Yesterday, we were privileged to have been invited to the soft opening of Pizza Republic “Pick + Mix” by Giuseppe Genco here in Bacolod City. Ever since they have opened their first branch in Cebu last June 2014, they had been the talk of the town, attracting customers near and far, like bees to a flower.
That is because the Philippines is like the den of pizzaholics. We love pizza, plain and simple. And with the freedom that Pizza Republic gives us, it is like heaven for pizzaholics.
So what do you at Pizza Republic? First, find a spot for you and your companions. Then place your order. Line starts at the Pizza Assembly point. You will see a guy rolling pizza doughs and he’s doing it pretty fast. He then passes it on to one who puts the sauces. You can choose from three variants–the Pizza Republic special red sauce (sweet), the classic Italian red sauce (sour), or the white sauce. Or you can ask them to mix two or all of sauces on your plate.
Then you get to select your cheese. Most people would choose mozzarella, but then you can also ask them to add other kinds. If I’m not mistaken, there were about six kinds of cheeses there. My daughter had four kinds on her pizza.
Next stop are the processed meat slices, which are mostly sausages and a couple of kinds of ham. You can choose to have it all but then again, you should pick what you really like because you should consider what your pizza should taste like. They recommend about four kinds of meats.
After the meats are the fresh vegetables, herbs, and dried spices. Many people are thankful for this area because here, you can choose to omit the usual stuff that you find on pizzas but you do not really want to eat, like onions and bell peppers. At the end of the line, they have four other sauces that you can choose to top on your pizza, like cheese sauce, barbecue sauce, chili sauce, and another one that I forgot.
At the end of the assembly line, you get a number that will be called out when your pizza is ready. You will see then that your pizza will be passed on to a guy who will load it in a brick oven. I am not sure if they use wood or gas for this one because it seems that the fire lights up evenly (see the photo below).
Next stop before the cashier is a big box of assorted cold drinks that you can choose from. Pizza Republic is exclusively selling Pepsi products and some beers. When you are done ordering, you can then pay, sit down, and wait for your number to be called. The 10″ pizza is P245 while the solo (7″) size is P145 and comes with a Pepsi product.
Here are the three main stops at Pizza Republic:
Despite the many customers during the soft opening, we got our three plates of pizzas in under 10 minutes. Pretty fast! But mind you, every time you need something, you will have to go to the counter and pick it up, including having your take away packed. It is, after all, a self-service casual restaurant.
When you are there, please try the frozen cakes by local baker Ann Co. My goodness! The cheesecakes were soooo good! I super love the Toblerone Cheesecake and the Mango Chocnut Cheesecake. So love! They are also selling their signature Pizza Republic gelato, which are affordable and really good. But if you are going to order both the gelato and the cheesecake, I suggest that you eat the gelato first. :p
While I still prefer thicker crusted pizzas, what sets Pizza Republic apart from other well-known pizza joints is the freedom that they give. For the same price, you can have as many or as little toppings as you want. And to be consistent with their aim, they have freedom walls around the place so that customers can write their messages. Very nice and refreshing concept.
We were told that they plan to open three other branches this year in Cagayan de Oro, Davao, and Iloilo. Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if they will be a hit in these other cities, too.
Pizza Republic “Pick + Mix” by Giuseppe Genco is located at 22nd Lacson Street, Bacolod City. You will not miss the big building with a bright yellow sign.