went for the “anchovies : capers : black olives : garlic : tomato : mozzarella” which sounds like a glorious exercise in umami! Clarice declared this her perfect pizza!
Being the sort of people who can’t make decisions, Mary and I decided to share half a “spicy sausage : red pepper : mozarella: giant Greek beans : tomato” pizza. My one criticism is that the sausage wasn’t very spicy, at all, however the giant beans absolutely made this pizza.
The second wave of pizzas were three “chorizo : ham : chilli : basil : tomato : mozarella” pizzas, one of which was shared by Mary and myself, and one each for Rob and his youngest, Thing 2. I really enjoyed this, though a bit more chorizo wouldn’t have gone a miss.
If I had one overall comment on the pizzas at Site, regarding the base itself, they could really take a few lessons from Honest Crust and lessons on generosity from Marco’s Cafe just down the road in Hebden Bridge, where the toppings aren’t overwhelming, nor stingy.
All in all, I’d happily visit Site for pizza again, they are tasty and there are some unusual topping combinations I want to try, but I’d just like to see a base that rivals Honest Crust. Still, it’s easily the third best pizza I’ve had, and that’s not too bad, is it? I mean, I’ve eaten a LOT of the stuff…