Thursday, 5 December 2019

Trying alternative parmos at the Prickly Pear Bistro, Middlesbrough

Today I've got my first food review as This Northerner, and I'm pleased to say it's a good one.  Last night, I went for tea with my friend to a fairly new restaurant which is a based out of town in a local business centre. The Prickly Pear Bistro, located in the TAD Centre in Middlesbrough, has not been open very long and has already made my hit list of places to try. I've been following their Instagram closely over the past couple of weeks and I was excited when an opportunity to visit recently came up.

We went to the restaurant straight from work and it was relatively quiet until around 6.30pm. The space itself is beautifully decorated with lots of greenery, wooden beams and well-placed lighting.

As well as its normal menu, the Prickly Pear Bistro has a separate menu that displays its 35 different parmos which take inspiration from locations across the world. There's even a map on the back which shows you the place each parmo hails from. Among the countries which inspire the humble Teesside delicacy to step it up are the USA, China, Italy, Greece and Japan.

For any readers outside of Teesside, the parmo is a Middlesbrough staple which involves deep-frying a chicken breast covered in breadcrumbs, slathering it in bechamel sauce then covering it with cheese and sitting it under the grill to make it oozy and gooey. They are so delicious but so very bad for you.

After much deliberation, I decided to go for the Tropicana inspired by Hawaii, which is topped with ham and pineapple, whilst my friend chose the Mac Attack, taking inspiration from the UK, which was topped with macaroni cheese and bacon.

The Prickly Pear Bistro Middlesbrough Tropicana Parmo

The Prickly Pear Bistro Middlesbrough Menus

The Prickly Pear Bistro Middlesbrough Mac Attack Parmo

The Prickly Pear Bistro Middlesbrough Tropicana Parmo

The Prickly Pear Bistro Middlesbrough Bar

I try to be quite cautious when it comes to picking items from a menu as I've had some terrible meals when I was trying to be adventurous, so I was worried about my choice. I've never had any other parmo than just an original and I thought the extra toppings may have ruined it. How wrong I was.

When it arrived the portion size was massive and it was accompanied by chips and a decent-sized salad. Although a bit pricy for a regular-sized parmo at £13.50, you really did get value for money with the quality and quantity of food. On request, we were provided with garlic sauce, although it was a shame to learn this was an extra 50p. When I dug into my parmo, I was so pleased with my choice. The chicken was fresh and perfectly cooked and it was topped with thick ham, bechamel sauce, two pineapple rings and heapings of cheese.

I'm already a fan of pineapple on pizza, so pineapple on parmo seemed like the obvious next step. Oh my, it was so tasty. The combination all worked so well together. I don't know if I can go back to a normal parmo ever again. The parmo topped with macaroni cheese that my friend ordered was also delicious, so I'm told, although I didn't actually get a bite! It definitely looks like one I would order myself in the future.

Although a bit out of the way, I would recommend a visit to The Prickly Pear Bistro. Although the menu is heavy on the parmo-front, there are a few other options that should keep everyone happy. With so much choice, I'm already planning my next visit and whilst I do, I'm whittling down the parmo that I want to try next.
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