Last month I was lucky enough to be seeing the incredible musical Wicked for a second time while it is on tour in Southampton. Unsurprisingly, as someone is seeing something for a second time, I adored it but it was my foodie adventures while briefly in Southampton that was really interesting.
I have always been hard to feed but then I am a super-taster! If you don't know what this is, it basically means that I have more taste buds than you on my tongue so I can taste everything. This makes food overwhelming or gives me the ability to detect undertones of texture and taste that you might miss. In everyday life though it means that compared to you I eat very boring food! This has made going out to restaurants particularly difficult as I have ordered something I thought was plain only to find that they have added so much pepper (or preservative chemicals) that it makes it impossible to eat. It does also mean though that I have the ability to tell other people whether or not a place is really nice or not.
Now I don't live in Southampton so I am not aware of how often the food market appears on its street, but last Saturday, the main high street was teaming with stalls and vans of food from all around the world. Having turned up early so that I could get a few extra hours to catch up with my mum before the show, and not wanting to be hungry during the 3 hour performance, we strolled up and down to find somewhere suitable, As most of it contains spices and ingredients I know to avoid, my mum and I decided to check out this cute looking Pizza van!
For me it was an easy choice of Margarita, while my spice loving mum opted for a pepperoni pizza. Quite quickly it was easy to see that not only were we in for a enjoyable food experience, but that we would also enjoy the excitement to see our pizzas made right before our eyes.
The dough was spun and stretched all while he told us how this was a brand new venture of his and the history of his food.
In all the time to have two pizzas on a busy high street made for us was 6 minutes but all while his expertise shone through his words but nothing could prepare me for the pizza that came out of that mobile oven.
I have had a proper Italian pizza only a couple of times and usually when I have been abroad. The crust was soft and crisp all at once, there was not too much cheese nor was it overly greasy but it all allowed for the tomato sauce to really shine!
Now if you have been to a proper Italian restaurant, and I am not talking about the chains such as Prezzo, Strada or Pizza Express, you will probably understand the type of pizza that I am talking about. It was something that I would eat again and again - and that for me is a complement.
For both myself and my mum though, as we attended an afternoon performance with all her friends, we popped into a restaurant called Buffalo Bills afterwards. As it was a standard 'YEEEHAR!' kind of place, there were a lot of burgers on the menu. As normal I went boring and went for the very plain burger and chips feeling excited that they clearly state all their burgers are lovingly handmade.
What a disappointment though! The chips were not cooked properly so they were still solid inside, almost as if they were only warmed for 10 seconds, the bap had been burned leaving almost half of it inedible but the burger was a lump of clearly cheap beef pummeled into shape and cooked almost to dead. My bun was so burnt that I used the bun that my mum wasn't using as mine came darker than my clearly burnt burger! I had to leave half of my food as I didn't want to make a fuss in front of my mum's friends but it was not worth the £9 something that I paid for it.
So what should you take away from this - one see Wicked as it has now been the number one musical for the last ten years on broadway for a reason, however I would suggest watching it on the west end or Boradway or you will lose some of most impressive bits even though you are paying the same ticket price. Secondly if you are in Southampton and it is running its international street food market, visit the wonderful Fornobello and revel in the culinary delights you are about to behold. You can also visit the facebook page to find out what other events he will be at. Thirdly and most importantly... avoid Buffalo Bills unless you want wrong food orders, terrible food and very cheesy surroundings.
What are your favourite places to eat in Southampton and will you be watching Wicked on tour or at the west end?