A staple of any Italian menu is a burger! 

When Christmas shopping at a huge retail park there are many choices one has when picking somewhere to eat. Unfortunately all of them are terrible. The usual array of chain restaurants and fast food places light up the centre of the over crowded car park like the prostitutes of Amsterdam. Not being able to stomach a KFC and not feeling adolescent enough for a Nando’s-no matter how cheeky it is- we decided on Bella Italia. We were stuck for choice between two places. The aforementioned and another chain Italian restaurant called Ask Italian. We chose the quietest one and now I regret this massively. We were greeted at the door and shown to a small table for two in the corners of the restaurant. There were perhaps only 6 or 7 other tables in at this time and for some reason all these other tables were in touching distance of ours. I could have leaned over and dipped my breadstick in another man’s tapenade whilst two thirds of the restaurant sat empty. This cluster fuck of a seating arrangement was made steadily worse when a children’s football team came in for there Christmas party. Dabbing and bottle flipping their way through the crowded corner of the restaurant and taking centre stage in the centre of us all made for a very impersonal meal and I would have felt less like I was in a nursery if I had wandered into a McDonald’s on a Saturday afternoon. I would have to drink many bottles of beer for this to be somewhat bearable, but with only a penny change from a fiver for a bottle of beer I would have to take it easy. 

The menu was fucking abysmal. Absolutely nothing Italian about it. The guy next to me had a burger for fuck sake. My partner and I had an antipasto share board to start and one of the items on this was chargrilled courgettes. Sounds great. But what came where cold, dry and tasteless. How they were cold if they had been chargrilled was beyond me but they still managed to get the little black lines on them. Other cheeses, meats, dips and bread surrounded a hill of dry wilted rocket leaves. 

Pasta wasn’t an option as the lady sat three inches to my right had pasta and it looked shit.-another reason to space out your tables.- pizza it was then. Paying homage to my student, binge drinking, kebab eating days I decided on the meat lovers pizza. I decided against getting it stretched out a little thinner than usual as that would cost me £1.50 and they don’t look any different size wise. Billy bear ham that looked like it had been shot through a colander, three rashers of bacon and 5 slices of pepperoni made up this shit heap and I wish I had gone to the kebab shop. At least they cook the pizza in the middle. 

Overall £55 for a terrible meal in an even worse environment paired with an absurdly expensive warm beer. I would have rather gone to a wetherspoons. 

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