Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chris Asks Joey Pepperoni: Is This How Pizza Should Be?

After scouring the mall that is SM City Calamba for gadgets, the best bud and I found ourselves sitting inside Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria. Located near the south entrance/exit of the mall, one cannot not see the Pizzeria, added thanks to several women in uniforms waiting outside trying to usher in customers. It was around 3:00PM and the place was relatively full, albeit with people having snacks or late lunch. That was only my second time there, the first one was when I was with Lia, and I haven't really tried anything except for their iced tea and a brownie. Given that we had extra money and extra time to kill, we decided to skip the food court and just go for Joey Pepperoni.

Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria is a casual dining restaurant that specializes in its distinctive take on contemporary Italian-American cuisine. Whether by dine-in, take-out, or delivery, every order from the Joey Pepperoni menu is sure to satisfy those who crave enduring delights such as pizza and pasta—at affordable prices, to boot. In short, Joey Pepperoni offers a premium dining experience at non-premium cost.

Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria has engaged the culinary services and savvy of Chef Giorgio A. Bucciarelli, a Milan, Italy-raised Master Pizzaiolo-Italian Executive Chef who was formerly with, among others, Don Bosco Pizza, Pasta, Gelato and Culinary School. Chef Giorgio now assumes the role of Executive Chef of Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria—further guaranteeing that, simply put, Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria knows How Pizza Should be!

- Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria's Website

We got the Pollo Impanato e Patata Fritte (Chicken Fingers and Fries) from the Antipasti (appetizers) menu for starters. For 180php, you get about eight (8) pieces of chicken fingers and about two (2) medium-sized potatoes worth of fries. 

Chicken Fingers and Fries

Pollo Impanato e Patata Fritte (180php)

The chicken fingers were good. They were meaty, not the typical fast food chicken fingers covered in tons of breading. They were crispy and juicy; two simple qualities of fried chicken which are hard to come by these days. The fries, which are made from reconstructed potatoes, taste real enough. They were poorly seasoned, though. I guess that's why there's an ample amount of salt and pepper on the table. The chicken fingers and fries were served with this Pomodoro-like sauce which, like the fries, lacks seasoning.

For the meal proper, we decided to try their Mafia Meals. I got the Mafia Meal Set 4 which has Pasta (choice of Pesto, Carbonara, or Bolognese), two (2) pieces of Garlic Bread, Mozzarella Sticks, and single-serve drink. The best bud, on the other hand, got the Mafia Meal Set 5 which has Pasta (choice of Pesto, Carbonara, or Bolognese), two (2) pieces of Garlic Bread, Chicken Fingers, and single-serve drink.

Mafia Meal Set 5

Mafia Meal Set 4: Pesto Pasta, Garlic Bread, Mozzarella Sticks and Iced Tea (165php plus 20php for botomless drink upgrade)

It's safe to say that their Pest Pasta is okay. I've tried several Pesto Pasta from different restaurants and cafes and I can say that this one is one of the better ones. I can really taste the pesto and it did not at all overpower the original flavor of the vegetables included in it. I had trouble finishing it though because the olive oil went cold real fast. As in like 5 minutes from serving. The best bud and I agreed that the Garlic Bread (in the form of sticks) is good. It's reminiscent of my favorite garlic bread sticks from one well-known pizza and pasta fast food chain. The Mozzarella Sticks were crispy, yes, but the cheese wasn't gooey enough. I don't know if they weren't fried long enough or something, and I got bored with its flavor. You can see that the tasteless Pomodoro sauce is included here, too.

Mafia Meal Set 5

Mafia Meal Set 5: Bolognese Pasta, Garlic Bread, Chicken Fingers and Iced Tea (170php plus 20php for botomless drink upgrade)

The Bolognese Pasta, according to the best bud, is very good. It was really meaty, being the bolognese that it is, and has little trace of sweetness. Typical Italian-flavored bolognese; just the way it should be. He also took note of how tasty and flavorful the oil was. As for their house Iced Tea, I'm guessing it's Earth and Sky. Ha ha!

Of course, eating in any pizzeria wouldn't be complete without ordering any pizza. And pizza did we order. We ordered the 12" The Works pizza which has smoked ham, pepperoni, bacon, salami, mushrooms, ground beef, onions, bell peppers, and black olives.

12" The Works

12" The Works (345php)

The winner here is the crust. Despite the fact that all those aforementioned toppings are typical pizza toppings, the perfectly baked crust just won the whole thing over. It was thin and crispy and yet you'd still be able to fold it if you want to eat your pizza Brooklyn, New York style. 

Overall, Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria delivered. Sure, some of the items we tried were a miss (fries, mozzarella sticks, and the Pomodoro sauce), at the end of the day, their flagship offering delivers. To answer my own question, yes, I believe this is how pizza should be done! And yes, we will be back soon to try the other offerings.

PROS: Friendly staff. Vast array of items on the menu. Great Garlic Bread and Pizza.
CONS: A bit pricey. Place is too cold, which makes the food loose its warmth easily. Unsatisfactory Fries, Mozzarella Sticks and plain bland Pomodoro dipping sauce.

FINAL RATING: 3.5 out of 5

Joey Pepperoni Pizzeria
Ground Floor
SM City Calamba, Calamba, Laguna


  1. I always enjoy eating at Joeys in SM Calamba. Service is a little slow though. - cayo

  2. Really? During our visit, the service was fast! We're giving it another try some time next week, siguro. Thanks for dropping by my blog, Cayo!

  3. haha. Client namin to under some industry. Di ko na ididisclose. :D

    Again, I haven't tried this one yet. La pa ko pera unlike you. :)) Imma try this soon!

    Just a comment, nabasa ko lang (real fast!) yung sa description sa cheese. I'd choose to call it "creamy" than "gooey." Mas better ata sa wasabi yung term na "gooey" eh. Haha. ^_^

    Nice review!

  4. Ha ha! I lime my cheese gooey! Ha ha! That's what it says on Kraft Mozzarella Sticks pati! Ha ha!

    Thanks for dropping by! More Gundam posts from you, please!

  5. oo nga no. It's been a while since I've posted about my Gundams. Added four to the family nga pala. ^_^