I’M embarrassed to reveal how long we waited to get in here tonight. Giving up after a while and leaving my number, then missing the call that a table’s free by just three minutes. When I phone back it’s already gone. Ugh. Back down the queue.

Then piling the family in the car and driving again to Victoria Road, then waiting in the car, then going and standing in the new queue at the wall beside, amongst others, a tall man with a white dog, who seems to know a hell of a lot abut this place for a casual bystander.

Then watching as the folks at the only four-seater make their roll-ups for smoking outside, before leisurely vacating it. Facebook sensation, I cynically say to Debs and Luca by way of explaining why I’ve disrupted their Wednesday evening to drag them to a completely under-siege shoe box on Victoria Road That sells pizzas.

Seriously man pizza. Where do they get off charging £9 for a Pizza Margherita, I muttered as we drove home hungry the first time, menu in hand. They get off at the bank, I say as we drive home full the second time, doggie box in boot.

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I think at that point Debs actually states: I feel happy. Just because we ate great food. Crikey, it’s true. We just did. As Errol Brown’s Hot Chocolate sang Man to Man on the sound system; as Ozzy Osborne’s Crazy Train solo followed.

While young folks, cool folks, hip folks - because bustling, buzzing, fabulously multi-cultural Govanhill is the epicentre of cool these days - constantly come through the front door and wait along the wall. While others eat at those little tables shoe-horned in everywhere, or around the edge of the bar, amidst decor that is part old school reclamation, proper Napoli FC tributes, shabby black and white photos, strips of patina-ed wood panelling.

Maybe it’s the lighting I think, but somehow this place just feels comfortable. Now in case you think I was swayed by the queue-to-get-in thang. Before I ate a morsel? Uh-uh. I’m a queue cynic.

They used to queue to get into Jamie’s Italian, I mention by way of a haw-he-haw cautionary tale, now it looks to me anyway like they queue to get out. And anyway I’ve seen pizzas with charred black edges coming from this very kitchen tonight.

Charred? What? But suddenly. Before we touch a morsel, a mouthful, of that pizza, they’ve hooked us wham, slam thank you bam. Five quid brings a heaped plateful of elegant, tender, purple-sprouting broccoli smothered, almost buried, in tiny rings of sweet red chilli, nuggets of golden fried garlic, olive oil; salt. I could eat this all day. Every day. Forever.

Possibly even better though is the plate of sliced artichoke, preserved lemon, almonds, oil. It’s so full of flavour we immediately order another round of the same dishes. And because it’s now obvious someone in here knows a thing about taste: we also order a stunning looking ball of Burrata surrounded by a glistening pesto of kale and hazelnut. Which I actually think could do with a bit more seasoning. But hey, you can’t have everything.

That £9 Margherita? Er. we don’t actually order it. Having instead the Fennel Sausage with Fior Di Latte, fennel and parmesan (£12); the salami with Spianata Piccante (£10) and the Merguez pizza with Merguez sausage, broccoli and Zatar (£12).

These are big pizzas, very fine, slim based, properly seasoned chewy dough and yes some are actually charred around the edges. They’re sloppy too, oils and juices and topping slithering and sliding everywhere, but the sugo, the tomatoey sauce, is the real deal. Not just a tin of tomatoes. Good.

Do we like? Yes. Think I have already said that. Is it made on a wood-fired oven by an old Italian guy with the Popeye muscles in one arm twice the size of the other? No. But this is still super hot.

Errol’s Hot Pizza

379 Victoria Road,


0141 423 0559

Opening: Wed-Sun 5pm til 10pm

Menu: Not just pizza but also some fabulous, simple small plates including that broccoli with chilli and garlic, the preserved lemon and artichoke and a stylish Burrata. 4

Service: Under siege but still charming and laid back; instantly brought iced water and didn’t try and upsell a thing. 5

Atmosphere: it’s the size of a shoe and you eat before a queue, but they have got the feel and the lighting completely right. The hottest place in town and not even slightly pretentious. 5

Price: Nine quid for a Margherita isn’t the cheapest in town but the pizzas are worth it and the small plates are great value. 4

Food: Blown away by the simple freshness and the measured flavours of that broccoli and the artichoke; pizzas are up there too. 9