WeChat ID: mikespizzakitchen
Open Tuesday - Sunday
Just look for the Big, Blue "M"
It'll get there...eventually.
I want pizza so bad right now. The good kind of pizza though not the bad kind. The good kind is so much better than the bad.
Aaron Paul on Twitter
|Each Add’l Topping||5||6||5||10|
|John McClane||65||80||140||Garlic Butter, Extra Pepperoni, Aged Irish Cheddar.|
|Golden Cockerel||80||98||178||Sriracha Cream Cheese, Spicy Adobo Chicken, Wisconsin Pepper Jack, Fresh Celery with a Sriracha Ranch Finish|
|Desperado||80||100||180||Garlic Butter, Extra Cheese, Pepperoni, Bacon, Ground Angus Chuck, Jalepenos, Jalepenos, Jalepenos.|
|Princess Manorah||98||128||228||Sliced Mozz blanketed by a sumptuous Thai Red Curry with Vietnamese Tiger Prawns, Eggplant, Red Pepper, and Pineapple, garnished with Kaffir Lime Leaves and Lemongrass.|
|Panda Libre Dos||78||98||N/A||Sliced Mozz covered in our ridonkulously good Panda Libre Chili and topped with Sour Cream, Cheddar and Jalapenos.|
|Aegir||N/A||128||N/A||Whole Wheat Crust shmeared with American Cream Cheese, Covered with Freshly Dressed Spinach, Norwegian Smoked Salmon and Capers.|
|Br’er Rabbit||65||80||140||Extra Cheese, Spicy Angus Chuck, Onions, Mushrooms, Jalapenos.|
|Papa Bear||65||80||140||Pepperoni, Ground Angus Chuck, Mushrooms, Onions, Green Peppers, Black Olives.|
|Mama Bear||65||80||140||Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Broccoli, Onions, Tomatoes, Black Olives.|
|Goldilocks||60||70||125||Ham, Pineapple, Bacon.|
|Red Riding Hood||62||75||135||Sausage, Pepperoni, Red Pepper and Sun-Dried Tomatoes.|
|The Big Bad Wolf||65||80||140||Pepperoni, Ground Angus Chuck, Sausage, Ham and Bacon.|
|The King||60||70||125||Barbecue Sauce, Chicken, Red Onions and Bacon.|
|Humpty Dumpty||65||80||140||Scrambled Eggs, Onion, Bacon, Green Pepper, Aged Cheddar.|
|Snow White||70||88||150||White Sauce, Mozza Cheese, Goat Cheese, Bleu Cheese and Grated Parmesan.|
|Mad Buffalo||70||88||150||Cream Cheese, Ranch, Frank’s Red Hot, Chicken, Bleu Cheese|
|The Frog Prince||65||80||140||Sautéed Spinach, Mushrooms, Bleu Cheese and Garlic.|
|The Little Mermaid||98||128||228||Pesto, Spinach, Salmon, Artichoke, Pine Nuts, Lemon, Mozzarella, Parmesan|
|Pinnochio||70||88||150||Sliced Mozzarella, Salami, Pistachios, Eggplant, Artichokes and Parmesan|
|Rumpelstiltskin||70||88||150||Sliced Mozzarella, Zucchini, Meatballs, and Parmesan|
|Tinkerbell||88||108||N/A||Pistachio Pesto, Parmesan, Pistachios, Arugula, Prosciutto|
|Zhu Bajie||70||88||150||BBQ Sauce and Pulled Pork, Smothered in Mozz, then topped with Coleslaw all from our friends at Iron Pig BBQ.|
|The Ogre||N/A||80||N/A||Onions, Garlic, Anchovies, Capers, Green Olives and Parmesan on a Super Thin Crust.|
|The Hermit||98||128||228||Durian, Cream Cheese, Mozz, Shredded Coconut, Pineapple.|
|The Donny||30||50||Grilled Chicken, Onions, Mushrooms, Red Peppers, Broccoli.|
|The Wes||30||50||Sausage, Onions, Mushrooms, Green Peppers, Mozza Cheese.|
|The Big Earl||35||60||Chicken, Bacon, Ground Beef, Sausage, Mozza Cheese.|
|The Aiqing||30||50||Onions, Mushrooms, Broccoli, Green Peppers, Red Peppers, Black Olives, Goat Cheese.|
|The Jovian||30||50||Barbecue Chicken, Red Onions, Bacon Mozza Cheese.|
|The Ryan||30||50||Chicken, Bacon, Jalapenos, Pineapple with Ranch Dressing and Aged Irish Cheddar.|
|The Callum||30||50||A pile of our smoked roasted ham smothered in a melt of mozzarella and aged cheddar, with a side of marinara sauce. You can also choose Pepperoni for the same price or Salami for an extra 10 yuan.|
|The Wet Willie||30||50||A sloppy sandwich filled delicious marinara, onions, mushrooms, and your choice of chicken, beef, sausage, or meatballs and parm or eggplant and parm.|
|The Mickey||35||60||Chicken, Bleu Cheese, Mozza Cheese and our super popular Mad Buffalo sauce made with Frank’s Red-Hot.|
|The Justin||35||60||Pulled Pork sandwich with Kansas City Sauce, and covered in coleslaw. Made by our friends at Iron Pig BBQ.|
|The Zach||35||60||Fresh-baked bread filled with our ridonkulously delicious Panda Libre Chili and topped with Cheddar, Sour Cream and Jalapenos.|
|Breadsticks||20||Our delicious breadsticks, seasoned with olive oil and herbs with pizza sauce for dipping.|
|Garlic Knots||25||Knots of our tasty bread covered in an herb and garlic butter.|
|Buffalo Knots||30||Knots of our tasty bread covered in Frank's Red Hot and garlic butter, served with a side of Ranch.|
|Mozzarella Sticks||35||Six Breaded Oven-Baked Mozzarella sticks served with Marinara.|
|Buffalo Wings||35||Seven Chicken wings with Buffalo Style Hot-Sauce.|
|BBQ Wings||35||Seven Chicken wings with BBQ Sauce.|
|Spaghetti||50||Your choice of Ground Beef, Sausage, Chicken or Veggies.|
|Baked Pasta||35/40/45||Your choice of White, Red, or Green.|
|White Bread||15||A round loaf of our Fresh-Baked Bread.|
|Whole Wheat Bread||20||A round loaf of our Fresh-Baked Whole Wheat Bread.|
|Garden Salad||22||Blend of seasonal veggies.|
|Ceasar Salad||30||Romaine Lettuce, Ceasar Dressing, Bacon, Tomatoes, Black Olives and Parmesan Cheese.|
|Spinach Salad||25||Fresh Spinach, Goat Cheese, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes tossed in a Balsamic Vinaigrette.|
|Mixed Green Salad||40||Fresh Lettuce, Spinach, Arugula, Parmesan Cheese, Artichokes, and Prosciutto tossed in a Lemon Vinaigrette with Mediterranean Sea Salt and Fresh Ground Pepper.|
|Chicken Bacon Ranch Salad||30||Fresh Lettuce, Chicken, Bacon, Tomatoes, Croutons, Aged Irish Cheddar tossed in our in-house Ranch Dressing.|
|Smoked Salmon Salad||68||Fresh Lettuce and Spinach tossed in White Wine Vinaigrette, Smoked Norwegian Salmon, Goat Cheese, Capers and Toasted Pine Nuts.|
|Tomato Cream||35||Made with our Italian Tomatoes with fresh Basil and Cheese Toast.|
|Panda Libre Chili||48||Made with 100% Alberta Angus.|
|Veggie||30||22||15||Your choice of Black or Refried Beans wrapped in a tortilla with Cilantro Lime Rice.|
|Chicken||38||30||15||Our marinated Spicy Adobo Chicken has a little kick and a lot of flavour.|
|Pork||45||38||18||Our special Orange-Lime Carnitas takes pork to the next level.|
|Beef||50||48||20||Succulent Slow-Cooked Angus Barbacoa practically melts in your mouth.|
|Chili||50||48||20||Ridonkulously good Panda Libre Chili|
|Chocolate Chip Cookie||30||A 9 inch cookie that we bake fresh when you order it.|
|Monkey Knots||30||Delicious Cinnamon Knots with Cream Cheese Frosting.|
|Baby Bear||50||Dessert Pizza with your choice of Banana, Apple, or Peach.|
|Cheesecake||35/40||Currently available in Regular, Lemon, Apple Walnut, Oreo, Tiramisu, Raspberry and Blueberry flavours.|
|Beer of the Month||20||It might last longer than a month, but we will always have a 20 yuan beer. Sometimes it's BeerLao, sometimes it's Corona, sometimes it's Budvar, sometimes it's Super Bock, sometimes it's a mystery.|
|Hoegaarden||30||The original wheat beer is the oldest and most famous of Hoegaarden’s range. When poured, it forms a soft, white creamy head and leaves a generous lacing on the glass. Its naturally cloudy, pale hue shimmers when viewed through the glass.|
|Brooklyn EIPA||40||Brooklyn East India Pale Ale is inspired by the original East India Pale Ales brewed in England in the early 1800’s for the troops in India. Everyday English ales were spoiling during shipment from London, around Africa’s Cape of Good Hope, to Calcutta. Using extra malt and hops, British brewer George Hodgson developed an ale with the bitterness and strength to endure the long sea voyage, giving rise to a great beer style. Our East India Pale Ale is a deep golden beer brewed from British malt and a blend of hops featuring the choice East Kent Golding variety. It is traditionally dry-hopped for a bright aroma of hops, lemongrass, pine and citrus fruit, and has a robust bitterness, a warming malt palate and a clean hoppy finish. We think Hodgson would be rather pleased.|
|Brooklyn Lager||40||In the late 1800’s when Brooklyn was one of the largest brewing centers in the country, lager beer in the “Vienna” style was one of the local favorites. Brooklyn Lager is a direct descendant of the Vienna style, displaying an amber-gold color and a firm malt center supported by refreshing bitterness and a floral hop aroma that give way to smooth caramel malts in the finish. The aromatic qualities of the beer are enhanced by dry hopping, the addition of fresh hops as the beer undergoes its long, cold maturation. The result is a wonderfully flavorful beer: smooth, refreshing and very versatile with food. This wedding of British-inspired dry hopping and Viennese-style lager brewing results in a true American original. Whether it was your first craft beer or about to be your hundredth, you’ll find Brooklyn Lager as robust and inviting as ever.|
|Duvel||35||Duvel is indeed a devilish beer, full of contrasts and surprising discoveries. Its golden-coloured appearance, delicate sparkle and refined, silky taste with complex aromas hides an 8,5% alcohol content. Lush aromas include citrus, apple, hops and yeast. Flavours of pale malt appear throughout, with strong yeast, hops and alcohol notes. The 8,5 ABV kicks in mid-palate, warming to the end. Thanks to the balance between its fine aroma sublte bitterness, Duvel occupies a unique position in the rich Belgian Beer tradition.|
|Karl Strauss||45||DRINK GOOD BEER, BEER FROM HERE. Proudly serving California since 1989. Brewed fresh at their Main Brewery in Pacific Beach, San Diego. Choose from Aurora Hoppyalis, Tower 10 IPA, Amber, Red Trolley Ale, Pintail IPA, Mosaic Session Ale.|
|Kentucky Old-Fashioned Barrel Ale||50||Kentucky Old Fashioned Barrel Ale is a subtly sweet, citrusy ale brewed with orange peel, then aged with tart cherry in fresh bourbon barrels and bitters barrels.|
|Foxes Rock Handcrafted Irish Ales||35||Choose from Foxes Rock Red Ale and IPA|
|Jing A||100/L||京A Brewing Co. is the brainchild of Kris and Alex, two North American guys and long-time Beijingers with a passion for great beer. One cold day in January 2012, they decided to homebrew a hop-forward American IPA to celebrate the coming Chinese New Year. The result, which they named “Hoppy New Year” (what else?!), was surprisingly good, and friends quickly finished off the batch and called for more. The two realized then that the only thing better than drinking full flavored, handcrafted beer is brewing it for others. And so began their dream — to make creative and delicious ales and lagers with only the best ingredients for craft beer fans here in the ‘Jing. (Add 20 yuan deposit for bottle.)|
|Santa Alvara||100||Santa Alvara Sauvignon Blanc and Santa Alvara Cabernet Sauvignon.|
You better cut the pizza in four pieces, because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.
Well, okay...yes. I guess I am. You got me. Depending on the day you'll hear any number of responses to that question, including:
No, she's Mike.
Only on Tuesdays.
Not according to my mother. (There are no Archangels named, "Mike.")
Mike is ten feet tall, he can toss pizzas with both hands and feet simultaneously, and if he were here, he'd bake all these pies instantly with fireballs from his eyes, and bolts of lightning from his arse.
Although even that is subject to interpretation.
Some refer to our forty square meters of heaven as a hole in the wall, others call it a great-smelling broom closet. Either way, we have 4 tables and can seat about 18 people.
There is a map with our delivery range here.
Sort of. If you live farther than 4km from our location, but still within our delivery range, then there is a delivery fee of 10 yuan. We waive this fee if your order is over 100 yuan.
The reason for this is because after we had been doing this for a few years, my wife sat me down and showed me some math. We were definitely losing money when we delivered a single sandwich to Jiuyanqiao. With the delivery fee we somewhat alleviate the manpower hit we take with a far delivery, and we incentivize a bit larger of an order.
With the recent influx of food delivery companies we have found a workaround that has allowed us to extend our delivery range to areas that were previously unreachable in our current situation.
The way this works is you will call us and place the order, and then we will try to find an outside delivery service that will accept your order. They will charge a delivery fee and that fee will vary according to how far away you are and whether or not it's raining. There is no guarantee that we will find a delivery company to take your order, but results so far have been promising. We can also not guarantee the condition that your food arrives in, since these are not our employees, so we really need your honest feedback about the quality of these delivery companies so we know which ones to continue using in the future.
And of course, you can always hop in a cab and come visit us to pick up a pie.
You have to.
But you also have to reserve your pizza. If you call ahead for a table, you need to order your pizza at the time of the call. We can then plan for the number of pizzas you are ordering and work your table into the rotation. If you don't order your pizzas ahead of time, we can't give accurate time estimates to our delivery, take-out, and other dine-in customers. I should also mention that for dine-in orders, we will not start your pie until you are actually seated. That way you don't get served a cold pizza.
I should also mention (again) that we only have 4 tables, so seating is very limited. If you show up unannounced it is very likely that you will end up waiting 2 hours for a pizza and a table during peak times. Even if there is no one physically sitting in the restaurant, if I have 2 hours worth of delivery orders to make I am going to make those orders first because I have made a promise to those customers and I don't break promises. If you were the one waiting at home you wouldn't want me to break my delivery time promise to you just because someone showed up at the restaurant without a reservation and exhibited impatient behaviour either.
However, if you just call ahead we can tell you exactly when we can have a pizza and a table ready, and then everyone will be happy.
I really don't know how to answer that question. If you're looking for a general classification, you could say that what I make is loosely based on a hand-tossed New York style, with both West Coast and Neopolitan influences.
However, if that's not what you're asking, and you really want to know what combinations and specialty pizzas we have, then please understand that my wife and I do not have the time to recite our whole pizza menu to you. One of the great things about this amazing century is that information like that is just a click away. We have a website with our menu posted online, take a moment and peruse it at your leisure. It also changes regularly, so feel free to check back on occasion and see what's new. But please understand that at any given moment when you call us, if I answer the phone I am also making pizzas, watching the oven, checking to see that someone is writing down what I say, watching the front of the store, making sure deliveries are getting out, oops, just burnt that one, making another pizza to replace the one I just burnt because I was distracted because someone lacked the consideration of looking at our menu before calling me, checking on the kitchen to make sure the buffalo wings are getting made, still waiting for the customer to figure out what they want and where they live...anyway, you get the point. When my wife answers the phone it's the same, except instead of making the pizzas she is making the drinks and actually serving the tables. We are always multi-tasking and we would really appreciate it if you could help us out by having your order ready before you call.
That being said, if you have read this far then you are already not the problem, and for that we thank you.
But I still don't understand why people even need to here a menu recited. It's pizza. Choose a couple toppings and I'll toss them on a pie for you. Easiest thing in the world. You tell me what you like, and that's the pizza you get. Isn't pizza amazing?
I really can't recommend. I tried it once, the conversation went like this:
"What do you recommend?"
"You can try the Papa Bear."
"What's on it?"
"Onions, Pepperoni, Mushrooms, Green Pepper, Ground Beef and Black Olives."
"I'm allergic to onions. What else 'ya got?"
"If you want all meat, you can try the Big Bad Wolf."
"What's on it"
"Pepperoni, Ham, Bacon, Ground Beef, Sausage."
"That sounds a little heavy, you got anything lighter?"
Yes, the click is the sound of me hanging up the phone. In that amount of time, three other people tried to call and got a busy signal. Three people who knew what they wanted and were actually ready to order were forced to suffer excruciating hunger pains because one person expects to have the entire menu recited to them.
So what do I really recommend? I recommend you take a minute and read through the menu and find something that appeals to your individual taste. Choose a specialty pie, or just pick your favourite toppings and I'll throw them on a pie just for you. That's what makes pizza so great.
That's a bit different from the recommendation question, because instead of asking me to use psychic powers and figure out what a complete stranger would like, you're asking me what I like.
However, I am a fickle creature, and my favourite pizza is always the new one that I am working on right now, so it's not even on the menu yet. Or it's the one that I just added to the menu, so if you look at the most recent addition, that will be my current favourite.
I operate at one speed, and that is the fastest speed that my ovens can handle. When we give you a time estimate it is always based on the number of pizzas in front of your order. If you ask me to go faster you are either asking me to put your order in front of other human beings who ordered before you and are already waiting patiently for their pizza, or you are asking me to use some sort of wizardry that would allow me to break or bypass the laws of the physical realm in which we live. Both of these options are impossible, but the latter would be kind of awesome.
This is partly a cultural thing. I remember one of my first class dinners with 王老师, where she ordered our dishes and then asked the server if they could make them a bit faster. She then turned to us and explained that in China, it's okay to ask the restaurant to make your dishes faster.
It's not okay.
All orders will be made in the order that they are received, with absolutely no exceptions. But do keep in mind that if you hesitate, there will be other customers dying to take your spot in line. We had a girl call for a delivery the other night, it was a busy Friday, and my wife quoted her a 60 minute wait. The girl said that seemed like a long time to wait, so she would think about it. She called back 5 minutes later to tell us it was okay, and she could wait for an hour. However, in that 5 minutes there were 3 other phone calls, all of them with pretty big orders, and now her wait time was going to be 90 minutes.
Sorry, force of habit. I kind of had a streak going there and I didn't want to break it.
I was born in Calgary. When I was 12 my family moved to Las Vegas, which is where I go back to when I feel homesick.
And to those of you who tip, thank you so much. One of the amazing things that I have witnessed here is the amount of excitement generated by this alien concept of actually being rewarded for doing your job well. None of the people we hire go into this job with any idea of what it's really going to entail. They have to brave the elements on those little bikes or electric scooters, if it's hot they sweat, if it's cold they shiver and if it's raining they get wet. It's not like pizza delivery in the States where the guy gets to sit in a nice air-conditioned vehicle. They also have to be able to figure out addresses that are often wrong and communicate with customers in a language not their own.
A lot of the people we hire decide after a short time that this whole idea of "working" for money isn't all it's cracked up to be, but the ones that stick it out certainly deserve our respect and appreciation.
And speaking of generosity, whenever one of our employees feels like they have been extra lucky in the tip department, at the end of the night they go next door to HuHui and buy everyone ice cream. It's nice to see that circle of giving continue.
I believe in producing a consistent, quality product at an affordable price without playing games to trick consumers into thinking they are getting a good deal. If a company can afford to sell their product for 1/2 price on Tuesday, then they could sell it for 1/2 price everyday and the rest of the time they are just ripping you off. Just my opinion.
We actually keep our margins a lot tighter than we should, according to common pricing practice in the restaurant industry. When you consider how expensive and difficult to obtain our raw materials are, (Good flour, Olive Oil, CHEESE...you get the point) and then compare our prices to our competitors who don't use the same quality of material, or the ones who do and charge double what we charge. My wife and I often joke that we are the worst business people in the world. However, the other side of it is I don't have a problem with work. I'm willing to make more pizzas to pay the rent and I also want normal human beings to be able to afford my pizzas. One of my favourite Tripadvisor reviews is a guy that mentions how happy he is that he can continue his Friday night pizza tradition with his familiy even though he's working in China now, and that really hit a chord with me because Friday night pizza was a tradition in my family as well. On a side note, the fact that I come from a family of seven children also explains why I am a world-class speed eater. He who eats fastest, gets the extra slice.
What were we talking about? Oh, right, specials. The only exception to that has been on two of the most important anniversaries in human history. The anniversary of the birth of the King of Rock and Roll, and the anniversary of the day He faked his untimely demise so that he could disappear from the public eye and live a normal existence in a trailer park outside Milwaukee. On those days, the King pizza has been known to fly off the shelves at a discounted rate.
Because it's only Champagne if it comes from the right region of France, and it's only Kobe beef if it comes from the right prefecture of Japan. Otherwise it's Sparkling Wine and Wagyu.
A true Margherita has to be cooked in a wood-burning oven with the right kind of wood, baked for 60-90 seconds at 485 degrees Celsius, made with Caputo 00 flour, hand-formed and no more than 3mm thick, San Marzano tomatoes grown on the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, fresh Mozzarella di Bufala Campana made with the milk of a water buffalo raised in the marshlands of Campania and Lazio in a semi-wild state, fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.
I know that the bard tells us, "That which we call a rose, by any other word would smell as sweet..." But that doesn't change the fact that applying the word, "Rose" to any other physical object in the known universe wouldn't make that other object smell any sweeter. So would it be with Margherita. If it doesn't meet those requirements then it's not the Neopolitan style pizza known as the Margherita. I've had a D.O.C. Margherita in Italy and it was magical, but I don't make them and most other people who call their pizzas "Margherita" when they don't meet those qualifications are doing the world a disservice. Just my opinion.
I didn't work my way up to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.
At the risk of sounding repetitive, the answer is the same as above for, "What kind of pizzas...?"
Just like we don't have time to recite the whole menu on the phone, we also don't have time to recite all the vegetarian options on the phone. Please, be considerate to all those who are also trying to order and check out the menu and make up your mind before you call. Pizza is pizza, you can choose whatever combination of toppings you want and we'll make it for you.
I should also mention that we have a rule. For some reason I can't explain, vegetarians seem to feel it is necessary to keep asking, "Does it have meat on it?" After my wife, or the waiter, or I assure them that there is no meat on the pizza in question, they still feel the need to ask again, "Does it have meat on it? Because I don't eat meat, I'm a vegetarian" (As though they think we might be unsure of the definition of the word.) So the rule is, if you ask that same question 3 times or more, I put meat on it. Lots of meat. I'll cover your veggies in so many layers of bacon and sausage that the broccoli will produce hemoglobin, breathe oxygen and look at you with accusing but still loyal puppy dog eyes.
Say that again.
Don't get me wrong, I heard you the first time, but I'm really hoping that if you repeat the question aloud again you might recognise the inherent logical flaw in your question. If we told you an hour, then we would really appreciate it if you would wait for the agreed upon amount of time before calling us.
Aiqing is usually pretty accurate with her time estimates, and we are usually within a few minutes of our promised delivery time.
That being said, if we told you an hour and it has been 90 minutes; then please call us and let us know. It either means we forgot your order, (happens to 1 out of 1,000 customers, my apologies to Dorice Kearns Goodwyn) or the delivery guy has crashed the bike and is incommunicado. Either way, we would really like to know about it so we can rectify the situation.
And WeChat Wallet.
And Chinese bank cards for Dine-In.
That's actually a really good question.
The truth is, because of the high temperatures that we cook at and the zen-like proficiency of repetitive motion, the start to finish time on a single pie is pretty minimal.
The thing is, I'm rarely making just one pie.
If you happen to walk in the door and there are no pizzas ordered before you, you'll be eating a fresh pie with the molten cheese still bubbling in just a few minutes. But that happens just about as often as you walk into the DMV and discover that there is no one in line ahead of you.
What I'm trying to say is, please understand that when we give you a time estimate it is based on the number of people in line ahead of you, and the time it takes me to make all those pizzas before we get to you. The reason we insist on being upfront and honest with our time estimates is because we respect your time, we know that it is valuable, and we 100% understand if you have other obligations on a particular night and were not expecting to have to wait that long. During peak times, our backlog can get up to 2 hours. A 45-75 minute wait is pretty normal.
With that in mind, planning ahead is a great idea. If you are having friends over and want everyone fed at 6pm on a weekend, then call us at lunchtime the same day and we will schedule your time slot ahead of time. However, if you call us at 5:30 on the same day...
Can I add one other comment? The other reason I insist on being honest and upfront about delivery times is because I've been on the other end of that equation and it's not fun. Aiqing and I ordered barbecue delivery and when we asked how long it would be, the guy told us 30 minutes. We waited an hour, and then we figured we should call the guy and see if he lost our address. He told us it was "on the horse" (马上) You guys know what I'm talking about. We waited another hour and called again, this time to cancel the order because by then it was 2am and we were more tired than we were hungry. He again told us that it was already cooked and on the horse. In the end it was 2 1/2 hours before we got the food that was promised. We are pretty sure that he had a bunch of people show up after we ordered, and since they were eating there he kept pushing our food to the back of the line.
If we tell you 30 minutes, 90 minutes, or 2 hours, we will do everything possible to keep that promise that we have made to you and we will never string you along the never-ending horseback ride of 马上. That is why I am so insistent on making every pizza in the order it was received. We will never reward someone's rudeness and impatience by putting their pizza in front of yours.
Don't get me started.
I have to keep reminding myself that there are far more good people in the world than evil. I have to remind myself that people like that who go on internet rampages are just a very vocal, albeit annoying, minority.
Anyway, this is Kuzco8. The little pissed-off prick in the bottom left corner.
I don't know why Kuzco8 was in such a bad mood that day, you can see from the picture that he's already pretty pissy. Maybe it's because he doesn't like waiting for food, although he didn't call ahead so that's kind of his fault. Maybe the pandas weren't their normal frolicking selves and he felt he didn't get his money's worth from the trip. He certainly wasn't happy sitting at the bar, which is why they snagged the big table as soon as it became available. Usually we kick people out when they refuse to sit where we ask them to, but by that time their calzones were almost ready so I let it slide. It wouldn't have been a big deal, except that after he moved to the seat directly in front of the AC he immediately asked us to turn it off, because it was bothering him. Of course, I'm thinking that if he were sitting at the bar where we asked him to sit, this wouldn't be an issue. Also, it's a hot day outside and we're fighting the heat from the ovens inside and it really doesn't make sense to deprive everyone of AC because of the one person sitting directly in front of it who could easily sit elsewhere.
So I said, to my wife, in a somewhat sarcastic voice, "Yes, we're going to turn off the AC and let everyone here suffer in heat for one person. That makes perfect sense." Kuzco8 overheard me, and the result was this lovely, unbiased, completely honest one-star review.
I guess I could have left it alone at that, let the coward scream at the internet all he wants. However, I do believe that people who behave abhorrently need to be told that they are behaving abhorrently. So I told him in this response that got removed by Tripadvisor after he cried about it:
First of all, let me say on behalf of the people of Earth, “Welcome to our planet.” I know what you’re thinking, “My disguise was impeccable, how did he ever find out?” There were a few little quirks that gave away your alien origins. First of all was your impatience. You see, here on the planet earth we have over 7.125 billion people. Sometimes, especially in a city of 14 million people like Chengdu, more than one person wants the same thing at the same time. To deal with this phenomenon, we earthlings have devised a system called, “waiting in line.” The way that works is that when someone gets to a restaurant before your, and orders before you, they will be served before you. I know it’s an inconvenience to have to wait for all these pesky earthlings who ordered before you to get served, but waiting is an integral part of the human experience. We always give every customer an accurate time estimate when they order, and if they choose not to wait that is completely okay with us, but you were informed of the waiting time in advance. (I should also add, most of our awesome, loyal, and super-smart customers are savvy enough to call us in advance and then they can show up at the same time as the food will be ready. Do they have phones on your planet?)
I have to admit, I know very little about your planet. I read from your other reviews, (more 1 star flaming of other small-business owners, you really must not be happy here on Earth) that you are from the planet Vega. That’s correct isn’t it? You’re a Vegan? Again, I know very little about your people so you’ll have to excuse my ignorance. For example, when you mention the price as being the same as a three course meal in central London, is that because Vegans aren’t good at math, because you don’t understand earthly currency, or because you are just plain dishonest? A quick google search shows me that an average dinner in London ranges from 60 to 90 British Pounds, or 587 to 880 Chinese Yuan, yet your meal was 255 RMB. So which is it, are you bad at math or a liar?
But while we’re on the subject of the price of western food in Southwest China, since you’re not from our planet you might not be familiar with the way we transport things on Earth. You see, in order to make western food in Southwest China, I have to have western products imported from western countries. That means that when they grow my tomatoes in Italy someone puts them on a truck, train, plain and or boat, and they travel all the way here to Southwest China so I can use them on my pizza sauce. Every step of the way there is a human being whose salary needs to get paid, gas that fuels the modes of transportation costs money, and to top it all off, when those tomatoes cross the border into China, the government adds import taxes and value-added taxes and whatever else they want to add. Not to mention the importer marks up the price, they’ve got to get paid too. Given this information, it’s actually a miracle that I manage to keep my prices anywhere near what it would cost for a pizza in the U.S. or Europe. But again, I’m sure the misunderstanding is a result of your inexperience on our planet.
On the subject of my sauce, as I just mentioned, I make my sauce from imported Italian tomatoes, and your palate, sir, is as unrefined as your manners.
Although, I’m willing to admit that some of the flavours in my sauce would have been unfamiliar to a Vegan from the planet Vega. Again, I know very little about your people, but I have heard that being a Vegan carries with it some unusual dietary restrictions. It must be very difficult for you on our planet. One flavour in my sauce that you may have been unfamiliar with is that rich and decadent mouthfeel provided by the subtle addition of pure French butter. Yes, Olive Oil is more traditional, but I just love the richness I get from those little golden globules of goodness. How about the level of salt, it wasn’t too salty was it? I actually had a terrible time finding good salt in China, apparently the government has a monopoly on salt and doesn't allow imports. I needed something to salt my Marinara and I couldn’t use the chemical tasting domestic salt. It turns out the answer was right there in the name. Did you know that Marinara is Italian for Mariner? It was a staple food for the sea-dwelling folk of Naples and was originally salted with anchovies. I mince up just the tiniest amount of those cute little fishies and squeeze a bit of lemon juice and it balances my sauce beautifully. Don’t worry, after you’ve been on our planet for a longer amount of time your palate will refine and you’ll be able to detect these subtle variations in traditional recipes and it will increase your overall enjoyment of food on our planet.
However, what I’m really concerned about in your case is how long it will take for your manners to become more refined. If you are going to remain on this planet of over 7 billion people, you really need to start taking others into consideration. For example, when you enter a restaurant it is common courtesy to allow the restaurant staff to seat you according to the number of people in your group. That’s why, when you entered, the two of you were seated at a table for 2. This way when a larger group comes along, we can put them at the larger table and we can facilitate the greatest amount of pizza for the greatest number of people. Being a visitor from another planet, you might not have been aware, but what you did when you ignored my server’s request that you sit at the bar, and instead basically stole our largest table for yourself, that was 100% unacceptable. You infringed on the rights of every other customer who came in after you and was unable to be seated because of your selfishness. I have camera footage of 8 people squeezing into the table beside you, and another group of 3 people standing around unable to be seated because you selfishly occupied our largest table for yourselves. I really should have kicked you out at that moment.
But I didn’t, which is why I was so incredibly flabbergasted when, in addition to showing an absolute disregard for my server’s seating instructions, you asked him to turn off the AC. (For the people reading at home, that’s another one of kuzco8’s lies, he didn’t just ask us to adjust the AC, he asked us to turn it completely off.) What kind of human being would rather let every other person suffer in heat, when the easiest solution would be to sit where we had asked you to sit in the first place, or simply move to another seat of the gigantic table that you were selfishly occupying? Again, at the time I didn’t realise that you were a visitor from another planet. In retrospect, that is probably why you were so mortally wounded by what I thought was harmless sarcasm when I said, “Yes, of course I’m going to turn off the AC and let every other person in this restaurant suffer because of just one person.” Yes, it was loud enough for everyone to hear, but I believe that everyone in that restaurant had a right to know that someone was making a selfish request that would cause them discomfort. The fact is, that AC moves on a cycle, it goes up, down, left and right. It would only have crossed your hyper-sensitive retina once every 20 seconds, and every other person in that room appreciated the fact that I cared about their comfort enough to have it on in the first place.
Going back to the subject of truth, here on Earth we have means of evaluating statements to measure their veracity. For example, “Leaf-blowing-like.” A commercial leaf blower can move air at a velocity of 120-251 mph, or 400-710 cubic feet per minute. Since I am a professional and responsible restaurant owner, when I was first made aware of your claim that my AC was blasting out 400 to 710 cubic feet of air per minute at 120 to 251 mph, I immediately decided to do an experiment. I went outside and plucked a leaf from the tree out front and placed it at the table where you were sitting. Imagine my surprise when that leaf didn’t move a single inch. That puts my AC’s wind speed at Level 1 on the Beaufort Scale, in the range of 1 to 4 miles per hour. Again, the wind from that AC isn’t even strong enough to move one leaf a single, solitary inch. That’s a fact.
Maybe leaf blowers are different on your planet, but on my planet we would call that another lie.
Are you still with me kuzco? I’m almost done, but first I want to play a game. It’s called the “What would you do?” game. You’re a teacher, right Kuzco? Imagine that you were actually a really good English teacher. You had worked really hard for several years, and because of the support of your satisfied students, you found yourself ranked Number 1 on TeacherAdvisor. You’d be pretty proud of that accomplishment, wouldn’t you? Now imagine that, because your high rank on TeacherAdvisor, you got a new student. I’m sure most of your regular students would have been smart enough to call in advance and make sure you had time to schedule them in, but this new student just showed up and expected to be taught immediately even though there were other students in front of him. Let’s just say that it was a 90 minute wait, and he agreed to wait. So now it’s time for class, and since you like to arrange your classroom in a way that allows groups to work together and he is just a single student, you ask him to take a desk by the window. However, he doesn’t like the desk by the window, and selfishly occupies your largest group table, thereby causing a large group of students to have to wait outside until the next class. Would you let him sit there? Now imagine that this table is right in front of the Air Conditioner and he complains that the AC is blowing like a leaf blower in his face. It’s a hot, summer day, your building is not insulated against the heat, you need the AC on to make all the students comfortable. Would you turn off the AC for that one student, or would you perhaps explain to him that if he sat where he was supposed to, or anywhere else for that matter, that this wouldn’t be an issue and it’s not really fair to inconvenience all of the other students with his selfish requests? You might even have a bit of fun with it, and ask all the other students something like, “Can you believe that this kid wants all of you to suffer in sweat because of a gentle puff of air on a seat where he shouldn't even be sitting?”
I’m sure you know where this is going. In our scenario, that spoiled and selfish little snot goes straight home and writes a terrible TeacherAdvisor review. He tells a bunch of lies and rates you as low as he can in every category. What would you do? How would you feel?
Anyway, aside from this incident, I hope you are enjoying your time on our planet. Again, I would advise, for your sake and the sake of the human beings who have to interact with you, that you try to be a bit more active in recognising these situations when your desires are infringing on the rights of other people. Part of living in a society means making these little compromises for the greater good. We wait in lines, we follow directions, and even though you won’t always get every little thing that you want, this way more people can get more of what everyone wants.
I thought that was a funny response to a messed up situation. Apparently Kuzco8 wasn't amused, because the next morning there was a brand new lovely, unbiased, completely honest one-star review on Tripadvisor.
These people are psychopaths. They are mentally unhinged. Normal people don't go to these lengths to intentionally damage another human being's business, reputation and livelihood because of one sentence that they happened to overhear. I have a hard time believing that people like this even exist. I do find it deliciously ironic that people who claim to subscribe to a philosophy espousing ethical and moral treatment of animals can be so decidedly unethical and immoral in their treatment of other human beings. Those lies that Kuzco8 told for the purpose of exacting his revenge over a perceived slight would legally qualify as defamation. His lies were published with injurious intent and a reckless disregard for the truth.
That being said, I've been helping Kuzco8 become more honest. He accused me of, "Mocking him loudly for the whole restaurant to hear" which is patently untrue. I said one sentence to my wife that he happened to overhear because our restaurant is tiny. However, since that day I have been mocking him constantly. I've even enlisted the help of a local cartoonist to recreate the incident in a comic strip which we will also print on a T-shirt, proceeds from the sale of the T-shirts will be donated to the National Dairy Council, because we can't let the Vegans take away our cheese. Still, I would rather just put all this behind me and forget any of it ever happened.
Like the great Lou Gehrig, I consider myself to be one of the luckiest men alive. I wake up every morning next to my amazing wife, we hold hands as we walk to work together, and I get to do what I love all day, everyday. I get to bring new flavours, tastes and sensations to the people of Chengdu. When we first opened this place, a friend of my wife's came and said we reminded her of Kahlil Gibran's line from The Prophet, "Work is love made visible." That is truly how I feel. Every pizza I make, every customer we serve, every day that our tiny little business continues to exist, is the physical manifestation of the love that I feel for my wife, my pizza, and the great people of this city that allow me to continue doing what I love.
I estimated the other day that since we opened almost four and a half years ago, I have made over 80,000 pizzas. How lucky am I? And in those 80,000 pizzas, I never had to make any for anyone like the people who wrote these 2 one star reviews. Still, that is a pretty small percentage. (0.0025%) And if I get to make over 80,000 pizzas for people who actually appreciate the fact that there is an actual human being and business owner physically making their food, then I guess it's not that big of a deal that once every 5 years I have to put up with a little bit of cyber-bullying from people like Kuzco8 and Morroconmole27.
And don't worry, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing. Work is love, made visible.
Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza.
Pizza used to be the food that I missed the most after moving to Chengdu. Having spent my high school and university years working for John and Sam at Metro Pizza in Las Vegas, pizza was always the comfort food that I longed for and pined over. No trip home was complete without a visit to my old stopping ground for my favorite pie.
The idea really seemed simple at first. I would just do things the way I had learned through my years as a pie-guy in Vegas, and we would end up with a quality product that would satisfy the pizza-cravings of Chengdu expats. We started out small, just me making the pizza and my nephew delivering. When I made 10 pizzas we considered it a good night.
Now we have over 20 employees, 15 of those on delivery, plus Aiqing and her parents; and I often don't stop tossing pies for a single second once I set foot in the restaurant.
When we moved from our guerrilla hideout to our current, tiny shop in Singapore Garden it took literally every penny we had to secure the lease and decorate the restaurant. I was scared. Commercial rent in this city is so high, and there are so many things that can go wrong, I was very unsure of what we were getting into. There's a reason that most restaurants fail within the first year.
Luckily, however, we are still here.
The good people of Chengdu, local and expat alike, have been very kind and accommodating to us. For the most part, people are appreciative of the fact that they know that a human being is making their pizza from scratch when they order it.
In today's world of robots manning assembly lines, and factory made food that just gets warmed up and sits under a heat lamp so that the customer never has to wait for anything, it's a little difficult to explain to some people that the reason they are waiting for their food is because a human being is making it from scratch when they order it. It's also sometimes difficult to get people to understand that there are other human beings who ordered the pizza in front of them and they have to wait in line until their pizza gets made by the afore-mentioned human being. I know I'm a bit stubborn about doing things the old-fashioned way, but that's because I truly believe that it makes my product better. The life-changing pizzas that I have been lucky enough to taste have all been similar situations that have involved a passionate person who loved what he was doing and just wanted to make pizza. I just feel very lucky that I get to be a small part of that global pizza tradition, and that we get to do it for the people here in Chengdu.
The big companies spend millions on advertising, the local company puts everything they have back into the community.