Affordable Italian treats at Amici and Cara Mia Gelateria!

The first time I had Amici pizzas was during my cousin’s bridal shower a few years back. We had them delivered to her condo and I remember totally enjoying the crusty and flavorful pizzas which I was told was made by the priests at Don Bosco. They were very reasonably priced to boot.

Lately, it seems that Amici branches are popping up all over the metro, the latest one in Greenhills. Since it was a nice sunny Friday last June 12, we trooped to Amici in Tomas Morato for a leisurely lunch.

Al Quattro Formaggi Pizza at AmiciSince there were nine of us plus we had a lot of kids in tow (my kids plus nephews from hubby’s side), we decided to order 2 pizzas, 3 pastas, and a panini. The Al Quattro Formaggi pizza (P290, pictured above) came out first, much to the delight of the kids. I could actually taste the four different cheeses they used, there was even some blue cheese. I also loved that the pizza was thin, crisp, and not greasy.

La Galina Pizza and Spaghetti Red Vongole E Gambretti at AmiciFor our second pizza, we opted for the La Galina (P300, pictured above left), which had chicken bits, roasted peppers, mushrooms, onions, and sundried tomatoes. It was just as well-received by our group as the Al Quattro Formaggi. The kids, who are normally bothered by onions and peppers, wolfed down whole slices without question. The first pasta dish that made it to our table was the Spaghetti Red Vongole E Gambretti (P215, pictured above right). Although I’m allergic to shrimp, I made it a point to have a little taste as my mother-in-law was raving endlessly about this particular dish. The seafood flavor is very distinct, even without eating the shellfish on the side. I’d describe the sauce as something like a mix of seafood broth and tomato sauce.

Penne Al Salmone Affumicato and Spaghetti Alla Carbonara at AmiciOur next two pasta dishes were Penne Al Salmone Affumicato (P215, pictured above left) and Spaghetti Alla Carbonara (P185, pictured above right). For some reason our salmon penne turned into salmon spaghetti upon serving, but we had a lot of hungry people in the group so we just dug in. It was tangy and creamy at the same time, and they didn’t scrimp on the salmon in the sauce. Amici’s carbonara was hailed by my son as being better than Cibo’s and Mickey’s Deli’s. He’s a real carbonara fan so whenever we eat anywhere that serves pasta we always have a serving of carbonara. All the pasta and pizza dishes were wiped out by our group.

Perhaps the least popular of the dishes we ordered was the Ragu Di Maiale Panini (P140), which was a sandwich filled with braised pork in pomodoro sauce. It was so-so, I think I’ll take asado siopao any day over it though.

Amici in Tomas Morato (I don’t know about the other branches) is a self-service establishment. You have to order and pay at the counter, get a number, and then wait for your food to be served at your table. You get everything yourself from a communal condiments area — olive oil, parmesan cheese, table napkins, glasses of water, ice… the ambiance is bright, cheery, and bit cafeteria-like. The prices are very, very reasonable. Serving sizes are good enough for sharing. The pizza is 12″ in diameter sliced into eight pieces. Pasta dishes can be shared by at least two people. We spent a total of 1.2k for a delicious and filling Italian lunch that was able to satisfy five adults and four kids.

This particular branch also houses Cara Mia Gelateria, Amici’s specialty dessert place. Needless to say, after our meal we all trooped to the ice cream counter and ordered gelato for dessert.

A variety of gelato flavors at CaramiaA scoop of Cara Mia gelato costs anywhere from P45 to P55 depending on the flavor. Add P10 and you can have it in a sugar cone or waffle cone. I had a scoop of Sans Rival gelato. It was good, I felt as if I was actually eating a slice of Sans Rival except that it was very cold and creamy. It got to be a tad too sweet towards the end since their scoop size is quite generous. They weigh it before they hand it to you so their servings are consistent. My only gripe with regards to Cara Mia gelato is that it melts easily. My little girl was just halfway through her Vanilla gelato when it was on the verge of turning into a puddle.

Aside from gelato, Cara Mia also serves cakes and pastries.

G/F Bellagio Square, Tomas Morato,
Quezon City
818-4444 (delivery hotline)

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