There are few things in life that are better for being floppy. And sogginess merely adds to the risk of failing to deliver satisfaction.
Which is why I walked away from the recently-opened Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza in Birmingham feeling morose and underwhelmed.
It was a place about which I’d heard good things – including from those whose opinions are nearly as valid as my own.
Perhaps I was unlucky, but this was as lacklustre meal as I’ve had in a very long time.
The Calabrese pizza that I ordered was hugely disappointing – burnt on one edge of its admittedly pleasantly fluffy rim but, in the centre, wet and insubstantial.
The topping of tomato, fior di latte cheese, basil and ‘njuja sausage was good, especially the sausage which had a good dirty and spicy tang.
But for me the glory of any pizza is the base and this lacked texture and any great flavour, with absolutely no smokiness from the oven.
My wife was likewise unimpressed by her Romagnola, a Margherita pimped-up by the addition of rocket, cured ham and parmesan shavings.
It looked far prettier than mine, but, like mine, was soggy.
An orange and fennel salad was a bit “meh” – a crude construction that I may have knocked up for lunch from leftovers.
A Caprese salad was better, largely because of good quality buffalo mozzarella that almost compensated for the wedges of underripe, almost favour-free tomatoes.
I gazed forlornly around Rudy’s, toying with food that remained uneaten.
The large space which used to accommodate Amantia has been transformed into something that appears urban, with harsh lighting, lots of exposed concrete and metalwork and faux rust on girders.
I suspect that such shabby chic doesn’t come cheap.
But this seems to me another chain restaurant that’s simply grown a hipster beard, had a couple of on-trend tattoos and pulled on a pair of shortened trousers to appear independent and edgy.
Service, however, was good – swift, friendly and efficient.
Alas, as I looked at a copy of a book called Where to Eat Pizza placed artfully nearby, I thought of several pizza joints in Birmingham at which I’d prefer to eat.
Soggy and floppy simply don’t do it for me.
Need to know
Prices are very cheap – two of us spent £26 for pizzas, salads and a couple of drinks.
The drinks list has some interesting beers, cocktails, a few wines and soft drinks.
It’s walk-ins only.
There are veggie options.
Rudy’s Neapolitan Pizza
9-10 Bennetts Hill, Birmingham B2 5RS. 0121 314 5880.