‘I bought my first take-out pizza in more than 35 years – and this is what I thought’

Take-out pizza from Bert's of Brandesburton
Take-out pizza from Bert's of Brandesburton -Credit:Deborah Hall/Hull Live

I last bought take-out pizza in 1988. I can be so specific because it was memorable, for all the wrong reasons.

We were decorating our first rental home together one evening after work and needed a quick meal in between hanging lengths of wallpaper and scrubbing paintwork. I popped to a pizza place in nearby east Hull and brought back a pizza, which we ate standing up (we had no furniture at that point) – then it all went downhill when I choked.

I had one of those horrible mozzarella moments when a strand of the stringy cheese was in no man’s land, part-way down, part-way up, and I couldn’t breathe properly. I won’t go into any more detail, suffice to say I lived to tell the tale, but pizza hasn’t figured in our takeaway choices ever since.


I’ve not been put off the dough-based dish entirely because of the ordeal; I’ll order it occasionally when eating out, or enjoy a slice or two from a home-cooked version, although I am always conscious of thoroughly chewing any cheesy topping. This week, however, we ventured into take-out territory again.

One of the closest spots to us these days is Bert’s Pizzeria, at Dacre Lakeside Park, Brandesburton. I popped in over a lunchtime to place my order for that same evening (if they are busy with restaurant bookings it can impact take-out requests, evidently, but this being a Monday night, there was no issue with my 7pm order).

Calzone version of Bert's tomato, mozzarella, Tuscan sausage, mushrooms and spinach pizza, served with a side salad and a pot of tomato-based sauce
Calzone version of Bert's tomato, mozzarella, Tuscan sausage, mushrooms and spinach pizza, served with a side salad and a pot of tomato-based sauce -Credit:Deborah Hall/Hull Live

The stone-baked pizzas Bert’s make are created from their own in-house dough, “hand-stretched and topped to order”. I was sure I got a waft of them, hot off the stone, as soon as I walked in the restaurant to collect them.

The boxes, clearly labelled with our numbered choices, were with me in a couple of minutes, and the contents smelled divine as I placed them in the car boot and drove the short distance home. Opening the lid on my partner’s choice, a calzone version of the tomato, mozzarella, Tuscan sausage, mushrooms and spinach pizza, revealed a humongous pizza-pasty, served with a side salad and a pot of tomato-based sauce.

My pizza, topped with tomato, mozzarella, goat’s cheese, chicken, baby spinach and caramelised onions, was also enormous – both hung over the sides of the largest plates we possess – and we tucked in with gusto. I did wonder if my other half would voice any disappointment – he is used to asking for a serving of Bolognese sauce to accompany a calzone, in tribute to a late friend who introduced him to it, and has never been left wanting.

Bert’s wasn’t able to provide the said topping; however, the tomato sauce that was provided got the thumbs-up, after being liberally drizzled over the calzone’s crust. It was packed with filling and “very tasty”, was the verdict.

Calzone pizza hanging over a plate's edges
Too big for the plate! -Credit:Deborah Hall/Hull Live

I was all set to demolish my pizza, which had a delicious, not-too-doughy, not-too-crispy base and plenty of topping, such was my appetite. I also snaffled my partner’s salad.

The caramelised red onions were particularly delicious and the goat’s cheese was mild and creamy – I didn’t have a spot of bother with the mozzarella, thankfully. The size of the pizza beat me in the end and two slices were left in the fridge for the following day.

I’ve no recollection of what the 1988 pizza cost. I am guessing it would be considerably less than the 2 x £13.95 we paid for our Bert’s ones, but this was a treat we won’t be indulging in every day and I am just glad to have my faith restored in take-out pizza.