We review Bury St Edmunds pizza restaurant Dough&co, which serves authentic flavour at a reasonable price
As lockdown ended and Covid restrictions were lifted, people turned towards helping local independent businesses instead of funnelling money into national chains.
It is no different in Bury St Edmunds. A walk down Abbeygate Street and around the town will tell you that independent restaurants are thriving.
Abbeygate Street was where our reporters found themselves searching for a lunchtime treat at the popular Dough&co Woodfired Pizza one afternoon.
The Italian restaurant is popular for good reason, too. Sandwiched between its national chain big brothers, Pizza Express and Prezzo, Dough&co offers a perfect blend of authentic flavour.
Its offering extends little beyond woodfired pizza, but why divert away from what you excel in? There is pasta dishes, salads and excellent vegetarian and vegan options, which they have made their own expertise.
In our party of five, we all opted for pizza. In one reporter's opinion, a pizza is like a burger, or even a roast dinner. Everyone has had that one burger that won't be topped, or that their grandma's roast dinner is better than everyone else's.
And yet there was something about 'The Spicy One' that was just right. It was made from scratch - like all pizzas were - and grease didn't slide off the surface. Sometimes there is nothing better than a greasy pizza, but there is also nothing that beats a bona fide Italian tasting dish.
None of the ingredients overpowered each other. It was spicy, but wasn't too spicy. And feedback from all reporters suggested the same.
Praise was handed to the tomato base for its authentic and not-too-sweet flavour. The vegetarian pair in our party were complimentary of 'The Veggie One' pizza, with the combination of flavours a 'surprise'.
Plenty of thought and tasting sessions had gone into divulging that two types of mozzarella (already onto a win!) artichokes, shredded courgette and green pesto would work together. It would normally have black olives on it too, but we asked for it without.
To put it simply, it was delicious! The cheese was exactly how cheese on a pizza should be, stringy and creamy, which contrasted nicely to the crunchy but tasty woodfired pizza bread.
Neither of us had never tried either courgette or pesto on a pizza before but it worked! Unfortunately we weren't as big a fan of the artichoke. We didn't hate it but it was quite salty and just not what we'd choose to have on a pizza again.
If we visited again - which we very much hope to - we will most likely choose a different pizza, but thankfully there's so many to choose from. And at between £11-£13 a pizza, it's pretty good value for money.
We also look forward to trying their olive oils and dips and their desserts which look scrumptious.
Among the options selected from the expansive range of pizza were 'The Pepperoni One' and 'The Controversial One'. The controversial ham and pineapple is the marmite of the pizza world - you either love it or you hate it, an we loved it.
Praise must go to the staff and their wonderful customer service. We were sat down quickly and left after an hour having enjoyed our meal. As a party of five, they made space for us by moving a table, which is always a welcoming sign.
Dough&co, 39 Abbeygate Street
Overall Rating: We will definitely be returning ****
Food: Delicious and there's plenty of options to choose from ****
Drink: Not as much choice but still decent enough ***
Staff: Friendly and helpful, the most important characteristics to have *****
Price: Not breaking the bank and pretty good value for money ****
Ratings out of five