Staying at The Forest Lodge in Baguio City did not require us dining only at The Twist or side-tracking to its neighbor hotel-restaurant, Le Chef at The Manor. Of course, we were also free to eat at other places inside John Hay and even outside the camp. With a wide selection of outlet stores, charming cafes and specialty restaurants on sight, the Mile Hi Center fronting The Manor caught our attention. For late lunch, we decided to try Carlo’s Pizza.
Carlo’s Pizza is an Italian, casual dining restaurant with 13 outlets in different parts of Metro Manila. It’s interesting to learn that this branch in Camp John Hay is the first of Carlo’s Pizza which was established way back in March 2002.
Review of Carlo’s Pizza and Italian Food Restaurant (Camp John Hay, Baguio City)
Hosting a cozy ambiance for some relaxing meal, Carlo’s Pizza has kept its interior design simple. Bright yellow wall paint and hanged pictures of food and relevant pictures can drive customers’ senses to a creative frenzy. The vibe was laid-back. My only gripe was that the space was quite cramped with tables and chairs put side-by-side, making everyone hard to move around.
The server for our table was familiar with Carlo’s Pizza’s menu and was good at recommending the best dishes. The thing that broke their five-star score for “service” was the staffs’ lack of attention. There seemed enough manpower with three to four of them working for about five active tables in a dining room whose size was pretty manageable for everyone to handle.
I kept raising my hand, hoping for them to take notice. Without luck, I had to stand up a few times to make them aware of my presence. There was even a time when the guy at the counter already met my gaze and saw my arm up high, and he still failed to reach out to us or conveyed to a coworker about it. I was asking for the bill. Ugh, I hate the feeling of being ignored as a paying customer. Who doesn’t?
The Nachos Supreme (PhP 235) consisted of crunchy and colorful feast of nachos topped with seasoned ground beef, mushrooms, black olives, jalapeno chilies, tomato salsa and creamy cheese sauce. It was an easy favorite since the distinctive flavors and components were all intact. Nachos with these ingredients left our lips greasy but that’s okay. The varied texture was creative.
Appropriate amount of mozzarella and Parmesan cheese made the Lasagna alla Carlo (PhP 190) a winner. It was composed of layers of homemade lasagna pasta, meat sauce, Italian sausage, creamy cheese, bechamel, and pepperoni. Overall, a good balance of proportions of ingredients made this lasagna a gratifying treat.
The Pizza Capriccioso (Regular 9″: PhP 285, Large 12″: PhP 395, Family 15″: PhP 560) with pepperoni, ham, bacon, Italian sausage, mushrooms, black olives, onion and green pepper was triumphant. While ingredients were plenty, they all worked. The pizza was made with freshly made dough, punctuated and drizzled with olive oil, and stone-baked with imported pizza sauce made from Roma and tomatoes blended with herbs and spices. It was most unique on the menu with rich flavor worth trying.
Note: All the pizzas are handmade to order hence there’s an expected waiting time of about 20 to 30 minutes.
The one thing that didn’t beat my expectation was Carlo’s Pizza’s Creamy Pesto Pasta (PhP 175)—pasta tossed on creamy basil pesto. It lacked on the pesto flavor and the looks department. That said, I was also right when I thought that it would not be delicious as I would have liked.
Price for Value: ★★★★☆
Our dining experience at this pizza joint in Camp John Hay had been satisfactory. Having tried both the pasta and pizza here, I would most certainly recommend the latter. Carlo’s Pizza is definitely a good place for pizza lovers. Prices are very affordable given the portion and tastes of their food.