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“Great View.”
Review of Pizza Express

Pizza Express
Ranked #189 of 562 Restaurants in Exeter
Price range: $0 - $43
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Delivery, Reservations, Takeout
Description: Bright and modern, Pizza Express offers an exciting reinvention of Italian classics. A vibrant menu includes wholesome Romana-style pizzas with adventurous topping combinations, as well as fresh salads, an impressive range behind the bar and aromatic coffee blends. Family-friendly Pizza Express gives kids the chance to design their own pizzas.
Reviewed February 16, 2013

Pizza Express Exeter must surely have one of the best locations. Situated within the Cathedral Green area it's position opposite the West door of Exeter Cathedral affords the most fabulous views from both the ground and first floor windows. The Cathedral at night is bathed in light and is a truly spectacular sight to behold. So what about the food on offer? Well, the name is a bit of a giveaway. Pizzas are everything here, almost. Three of us dined this evening. We began with dough balls, a firm favourite. Then two chose the salami Calzone, and for me the new improved Lasagna Classica. The Pinot Grigio was chilled to perfection, our waiter was very attentive and cheerful. Although it was a very busy evening service was great and the place buzzed. We were all pretty full but two hardy souls decided they could manage tiny chocolate cakes and liqueur coffee. Do book ahead at weekends and if stairs are a problem ask for a ground floor table. When the weather is good lunch at an outside table is very pleasant.

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Thank Pamela B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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348 - 352 of 412 reviews

Reviewed January 26, 2013

Let me start by saying that I've never had a bad meal at Pizza Express in almost 25 years - well that was until today!

We had booked a table for my father-in-law's birthday treat at 13:00 on a busy Saturday. We've eaten at this restaurant at this time and day before without issue. We were stuck in a traffic jam and had to back track by 15 miles to get into Exeter and then hit another jam so we ended up 6 minutes late. I called at 13:00 to advise the restaurant that we would be 5 minutes late.

When we arrived it was heaving in the restaurant with a large party waiting inside and outside of the restaurant. We managed to get in and were asked to wait. Then we were told that our table was still occupied - other diners were being seated and moved upstairs. I politely asked why this was. The response was that our table guests had paid up but were taking their time. Okay, so this happens but I asked if anything could be done - no, apparently not. However the offer was made to seat my elderly father-in-law who has arthritis (after I mentioned it). Then we were seated and told by the manager that they had saved us the "nice window seat". I did appreciate the view.

To backtrack, whilst waiting downstairs we noted that the prep staff looked quite dirty - certainly their clothes were covered in I don't know what. My father-in-law was not impressed and we explained that food can be picked up on clothing during busy service. To note, my wife worked in the catering industry for over 20 years so she was objective about this. She added, it didn't look like today's dirt. Waiters aprons were also dirty.

The noise levels were deafening and we had troubling communicating with the waitress who was doing her best considering the circumstances. Our drinks were ordered and served promptly.

Then we ordered our starters of which were three garlic breads (two with cheese) and two dough balls. We were served after about 10 minutes and my garlic bread had been forgotten. My wife and father-in-law started eating their food and noted that it did not taste of garlic. I tried a bit and agreed. Then my bread arrived after 5 minutes (after my party had finished eating) and there was no garlic flavour, and to add to this it was burnt. The manager happened to serve a table behind us and I mentioned the issue very politely. She offered to sort it out and made a note of the other issues. She arrived with a pot of garlic butter to apply to my bread (with a cheese coating). I showed her the bottom and explained that I thought it would have been replaced. Another a few minutes passed and a lovely, garlic bread arrived, not burnt and tasting of garlic.

We then ordered our pizzas and I made a mistake asking for a different pizza than I thought I had ordered. I queried it and it was explained patiently and politely that I had ordered this type of pizza. All fair and very professional. The pizzas were lovely but my father-in-law's salad had about three tiny pieces of chicken and a mountain of lettuce. He was very disappointed.

The assistant manager came to have a chat and he was very friendly, calm and professional. He explained that the kitchen had been notified of the issues. In comparison to the manager he was far more relaxed and to be fair, he probably didn't have the cork popping pressure she had.

We had pud and it was all fine apart from cheesecake looking a couple of days old. It tasted fine though.

The assistant manager visited again and discounted our bill by a round of drinks. He was apologetic about the issues. I thanked him for his sincerity, paid up and promptly left.

So, why do I write this review in such detail? Well, I always rely on Pizza Express for a good meal in nice surroundings with mostly excellent and friendly service. I dined many times at Kettner's (Romily Street) whilst working in Soho and throughout the UK whilst on holiday and in local cities.

To conclude, the Exeter restaurant clearly had kitchen issues and having worked in restaurants myself, in my humble opinion, I do not think they could cope with the level of covers and turnaround. Maybe they are tying to cram too many in to make up for quieter periods? I wonder, does this leave a smudge on this highly successful franchise? I do hope it improves in Exeter and my wife has stated she will not dine their again for a while.

We have dined at Exeter Pizza Express about 8 times in the past and it was great before today. Maybe they were just having a bad day.

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Thank ReesK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 25, 2013

We went to Pizza Express last night as a group of 6 as they had the two courses for £10 offer.

While we were sat down relatively quickly, it was 20 minutes before a grumpy waitress came to take our order! We asked for a menu of the dishes from the offer, as only a few dishes were included. However the waitress said that she did not have the menus, we would have to look it up on our phones. This was slightly extraordinary, but as most of us had smart phones this was not a problem. We made our choices, and 30 minutes later our starters arrived.

I had ordered the garlic bread with mozzarella and it was severely undercooked. However, having waited an hour, I just ate it as I was absolutely starving! After our starters were taken away, it was 40 minutes before our pizzas arrived, though I have to say they were lovely.
Once we had eaten and our plates were taken away we asked for the bill and it took over 30 minutes for the waitress to bring it to us!

I had last been there in October, and the service then was rubbish too, it took absolutely ages to get our food and the waitresses were really uninterested in the customers, preferring instead to laugh and chat amongst themselves.

Overall it was not an enjoyable experience at all, and will not be going there anytime soon. I gave it a poor rating only as the pizza was quite good, otherwise it would have been a terrible rating.

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Thank ps24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 23, 2013

Went tonight with my husband and two children with voucher (£10 for two courses and drink). All four of us used the voucher. I didnt like my pizza choice when it came even though the rest of the family's were lovel and so were the starters. When the waitress asked if everything was ok I said it was but just didnt like my particular pizza (was new one with blue cheese and other cheeses) but there was nothing actually wrong with it. She immediately offered me all sorts of alternatives free. This type of service is rare. Very impressed. Food was lovely although was midweek the voucher made it worthwhile.

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Thank tickytours
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 21, 2013

the food here is just basic, no real flavour and you can tell its a chain. the staff dont look like they want to work there and to be honest it was too much money to pay for a basic pizza.

Thank travel000000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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