Friday, December 30, 2011

WE FINALLY MEET, PAPA JOHN'S


This was the picture that made me realize how badly I needed a haircut

            Pizza is my own personal Kryptonite. When I get even a small dose of it, I'm out of commission within minutes. Sadly, that's how my body works. I'm hyper-acidic, so it's something I've had to deal with for quite some time now. The Pizza that hits me the hardest is Yellow Cab, which unfortunately for me, is my favorite pizza chain in the Philippines

         Despite my troubles with Italy's gift to mankind, I was psyched when I found out Papa John's Pizza was opening in the Philippines earlier this year. Whenever Rina and I would talk about going there, she would just say something like, "I don't want you getting sick. Let's go somewhere else for now". Months passed and Rina and I never got around to visiting their restaurant in Galleria. 


        And then, a month or so ago, my dear friend Rain tells me that they opened a branch just down the street from my office. So all bets were off. One Friday evening, a few of my workmates and I got done with our work early and decided to make take that jeepney ride down the road to the newly opened Papa John's. Rina said it was fine, because she was busy with our baby Rain, and my dear friend Rain had her Digicam.. so we were set!  


       But knowing that it could spell doom for my fragile stomach, I realized this what Frodo must have felt when he brought the ring into Mordor.  







            Perhaps the only drawback about going to the smaller Arnaiz branch of Papa John's, is that I won't be able to see what the interiors of the original Galleria Branch looks like. The branch in Makati was a small corridor that had enough space for our group. But as long as my group got a table, I guess I had nothing to complain about, because by 7:30 or so, the place was packed.


      The place is the "Express version" of Papa John's, cuz it's so cramped but I didn't care because I was going there for The Pickiest Eater In The World Blog.. not "Real Living".   
                 

STARTERS



          Whenever my dear friend Rain is in a restaurant, and there are Mozzarella Sticks (P129) on the menu, expect it to be ordered. Papa John's version was alright.. nothing spectacular, and in fact a bit on the dryer side. Flavor-wise, it could have had a bit more oomph to it (but maybe that's why it came with a side of Pizza Sauce). 








          More than the Mozzarella sticks, I enjoyed the Cheese Sticks (P99) more, which was ordered by my friend and fellow blogger, Osh. This is actually closer to a plain cheese pizza than it is Mozzarella sticks. The dough was wonderfully soft, and topped with a light garlic sauce and covered in baked cheese. I loved how the "Cheese Sticks" had burnt cheese hanging from the edges. You had a choice between the garlic dip or the pizza dip, and for me, the garlic dip is the wiser choice. (more on that later)





        The trend i'm getting here is that the dough of Papa John's is their secret weapon, because everything I had that was connected to their dough, was a knockout. The Bacon and Mushroom Rolls (P129), which I'm sure will come to no surprise to anyone, was my side order, and I'm glad I was right on the money. 


     The pizza dough was sliced and rolled up with a mixture of bacon, cheese and mushrooms, and baked into golden brown perfection. Biting into it lets out a little crunch, but the softness of the cheese and savory taste of the bacon just melts into your mouth. 


     They also have a Pepperoni roll version (P129), but come on, you know you want the one with Bacon. ;)





            My friend Bianca ordered the Beef and Bacon Rice meal (P160). I don't know if this is exclusively for the Philippines, but I thought it was a good idea. Any Rice meal that involves Bacon is a good idea. This tasted pretty much like a pizza already, with the flavors of tomato sauce and cheese being the strongest components of the dish. It was actually quite good, but If i'm going to be ordering a pizza already, I wouldn't be interested in ordering this, especially for the price. 




             Ok, the people at Papa John's need to know that we Pinoys take our Chicken Wings very seriously. We have homegrown places here like Sunrise Buckets and Wingman that specializes in Chicken Wing Awesomeness, so these sad pieces of wings they served us just wasn't gonna cut it. Flavor wise, Papa John's Chicken Wings (P169) were a little bland, and considering the price you pay for four measly wings, I wouldn't recommend this to anyone. 

      PIZZAS 



            Before we go any further, let me point out to you that this little bowl with liquid golden goodness is going to be your best friend throughout your stay at Papa John's. I would advise you to keep it close to you, and if possible, do NOT share it with anyone. It's a simple concoction of butter and garlic, but it just blends perfectly with your pizza, you're never going to want to eat pizza ever again without it.



             Being the sweet talking carnivore that I am, I persuaded everyone to order a 14' inch "All The Meats" (P580 for 14 inch). The crust, as expected, was baked just beautifully, and the they weren't stingy with the medley of meats thrown into it. The flavors of Pepperoni, Italian Sausage, Beef, Ham and Bacon just exploded in your mouth. And the cheese was an amazing coating to the entire pizza.  



       I think I would have enjoyed the Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza more (P555 for 14 inch) had I not ordered the "All The Meats", because they ended up tasting a little bit similar, except the Bacon Cheese Burger had less meat and instead, more bits of Tomato. It was also a delicious pizza, but kinda redundant with my initial order (which wasn't the fault of Papa John's by the way). 




            Concerned for my health, my dear friend Rain suggested we get the Grilled Chicken Deluxe Pizza (P580 for 14 inch), which uses carbonara sauce instead of the usual tomato. Genius. The sauce was amazingly creamy, and was complimented by the large pieces of Bacon, Ham, Shredded Chicken and Mushrooms. 


        This was my absolute favorite and I'm so happy that it's white sauce!


   It's awesome knowing that there's a Papa John's just down the road from us, and that their reputation is well deserved. I'm going to try the Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza next! 




PIX





           All pizzas are hand rolled right before your eyes (there's a viewing area) so you know you're getting the freshest dough and ingredients possible.  (I think the dude on the left thought I was crazy).



           One big happy family! 
Wait.. where's Rain? (oh yeah.. taking the picture)



My Girls, Donna, Rain (there she is!), Osh and Bianca


My boys, Mark, Ted, Patrick "the Predator" and Mel


BELATED HAPPY BIRTHDAY OSH

11 comments:

  1. Finally! You've met my Papa! :) I usually go to the Galleria branch (because it's near the office). I have to do a review soon. :D

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  2. i have to meat PAPA JOHNS! ugh too bad no the fort branch yet :(

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  3. You should, Michy! Share your post here!

    Cookies, The Arnaiz branch isn't too far from the fort :)

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  4. Yes. This is one of our favorite pizza chains. Since we loved a bit of veggies in pizza, the Big Papa pizza absolutely floored us! And yes, that garlic-butter sauce and maybe a bite off the pepperoncino that comes with it is amazing :D !

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  5. i love how you call me your "dear friend Rain" i crack up everytime i read it :)

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  6. I got to try the Papa too when I was still in college (in their Taft branch), but I can't remember how the pasta and pizza we ordered taste.. >.< Now I definitely need to visit Papa John's again.. :)

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  7. Ray: I'll prolly go for the Big Papa next time.. Apart from the Chicken Bacon Ranch hehe..

    Rain: cuz you are my dear friend :)

    Sumi: It sucks that all these kick ass places weren't there when I was a college student.. I studied in CSB!

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  8. finally! i am part of a blog post. teehee. :)

    thanks for the belated greetings! happy new year to the zamora family.

    cheers to more food trips :)

    your number 1 fan:

    oshie :)

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  9. Much Love, oshie!

    So dapat i'll come out in your blog din!

    Ako yung next mong i-ma-makeover, perhaps? hehe

    Happy New Year!

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  10. stupid chicken wings

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