Freshly Cooked Italian Style Staples At Chef Arnold's Pizza In San Juan

San Juan is not far from where I live, and it will forever remain as part of my childhood, having to study both grade school and high school at St. John's Academy. I remember my days as a shy kid with my green jumper skirt and bloomers which I wore during PE class, donning this huge bag full of books and notebooks which I had to bring everyday to school and going home. Back in the days where there are no tablets and using cellphones inside the school wasn't allowed, and food was limited to canteen sandwiches like roast beef, lasagna made wisely from skyflakes, to yummy meatballs and lumpiang shanghai. I've had my share of good times during those years, and to which I honed a keen sense of familiarity when it comes to some areas around my school, including where Chef Arnold's Pizza is located.

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So when I got invited by a friend of mine on one of the food tasting series c/o Open Rice Philippines, I was pretty confident to arrive at the venue without getting myself lost along the way. There's this new pizza place called Chef Arnold's Pizza. It's a hole-in-the-wall pizza joint with an open kitchen and an al fresco area, all conveniently packed within the corner of Lourdes Street and N. Domingo in San Juan, and just a few meters away from the more visible Savory Chicken Restaurant.

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This is actually one of their newer branches since they already had their first at Mandaluyong. I admit that I never really tried Chef Arnold's Pizza until now.

Usually, you can get fresh Italian style pizza either at your nearest Italian restaurant, or when you would have the time and energy to make them yourself. Chef Arnold's Pizza, on the other hand, gives you the same freshness that you can get from any other prominent pizza joint. This place is off to the streets. And yes, I was definitely out, and I mean that literally! The al fresco area was the actual corner of the street. And while me and some other guests were waiting for the pizzas to be made, I munched on these complimentary bread sticks, which I ate by itself and also with some tangy mayo-based dip.

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Chef Arnold's Pizza is a humble venture to which Chef Arnold Angsuco, the owner, has been working hard for. With a vast experience with food, his pizza place has 13 varieties of pizza and a number of pasta dishes to boot. I was also surprised to know that we both came from St. John's Academy, but he graduated way earlier than me. I do appreciate people sharing the same passions with me such as food, but it's a bonus to know that we're from the same school. Loud and proud Johnites here! :)

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As for the prices, it is not a disappointment at all. The largest is 16 inches and priced at P250.00 and the smallest size is only P60.00. Now that's something to wow about.

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Here, they showed us how to make the yummy pizzas. In this video they were making the New Yorker which is one of Chef Arnold's Pizza's bestsellers. A medley of sauce, cheese and toppings along with some fresh pesto on the sides is what makes up of this dish.

After a few minutes, here is what were served on the table. It's very appetizing and you can see that the toppings are very generous despite having a very affordable price. It's how pizza should be, hot and fresh from the oven. I have nothing against those street style pizzas sold locally which is literally like an open faced sandwich since I've had those during my schooldays, hehe, but in comparison, this one is the real deal. I did understand though that the cheese being used is not purely made from mozzarella (it tasted a bit similar, if not quickmelt) which would have made it a bit more milk and stringy. However, it's understandable that the pizza might be a little more expensive if mozzarella was actually used.

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But it's very dominant that Chef Arnold's Pizza is not at all greedy with the ingredients being used. Here, they did a version of the chicago style pizza which has another layer of dough on top, making it more like a calzone. It's thinner than the original version, but packed with a punch of yum all over.

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What most of the guest also noticed is the dominant use of pesto with almost all of the flavors at Chef Arnold's. I think it's a smart move and personally pesto adds a good depth of flavor to the pizza and makes it more appetizing to eat too. And for a better kick, a dash of Chef Arnold's Pizza's homamade hot sauce wraps all the flavors. We were constantly advised to steer clear from it since it's close to a hotter Tabasco.

For the record, it is spicy alright. Spicy, but good. Well done on the initiative of making your own hot sauce Chef.

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Chef Arnold's Pizza Wild Wild Mushroom Pizza features different varieties of infused mushrooms in vinaigrette, along with other herbs. It's pretty as a picture, I know, but unfortunately I had the mistake of eating dinner prior to going to this event, so I haven't really tried it. Still, I believe that this would be a top priority to order once I go back there.

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This is because there is absolutely no presence of meat but you can still slightly get that same texture and meatiness from the mushrooms. Also served at Chef Arnold's Pizza is his Margherita Pizza, looking dashingly good with its basic ingredients of green, red and white (basil, tomatoes and cheese, which apparently is not that white to me) with a bonus sweep of pesto on the sides of the crust. I'm really disappointed that I wasn't able to eat this one either, so out of 10 points, I give myself a 4 on the review, and probably a 6 to 7 with having this appetizing photo.

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My boyfriend is really eager to go back to Chef Arnold's Pizza with me soon, so just in case someone recognizes me (and I reiterate, just in case), I'll give you a box of their large sized pizza, and the tab's on me. The catch though, is you have to follow and check my twitter once in a while to know when I'll be heading there. 

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Chef Arnold's Pizza in San Juan is currently open for take-out and pick-up orders as of the moment, but you can call them up just in case they can already accommodate deliveries, especially for those who live nearby.

For more info on Chef Arnold's, including menu, promos and updates, check out their official account:
Chef Arnold's Pizza Official Facebook Page

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*Disclaimer: The following post is entirely made from the writer's own thoughts and views on Chef Arnold's Pizza. 
*Shoutout of thanks to Aldous Calubad and Open Rice Philippines for the invite.

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