I’m not sure there’s an item on the Pinocchio’s menu I haven’t eaten. As a young boy I devoured many a garlic bread with cheese on street corners, often wondering why I was the only lad who didn’t manage to pull.
As I grew bigger so too did my appetite. Not satisfied with the ten minute lead time for my fodder, I used to always have a piece of ‘chicken while you wait’. By the time I’d finished chomping on the breast (never been a leg man), my order would be ready.
As with any great food establishment, menus evolve and the KFC-style chicken kicked the bucket. But along came new additions to fill the void. My love of the humble hash brown blossomed and no order is ever complete without ‘hash browns for the walk home’. I like mine dead dead crispy with lashings of salt and vinegar. I have made it my quest in life to find a takeaway that does them better but so far I’m failing, happily.
Every week at Thursday Club I partake in this hash brown ritual. My issue now is that I’m becoming far too proficient and have usually eaten them before I’ve reached Pancake Corner (unfortunately closed at that time of the evening). But forward thinking means that it’s not long till I’m home tucking into half a hot shot pizza, a mixed kebab and some peri-peri chicken wings (free when you spend £15). You’ll note that I only have half a pizza and kebab. I’m not an animal.
I would walk from Timbuktu (or the nelly) in my flip-flops to christen my lips with Pinocchio’s hot sauce. Different to many of its counterparts, it’s a yogurt sauce but don’t be deceived by this detail – it still packs a mighty punch and is the perfect companion to those leftover pizza crusts. If you’re feeling really brave, you can try the tomato-based red hot sauce. Just make sure you’ve put a bog roll in the freezer.
Now Pinocchio’s does have its foibles. It has a pizza called ‘Hawaiian’ which contains fruit. The dirty bastards. And it doesn’t always serve perfect pizza. They have a tendency to undercook them so when I say well done, it’s an order rather than a compliment.
Where compliments are concerned, there can be none greater than saying Pinocchio’s is my go-to takeaway. With a food hygiene rating of 5, it’s uber-clean, cheap and very tasty (with or without the beer goggles).
Every week when I give them a call and hear the phrase “Good evening Pinocchio’s”, something of mine grows by an inch or so. And I’d be lying if I said it was my nose.