Scotsman Review
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July 14, 2017

Civerinos Slice, restaurant review, Edinburgh

The Hawaiian pizza at Civerinos Slice will make you do the hula, says Gaby Soutar



You can tell a lot about people from their pizza eating habits.

Those who munch from the inside out are sensitive types, deep thinkers, usually Cancerians or Pisceans. If you start with the crust, or use a knife and fork, you are untrustworthy and fickle.

Those who like cold pizza will have good fortune. If you drop it, and it falls sugo side down, that’s worse than seeing a single magpie.

I’d say, if you fold, you should probably have ordered a calzone, but, apparently, along with a thin and crispy base, foldability is a feature of the New York style pizza that they serve at this joint, a sister restaurant to the original and slightly more formal Civerinos on Hunter Square.

It’s in the style of a casual US diner, with an oven that’s marked with the words Thug Slice, Eighties tunes and hip-hop on the stereo, and aqua ceiling paint that drips down a pillar like dragon blood on ice-cream.

As far as the menu goes, I’m not sure what it reveals about you if you like fruit as a topping, but that may be why Civerinos Slice has called one of the 11 options on their food list Pineapple Controversy. It’s been a big year for this genre. Back in February the president of Iceland said he was “fundamentally opposed” to pineapple on pizza, spawning the Twitter hashtag #pineappleonpizza, used by some (Justin Trudeau, for example) to support this Canadian creation, while others agreed that it’s an abomination (Gordon Ramsay).

Also, just last month, the inventor of the Hawaiian, Sam Panopoulus of Ontario, died at the age of 83.
So, yeah, I had to order it.

You can buy a single huge isosceles here, or get a whole 20in (£20) beast. They didn’t have PC by the slice on our visit, so we ordered the whole shebang. The waiter looked surprised, nay, shocked. Now I understand why. In the tradition of NY style pizza, this dustbin-lid-sized beast could have served four people. The single slice munchers looked over, green eyed.

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Though the pizzas here are kind of sloppy looking and feral, it tasted way more sophisticated than the usual retro syrupy fruit and fleshy ham creation, with a base of sweet sugo, shreds of smoked pork shoulder, a judicious amount of grated mozzarella, chunks of fruit that had been charred to caramelisation, rocket and lots of black pepper. The crust was suitably thin, with a billowy and crisp sidewalk-coloured outer rim. Happy. Just goes to show, what does Gordon Ramsay know?

We did, however, prefer the signature Civerinos (£5.50). This slice was served on a paper plate, with a piquant “marinara sugo”, some robust pepperoni and knotty clods of fennelly Sicilian sausage, as well as creamy puffs of burrata cheese.

The hot, hot sausage version (£5.50) was fine, if you’re into self immolation. My dining partner munched his way quite happily through the confetti of red and green chillies and hot sauce, only tempered by a little sugo and some nduja sausage. My oesophagus is still burning, like a pipe that’s been scoured with drain cleaner.

Another sweet-ish pizza is the Meat is Murder (£4.50) slice – a vegan option, with more of that marinara sugo, halved figs, nuts and piperade. Not their best work, but still very pleasant. We enjoyed the fries (£3 for two people), with a topping of mixed herbs and a side pot of mustardy aioli.

Puddings consist of shareable hot doughnuts (£6.40) or calzone (£10), but I couldn’t go there.

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As we felt sheepish about our over-ordering, we repaired to Thomas J Walls, a new-ish cafe a few doors along, where they wouldn’t know we’d had more pizza than Garfield could eat in nine lifetimes. With take-away boxes safe, we had a slice of sticky chocolate and Guinness cake (£2.80) and a walnut laden chocolate brownie (£3.20), as well as two very good flat whites (£2.75 each).

So, what does our pizza eating say about us? We have no self control and are extremely greedy – a pair of Pineapple Controversy guzzling piggies, who will need to buy a larger size of elasticated jogging pant.
Civerinos Slice have created monsters. n



49 Forrest Road, Edinburgh (0131-225 4026,

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Gaby Soutar is a lifestyle editor at The Scotsman. She has been reviewing restaurants for The Scotsman Magazine since 2007 and edits the weekly food pages.
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