Cafes and takeaways seem to come and go don’t they. Maybe there just are too many of them.
In Ashton-on-Ribble, at Lane Ends, home of newcomer Volare, there is certainly no shortage . There’s a refurbished pub serving decent food, two delis, the best pie shop in Preston and an ice cream parlour - not to mention a Chinese takeaway, kebab house plus a Domino’s a little further up the street.
In the past, one or two haven’t lasted much more than a couple of months. Competition must be stiff.
But one place that does deserve success and to live long and prosper is Volare.
It may be the new kid on the block, opening last month on the corner of Blackpool Road and Parkfield Avenue, but it is obvious straight away that the quality of the food here - particularly the pizzas - is a cut above other similar venues across the city.
It’s worth noting that during the day this is a pleasant and smart cafe serving, according to glowing online reviews, delicious Sicilian coffee as well as soup, paninis, tiramasu and (of course) pizza. That makes it unique in this area of Preston.
But on to our takeaway.
To keep things simple at first we ordered a (nine inch) margaritta pizza.
It might be the basic option - just tomato and cheese but there was a real depth of flavour. The tomato was rich, the cheese had me smacking my tongue on the top of my mouth. The base had just the right amount of crispiness. Quality taste and great value for £4.
Things were even better with our next order - the aptly named Etna.
This pizza was a thing of beauty to look at. Prepared with skill. The taste of the cooked peppers and salami worked very well together.
The spicy kick from the chillies finished it off perfectly. And at £5 for the nine inch, it was another bargain.
For my third item I went out on a limb and ordered some pasta - the Penne Romana (£6.50).
Again it was clear this was prepared by a chef who knows a thing or two about Italian cuisine.
The pasta was nicely done and sauce suitably creamy. What lifted it was the pieces of chicken which had that homemade roast taste you only get through proper preparation.
Volare is a great addition to this area. It offers that touch of individuality, quality and pride lacking at some large corporate chains (and many other small takeaways).
The bill came to £15.50. Great value for money and very tasty!