Sunday, March 13, 2011

A+ For Auntie Pearl's Pizza.

Living near the UPLB campus means you're surrounded by several hundreds of food establishments which cater to students and non-students alike. There's the usual carinderia, small eateries, medium to large-scale restaurants, a vast array of coffee shops (some are WiFi zones pretending to be coffee shops, though) and of course, the ever famous fast food establishments. Now, the food scene in UPLB has been out of the buzz, until a certain Italian gentleman and his Filipino wife opened up this pizza and burger joint which took UPLB (and nearby towns as well) by storm.

Auntie Pearl's Pizza

Auntie Pearl's Pizza is a quaint little shop located in Demarses, just outside UPLB. With almost a hundred customers flocking in everyday, it's hard to believe that Auntie Pearl's Pizza has already grown a following even after only 5 months of operation. It sits around thirty (30) people inside, and can also accommodate a group of 5 (or more) outside the shop, just beside Auntie Pearl's grill, where, if I may say so, the magic happens.


Auntie Pearl's Pizza offers the basic American and Italian food fare. Authentic and genuine in taste, but ultimately not too harsh on the budget, especially that of a student's. Alright, enough of the introduction, let's start reviewing the food, starting off with the burgers and hot dogs! Get your wipes ready, 'cause here are some food items which are drool worthy!

No extenders, just pure meat. Auntie Pearl's burger patties are made fresh, daily, with pure meat and simple yet very enticing spices. Kuya Jerry, the Head Griller (Yeah, I made his title up, but he IS worthy!), slams these patties onto their grill and as I've said, magic happens. You can get a simple hamburger (49php), a cheeseburger (65php), a bacon cheeseburger (75php) and their signature Jerry Belly Buster (109php), all of which use a quarter pound of meat each, except for the Jerry Belly Buster which has, wait for it (Stinson, 2008), half a pound of meat!

Cheese Burger

Cheese Burger (65php)

Bacon Cheese Burger

Bacon Cheeseburger (65php)

Jerry's Belly Buster

Jerry Belly Buster (109php)

 I have always been, and forever will be, a fan of flame-grilled burgers. And Auntie Pearl's burgers are done exactly that way. The patties are grilled to perfection, slightly charred in all the right places, with visible grill marks, and with the juices oozing out upon biting. Never mind that they use ordinary burger buns, after all, the patties are so good, you wouldn't even notice the bread! The Jerry Belly Buster deserves a special mention since it is seriously, one of the best burgers we've had. The sheer amount of juicy meat (Half a pound, baby!) plus the saltiness of the cheese, and the crispness of the vegetables just runs straight home! Believe me when I say you need not any condiments for this one!

Auntie Pearl's also carries grilled hot dogs on buns. You can get it with their home-made chili (49php) or take the extra step and go for their hotdog with chili and cheese (59php). Their chili is also made with tons of meat! So aside from the hot dog, you get about 4 tablespoons more of delicately cooked meat. Their chili could use a little more kick in the spice department, but maybe that's just me since I'm a sucker for spicy food. Anyway, there's chili powder and dried chili flakes available in their pantry so you can just ask them for it if you need that extra fire.

Hotdog with Chilli

Hotdog with Chili (49php)

Hotdog with Chilli and Cheese

Hotdog with Chili and Cheese (59php)

The shop also offers several appetizers and finger foods as well. One of their best-sellers is undoubtedly their Onion Rings, which are as real as real onions could be! Thick slices of onions drenched in Auntie Pearl's original batter, deep fried until golden brown. Perfect, right? Right!

Onion Rings

Onion Rings (109php for a basket of 12 large pieces)

The first time we got the Onion Rings, it was served with this white, kinda like tartar sauce, dipping sauce. The next two visits, we weren't served the dip. We don't know what happened, but I personally wish they bring it back. It's better than dipping it in plain tomato ketchup or mustard. But you can eat the onion rings on their own, too! It's tasty just the way it is!

Now, a review of Auntie Pearl's Pizza wouldn't be complete without reviewing their pizza. They have a wide selection of pizza toppings. Upon talking with Uncle Frank, we learned that they make their own dough and they make it fresh. How fresh? They only make dough when someone orders pizza. I'm sure you'll say that that would take so much time, but I tell you, the wait is worth it.

Meat Lover's Pizza

8" Meat Lovers' Pizza (169php)

Ground Beef with Jalapenos Pizza

8" Ground Beef with Jalapeno Peppers Pizza (169php)

The pizzas are a bit on the pricey side, but it's really worth it. You get freshly-made dough, delectable and well-seasoned tomato sauce, no scarcity with regards to the toppings, plus loads of not too overpowering melted mozzarella cheese. What makes their pizza good is their crust. It's baked to a crisp outside, but you still get some chewiness in some parts. 

With the amount of food that we got, you'd think we would skip dessert. Wrong. Especially when it's Auntie Pearl's Ref Cake.

Auntie Pearl's Ref Cake

Auntie Pearl's Ref Cake (39php per slice/serving)

This ain't your ref cake with graham crackers sandwiching diabetes-inducing cream and fruit tid bits. Heck no. This one tastes like an ice cream cake, really. It's smooth and creamy but not too sweet, and it doesn't skimp on the fruit (I think it's peach. Or mangoes. Whatever.) and on the chocolate sauce. And for 39php a pop? Now that's a deal!

Auntie Pearl's Pizza, being an American Diner inspired establishment, also serves beer. A 235mL bottle of San Mig Light goes for 30php while a 500mL bottle of Red Horse Beer costs 35php. They also have Pale Pilsen, but that's just not for our taste. Ha ha! By the way, all three aforementioned alcoholic drinks are from San Miguel Corporation. They also have iced tea and soft drinks for those who wish to skip the alcohol.

Oh, they also have a few pasta items on the menu. We've tasted their Spaghetti with Meatballs before and it's also good. It's Italian-flavored, so don't expect sweetness in the sauce. Forgive me for I've no photo of that. Don't worry though, we're always in Auntie Pearl's so that means I can make another review for the items we didn't get to try (or take photos of).

So, I guess that wraps up my review for Auntie Pearl's Pizza. Saying it's a good place is an understatement because this place is rockin'! Great food, great staff, a very homey feel, and a very accommodating owner. Auntie Pearl's Pizza ain't a fast food, or an eatery. It's a league on its own.

The Gang with Uncle Frank

(L-R) Mary, Uncle Frank, Jules, Marvin, and Rouvel

Chris and Uncle Frank

That's me, with Uncle Frank

PROS: Great food. Great staff. Reasonable prices.
CONS: Space is limited, but Uncle Frank has plans of expanding their space by June 2011.

FINAL RATING: 5 out of 5 

Auntie Pearl's Pizza
Demarses, Brgy. Batong Malake, LB, Laguna

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