While most of us were complaining about the daily power interruptions, the heat and the hundred and one reasons to stay away from the sun, Calda Pizza opened without funfare just last week at their location at the corner of Champaca and Kadulasan Streets of Barangay Dadiangas East here in GenSan. You would not easily notice it at first.
The place which occupies three units of a new single-story commercial building, has a simple nondescript open setting, blending it well into its neighborhood of old residences, mom and pop stores, boarding houses and a car wash across the street. Farther ahead is Marasa Grill and Sonly Pension House.
Bariles has been passing the area usually from his office to make a detour to the National Highway but did not notice anything until a friend pointed out to him its existence. Excited at its discovery, and after finding some vacant time on his way home, he dropped by last Friday late afternoon.
The place was semi-full and some of the wooden tables and chairs which were spilling out into the sidewalk were already taken when he arrived. The customers were a mix-match of pizza lovers who did not seem to mind that it there was a brownout at that time since the area was quite cool and airy.
There were several couples, two families, and a group of friends obviously just out from work. Good thing a small table was still available by the side for Bariles.
Calda Pizza (literally meaning “HOT PIZZA” in Italian) is actually a franchise from Cebu City where it has several branches, brought here by the family of Randy and Claire Yap and their siblings.
Upon noticing that it clicked well in middle-income neighborhoods in the Queen City, the family thought of getting the franchise for GenSan where majority of the households are from the same bracket. Part of their plan is not to advertise it and just let word of mouth do the marketing since they believe that they have a good product.
The good news is, a week after they sofly opened, a steady stream of customers have been visiting their outlet.
Of course, Bariles wouldn’t want to take their word for it and has to try it himself. And so from the Menu, he ordered their bestseller, the CALDA Regular Pizza which promises toppings of Ground Beef, Ham, Salami, Mozarella Cheese, Onions, Green Bell Pepper and tomato sauce. When it was served to him after 15 minutes, its look and aroma did not disappoint!
Whoa! The original Calda Pizza was actually wider than its supposedly 10-inch diameter and the toppings were so hefty and overflowing that not a few kept falling off each time Bariles took a bite from each slice.
According to Randy Yap, his bakers do not measure the amount of toppings they put on each serving with weighing scales which limit their “creativity” but scoop and spread them by the handful. Customers then get more than the usual amount of meat, veggies, cheese and other toppings due to this method.
Bariles is partial to thin crusts but not the super crispy ones which taste like biscuits already. Calda Pizza’s crust was doughy and chewy enough to enjoy it mixing with the flavorful meaty, cheesy and veggie toppings inside his mouth. His choice of the original Calda pizza had also the right spicy bite to it, not too much, and which could be tolerated by any kid. He immediately consumed 4 slices while sharing the rest with Randy’s little nephew who was helping out as a bus boy. The whole thing costs P190.
The other group near them ordered the biggest pizza at 36 inches, called the SUPER EXTRA! It filled their whole table and dwarfed the little boy with them. The gigantic thing has a prize ranging from P850 to P950 depending on the flavor.
Calda Pizza has more varied fare with such names as Margherita, Funghi, Etna, Hawaiian, Capricciosa, the familiar Calzone (closed baked pizza), Milanese, Vegetariani, Succulenta, Bolognese, Filipiniana, Carousela, Roma, among others which come in different sizes. These are the Regular (10 inches), Family (15 inches), XL (20 inches), Super (30 inches), and Xtra Super (36 inches).
Bariles is mighty sure that you will proceed to Calda Pizza after reading this. Once there, just don’t forget to utter the immortal line, “BARILES SENT ME.”
Who knows? You might be rewarded by Calda Pizza’s baker with more generous amount of toppings on your order of their delicious, tasty and chewy thin crust pizza.