Recently the Zijlstraat and a few other streets in Haarlem have attracted new restaurants.. Since I’m a foodie I always happily volunteer wher/whenever possible to test new places. So.. what better than to try ‘m out?! I heard good stories about a new pizzeria: BACK TO BASICS and was dying to go there! I enthused my friends Arianna & Silvana to accompany me and a few weeks ago we finally set a date..
We trickled in, one by one, on a Thursday evening and were warmly welcomed upon arrival at this restaurant. A family business, ran by dad, mom & daughter.
While I was seated I realised I’d been there before! Yes, back in the days when the building housed a (take out) shawarma place.. Although my eyes usually appreciate more adornments, the quite basic interior seems fittable to the pizzeria and is way better than the uninviting interior of the aformentioned shawarma place. Besides, a fancy interior is no guarantee for high quality food, right? So if I have to choose, I simply prefer quality over decoration..
The menu was simple, which made it easier for us to pick our choice. We ordered some pizzette and a glass of wine to start with. After those were served we decided to opt for a 3-course menu. In our attempt to let the food take us by surprise ~ and enable us to get to taste as many different things as we could ~ we chose two of the week’s/day specials and a mix of starters.
Sharing, exploring and experiencing is basically what you want whenever you ask a restaurant to serve you a plate of mixed starters, no? Well, we got what we hoped for. Everything on this plate that was placed in front of us was delicious!
Yet again, we coudn’t resist having a wide selection to our disposal.
That’s why we ordered three different dishes:
1 x “Pizza Tartufo”. This was delightful! The photo simply doesn’t do justice to how this beautifully baked pizza looked, smelled and tasted. You really have to find out for yourself some day..!
1 x “Speciality of the Day” *** Lasagna with Artichoke & Pesto *** None of us has ever had that one before. So, curious as we were, we wanted to taste it. Unfortunately this dish was a bit burned, which undoubtedly ruined the taste.. Back to Basics anticipated very well though. We were promptly and properly offered to have a new lasagna freshly prepared, but we declined since we were quite full already.
1 x “Speciality of the Day” *** Spaghetti with Mint & Pistache *** Nice one and definitely worth trying. We liked the combination of these flavours a lot.
Yes, you’re reading this correctly: even art lovers are being served here! No idea if the paintings are reasonably priced by the artists, but when we were there this and more pieces were displayed for sale.
Assuming that you want an honest and sincere review I’ll sum up below what – according to me (and my company) – the goods & bads were.
+ Tasty food
+ Proper portion sizes
+ Full glasses of wine
+ Served friendly
+ Budget and kid friendly
– The temperature felt nearly tropical inside
– Though not packed, it was a bit noisy
– Our table seemed a little too far from the bench to sit and/or eat comfortably
– One drink was completely forgotten about
– At some point it was difficult to get attention to order a new drink
Not everything went smoothly/some circumstances weren’t ideal. But none of the above spoiled our fun. We had a great evening and I believe all of the above is surmountable.
My advice to Back to Basics? Keep up the good work!! There’s always room for improvement.. and we our definitely coming back in the future!
Dear readers/members: have you been here as well? If so.. what’s your impression? Please, do tell us..