Sandyford is the sort of place you drive through on the way to somewhere else. What you may not realise is, lurking amidst the rows of houses, there are some pretty great local cafes and restaurants to try out. Having recently reviewed newly opened Harissa Kitchen, and historically visited The McCrouzer Cafe and Caffe Zonzo, I was surprised to discover – thanks to the wonders of Twitter – another eatery had popped up there.
Mascalzone is located right across the street from Zonzo, in fact, with an outside seating area occupied by folks enjoying a chilled Italian beer on the day we visited. I’ll not mention it was actually raining, ok? 🙂 Billed as a Sardinian Deli Caffe, it certainly has the right feel about it and reminded me a lot of Pani’s. I made the snap decision to eat there as an avoidance technique. The Teen, for a reason known only to him, said he wanted to eat at Pizza Hut. While I usually have no objections to eating in chains, I do have an issue with consuming pizza somewhere like this. The only exception to this rule is Zizzi’s, which we visited with Mr. Canny to try out their vegan dishes. We have so many fantastic independent pizza restaurants in the North East (Cal’s Own, Pizzeria Italia, The Wood Oven, for example) that we have little need to consume homogenous food in such charmless surroundings.
He seemed placated by the replacement, especially as it allowed him to do some Pokemon hunting too. Don’t get me started on this new fad! I was disappointed to discover there was no baby change facilities, which resulted in Dinky being perched precariously on the seat while I struggled one handedly with nappies and wipes. Seriously, why don’t places think of these things straight away?
I was also surprised by a lack of offers on the menu for lunch, but with prices hoovering round the £6 – £7 mark for a 12 inch pizza it seemed reasonable enough.
The Teen decided upon their Gianlucas which is presented, rather niftily, in a star shape. With wedges of pepper nestled in the points, this pizza balanced the sweetness from the tomato base with the salty cheese it was topped with.
My Pizza Fedez featured tomato, mozzarella, spinach & caramelized onions. The base was thin and crispy, meaning it wasn’t too filling eating a whole pie to myself. The side order of fries we shared wasn’t wholly necessary, but they were nice regardless.
There was no room for dessert, although the Tiramisu that sat in the cabinet looked tempting. A selection of antipasti is available too, which was served up to another table while we were dining. At £20 for 3 items, seemed generous enough as a lunch to share if wanting something different to their pizza and pasta.
Sandyford is an area which widely attracts students to live on account of its proximity to Newcastle’s two universities. The cafes and restaurants of the area must be an attractive selling point too. With some canny eateries like Mascalzone in stumbling distance of your own front door, I’m envious of those who live in areas like this where there are great local independents to grab a coffee or leisurely brunch. At just under £20 for 2 pizzas, drinks and a side, it was reasonably priced, and the staff exude warmth. While we may have further to travel for their pizza, we’d happily make the trip again.
Thanks for reading,