Papa John's Pizza place is a Winner

Better ingredients, better pizza. That's the claim of this American pizza place we had the pleasure of visiting last weekend.

Just a week after opening, we trooped to the newly-opened flagship branch in the Philippines of Papa John's Pizza conveniently located (for us at least, heeheein the bustling Greenhills shopping district, along Annapolis Street.
It's imposing bi-level facade is what will greet customers. We were directed to the second floor for our family lunch. Since it was a double birthday celebration for hubby and younger brother, whose natal days are 2 days apart, we thought we'd try something new. Papa John's proved to be a winner!
So, the birthday boys were in charge of ordering. "Using fresh dough and superior-quality ingredients", we did not mind waiting a while for our food to arrive. We only ordered pizza and sides. It's safe to say we were all happy campers after devouring everything that was laid out.

With kids in tow, for starters, we just got to have plates of Potato Wedges and Waffle Fries, all baked until crisp and golden, served with their own pizza sauce. The sauce made the spud more interesting.  It's classic Caesar Salad for the grown-ups -- fresh and crunchy with just the right amount of dressing. I would have wanted more bacon bits though. =)
Waffle Fries and Potato Wedges @ P90 each, salad @ P79
And then came the pizza!
We ordered 4 variants in 9-inch sizes (small), with 6 slices. They also come in medium (12") and large (14"). All their crusts were just perfect. Very fragrant, not oily at all, just the right thickness and crunchy-chewy all the way. I love it. My father even compared it to a freshly-baked pandesal's (bread of salt / local bun) bite and flavor. Can you smell/taste it now? (Mmm...I am craving as I type...)

The pizza came with their signature garlic sauce and (stewed?) jalapeño pepper, seeded so it's not so hot. I recommend you drizzle or dip in garlic sauce, and cut a bit of jalapeño for that perfect bite. The staff was courteous and accommodating, and gave us more dipping sauce upon our request.

First up, Super Papa's -- well-balanced combo of pepperoni, Italian sausage, ham, mushrooms, onions, green bell peppers and black olives. Very good!
Super Papa's, small, @ P320
For seafood lovers, it's Fisherman's Catch -- topped with shrimps, calamari, peppers and onions, with garlic sauce. Light, juicy and tasty, I gave this a good rating.
Fisherman's Catch, small, @ P300
This was my favorite of the three -- the Texas Heat. It has a savory mix of ground beef, crispy bacon bits, onions, green peppers AND spicy jalapeño! The flavors of meat complemented with the right amount of heat married perfectly in this one! If I were hungry enough, I could have finished this by myself! :) 
Texas Heat, small, @ P300
There was the Hawaiian pizza for the kids but I wasn't able didn't try it anymore. No photo as well. But it looked pretty basic with the ham and pineapples.

We also ordered this baked rice dish for our nannies. They had the Beef and Bacon. It's garlic pepper rice baked with ground beef, onions, peppers, bacon bits, topped with bolognaise sauce and mozrarella. Sorry, I did not get to taste this one. But it smelled good.
Beef and Bacon, baked rice, @ P160
I was not planning on ordering a drink since I'd like to have some sweets afterwards. But hubby suggested this Italian soda, so I got the Pink Grapefruit. It was a refreshingly zesty drink that went very well with our meal.
Italian Soda, Pink Grapefruit flavor, @ P69
Did I mention we cleaned our plates? I was totally satisfied with everything we ordered.  Better pizza indeed! They just need to improve on turn-around time when it comes to sending over the bill. It took longer than expected. We guessed they were still undermanned, and we were seated upstairs.

Apart from their signature pizzas, they also serve soups, pasta, junior meals, calzone, and an assortment of beverages and desserts. Speaking of which, I was not able to order since I was too full. I would have wanted a taste of that sinful Toffee Sansrival! Well, there will be a next time.

A sneak peek:  
The second level was spacious, with high ceiling and big glass panels, a bright and cheery atmosphere that's great for gatherings. I surmise the minimalist space was designed for social events or private parties since it boasts of a center stage (platform), and three enclosed dining areas that you can open up with it's sliding glass dividers. At a glance, I'd say it can roughly accommodate 80 pax, maybe more. I only got to see the whole first level when we were leaving. The interiors seemed very warm and cozy with it's earth tones, accents of reds, greens, and deep couches at the corner tables.

Major fail -- no parking space. Quite discouraging. In Greenhills, parking will raise your stress levels especially on weekends! Unless you can chance upon a good spot on the side streets, your only recourse is to park over at the Promenade or in nearby parking areas across the other side of the street (which we did). I just thought their al fresco dining spot by the entrance would better serve as parking slots. I am not aware if they offer valet parking. Still, the great food more than made up for this setback. I will surely be back to taste more of their mouth-watering dishes.  

Here's Papa John's inspiring story, printed on the place mat.

Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan City
(632) 722-967
(beside National Bookstore)

Robinsons Galleria Veranda
Level 2 Unit 2401, Robinsons Galleria
EDSA cor. Ortigas Ave., Ortigas Center, Quezon City
(632) 631-8689 or (632) 736-0570

University Mall Taft Avenue
Unit 01 Ground Floor
#2507 Taft Avenue, Malate, Manila
(632) 536-5434 or (632) 536-4612

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