Testing the pizzas at Alfredo’s Pizzeria

Alfredo's Pizzeria

Alfredo’s Pizzeria is ramping up to open tomorrow, Friday 7 June, by running a couple of test kitchen sessions and I was invited to sample their wares. And who doesn’t like pizza?

Alfredo's Pizzeria

Alfredo’s Pizzeria is brought together by the team behind Alfred and Constance, yet has its own distinctive vibe. It is a much smaller space than its Queenslander sibling next door, but the converted warehouse space has a number of cute features, such as the hodge podge mosaic wall of retro window frames and panes, or mega old school fooze ball table. Even the overhead bell lamps are a throwback to a long gone industrial age, adding a warmth to the room while the larger-than-life backlit portrait of ‘Alfredo’ stuffing his face with a pizza loomed over the patrons.

I was lucky I had Anthony of Food Me Up Scotty and the fellows from Lucid Media for company – fellow foodies mean you get to dig into a variety and talk about – you guessed it! – food. Even if they take the mickey out of your attempt to be vegetarian for the month.

Alfredo's Pizzeria

The Italian Mimosa

Drinks are always a good way to start an evening and Alfredo’s Pizzeria offers a little selection with a splash of Italian flavour. It might not be as extensive a range as the Tiki Bar next door, but you might snag a front row seat at the bar if you’re lucky. The orange-red Campari cocktail looked particularly popular that evening.

But with drink, one should have food.

Alfredo's Pizzeria

Arancini balls (4) with a cheese wafer

The arancini balls were crunchy and the perfect size for two bites each. While I did find a smidgeon of cheese in the centre, it didn’t rock my world. The rice was a little dry (perhaps the reason why it held together so well), so did it need a thick tomato sauce? The umami-ness of mushrooms? Maybe a drizzle of truffle oil? Whatever it is, the arancini balls needed something to ease the crunch and add more pizzazz.

The accompanying cheese wafer disc on the other hand, got better and stronger in flavour the longer you chewed it. A good little appetizer to whet the appetite for the main attractions, but be careful! It crumbles like a rice cracker, so lean forward over your plate when biting into it lest you cover yourself in embarrassing cheese flakes.

Alfredo's Pizzeria

Salt and pepper calamari

Alfredo's Pizzeria

Mac and cheese with bacon

The Mac and Cheese apparently came highly recommended by Jessalyn of Feed Me Now Brisbane, but seeing as it had bacon, I had to pass on it. It doesn’t use the traditional macaroni pasta shape, but would you hold it against them? It also looked much drier than other versions of this classic I’ve tried, so for those adverse to the traditional gooeyness, you might like to give this one a go.

Alfredo's Pizzeria

Handmade gnocchi with roasted pumpkin, sage and pine nuts

Now here was something I could relish during my vegetarian month. The gnocchi is a main meal dish and absolutely gorgeous! They were silky smooth and soft to bite into, and soaked up the flavour from the sage. The roasted pine nuts added a textural difference to roll one’s tongue around, as the pumpkin was just as soft as the gnocchi. This is the one dish I would go back for again and again.

Alfredo's Pizzeria

Chuck Berry (mozarella, basil on a tomato base)

Alfredo's Pizzeria

Brown Sugar (meatballs with pancetta on bourbon BBQ sauce)

Alfredo's Pizzeria

Joan Jett (olives, anchovies with caramelised onion and chilli)

We ordered several pizzas to try and while I couldn’t eat the Brown Sugar pizza (which the boys seemed to love), I did have three available vego/pescetarian options – far more than I thought there might be, so wohoo!

While I cannot fault the ingredients nor their combination, the base was a tad too soggy in the centre for my liking. The outer rim was perfectly pillowy in the centre with a crisp shell exterior, so might have been able to afford a little more time in the oven or maybe the oven wasn’t hot enough.

The chef was too heavy handed with the chillies on the Joan Jett. After I took one bite, I resorted to picking out the rest of the chilli from my slice to finish it. Others left the rest of their slice untouched. I was told the same pizza was not as hot the night before, so hopefully they’ll have the balance right for the opening.

Alfredo's Pizzeria

Waffle with limoncello gelato and lemon curd

Not pictured is the warm chocolate pudding with vanilla ice-cream, which Anthony decided he couldn’t get enough of. I opted for a much popular waffle with limoncello gelato and lemon curd. It is a fairly large portion after a meal of pizzas, but worth every last inch of spare stomach space I had. The waffle was lighter than I had expected and soaked up the creamy limoncello as it melted and blended into the zesty lemon curd.

Obviously attending a test kitchen session meant we experienced a couple of things that might get tweaked prior to the opening, but I’m looking forward to visiting them again and trying their meat options after this vegetarian month is over.

 

Alfredo's Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer: I dined at Alfredo’s Pizzeria on a test kitchen night as an invited guest of Alfredo’s Pizzeria and Lucid Media