A cold and wet late October’s afternoon in Central Milton Keynes Shopping Centre doesn’t perhaps present one with the wealth of independent eateries that I’ve become accustomed to in my midweek London escapades, but there I was, hunting for some warm sustenance to continue braving the crowds. Strolling along I saw the lunchtime set menu offer at Carluccio’s, two-courses for £11.95 and headed on in, never having set foot inside a Carluccio’s before but having high hopes of an Italian lunchtime tasty treat.
Stratford Road, Wolverton is hardly a go-to of high-end gastronomic delight; Dixy Chicken, Silver Sea Chinese, Al Kebab Hut but to name a few. Oh, and a rather run down (but admittedly good) hand car wash and a petrol station. Not then a likely location then for a new (and credible) authentic family-run pizzeria.
Ask to anybody based in and around Fitzrovia or Tottenham Court Road where you can find the best pizzeria and you’re likely to be directed in the direction of Franco Manca.
I’ve been walking past this place for some time and have marveled at its undeniable popularity, with regular queues spilling out of the door for a table, coupled with a steady scurrying of office workers leaving with takeaway boxes thrust under their arm.
The obvious popularity, geared with the The Guardian‘s promise of the “best pizza in Britain”, led me down to Franco Manca with my team to try it out for ourselves. Would it really live up to the hype?
There seems to be a little bit of a food revolution going on in Milton Keynes – it’s never been a finer time to love good food and drink in the
city town. Whether you love the gourmet BBQ offerings of our friends at UrbanGrilla or Percy’s, beautifully presented gastro pub-grub from the likes of the Black Horse in Woburn, enjoy the Michelin-starred creations of Paris House in Woburn or perhaps a local tipple from the Concrete Cow Brewery or Virtual Orchard, Milton Keynes and the surrounding areas are transforming into a foodie’s dream…. despite the five Nandos! 🙂
Local start-up Affamato is the latest food venture offering a point of difference to the good people of Milton Keynes, promising fresh and authentic Italian wood-fire oven cooked pizza delivered to customers’ doors. As a bit of a pizza-lover myself, this was one I was really looking forward to trying and given it was a Monday evening and found myself entertaining guests, it seemed like the perfect opportunity to give Affamato a whirl… not that I needed much in the way of an excuse.