Deep dish pizza – you either love it or you hate it. Personally, I love it – so much so that I found myself craving it sometime in the middle of the pandemic and had no idea where to find it. (Apparently, deep-dish pizza isn’t a big thing here?)
Anyway, after a bit of crazy searching, imagine my surprise when I learned that one of the very few deep dish pizza places here is actually just three minutes away from where I live here in BF Homes, Paranaque. How this secret place eluded me all this time is beyond me!
Luca’s Corner started back in 2013 as a passion project and is named after the owner’s son, who was born in the same year. Coming from a family of restaurateurs, food has always been one of Mike Mabanta’s biggest passions.
After several trips to Chicago with his relatives, he came up with the idea of turning his love for deep dish pizza into a business here in the Philippines. “The deep dish experience was a nice thing to look forward to in the summers,” Mike shares. “After the fourth time, it hit me: it was time to bring it back home, but on the condition that I did it right.” And boy, does he do it right!
I’ve tasted the fast-food deep dish pizza here, of course. This goes waaaaay beyond that! To be honest, I went into it with zero expectations, but came out of it completely floored! This is exactly what deep-dish pizza is like in the States and exactly what the deep dish experience should be like!
“I wanted it to be as authentic as possible and for the pizza and crust to hit all the right flavor profiles and textures,” Mike explains. Although Luca’s Corner stopped after a couple of years because Mike got sidetracked by his passion for flying, he is now back in the kitchen where he believes he belongs. And honestly, I believe he belongs there, too. His deep dish pizza made so many of my friends’ and relatives’ tummies happy – including my own.
It goes without saying that the pandemic has made it difficult for the F&B industry to operate smoothly. While a lot of things didn’t go according to plan for Luca’s Corner and every day proves to be a new obstacle course, they are pushing through and coping with the new normal as best they can.
Mike shares that it has helped to prepare everything in advance: making sure that stocks are replenished so they don’t have to go to the grocery too frequently, for example. Logistics proved to be a hurdle early on, too, while manpower still proves to be a problem today. Since they want to minimize risks, they only have a few people handling the food. In fact, Mike does most of the work himself, even if it means being completely exhausted at the end of each day.
Mike’s advice? “Whenever you’re being tested with work you feel like you can’t handle, guess what? You CAN handle it. Find a good system and remind yourself that you’re building life skills.”
For the flavors, Luca’s Corner started with the classics and slowly evolved through the years. They usually listen to their clients and give them what they’re looking for. Mike’s personal favorites, however, are the Chicken Barbecue and the Cheesesteak. Although they weren’t exactly pizza flavors, he was able to incorporate them into the deep dish crust; and now, they are fan favorites, as well!
Generally speaking, the pizzas at Luca’s Corner are all unique and original. They have some of the heaviest and cheesiest pizzas out there and they do not scrimp on the ingredients. You will get what you order and what you deserve each and every time. The crust is always overflowing with yummy toppings and fillings; and with each bite, you are sure to create good and happy memories with your loved ones.
Even if you’re not from the south, Luca’s Corner delivers all over the Metro. The orders always get where they need to go intact and Mike makes it a point to the drivers who go the distance a little extra since he wants them to arrive the same way they were sent out. Since Mike is a bit of a perfectionist with food, you can expect the same quality of food each and every time you order.
That aside, they’ve also solved the problem of the pizzas moving around too much en route by using boxes that have a more snug fit on the pizzas. They’re also sturdier, so they can be stacked up on each other when there are more orders. So, what are you waiting for? Get a state of this delicious deep-dish pizza and order now!
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