Buckle up, Cebu! Something very exciting is about to open its doors very very soon! Like, TOMORROW soon!
I was privileged to be invited to the dry run of a restaurant that's the first of its kind in Cebu two weeks ago. I've noticed this development in Lahug beside Chikaan during the recent months and I forecasted that it may be a spin-off of Project Pie in Manila. Since I saw this before my Manila trip (which I'll be telling you about soon!) earlier this month, I was hoping to go check out Project Pie so I can compare it. But upon hearing of the lack of customer care and considering the innumerable choices for my restaurant marathon, I was convinced to leave this for the next trip instead.
Giuseppe is reputed to make the best pizza in town. Even celebrity Chef Gene Gonzalez has this on his list as one of the best restaurants in Cebu. Pizza Republic Pick + Mix by Giuseppe Genco is a fast casual restaurant that offers quality Italian pizza cooked in a wood-fired brick oven at a very reasonable price. Keywords there are quality, Italian, and reasonably priced!
It has a modern industrial design and is spacious enough to accommodate 120 people.
The catch is, you get to customize your pizza! The restaurant has a long counter where you can PICK and MIX from a wide variety - over 60 and counting! - of toppings to dress up your pizza.
It functions not only as the production line, but as part of the entertainment as well, being the interactive area. It can get really exciting watching your pizza get pimped up at your dictation. Something to note, all the ingredients are imported from Italy so your pizza tastes as close to Italy as possible!
STEP 1: DOUGH
So, we start with the blank canvas, the dough. It is rolled out fresh to order, to a medium thickness - the perfect balance to anticipate all the toppings you might bombard it with. A rustic touch is incorporated by leaving the dough in an irregularly round shape - beauty in imperfection! It is dusted with semolina flour before being handed over to the next step, the sauce.
STEP 2: SAUCE
Olive oil is slathered on the already smooth dough and then you choose between tomato or white sauce.
I settled my fickle-minded tendencies by requesting for half of my dough to have tomato sauce, and the other half with white sauce.
STEP 3: CHEEEESE
Next, the CHEESE! Mozzarella is the staple but they offer more than the conventional choices such as Gorgonzola, cream cheese, and goat cheese. Of course, my adventurous palate had to have Gorgonzola - a blue cheese variety - plus white cheese, parmesan, and the obligatory mozzarella.
STEP 4: MEAT
Choose from an assortment of sausages, hams, BACON, and other meat! I chose Italian garlic sausage, Coppa ham (the more affordable version of parma ham), ground bacon for some smokiness and crunch, and smoked chicken fillet.
STEP 5: VEGETABLES (or not?)
I know some people would skip this but I gotta have my greens. I love fresh mushrooms so I added funghi famigliola. I also added caramelized onions.
STEP 6: FLAVOR BOOST - HERBS, SPICES, ETC.
And for the finishing touches to your masterpiece, you can add a kick of flavor with some herbs and spices. Basil is my favorite herb so I had that fresh, and then fried garlic chips, a pinch of chili flakes for some heat, dried oregano, and pesto.
STEP 7: PAY UP & WAIT
All that for only P245! You get a priority number and just sit and relax while you wait for your masterpiece to be ready for devouring. Pizza Republic has an efficient way of serving orders; an LED screen right above the counter flashes the priority numbers whose orders are ready for the taking. No barking of numbers, no noisy ringing, beeping, whatsoever. Just pay attention to that screen. :)
Mark Monta of facecebu.net and Marco Paulo Diala of lamikaayo.com were my foodiemates that night. We all made our own mix for our pizzas and we were really excited to see the results. Impressively, we got our orders in just 5 minutes!
|from left: Marco of lamikaayo.com, the babe, Mark of facecebu.net|
|Our pizzas (clockwise from top): Marco's All-Meat Pizza, Babe for Food's Ultimate Italian Pizza, and Mark's Fancy Workout Pizza|
Not to sound vain, but my pizza was phenomenal. It doesn't look much from the photo but have a bite and it's PHE-NO-ME-NAL. From the crust, to the sauce, and every bit of the toppings, just everything made it so easy to finish every inch of that 10-inch heaven-send. The crust was amazingly good - substantial yet crisp and chewy. It definitely marked a good first impression from there. The gorgonzola cheese was the best kick in my pizza! And surprisingly, the white sauce got my approval because it was more flavorful than the tomato sauce. I'm not normally the white sauce type, but theirs was a winner.
When we were told that the soft opening was still going to be on June 1, I really couldn't wait. I actually spared you from waiting too long since I didn't write about this early enough to tease your taste buds and get you geared up. You're welcome! :))
Lucky for you, you only have to wait for a day to taste this awesome pizza. Well, the awesome level actually depends on what you pick and mix on your pizza. I suggest you try my mix though! Let me know if you do and what you think of it; take a snapshot and tag me on Instagram (@babeforfood), Facebook (Babe for Food), or Twitter (@babeforfood)!
Pizza Republic opens on June 1! They have a promo just for that day that you're gonna love…
Get a chance to WIN 3 FREE PIZZA COUPONS! How? Just go to their Facebook page, look for this photo on their timeline, share it and tag 3 friends and be one of the first 30 to buy a pizza tomorrow!
Cebu should be on a run for this. Now, go get that pizza!
*Special thanks to Marco Paulo Diala of lamikaayo.com for lending me his camera phone and sending me his own photos
Salinas Drive, Lahug, Cebu City
Store hours: 11 am - 10 pm DAILY
Contact: 0998 552 0667
"To know Cebu, eat Cebu!"
Babe for Food
- your BFF in Cebu dining! :)