Author Topic: Franco Manca (Brixton)  (Read 4292 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

cornicione54

  • Guest
Franco Manca (Brixton)
« on: August 28, 2010, 11:08:31 AM »
While visiting London recently, I had the opportunity to try the pizza at Franco Manca in Brixton. Here's a mini review:

Franco Manca (Brixton)
Small pizzeria tucked away in the middle of Brixton market offering wood-fired Neapolitan-style pizza.

Arriving about 20 minutes before the official noon opening time, I found several people already seated at the tables outside the restaurant along the main thoroughfare of Market Row. I ended up sitting inside the restaurant proper, close to the wood-fired oven. My order was taken (margherita: mozzarella, tomato, basil) and shortly thereafter the first pizzas of the day started flying out of the oven.  Aside from the margherita, there were 5 other pizza choices on the menu. Non-pizza options were a salad and a small selection of beverages including an excellent organic lemonade. Further pizza 'specials' were detailed on a blackboard outside the restaurant from which my dining companion made their choice (roasted eggplant, parmigiano, tomato, basil).

In the Neapolitan tradition, the crust was tender and pliable with successful mouth delivery requiring the use of cutlery/folding. Ample char, and tang from the sourdough leavening dominated an otherwise bland cornicione. The tomato sauce tasted just like one might expect from uncooked, unadulterated canned tomatoes with no real sweetness but plenty of raw acidity. The basil was a token single leaf which added little to the overall flavour or balance of the pie.  For an extra 90 pence, I had upgraded my order from the standard fior di latte to buffalo mozzarella.  Sadly the cheese was the weakest point of the pizza. What I received had a slightly stringy texture (not creamy)  despite the pizzas arriving nice and hot from the oven situated no more than 12 feet from where I was sitting. Tastewise, the cheese bore an unpleasant similarity to 'slightly off' mozzarella. Perhaps the bufala they were using was already past its best? Anyway, it was disappointing and left me wondering what the regular fior di latte is like. Based on the small sample I tried, the eggplant combination worked better than the margherita. The eggplant was well-seasoned and the basil marginally more generous but I suspect the pie mainly benefitted from the absence of mozzarella.

You'd be hard pushed to quibble with the bill (averaging around 6 GBP per pie). The prices seemed very reasonable for London and must surely be a key factor in the pizzeria's continuing success. 

In summary, the pizza was competent; good even. It ticked all the right boxes for a Neapolitan-style pizza but the cheese was a letdown. Everything was well balanced and executed but not exceptional. Perhaps my expectations were a little too high, having read many of the threads on these forums about Marco Parente's work with Franco Manca (as stated on the menu itself). I can't say the special 'crisceto' imparted any flavour that I could call outstanding or unique. Tangy? yes but none of the complexity or depth that I normally associate with long fermentation. Would I go back? Yes, if I was in the area but while wood-fired Neapolitan pizza is still scarce in England, I wouldn't consider Franco Manca a 'destination pizzeria'.


Offline southcoastpizzalover

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 9
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2011, 02:07:54 PM »
I found this place the other week. It is very understated to say the least - it's in Brixton market opposite a fishmonger!

I thought it was pretty good, especially for the price. The base was pretty burnt but this added nicely to the flavour and the crust was thick and nicely risen. The only criticism is that in some of the thicker parts of the crust the  insides were slightly doughy and could have done with an extra few seconds cooking. Otherwise, very good!

Offline gib

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Leeds, UK
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2011, 07:11:26 AM »
Apologies for bumping this thread but I thought I would post my mini review here instead of making a new thread. I visited Franco Manca a few months ago whilst in London. Visiting Franco Manca was one of the main reasons for my 2 hour train trip to London. In similar circumstances to the author of this thread, I got there 20 mins before it opened and there were people already waiting. I managed to get a seat outside and ordered a margherita. My friends ordered a Chorizo pizza and a Ham pizza. The food arrived fairly quickly and the pizzas were spot on. They went down very well with the organic lemonade.

I enjoyed my pizza so much I ordered a second one as soon as I had finished the first. This one was just as good and was consumed as quickly as the first!

In comparison to the only other similar Pizzeria I have tried in London (Santa Maria in Ealing) I would rate Franco Manca higher due to the flavour, as I found Santa Maria pizzas to be a little salty. I agree with the author on this thread that neopolitan pizza in a rareity in England, even more so in Leeds (which is where I live). I am planning on visiting London again this weekend and will be stopping by to sample a pizza before watching the Formula 1. Forza Franco and Forza Ferrari!

Offline pizzanapoletana

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 958
  • Location: London -UK
  • Pizza Napoletana as it was made in 1730!
    • Forno Napoletano - Pizza Ovens
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #3 on: September 28, 2011, 12:52:28 PM »
Hi Gib,

You may want to visit the new branch at Westfield Stratford (Olympic Village - London) where we have supplied 2 fantasticly decorated Forno Napoletano's.


Regards,

Marco

Offline pizzanapoletana

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 958
  • Location: London -UK
  • Pizza Napoletana as it was made in 1730!
    • Forno Napoletano - Pizza Ovens
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2011, 08:18:34 AM »
I visit the new Franco Manca @ Westfield Stratford City Yesterday where we have installed two Forno Napoletano Ovens.

Here are some pictures taken with my phone

Offline wheelman

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 810
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #5 on: October 05, 2011, 09:00:17 AM »
 Marco,  what a beutiful setup - ovens, layout and PIES!  thanks for posting. 
bill

Offline gib

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 3
  • Location: Leeds, UK
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #6 on: October 06, 2011, 06:00:50 AM »
Westfield looks good! I decided to re-visit brixton as it has a little charm to it being the first franco manca. Pizzas were perfect as always, just wish there was somewhere closer to Leeds where I could get my pizza fix!

Offline pizzanapoletana

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 958
  • Location: London -UK
  • Pizza Napoletana as it was made in 1730!
    • Forno Napoletano - Pizza Ovens
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #7 on: October 06, 2011, 12:40:55 PM »
Westfield looks good! I decided to re-visit brixton as it has a little charm to it being the first franco manca. Pizzas were perfect as always, just wish there was somewhere closer to Leeds where I could get my pizza fix!

If things keep going well it may not be tto long before you find Franco Manca and similar set up everywhere... In 1997 in london there was only one wood fired pizzeria, now these are opening every month...


Offline andreguidon

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 1166
  • Age: 34
  • Location: Sao Paulo
  • Hot WFO always !!!
    • www.andreguidon.com
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #8 on: October 06, 2011, 05:07:54 PM »
congrats Marco! If you stop by and Rafael is working say Hi from me... he is from Brasil and a friend!
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline pizzanapoletana

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 958
  • Location: London -UK
  • Pizza Napoletana as it was made in 1730!
    • Forno Napoletano - Pizza Ovens
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #9 on: August 13, 2012, 05:08:52 AM »
New Record this past Saturday at the Westfield Stratfod City Branch (Olympic Park):
1130 Pizze in one day. Unheard of outside Naples...


Offline PizzaVera

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 205
  • Location: Pizza Heaven
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #10 on: October 27, 2012, 01:13:17 AM »
wow, now we have fast food style Napoli pizza,  :'(

people always have to ruin a traditional product and try and profit from it!
I hope we don't see a franco manca on every corner!!!
let's not exploit napoli pizza and turn it into mc donalds!
no to franchises!

Offline scott r

  • Supporting Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3061
  • Age: 43
  • Location: boston
  • I Love Pizzafreaks!
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #11 on: October 27, 2012, 09:30:15 AM »
Personally my feeling is.... if the quality is as good as a mom and pop operation, I would be more than happy to be able to buy neapolitan pizza anywhere. 

Offline PizzaVera

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 205
  • Location: Pizza Heaven
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #12 on: October 27, 2012, 10:08:06 PM »
Personally my feeling is.... if the quality is as good as a mom and pop operation, I would be more than happy to be able to buy neapolitan pizza anywhere. 

I agree, but we all know the odds for that happening are slim.
inexperienced staff are the main problem.

Offline BrickStoneOven

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1586
  • Location: Boston
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2012, 03:27:06 PM »
wow, now we have fast food style Napoli pizza,  :'(

people always have to ruin a traditional product and try and profit from it!
I hope we don't see a franco manca on every corner!!!
let's not exploit napoli pizza and turn it into mc donalds!
no to franchises!

You do realize that NP is fast food right.

Offline PizzaVera

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 205
  • Location: Pizza Heaven
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #14 on: October 30, 2012, 03:13:56 AM »
You do realize that NP is fast food right.

lol, sure the food comes out fast, but I wouldn't call a  da michele  a dominoes would you?


Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11649
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #15 on: October 30, 2012, 09:26:18 AM »
lol, sure the food comes out fast, but I wouldn't call a  da michele  a dominoes would you?



I wouldn't call either da Michele or Domino's fast food (and that's not a complement for Domino's).
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline BrickStoneOven

  • Lifetime Member
  • *
  • Posts: 1586
  • Location: Boston
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #16 on: October 30, 2012, 02:06:57 PM »
lol, sure the food comes out fast, but I wouldn't call a  da michele  a dominoes would you?



Why does "fast food" have to be considered unhealthy or over processed? Fast food is fast food, weather you're getting over processed food from McDonald's or you're getting NP pizza with high quality ingredients or you're getting some sushi. It's all fast food IMO. There's a reason why Di Matteo has a street window to sell fried goods and smaller pizzas to people who don't want to go in and sit down. What they are doing would be considered fast food to me.

And since when was Domino's fast food? It takes them 30+ minutes to get to your house on a normal day.

Offline TXCraig1

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 11649
  • Location: Houston, TX
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #17 on: October 30, 2012, 02:32:35 PM »
Why does "fast food" have to be considered unhealthy or over processed? Fast food is fast food, weather you're getting over processed food from McDonald's or you're getting NP pizza with high quality ingredients or you're getting some sushi. It's all fast food IMO. There's a reason why Di Matteo has a street window to sell fried goods and smaller pizzas to people who don't want to go in and sit down. What they are doing would be considered fast food to me.

I think you are right, but I also think the common slang usage is to describe inexpensive, unhealthy food - as the Urban Dictionary defines it: "Food that comes with twice the grease at half the cost"
I love pigs. They convert vegetables into bacon.

Offline PizzaVera

  • Registered User
  • Posts: 205
  • Location: Pizza Heaven
Re: Franco Manca (Brixton)
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2012, 12:12:51 AM »
I can agree about the fast food comment,
but let's talk about franchise model businesses then.

if this business franco manca starts to franchise and open a store all over England you can be sure they will be out for profits
which means if they sell the franchises to owners, those franchisees will have to buy all ingredients from the franchiser,
so the franchiser will be buying in BULK, and cheaper quality to get higher returns on their ingredients.
also the employee turn over will be high, so training pizzaiolo to work the ovens will be quick , as we know it takes quite a considerable amount of time to be professional, it's not like flipping burgers at mc donalds now is it? or is it?

I am not saying the final product wont taste good, but it wont be amazing, and with franchises you are not going for amazing, you are going for consistency and profits.  so... yeah.. hey.. I am not totally against franchise NP, after all it's just pizza.

they will fit a demographic, just not me.


 

pizzapan