The Quest for U.S. Style Pizza in Asia
One food that is never quite right in Asian countries is pizza. In the Philippines there’s strange toppings like canned tuna, canned corn, pineapple and processed cheese instead of mozzarella. Hawaiian pizza is the pie of choice in the Philippines.
I was born and raised in the Chicagoland area and was brought up on some of the best pizza in the world. The best you can do in Asia are places like:
- Pizza Hut
Once in a while you can find an Italian restaurant that does a nice pizza. While these choices are ok, they are a far cry away from a Chicago deep dish pizza or even a New York style pizza. It can be extremely frustrating and disappointing if you live in this part of the world for an extended period of time when you have a pizza craving.
S&R Warehouse Shopping
S&R is a warehouse shopping experience almost exactly like Costco or Sam’s Club in the United States. There is a yearly membership fee that costs 700 pesos (approximately $16.00 per year). A branch near Angeles City finally opened in neighboring San Fernando. Before this you had to travel all the way to Manila with coolers of ice in a day long, traffic induced, 4-hour round trip nightmare.
But it was always worth the traffic and distance to bring home a pizza that looked and tasted just like the one’s you can get at Costco or Sam’s Club. Fortunately that trip now takes about 1 hour round trip with the opening of the San Fernando branch.
S&R Prepared Foods
Like Costcos and Sam’s Clubs, S&R has a food kiosk and eating area after you check out. They carry many similar items you’ll be familiar with if you’ve ever eaten at Costco or Sam’s Club.
Some items you can get are:
- New York Style Pizzas (Pepperoni, Combo, Cheese, Garlic Shrimp & occasional specialty flavors)
- American Style 100% Beef Hot Dogs
- Baked Rolls (Chicken & Beef)
- French Fries
- Roasted & Fried Chicken
- Ice Cream & Deserts
New York Style Pizza
First, this is not New York style pizza but that’s what they call. I for one am thankful it’s not New York style pizza. There’s nothing worse than that sloppy, floppy, greasy New York style pizza in my opinion. What’s great about trying to pick up an over-sized piece of pizza and watching the toppings slide off onto the floor before you even get a bite?! But maybe that’s the Chicagoan bias in me.
The pizza at S&R is virtually identical to what you get at Costco and Sam’s Club. If I didn’t see them making them behind the counter I’d swear they were importing them in from the States. The crust is not too thick and not too thin. The sauce is your typical, familiar Italian style and the toppings taste exactly like you would expect from an American pizzeria. In fact, this is the closest American style pizza you can find in the Philippines. More importantly they are using a quality mozzarella cheese and aren’t being skimpy about it.
While I enjoy the hot dogs as my go to meal when I’m there, the pizza is the best thing on the menu and I usually order 1 or 2 to take home to freeze. They reheat amazingly well in a toaster oven and I always try to keep a steady supply in stock.
Pizza by the slice costs 99 pesos (approximately $2.23) with whole pies available for 499 pesos (cheese, approximately $11.21), 549 pesos (all other flavors, approximately $12.33) and 599 pesos (specialty/seasonal, approximately $13.46). The slices and whole pies are huge, larger than a typical American large pizza. If you’ve eaten Costco or Sam’s Club pizza you’ll understand.
A membership at S&R for access to the pizza alone is worth the $16 per year plus you can shop in the warehouse store. The 30 minute drive to San Fernando is well worth the trip. I hope the success of this S&R branch reaches corporate heads and they open a branch on the Global Gateway Logistics City complex in the Clark Freeport Zone near Angeles City. I think they would do well in pizza sales alone due to the number of foreigners and ex-pats calling Angeles home who can only get mediocre, expensive pizzas here.
If you’re missing great American style pizza then S&R is the spot that will bring back memories of home!
S&R is located near SM Pampanga on Jose Abad Santos Avenue in San Fernando is open to members 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm.