Thursday, August 09, 2007

Bad Pizza

I grew up in Boston, and I grew up loving great pizza.

Some people will tell you there's no such thing as a bad pizza... those people are horribly mistaken. As I've mentioned before, there are only four or five cities in America where you can consistently get a good pizza delivered: Boston, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, and St. Louis.

Unfortunately, I live in Scottsdale. Note: not one of the cities above

For several years I lived in a neighborhood where there were eight pizza places who would deliver to me, and all of them sucked. There are a couple of half decent pizza places in the area (NYPD pizza for example), but they're all miles away, and most of them don't deliver at all, never mind into my neighborhood.

When we moved in to the new place two years ago though, we discovered that there was a half decent pizza joint just a couple miles down the road. It's not perfect, their crust is a little bit biscuity and their cheese isn't 100%; but it's pretty darn good.

Unfortunately, they're closed on Sundays (no pizza during football), and they don't deliver 'til 5pm; but other than they they're excellent. Fast delivery, good toppings reasonable price.. a real winner.

So anyway, I needed some lunch, didn't have time between meetings to make it myself (absolutely crushed today), Mels out running errands, and my favorite pizza place doesn't deliver til 5pm. There aren't any local sub shops (something else I miss from Boston), and I've had too much Chinese lately.

Which leaves me with chain pizza... ugh. Ok, there area few small regional chains that are half decent, and who deliver; but none of them are around here, and god big chain pizza is awful.

For big chains delivery in my neighborhood, we've got Little Caesars, Dominos, Papa Johns and Pizza Hut. Oh and Hungry Howies, which is a regional chain; but I wont eat their pizza on a bet.

Now, normally if I have to do chain pizza I go with Pizza Hut, and I just get their wing street wings and deep fried apple pies (which are really tasty). Unfortunately my local Pizza Slut doesn't DO wing street; they just have the crappy baked wings. There is a wng street thats actually closer to us than our "hometown pizza hut, but the computer dispatch system will not let us order from them for delivery (evil corporate bastards... I really like those fried pies).

Of them all I would generally pick Pizza Hut pizza as well... but it's sort of a choice between a sharp poke in the eye, and a bee sting if you know what I mean.

Papa johns would be edible if their sauce didn't taste like raw tomatoes blended together with maple syrup (which, amazingly enough is why so many people like it. Lots of people like Hillary Duff too).

The worst of the is clearly Little Caesars... I would hesitate to even call it pizza, it's more processed cheez fud on soggy cardboard with red sugarwater in between. The only reason they still exist is because they do things like sell a large cheese pizza for $5.00

Of course only slightly less disgusting is Dominos; they of the undercooked bread dough crust, and margarine mixed with hot glue "cheese".

Worse, they don't even have the "we're cheap" fallback, because they are by far the most expensive of the chains if they aren't running a sale or giving you a coupon. Thankfully they are ALWAYS running a sale or giving you a coupon; in fact if you call them up or order online and don't HAVE a coupon, or order a special sale price, they'll suggest one for you to use (no, seriously, they do)... which is good because they'd never sell another "pizza" again otherwise.

Yeah, my options were thin on the ground... BUT...

Dominos has been advertising the new "Brooklyn style" pizza, which supposedly has a real crust, and real cheese; and of course they are spamming the world with coupons "get one sausage or pepperoni Brooklyn or $10". Of course it won't be anything LIKE a real New York pizza, but hey, for $10, I figure, what the hell, why not.

Yeah I know, I deserve whatever I get.

The verdict?

I can now say, unequivocally, that this is the best pizza that Dominos has ever made...

And it's still pretty bad.... but it's not disgusting or horrible as it normally is.

The crust is in fact, almost like a real pizza crust. It's tantalizingly close to being good. It drapes and folds the right way, and it's chewy without being soggy... it's just not quite chewy enough, and it doesn't have that edge of crispness that good pizza crust needs. If the cheese and sauce were very good, they could have made up for slightly deficient crust to make this an actual good pizza.

The cheese tastes far better than Dominos standard pizza cheese. Instead of margarine mixed with hot glue; it's like margarine mixed with play-do.

The sauce... yeah, let's not even think about that.

Now, I'll wait a couple hours and try the reheat test. Sometimes not very good pizza is actually better re-heated; but Dominos is usually so bad reheated as to be inedible.