Punch ‘pizza in Nuneaton’ into an internet search engine and you’re hit with an onslaught of options.
Most of the big players are there, Domino’s has three branches across the town while Papa John’s and Pizza Hut are also represented.
Then there’s a wealth of other businesses serving up the Italian delicacy, from wood-fired varieties from a horse box at Sweeney’s Slice and Grind to Snappy Tomato Pizza’s 24-slice ‘beast pizzas’ served from the town centre.
Surely there’s not enough room in this congested market for another?
Step forward Don Carlo’s Nuneaton. Since January 11 it has been serving up its rectangular pizzas via its delivery only service and has been flooded with positive reviews on social media.
We tried it out to see what all the fuss is about…
What’s on offer?
Pizzas of course dominate the menu but there’s plenty more options including gourmet burgers, salads, nachos, kids meals, desserts (including their own homemade ice cream), drinks (including Tango ice blasts for those who are missing these) and there’s a large sides menu ranging from potato tots to chicken goujons.
How does it work?
Orders are made via their website or by calling up. Their business is based at the Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate, but currently they are not open to collection customers.
Ordering from the website is pretty fun, especially with the ‘design your own pizza’ function which allows you to select what crust, sauce, cheese, toppings, vegetarian, seafood, garnish and drizzle sauce you want.
You could have pizzas a day for the rest of you life and you’d still be coming up with different combinations.
You place your order and are given a delivery time which came via an email.
What was our order?
I opted for a cheese stuffed crust with tomato pizza sauce, 100% mozzarella with garlic sausage, pepperoni, Doner meat and red onions with cherry tomatoes as a garnish and garlic oil as my drizzle sauce.
My partner opted for a mozzarella and cheddar mix with mushrooms, red onions, sweetcorn, pineapple and jalapenos with chilli oil drizzled on top.
We also had a kids fish finger meal and sides that included chilli cheese nuggets, chicken goujons, coleslaw and a tub of Don Carlo’s homemade chocolate and hazlenut ice cream.
How was the pizza?
First impressions, they’re big! The rectangular boxes are 18 inches long and seven inches wide. They come in only once size and they are cut up into 10 slices.
Focusing on my meaty selection first, I was pretty impressed. It was perfectly cooked allowing for the edges and the base to be firm while the cheese had melted accordingly and the meat elements were piping hot. It wasn’t too greasy either.
The smaller, square pieces make it less of a slog to eat, too. There was more than enough for me, a good third of it went back into the fridge for seconds on another night.
Is it up there with a Domino’s, for example? Not quite. But having said that, these are two for £15 which translates to pretty decent value for money.
My partner’s assessment was similar. While it’s much better than anything you can buy from a supermarket it just doesn’t quite hit the levels of established ‘big boys’ in this field.
Assessing it on its own merits, there’s little to fault about the experience with fresh ingredients, cooked to perfection and loaded with toppings. I know I’d choose differently next time!
And the sides and extras?
The kids meals are £3.50 and ours included four fish fingers, a portion of fries and a smoothie pouch. Again, it’s good quality and decent value for money.
The fries retained their crunch and the chicken goujons, while not overly succulent, were a nice way to break up eating the pizza as were the chilli cheese melts that packed a punch.
Special mention must go to the Don Carlo’s homemade ice cream, however. They need to shout about it more as my chocolate and hazlenut ice cream was divine. A crunchy top layer set the tone and the creamy, indulgent ice cream brought back memories of holidays (remember those?) from yesteryear. A perfect way to wrap up the meal.
The ordering experience was fun and the service and execution of what we ordered was first rate. There’s a broader offer than the big chains too so if you have a non-pizza eater in your family, they’re well catered for.
The pizza isn’t quite up there with the very best on the takeaway/delivery scene but the price suggests it isn’t trying to be, either. But I’ve tasted a lot, lot worse in Nuneaton through the years – that’s for sure.
Don Carlo’s could well become a popular addition to the town’s food delivery scene.
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