PIZZA? In Los Gallardos? Are we mad? Has the world lost all coherence?
Los Gallardos is a rich village. A smart village. A clean village, and an orderly one. But it is not the cuisine centre of the world, it is a village where peanut butter is viewed as suspicious foreign muck. Pizza is something that -like sushi- is fine when one is abroad -say, Turre- but not to be considered when decent, local food such as sesos or tripas a la anchoa are at hand.
Yet LG’s latest innovative restaurant, Pizzeria Sam’z, is taking the place by storm.
In part, this is because of the high altitude chimney which belches the rich stench of cooking pizza dough from the traditional Italian gas pizza oven over the village. Nobody who passes by the village can fail to be attracted by the smell. It is rumoured that people passing by on the motorway with the window open get off at exit 525 to double back to trace the smell and purchase a fresh pizza.
The chef is a young lad called Fran, who doubles in his spare time as one of the city councillors and can be found most mornings in the townhall dispensing advice and paperwork. In front is a smart lad called Oliver, and another efficient fellow called Afonso. Oliver speaks 5 languages, including Serbo-Croat. Crikey.
The main menu is a model of efficiency. Some 8 basic pizzas are there, encompassing the entire range of human desire. For those who wish more, additional ingredients can be added or removed. Prices range from 7 to 9 euros.
If you decide to take away your pizza, if you order two, you get a free bottle of pop – or beer. Mmmmmm…. beer!
Mssrs Ben & Jerry provide the puddings.
Fran also makes what are possibly the best homemade burgers in the Levante. Huge. Crisp. Tasty. Made to order and fresh. Cheese optional.
Pizzas are big, fresh and made to order. You go in, say “I want a pizza with [xxx ingredients]” and a few minutes later a fresh one is delivered. Simple!
A TV will provide football on request (Canal +) and lots of beer -including John Smith’s- is on tap. Not many tapas, but you get some delicious mini-pizza tapas with your beer or wine, which go down a treat.
A smart restaurant inside allows you to eat there, with comfy tables. A patio upstairs will open soon.
Weekends it’s packed. We went on a Wednesday and it was packed. Mainly locals, 99% Spaniards. A stream of people entering and leaving with takeaway pizzas that put me in mind of a trail of ants. Crikey.
C/ Mayor 41, Los Gallardos
(Main street, past the doctors house on the main entrance to Los Gallardos up towards the Unicaja and townhall)