Author Topic: Franco Manca Pizza - Brixton Market - London UK  (Read 26397 times)

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Offline mikeintj

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Re: Franco Manca Pizza - Brixton Market - London UK
« Reply #60 on: November 20, 2008, 05:32:58 AM »

So, after all the reviews of Franco Manca I decided a couple of days ago to make the 150 mile round trip to check it out. I should say that I had never had this style of pizza before, but I had bought the two Italian starters and had experimented with them. So I was particularly interested in the sourness (or otherwise) of the dough. My own attempts at bread making using these starters resulted in loaves that were too sour for my own taste, but my father loved this sourness and he is now a weekly baker using these starters.

My visit was twofold since I am seriously considering open a pizzeria. I therefore wanted to check on the business model employed. Since my visit wasn't totally positive, I had decided not to post my thoughts. But then the poster above is also interested in the business side of Franco Manca, and when a master chef from Bloomberg.com can give the pizza 11 out of 10, it matters little what a guy like me thinks.

The shop is located in a small indoor shopping arcade off of the famous Electric Avenue. It is only open from 12 - 5 pm. It occupies two shops, with the two shops opposite each other separated by about 10 feet. It appears that there is a bakery above the shop where the pizza dough is prepared, but I was wondering whether they also make loaves there too. It brought a wry smile to my face observer one baker struggling to handle some extremely wet dough. I've been there bro! I would imagine the rent is extremely low. An adjacent fish seller did not have a single customer in the 45 minutes that I was there.

Since it was my first time there I did not choose a good seat, and was unable to watch the pizzas being loaded into the oven. I got there about 20 minutes after opening and there were about 8 other people there. By the time I left there were about 30 customers, with more arriving all the time. I would imagine from 1pm it is full (50 seats?). I had to share my table, no big deal.

I ordered as soon as I sat down, choosing the chorizo pizza with the homemade lemonade. Lemonade (which was delicious) arrived straight away. Unfortunately the pizza didn't. And it still didn't arrive for more than 15 minutes. I was more than a little annoyed at this but having read Anthony Bourdain, knew that you should never complain in a restaurant. If you were one of the customers arriving after 1pm, I wonder how long you would have waited?   
 
The pizza arrives and looks exactly like in the pictures above, only with chorizo. There was surprisingly no hint of sourness in the extremely light dough which, as expected, you need a knife and fork to eat. In retrospect it was a mistake to order the chorizo. It was strong tasting and dominated the pizza. I should have started with a simple cheese and tomato pie.

Now for the charring. This was the first time I had eaten a pizza that had such charring in the lip of the pizza. I had frequently read that this adds to the taste of the dough. Not in my opinion. Mouthfuls of pizza would frequently be dominated by a taste of burnt dough. This is all about personal tastes and you may like this particular taste. But for people with tastes like mine the problem is that in a relatively small pizza (12 inches?) if you choose to leave the burnt bits, there isn't much left to eat.

This style of pizza isn't for me, nor is it for the blue-collar market that I hope to open a pizzeria in. But in London it is clearly a winner, and the owner is producing a pizza that is the best of its type.

A final thought on the business side. I counted 3 waitresses, 1 pizza loader, 1 overseer, and there might have been one (or two) others helping the pizza loader. It seemed to me excessively labor intensive for a business that can only generate income for 5 hours. But with an extremely impressive reputation (even my sister had heard of this place and she knows nothing about pizzas), I would imagine the owner is now in a position to open in a more conventional (and expensive!) location. 

 





Online Pete-zza

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Re: Franco Manca Pizza - Brixton Market - London UK
« Reply #61 on: December 11, 2009, 07:29:39 PM »
For a recent favorable review of Franco Manca Pizza, see http://palatepress.com/2009/12/the-pizza-review-2009/.

Peter

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Franco Manca Pizza - Brixton Market - London UK
« Reply #62 on: January 10, 2010, 08:59:07 AM »
Second branch now open in Chiswick, in a proper restaurant site. Overcharring is not what we aim for but due to the volumes involved in Brixton, unfortunatelly more often that we would like a substandard pizza gets to the customer table

Infoodel

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Re: Franco Manca Pizza - Brixton Market - London UK
« Reply #63 on: January 10, 2010, 11:09:29 AM »
Second branch now open in Chiswick, in a proper restaurant site. Overcharring is not what we aim for but due to the volumes involved in Brixton, unfortunatelly more often that we would like a substandard pizza gets to the customer table

Hey Marco - I was planning to head over to the Brixton Franco Manca last week but snow/ice meant that didn't happen.
Is the pizza (and menu) identical at both the Chiswick site and Brixton...and is there parking near the Chiswick restaurant?

Cheers,

Toby

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Franco Manca Pizza - Brixton Market - London UK
« Reply #64 on: January 10, 2010, 04:40:28 PM »
hi Marco !

dint hear from you anymore... still waiting on your email about ovens...
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci

Offline David

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Re: Franco Manca Pizza - Brixton Market - London UK
« Reply #65 on: January 11, 2010, 10:06:38 AM »
CHISWICK ?.... >:(

I left Chiswick over 25 years ago,and now it seems Chiswick High Rd has more pizzerias than Via Tribunali !! I think i'll move back.Good luck,i'm sure FM will blow them all away,
regards,
David
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline David

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Re: Franco Manca Pizza - Brixton Market - London UK
« Reply #66 on: January 11, 2010, 10:16:38 AM »
From http://dailyepicurean.blogspot.com/2009/12/franco-manca-chiswick-london.html

"The menu and formula here is the same simple 6 pizzas but there are some additions on the wines and beers . An organic Czech Lager and a range of Piedmontese wines from an Organic Wine cooperative."

It seems they took over the existing Eco spot if my info is correct?
If you're looking for a date... go to the Supermarket.If you're looking for a wife....go to the Farmers market

Offline pizzanapoletana

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Re: Franco Manca Pizza - Brixton Market - London UK
« Reply #67 on: January 12, 2010, 03:09:31 PM »
Apologies for the long absence, but it has been a very intensive here with my corporate commitments, the role with Forno Napoletano, few consultancies here and there, and my first son... (andreguidon, please email me again and will reply within two days).

To be fair, I have not been there since they have opened the second branch, but was there several times during the planning and I am in regular touch with the owner.

David, you are correct, it is the same site and there are now additional partners in the owing company, so there are more locations planned

Offline andreguidon

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Re: Franco Manca Pizza - Brixton Market - London UK
« Reply #68 on: January 16, 2010, 04:43:08 PM »
Hi Marco,

Congrats on your first son !!!

ill email you... thanks !
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." Leonardo da Vinci