Where do I buy great pizza in Pattaya?
Pizza is a superfood?
Sergio’s Pizza Factory – The Avenue Pattaya Beach Second Road
Food trends come and go as quickly fashion trends. Everyone wants to eat what the cool kids are eating. But just like fashion, some food trends turn out to be legitimately better and appealing to a wide variety of people forever. And, just like fashion, most of these trends really aren’t some new discovery but a universal truth that’s been around for ages. And so it is with the trendy notion of “superfoods”. According to Dictionary.com, “superfood” is defined as a nutrient-rich food considered to be especially beneficial for health and well-being.
Talk to Sergio Armenio for more than ten minutes and you’ll understand why his pizza should be considered a superfood. In fact, talk to Sergio for half an hour and you’ll also understand what the phrase “a passion for food” means. A few of months ago Sergio quietly rebranded his Pizza Pizza franchise located at The Avenue on Pattaya Beach Second Road. The spacious restaurant re-emerged with a face lift and a new attitude. Welcome to Sergio’s Pizza Factory, Pattaya’s newest “go to” eatery.
Sourdough as Superfood
When I asked Sergio what made his pizza special I got a history and science lesson. Sourdough bread dates back a few thousand years BC and is made by the fermentation of natural healthy bacteria and yeast. Sourdough is low gluten, low carbohydrate and probiotic. In other words, it’s good for your gut.
In the early 1900s it took a long time to make any bread due to the time required for the fermentation process. The invention and use of baker’s yeast to stabilize the yeast and speed up the process really kind of ruined bread as a healthy food. Fast forward to today and this trend has continued … “we’re all in a big hurry so let’s eat some processed crap”. Sergio Armenio has reached back in time and created what is known as a “levito madre” or “mother yeast”. He lovingly refers to his creation as “Maria”, and talks about her likes she is a member of his family. According to Sergio, “Maria just keeps evolving and getting better”. Taste one of his pizzas and you’ll understand.
A Tale of Two Pizzas
The pizza produced by Sergio’s Pizza Factory is “Pizza Romana”, which is a thin and crispy dough with narrow edge of crust as opposed to a “Pizza Napoli” which is a soft floppy bread with a wide band of crust around the edge. For those of us who like to grab a slice, fold it in half and work our way from the narrow end to the crust, Pizza Romana is superior in every way.
For me the two stands out pizzas at Sergio’s are the Monte Mare and the Capricciosa. “Mare Monte” means you get something from the sea and something from the mountains. With garlic prawns, soppressata salami, marinated mushrooms, ham, San Marzano tomato and mozzarella; it’s like a “surf-and-turf” pizza. My new favorite is the Capricciosa made with artichoke, ham, marinated mushrooms, black olives, San Marzano tomato and mozzarella. It’s almost too beautiful to eat. All of Sergio’s pizzas are light, crunchy and bursting with good old Italian flavors.
More than just Pizza
Sergio let me know right away that his goal is to provide an “authentic Italian experience”, and that means much more than just pizza. Soups, salads, anti-pasta and of course pasta dishes populate the other side of the pizza menu.
I ordered the Caesar Salad to start me off. Sergio’s version of the classic Italian salad was perfectly balanced with just the right amount of parmesan cheese, salty Italian anchovies and a gorgeous poached egg on top. For a Caesar lover like me, it was spot on. When I asked him what was his best “non-pizza” dish, he brought me the Capellini Aglio Olio, the least expensive item on the menu. Perfectly al dente pasta, thinly sliced garlic that had been poached in extra virgin olive oil, real Italian parsley and just a hint of pepperoncino flakes. Simple, elegant and completely satisfying.
One of the most interesting items on the menu is the Panzarotti. Imagine a calzone, which is a pizza that has been folded so that the crunchy crust is on the outside with all the gooey goodness inside. But, Sergio offers a mini hand-held version with different fillings that is deep-fried and a perfect on-the-go snack. I had one with mozzarella and tomato and another with mortadella. I could totally see myself walking down Beach Road with one of these babies wrapped in wax paper … maybe one in each hand!
A lively vibe
From my strategic table near the big open kitchen, I could observe all the tasty creations coming out. The baked lasagna went on my list of hunger-stopping hangover cures I really must try. The Pappardelle Bolognese smelled like it was direct from Grandma’s house. But, what impressed me most was the rapport Sergio seems to have with his staff. They’re smiling, laughing and grooving to the cool tunes emanating from the sound system. Anyone who has ever spent time cooking knows, food just tastes better when you’re having fun making it.
In fact, the atmosphere at Sergio’s Pizza Factory is kind of like his pizza; light, lively and a little bit addictive. That’s why I refer to this place as my new “go to” restaurant. I go there because I feel good when I leave. Isn’t that how a “superfood” should make you feel?
Give Sergio’s a try with his budget-friendly La Dolce Vita Lunch Special. Two courses of spectacular Italian food for 199 baht. Monday – Friday 11:30 to 14:30.