DA Sandro has to be one of the oldest restaurants in Huddersfield – or perhaps to coin a more politically correct phrase these days, one of the most well-established.
When my wife Ruth and I had just met in those BC (before children) days we’d pop into Da Sandro’s for a pizza.
Now the best part of 30 years since we met, a marriage, a hefty mortgage, four children and countless pets later and we were back.
Times are hard, so we were back for the early bird menu.
This runs lunchtimes, early evenings and all afternoon on Sundays and means you can have any pasta or pizza for £7.75 and any hot or cold starter for £6.95.
But still, with six of us to feed, it would overstretch the family budget.
And so we moved away from the traditional way of looking at the menu and instead decided to order a mix of starter and mains and share the lot.
The thought did cross my mind as to how wildly restaurants would welcome this approach. At Da Sandro’s not a single eyelid was batted.
It was quiet when we went in mid Sunday afternoon and so we had the comfortable lounge area to ourselves where we could carefully plot our culinary mix and match.
Da Sandro prides itself on its Italian heritage – the waiters speak Italian – and they’re certainly exceptionally child friendly. We asked for five cokes apart from six-year-old Harry who wanted Pepsi. Why or how he can taste the difference will always remain a mystery but the waiter said that was fine with a wink to me. Clearly it was coke or now’t.
“Ah yes, Pepsi,’’ he said. “Coming right up.’’
And five cokes turned up with Harry still thinking he’d been different with his ‘Pepsi.
I was right. He can’t tell the difference.
For starters we shared homemade pizza bread with tomato, garlic and herbs, a Nicoise salad featuring Italian tuna, boiled egg and green beans and an Antipasto plate of cold Italian meats.
A varied mix which worked well together. The salad is something we’ll try to recreate at home – if that’s not a healthy choice I don’t know what is – while the garlic bread was reasonably plain and went well with the spicier slices from the antipasto.
Now that’s the taste of the Mediterranean.
For mains it was a couple of pizzas – Pizza Sandro featuring pepperoni, Dolcelatte cheese, roast ham, olives, onions and smoked chicken and a Pepperoni pizza – along with a starter portions of tagliatelle alla vodka – egg pasta strips sauteed with courgettes and Dublin bay prawns flamed with vodka and finished with basil and a lasagne in a cheese sauce.
Da Sandro prides itself on the freshness of its pizzas with a chef always on standby to pop them in their special pizza oven.
It means you can’t go wrong with a pizza there while the vodka gave the tagliatelle a quirky twist, giving the tomato-based sauce taste an even more robust flavour. The prawn lurking within it sure was a big fella.
Again the piping hot lasagne had a deep richness as the cheese had melted into the meat.
It was share and share again time for pudding with a zesty lemon cheesecake that had just the right refreshing zing, a squelchy sticky toffee pudding oozing with toffee and a far drier and less messy dime cake that was a chocolate shop on a plate.