National Pizza Day

italian-pizza
National Pizza Day is still on in the USA, Feb 9. In the Philippines, as well yesterday, as a number of pizzerias had all day promos.

According to the statistics, 1 in 8 Americans will eat pizza on any given day and 3 Billion Pizzas are sold each year. The statistics indicate that the number of American pizza eaters do not vary among race or gender. According to Pizza Hut, 94% of Americans eat pizza at least once per month.

One Pizzeria I will mention is Rio Bella, aka “Rio” Greenoz, located on Lacson Extension in Bacolod City. Their Pizza Chefs have changed over the years but they are still better than a number of other so called pizzerias. I still enjoy singing there in their Karaoke Bar. That is exactly what we did last Sunday afternoon with our Chinese friends from Shanghai.

I am not a big fan of Pizza Hut or Shakey’s in the Philippines. I did enjoy the 1954 Vintage Classic Pizza at Shakey’s in 2014 but it is no longer available. I remember the days back in the 1980s and in the 1990s when Shakey’s Pizza was great. The Shakey’s on Roxas Blvd in Manila had Draft San Miguel by the pitcher and a kick butt Rock n’ Roll Band at night. Ever hear the cover of “Mexican Black Bird” by ZZ Top?

Papa John’s Pizza is in Manila.

National Pizza Day Survey

In today’s National Pizza Day Survey, Lombardi’s in NYC, Capo’s in Chicago, Bollo Woodfired Pizza in Houston, Ken’s Artisan Pizza in Portland, Pizza Domenica in New Orleans, Pizzeria Beddia in Philadelphia, Proof Pizza in Miami (Neapolitan Pizza), Sotto Pizza in LA, Cart Driver Pizza in Denver and Tavola in NYC are the top Pizzerias in America. Never tried any of them but it may be true, although I do not put much stock into American surveys or polls. Otherwise, Hillary Clinton would be in the White House!

I really cannot tell you why but we have never tried Pizza Republic in Bacolod or in Cebu City. We need to check it out since it seems that more Indie Pizza Restaurants are losing their touch.

I would enjoy it very much if Hungry Howies Pizza came to Bacolod, as they have great pizza in Florida.

I remember very well my first pizza and that was way back in 1960 in Middletown, Rhode Island. At a Mom & Pop Pizzeria, owned by a Portuguese couple. They also had fabulous Spaghetti & Meatballs, Grinders (submarine sandwiches) and Antipasto Salad. Wow! Would love to eat there again right now.

Filipinos Love Pizza

Filipinos in Bacolod and in Cebu City also eat a lot of Pizza. It is a mixed bag when you read online pizza reviews and listen to recommendations from others. It does not matter how good the pizza toppings are, if the pizza crust is not good, it is not good pizza…to me. If the crust is excellent, I can enjoy a plain Cheese Pizza. Others have different standards for pizza. Mama Maria Pizza in Kabankalan had very good pizza but we have not been there to eat in several years. Not sure if they are still on the planet or have the same ownership if still open. Mama Maria Pizza in Bacolod folded several years ago.

pizza

In the Bacolod and Cebu City malls, there are a number of kiosks making and selling pizza but I never try those. I can see them on display and I know, it is a poor attempt at making good pizza. They can keep their Eden Kraft Cheese!

Sbarro Pizza is or was in SM Mall Bacolod but I am not a big fan of them. Seems they were much better in Florida, best I recall.

I find Pizzaro Pizza to be very good. There are several branches in Bacolod City but we prefer their Gold Field Branch. Pizzaro also has branches in La Carlota and in Victorias City. Pizzaro has Korean fast food on their menu. However, Hanok in Golden Field is the place to go for authentic, full service Korean Cuisine, as I wrote in a recent article right here on All Around Bacolod.

I could write more about pizza in Bacolod but this article is long enough. I will recommend Italia Restaurant on Lacson Street, as they have excellent pizza. They are the A-Lister these days, as other once excellent Bacolod pizzerias are falling by the wayside.

I hope to see you one day, somewhere…all around Bacolod!

Your Amigo,

~ Gary ~

The Best Pizza in Bacolod: Rio Bella Pizzaria

rio bella
This is an update about Rio Bella Pizzaria, located on Lacson Extension, not far from Alijis Road. Rio Bella has the best pizza in Bacolod and this is not based solely on my opinion and the opinion of our son, who is a pizza expert. When he hears the word, PIZZA, he thinks and says, RIO BELLA!

Rio bella
There are plenty of ice cold beverages at Rio Bella to wash down your pizza! Soft drinks of various brands and beer!

Rio Bella
If you have many in your party, I recommend the XXL, however, the XL is usually what we order. We like pepperoni but the new Rio Bella Meaty Overload is great for those who love meat on their pizza..and who doesn’t? Well, I know, I know, some don’t. Have no fear because you can special order your pizza at Rio Bella. You can order half meat and half veggies or you can order vegetarian pizza. It is up to you!

rio bella
The above is a slice of the XL Pepperoni Pizza.

rio bella
Only a few slices left!

rio bella
It takes 2 hands to hold a slice of the Rio Bella XL Pizza!

An American friend and his wife recently went to Rio Bella Pizzaria and he told me I was right! Rio Bella has the best pizza in Bacolod City!

We have been dining at Rio Bella and enjoying their pizza for some time now and they are always the same! Great pizza, fabulous wait staff and very friendly management. Oh, and don’t forget, ┬áice cold beer! For me pizza is not pizza without an ice cold beer!

Rio Bella is not a chain restaurant that turns out pizza with frozen dough, as it is made from scratch and all the ingredients are fresh. For me personally, the pizza dough is every bit as important as the toppings.

The next time you want an excellent pizza, check out the pizza at Rio Bella. Maybe you will see me there!

Take care and I hope to see you one day, somewhere…..all around Bacolod!

Pizzaro Pizza in Victorias City

Pizzaro
We were in Victorias City yesterday and we noticed Pizzaro Pizzaria located next to Lopues as you first enter the city. We have eaten at Pizzaro in Goldenfield, Bacolod, so we know they have good pizza. We would soon learn that this branch in Victorias City has fabulous pizza. Our son is a pizza expert and he knows good pizza! He and the rest of us give two thumbs up to Pizzao in Victorias City.

Pizzaro
We really enjoyed the atmosphere at Pizzaro, as it has the feel of an outdoor pizzaria!

Pizzaro
Pepperoni Pizza

Pizzaro
The perfect combination! Pizza and San Miguel Pale Pilsen!

Pizzaro
If you are interested in dessert, one option is Melona Refreshing Ice Cream Bars in 5 different flavors.

In the first two photos of my article, you can see that Pizzaro is much more than pizza with their large menu posted on the front counter in banner style. I do not personally know too many people who do not enjoy excellent pizza but if they go to Pizzaro, there are a number of other dishes to choose from, including pasta. There are also a few Korean dishes on Pizzaro’s menu.

The next time you are in Victorias City, you can check out Pizzaro and I do not think you will be disappointed. Their pizza is thick, meaty and cheesy. The large pepperoni pizza we ordered was P325 and it was awesome!

~ Gary ~

http://www.retiringtothephilippines.com

Rio Bella Pizzaria In Bacolod

 

Rio Bella Pizzaria

Rio Bella Pizzaria

Located on Lacson Extension, near Alijis Road, is Rio Bella Pizzaria & Bar. Rio Bella has quickly become our favorite pizza restaurant in Bacolod City. My wife, son and I really enjoy the pizza made at Rio Bella. I judge a pizza by its crust and it does not matter to me what the toppings are, if the crust is not very good, the pizza is a failure. We dined and ordered pizza at Rio Bella Pizzaria at least a half dozen times and every pizza has been a smashing success! There are 17 different pizzas to choose from on the menu and our favorite is the pepperoni pizza. Basically because it is our son’s favorite!

XL Pepperoni Pizza

XL Pepperoni Pizza

Our good friend, Randy, is helping us eat this massive XL pizza! No, we could not finish it, so we had a lot of pizza to take home with us, to enjoy again. Which we did!

Rosti

Rosti

Rio Bella Pizzaria has a number of Swiss dishes on their menu. We ordered rosti and we really enjoyed it. Rosti is coarsely grated potatoes which are mostly fried but they can be baked in an oven. Rosti is more like the Southern Style homemade hash brown potatoes that I grew up eating. Rosti is nothing like the hash browns one orders at Jollebee or McDonald. I refer to rosti as “scattered hash browns” and not one large lump of commercial cookie cutter potatoes. I will add that the rosti on the platter is only half the amount that came with the order, as we could not wait to dig in!

The menu at Rio Bella Pizzaria is in English and German. There are also several Filipino dishes on the menu. Schnitzel (a breaded cutlet meat dish) and wurst (sausages) are a few more available Swiss dishes among several others. My wife has ordered the popular Filipino dish, Pancit Bihon, several times and she rates it as “Excellent.”

Decor

Decor

The decor is nice in Rio Bella Pizzaria and it gives off an Old World or European atmosphere in the Bacolod Area.

Every time we have dined at Rio Bella Pizzaria, there have always been other expats there at different times of the day, Noon, later afternoon and evening. This is usually a good indicator to me that the food is good but I know that already!

Other dishes on the menu, which many expats enjoy, are chili con carne, Cordon Bleu, fish & chips, and Caesar Salad, among a host of others. If you enjoy beer with your pizza or other dishes, the beer is always ice cold! The wait staff are very friendly and the service is very good. The owner is also very friendly and she has chatted with us before at our table.

Rio Bella is a newer addition to the dining scene in Bacolod and we really enjoy it. We look forward to our next pizza at Rio Bella. The bar is separate from the restaurant, so taking one’s children and family to enjoy pizza and Swiss food won’t be a problem. It is a family atmosphere. You will also most likely see other expats there, so maybe you will meet some new friends?