Dinner with the kids Pizzas are reaching for the stars
In what must be a fairly unique switch, Planet Pizza recently downsized and swapped premises with The Burger Joint.
It's unusual in that Planet Pizza's new Cotham Hill site is half the size of its old one on Whiteladies Road.
On paper, it looks like The Burger Joint got the better deal as they have essentially doubled their capacity, but Planet Pizza owns the Whiteladies Road building anyway, so it's a win-win situation as far as the maths go.
With just a handful of tables, the new restaurant is certainly cosy but it's a pleasant space with pastel-coloured walls, fat church candles and colourful patchwork pendant lampshades made by local designer Lorraine White.
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Planet Pizza has been a well-known Bristol brand since it launched in 1996 and it has a second restaurant on Gloucester Road. There are also plans to open more, which comes as no surprise as it's a tried and tested formula.
As well as students, it also appeals to families with young kids and when we arrived early on a weekday evening it seemed like most of my daughter's classmates were in there.
There is no children's menu as such but the basic nine-inch tomato and mozzarella cheese "plan-it" pizza is only £4.95 and ample for youngsters with small appetites.
All the pizzas here come in nine or 12in sizes and each is named after a planet or something appropriately astronomical. Choices include the Earth (roast beetroot and squash, courgette, feta and garlic) and Mercury (fresh spinach, egg, cream cheese and cherry tomatoes).
Prices are well pitched, with most nine-inch pizzas costing between £4.95 and £8.50 and the larger versions averaging around the £12 mark. There are also salads, wraps, ciabatta rolls and milkshakes on offer.
A special lunchtime deal until 6pm Monday to Friday offers all nine-inch pizzas for just £5, which is excellent value.
We ordered the Saturn (bacon, mushroom and Gruyere, £7.95 for the nine-inch or £12.50 for the 12-inch) and the Mars (spicy ground beef, sausage, jalapeno and red onions, £8.50/£12.95).
Both were impressive with thin, crisp bases.
The five-year-old's tomato and mozzarella pizza was soon getting the thumbs-up, as was the single scoop of Marshfield strawberry ice cream (£1) that followed.
Our shared dessert was also enjoyable – a light and springy sticky toffee pudding (£3.95), with a layer of chopped dates at the bottom.