Dining at Sale Pepe like visiting an old friend. It may have been around 20 years since my last meal at one of Jesmond’s longest standing eateries, but I won’t leave it so long next time round.
We were invited along to try out their ‘Ladies who Lunch’ offer, which is available from 11 – 4pm, Thursday to Saturday. This includes a choice of pizza, pasta, salad or risotto from their menu, washed down with unlimited Prosecco. Of course, they aren’t sexist, so men can also enjoy this boozy lunch. This is available at just £20 per person, and would be perfect for a gossipy date with friends.
Taking my mum and sister with me, we actually decided against this ‘all you can drink’ bargain as I had the car and the baby. Definitely not the best forward planning on my part! We did, however, indulge in a glass of something fizzy while choosing from Sale Pepe’s extensive Happy Hour menu. This operates Monday to Saturday, 12 until 6:30pm, for £8.95.
Looking at the kids options – which I find myself doing now – I was pleased to see a corker of an offer. Under 12’s can get 3 courses, which includes a half portion of pizza or pasta for not-so-big tummies, for just £4.95. I’m sure they’ll enjoy the ice cream for dessert!
Mum ordered Black Pudding, which came in peppercorn jus. She was presented with two thick pieces, generously covered in creamy sauce. Living ‘darn sarf’, she doesn’t see this on the menu very often, and thoroughly enjoyed this reminder of her Northern roots.
My sister went for the considerably less controversial Potato Skins, while I opted for Funghi Bruschetta.
One thing that struck me was how generous the portion sizes were. I often find with Happy Hour deals you are served up something akin to a child’s plate-worth of food. Not at Sale Pepe! My mum even took some of her pizza home with her, while me and the sister battled through our bowls.
My mum’s pizza had a thin and crispy base, which was generously topped with a mildly spiced bolognese-style sauce. Lucy’s Carbonara and my risotto were both well- executed dishes too.
Mindful of whether I could return with Mr. Canny, I asked about vegan options. I was reassured that as everything is cooked fresh by their chefs that they can try to omit any ingredient that could be an issue, meaning that those following a vegan diet or are lactose intolerant needn’t worry about missing out on decent Italian grub. It’s a shame they don’t have dairy-free cheese available, but all in good time 😉
We were all impressed with the food and the ambience of Sale Pepe. Visiting on a Thursday afternoon, the restaurant was surprising busy. This is a testament to the quality of the food on offer. Sale Pepe pride themselves on freshly prepared food and a friendly atmosphere, and I will definitely return.
Thanks for reading,
You can read our Top 5 Places to Eat in Jesmond, which features Sale Pepe, here.