Thursday, February 7, 2008

Big Apple Pizza Co.

Big Apple Pizza Co.
Location :
Allegro Center, Pasong Tamo Ext. , Makati City
Cuisine :
Tel #: +63 (2) 757-888
Menu Price Range
: Php 64.00 - Php 168.00 (Php 512.00 to Php 784.00 for whole pizzas)
Service Charge:
Rating : C+

Recently, the number of New York-style pizzerias has been on the rise in Metro Manila. From the old favorite, Yellow Cab Pizza, to the more recent Brooklyn Pizza, these establishments thrive on delivering mammoth, hand-tossed pizzas to an eager public. Big Apple Pizza Co. is poised to be yet another contender, offering not only New York-style pizzas, but also salads, pastas, fried chicken, and even Strombolis to their clientèle.

Unlike Yellow Cab and Brooklyn, however, Big Apple Pizza Co. has an attractive and spacious dining area where patrons can enjoy their cuisine. The tables and chairs are stylish although somewhat hard and uncomfortable. There are also additional tables and chairs located just outside their store, allowing customers to smoke while dining.

Orders are taken at the counter, but, once they're made, they're delivered to you promptly by their courteous staff. Pizzas only come in one size: a gigantic 20-inch thin-crust New York pizza. The slices are so big, in fact, that you might want to ask them to divide it into more slices, eat it with a fork and knife, or simply fold it in half as the large surface area makes it a bit unwieldy to eat traditionally.

Mexican Taco Pizza
Price: Php 89.00/ Php 712.00 (whole)
Rating: B

A very large slice of pizza layered with tomato sauce then smothered with beef, tomato salsa, shredded lettuce and finally topped with cheddar cheese. This pizza was actually quite unique and creative, combining some of the best elements of Italian and Mexican cuisine. The lettuce was crunchy and the ground beef and salsa went well together, providing a tasty and filling meal in itself.

The pizza dough wasn't very crunchy, however, due to the fact that the dish was simply reheated instead of made from scratch. I was told that in order for them to make one, I would have to order at least half a pizza - in other words, four large slices.

Another word of warning: the Mexican Taco Pizza was quite messy to eat. If you cut it with a knife and fork, it would just fall apart and if you tried to lift the slice, the toppings would fall off. It didn't help either that it was served on a piece of cardboard rather than a plate.

Grilled Chicken Ceasar
Price: Php 168.00
Rating: C-

This dish is comprised of several slices of grilled chicken strips on a bed of lettuce garnished with some tomato slices and peppered with parmesan cheese. A stick of garlic bread was included as well as a small plastic cup containing their Caesar dressing.

The salad was plentiful, but lacked variety, it was basically just lettuce and two slices of tomatoes with some grilled chicken slices on top. There were no onions, mushrooms, peppers, olives, radishes, or even red cabbage included, making the salad taste a bit monotonous. The grilled chicken wasn't very flavorful either, tasting dry and reheated. In contrast, the home-made dressing was full of flavor, but a bit too salty.

Stromboli (Beef & Mushroom)
Price: Php 125.00
Rating: B+

A burrito-sized dough stuffed with either Bacon, Chicken, and Mushroom, Sausage and Pepperoni, or Beef and Mushroom. It is also served with a cup of Pomodoro Sauce on the side as a dip.

During my visit, I decided on the Beef and Mushroom, and found it quite flavorful. The warm dough blended well with the mozzarella cheese and the beef and mushroom stuffing. The Pomodoro Sauce also provided a zesty flavor and made this dish quite appetizing.

Unfortunately, this dish was obviously reheated as well and, if they don't have it on the warmer, they weren't willing to make another one for you from scratch. It was also served on a paper plate that made it feel more like the pre-packaged, toaster oven fare you take home from the supermarket.


Despite the very big servings, most of their cuisine is made earlier in the day, which may be alright if you're going to eat lunch, but isn't quite as good when you're having dinner. The food is left on display in a large warmer then heated in the oven once an order is made. If you visit their establishment during dinner time and the menu item isn't on the warmer, your pretty much out of luck as they won't make one just for you.

They're willing to make one from scratch if you buy an entire pizza or at least half a pizza, but for everything else, which includes all of the pizza slices and the Strombolli, it's either on the warmer or you won't get it, period. Combined with some miscommunication with the kitchen, this can be really frustrating as the cashier may claim that a slice is available only to later tell you that it isn't. During our stay, we witnessed a patron storm out in exasperation after waiting fifteen minutes for a pizza slice that never materialized.

Ambiance: Everything had a classic pizzeria look down to the murals on the wall to the wooden chairs and tables. A glass window behind the counter allowed you a glimpse the cooks at work as they hand-tossed the pizza dough and put it in the oven. The establishment was also very spacious and brightly lit with extra chairs and tables available right outside.

The air conditioning was a bit cold, but this could be due to the fact that we were the only people dining. We also noticed some lights turned off, probably to save on electricity as the establishment was rather vacant at the time of our visit.

Value: The servings were plentiful considering their prices. Compared to Yellow Cab or even Brooklyn, you will get comparatively more food, but the practice of simply reheating most of their food degrades their value quite a bit. Also, some of the other dishes are quite expensive considering what they offer (the Grilled Chicken Salad, for instance.)

Service: The staff was courteous and the service was very fast - after all they only needed to reheat their dishes. They didn't seem that knowledgeable when it came to the menu, however, and often made miscues as to the availability of certain items.

Delivery is also available with a minimum delivery value of Php 250.00. They don't charge for this service and are quite prompt with their deliveries on average. If you're looking for a whole New York-style pizza, Big Apple is a good choice, as they will make the pizza from scratch and deliver it to you promptly.

Overall: Despite their spacious and stylish interiors, Big Apple Pizza Co. falls somewhere in between a fast food establishment and a casual diner. Their prices are reasonable and the portions generous, but the food is mostly reheated. Some dishes also feel pre-packaged and pre-made - giving you the impression that you could've gotten the same item at the frozen food section of the supermarket.

If you're with a big group, Big Apple is a good option as they provide fresh, hand-tossed pizzas at a very reasonable price, but if you're alone or with a date, expect to dine on reheated fare that's been in a warmer for god knows how long.

© 2008 Pablo Bairan

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