We, at FACT, are pizza lovers, loud and proud. So, we’re always curious when there’s a new name on the box. We tucked into a feast from Francesco’s to find out what’s cooking down in Juffair.

Francesco’s, the New York-Italian pizzeria, has been around in Bahrain for some time but, earlier this year, international franchiser Foodvest took over the company and set it up as a ghost kitchen alongside its recently refurbished outlets in American Alley. The pies are all made fresh on the premises with your choice of generous toppings and then sent on their way to you, piping hot and full of flavour.

Obviously, Francesco’s is about more than just pizza and we started with the best-selling vegetarian option of garlic knots. Baked, fluffy knots of dough infused with garlic butter and stuffed with parmesan. Their gently rounded exterior glistening and topped with parsley. Served with a generous helping of gorgonzola ranch, these were like morsels of paradise and I had to stop myself going in for second and third servings to keep space for what was to come.

We also snacked on some mozzarella sticks – creamy cheese, coated in breadcrumbs and served with aioli sauce – before diving into the big boxes.

Our first pizza was the Brooklyn Pie and our mouths were watering at the delicious aroma before we ever touched a slice. The crispy thin base was coated in garlic and tomato paste and then topped with mozzarella, beef pepperoni, ricotta, oregano and homemade Italian sausage. Together, the combination of tastes and textures was amazing but it was that special homemade sausage that really gave this pie its edge, its delicate combination of spices perfectly complementing the deliciously melting cheeses for a taste of the Italian coast.

Next up came the White Pie, a new one on me and totally lush. Another thin, crispy crust bore an alfredo base redolent with cream and garlic and loaded with melted mozzarella, ricotta, parmesan and oregano. I managed just one slice of this, the sheer volume of delicious, melted cheese making for a supremely rich bite that was almost a meal in itself.

We also tried a couple of fire subs. Another new experience for me, these were apparently invented by former firefighters and they would certainly be easier than a regular pizza to eat on the go. Created from fluffy, oven-roasted dough, folded over like a sandwich, we had the Bronx and the Great Jones.

The Bronx was filled with beef pepperoni, balsamic caramelised onions, roasted red peppers, mozzarella, feta, parmesan and tomato sauce. While its counterpart the Great Jones, stuffed with turkey ham, mozzarella, loads of ricotta, alfredo sauce and a generous helping of fiery jalapeños, was my favourite. Each was substantial, a real meal and a half and the heat from the jalapeños made for a fire sub in more ways than one. I’d definitely order this again.

We followed up with generous dishes of pasta – chicken alfredo and old-fashioned spaghetti with meatballs. The alfredo was creamy with homemade sauce packed with mushrooms and grilled chicken. Real comfort food for the soul and just an absolute delight. And the meatballs came with a classic tomato sauce teeming with fresh basil, garlic, rosemary and oregano. Such a wonderful combination of herbs, the dish was bursting with flavour and would make a great option if you’re having guests over and want to spoil them.

So, if you’re looking to impress visitors or just want a great New York-Italian experience at home, we’d highly recommend you try the new version of Francesco’s. With a great menu full of lots of options from Buffalo chicken wings to mac and cheese and 14 different pizza options, there’s something for everyone and the portion sizes are great, so you’ll definitely have your fill. ✤