With tickets to see Ardan O’Hanlon at Funny in Falkirk, two colleagues and I headed to the best pizza joint this side of Napoli.
No, this isn’t a swanky Italian or even a hole in the wall pizza shop, but an unassuming pub with a genuine stone baked pizza oven.
Full disclosure: I worked in Northstar as a university student, while it was under the old guise of Rialto – the name most of Falkirk still calls it. The pizzas have always been incredible and even though I don’t qualify for staff discount anymore, it’s still my go to place for pizzas.
Deborah and other Kirsty had never been in Northstar for food before, having only entered the Vicar Street pub on various work nights out and they didn’t know they sold food.
The restaurant and diner features lots of chrome and red leather as well as loads of quirky art work. The pub is a regular haunt for local bands, so you won’t be subjected to any One Direction here – much to Deborah’s disappointment.
The brand new menu features other mains but the star of the show here is the hand spun dough, freshly made tomato sauce and the plethora of toppings.
The pizza menu is extensive, with unusual ingredients available such as sucuk, a spicy garlic sausage or halloumi while the Hamra Street is a Lebanese pizza, with a zaatar spiced base instead of standard marinara.
And they are good value, with 9 inch starting at £5.90 and 12 inch from £7.40 but if you sit in, the pizzas are unbelievably buy one get one free every single day.
Kirsty, a member of the Gaelic choir and purveyor of fine tartan, took a break from her staple diet of stovies and shortbread to try the exotic Italian dish.
Kirsty had the Veggie Peace and Love, a pizza with veg would you believe, while Deborah was fancy/fussy and went for half Chicken Mystic - roast chicken, mushrooms, onion and sweetcorn and half Barbary Coast - a barbecue sauce base with spicy chicken ham and onions. I had the Vivono per Sempre, goat cheese with red onion and fresh chilli.
All were amazing, super thin crunchy bases with fresh toppings but we made a schoolgirl error in ordering the 9 inch versions.
Luckily, we also ordered a mound of cheesy chips to tide us over.
The pizzas were washed down with a Shirley Temple mocktail for designated driver Deborah, wine for Kirsty and hard liquor for me.
Northstar just launched a new cocktail menu, so it was only right to try them out.
The French Martini was excellent and after being lambasted for my common cocktail choice, I had owner Colin’s recommendation of the Zacapa 23.
Zacapa 23 is a luxury rum and the cocktail came served with a shot of Italian espresso. While the pairing was a bizarre combo, it worked and the rich aged rum was set off by the strong coffee.
With two authentic Italian pizzas for as little as £5.90 at Northstar, I’ve no idea why you’d pay the big bucks at generic joints.
Our visit during Funny in Falkirk converted two more,
The pizzas at Northstar are a better kept Falkirk secret than the recipe for Irn Bru.
But I might have just let the cat out the bag. Mama Mia!