Monday, 31 May 2010

franco manca and rosie's deli

i’ve been wanting to go to brixton market for a while now and a surprise holiday from work provided the perfect opportunity. so a part sunny, part cloudy friday afternoon found a, s and i at brixton tube station. together we walked into brixton market on electric avenue and lane. i have to admit, i didn’t take much to brixton market. it’s chaotic with the not just the constant shuffle of human beings but the push and shove of being in a constricted space too. there is a proliferation of meat shops displaying hunks of meat in a rather crude fashion. blood drips from lambs and goats. there is also the pungent smell of fried foods and a large store with a sub-continental name selling foods from all imaginable parts of the world.
i had three places on my list that i really wanted to try: pizza at franco manca, the wild caper deli and rosie’s deli cafe and believe it or not we all three in one afternoon. we started at franco manca for lunch, followed by rosie’s for cake and some goodies for the house from the wild caper deli.  franco manca has a frenetic air to it. at least when it comes to the servers and those waiting. lunch itself can be as relaxed an affair as you want it to be. the menu here is short and simple. there are six pizza’s to choose from plus two specials which the waitress tells us in her heavily italian accent making me miss my foodie partner i who is out in the depths of uganda. 

i settle on the number 2, a mozzarella, buffalo ricotta and wild mushroom pizza. The waitress explains to me that this is a pizza bianco (white pizza) and asked if i wanted to add any tomato. i quite happily went with my bianco. a went for the number 3 which included gloucester old spot ham, mozzarella and tomato and s went for one of the specials which was similar to a’s but with aubergines in it. the pizza’s at franco manca are made with sour dough baked to perfection in a traditional italian wood fired oven. what came to our table were slightly oval-ish pizzas, their crusts soft and blistered from the heat of the oven. the wild mushrooms on mine had a strong meaty flavour. i managed to polish off all but the last few bites. this was possibly the nearest I have been to perfect pizza since my last slice in torino a while ago. 
i know that a has a sweet tooth so after a short walk we came to rosie’s deli cafe, a lovely kitsch-esque cafe a short distance from franco manca. i couldn’t face dessert as i was still so full and had a summery pear juice instead whilst the girls indulged in a lovely raspberry cake with intensely pink icing. i’d love to come back to rosie’s deli cafe to try some of her savouries which looked very moreish and tempting. 
on our way out we popped into the wild caper deli. i picked up a square of orange, olive oil and rosemary cake for o and a orange, almond and olive oil one for myself. i had this much later in the evening. it was sticky with its crown of slightly caramelized orange peels and was really really good! 

p.s. rosie has a lovely blog at

Franco Manca on Urbanspoon

Rosie's Deli Cafe on Urbanspoon