30th April 2013
Anyone for pepperoni tail - we found ourselves saying as we shared our leftovers from The Ropery with the office. The dinosaur-shaped cheese and tomato pizza, complete with meaty tail, was the cherry on top of our meal which was such good value for money we struggled to clear our plates.
For the past couple of months I’ve been moonlighting at Sun FM in the wee hours of the morning before I head off to Echo Towers for my day shift. The station’s hosting a discount dining offer - in which you buy a voucher worth £40 for £20 - at restaurants across the area and I was invited along by Breakfast Show host Simon Grundy to find out what bargain hunters can get for their money.
I’ve eaten at The Ropery many times during its restaurant’s various incarnations - but this has to be one of the best. Nowadays they’re specialising in stone-baked pizzas. The price remains the same - £5.95 each - but the choice of toppings is vast from the novelty dino-shaped pizza for kids, which is cheaper than the norm at £3.95, to the chicken bang bang which features an unusual combination of chicken, peanut butter and tobasco.
The starters, meanwhile, feature basic favourites such as garlic breads, nachos and potato skins.
Simon tucked into a tomato garlic bread for £3.45 to start while I worked my way through a huge bowl of mixed olives for just £1.95.
If I hadn’t been with Simon it would have felt quite romantic with the cosy booths, rustic decor, roaring open fire and views overlooking the River Wear. Indeed, it’s easy to forget what a great location The Ropery has, not only for food, but for the many live bands who belt out tunes on its stage.
As we moved onto the main course, I wasn’t feeling brave enough for the bang bang so opted for the seafood option. Soon after ordering I was presented with a perfect base - crispy yet light - laden with mussels, squid and prawns. Eyes bigger than my belly, I ordered a green salad as an accompaniment but portion size was so big I couldn’t manage both. Simon was impressed with his choice too. In between regaling me with football talk, he found the time to order from the non-pizza section of the menu which features a range of pasta and rice options. The vast majority come in at the £5.95 mark and are Italian-inspired. For meat-lovers, there’s also a carvery choice and Sunday dinners which run from noon until 9pm for £6.95. Portion-size was spot on with Simon’s carbonara and it wasn’t so rich that it drowned out any flavour - a pet hate.
Neither of us could shoe-horn in a dessert but there’s a range of calorific treats for sweet tooths including hot chocolate fudge cake and house waffles, all priced £3.95. Staff were more than happy to box up our leftovers and untouched dino pizza. With drinks, our bill came to £36. If only we’d had enough room in our bellies to squeeze the remaining £4 out of our voucher.
Posted by Simon at 4:14pm