Ordering pizza can be a real hit or miss in my book.
The base has to be very thin and crisp and the toppings varied so there are dozens of restaurants I won’t venture back to because of their pitiful excuse for a pizza. Some places have really doughy pizzas, others stingy with their toppings and some restaurants even have the audacity to use bought-in bases.
But the North Star Bar is somewhere I go back to time and time again.
Basically, if you are looking for authentic Italian pizza, it’s the place to go.
The unassuming cafe in Vicar Street has Leda, known as Lola, Sweeney in the kitchen. The half Italian, half Falkirk chef has been cooking with her mother since she could hold a pan and ensures the menu has Italian staples as well as items you’d expect on a pub menu.
We started with crusty bread and olives served with balsamic vinegar and olive oil to tide us over until the main event.
A few minutes later, the entrees arrived and they didn’t disappoint. I plumped for an offering from the specials board - a halloumi cheese, roasted pepper and sunblush tomato pizza. The base was paper-thin and crispy and the plentiful toppings worked well together. The pizzas are handspun using fresh dough, topped with just about anything you fancy and cooked in a ceramic stone oven.
And the best part about them is they are always two for the price of one - making them great value with two 12” pizzas coming up in at around £9 - not much more than the price of a couple of decent frozen pizzas from the supermarket.
My other half opted for the handmade beef burger, using 100 per cent Scottish beef in a mini ciabatta with delicious Jarlsberg cheese and served with a mountain of shoestring fries and sides of salad and homemade coleslaw.
Being a veggie, I couldn’t taste it for myself but he assures it was delicious and far superior to the bought-in patties served in your average pub.
We were far too stuffed for dessert - which is lucky really seeing as North Star doesn’t sell any - but we did find space for a couple of cocktails to satisfy a sweet tooth.
Other items on the menu include handmade meatballs in a rich tomato sauce and topped with cheese, there’s a range of sandwiches, mac and cheese, nachos and - if you are feeling healthy - salads.
The service is laid back but friendly and you can easily pass the time until the food arrives looking at the quirky artwork that adorns the walls. A jukebox in the corner makes for an interesting talking point and means background music can be anything from current pop hits to reggae.
If you fancy pizza, North Star is a sure bet - just make sure there’s an even number of you going, or you’ll need to try to find space for two pizzas!
The North Star Bar is at 28 Vicar Street, Falkirk, telephone (01324) 622344.