'Chain Pizzas' on Serious Eats
The announcement that Chili's is now offering pizza was about as unsurprising as the product itself.
The Malaysian Super Pan Pizza from Pizza Hut is one pizza to behold. And if the suggestive power of advertising has any sway over the pizza eating clientele of the East, then lots of Malaysian ladies may just find themselves betrothed.
If you caught yesterday's 800 Degree review, then you may have noticed how the pizzeria's Chipotle approach sparked some debate in comments section. That assembly-line approach is spreading quickly as a pizza franchise concept. Is this just a way for chain restaurants to re-package their product, or can these new pizzerias raise the bar for pizza chains?
Serious pizza people scoff at most national chains, and for good reason. I didn't come here to bash the big boys, and there's no need to list their many spongy, undercooked, and overprocessed shortcomings. I mention it simply to establish up front that I agree with the general Slice consensus that chain pizza tends not to be good pizza. But it's a category that can't be ignored by anyone with a TV, a lazy streak, and a love of online ordering.
CiCi's Pizza and its 28 varieties of pies are making a push for pizza buffet domination, but it's the breadsticks that steal the show.
No one said this baby was a genius, but here is the newest addition to the Pizza Hut menu. I'm no math whiz, but by my calculations garlic bread with cheese and some peppers or sausage doesn't add up to pizza.
First, why is this pizza "artisanal"? Because it's rectangular and thinnish of crust, silly! So how is this pizza "carbonara"? Because it features pork and irregular dairy, and because Domino's says so. Good enough for me. Eatin' time.
My first delivery didn't go very well. I forgot the credit card receipt and a 2 liter bottle of soda. I had no option other than to run back to the Big D for the missing goods and get back on the road. If the "30 minutes or it's free" guarantee hadn't been nixed due to several major auto accidents in the 1990s, I would have been in deep doo-doo.
This limited-time-if-we're-lucky abomination is of the modern trick-pie kind, in which unlikely things are stuffed into, welded onto, or stacked atop a normal, unsuspecting pizza. In this case, the Hutters have affixed mozzarella-filled dough nuggets along the perimeter of a standard round pizza. It's a dubious idea with even worse execution.
Chains continue to adapt their popular appetizers into pies with somewhat appalling results. Obviously people love some of these monstrosities—remember the Papa John's Buffalo Chicken Pizza? So it's obvious the trend will continue, but what will come next? In this weeks poll tell us what transgression you think will be the next appetizer pizza mash-up?
The build-your-own principle is exactly like any other pizzeria's: there's a list of toppings, and you tell the staff which ones you want. But although I can't really explain why, there's something very different about watching it happen in real time.
Any frozen pie retailing for north of $5 really needs to be legitimately good eating. I've had recent and pleasant experience with the in-house version of Uno's Artisan Thin Crust pizzas, so I figured I'd start my exploration of the deluxe frozen pizza market with the icebox rendition.
With 500-plus locations in the Western United States (and two in Dubai), Round Table Pizza is the fourteenth largest pizza chain in the country. Pizza snobs need not apply, but if you value a massive quantity of nitrate-filled meats over all else, Round Table may be the spot for you.
Papa John's joins the Buffalo chicken pizza craze with their newest addition. Their standard crust gets topped with ranch instead of tomato sauce, bacon, onions, cheese, chicken strips, and generously covered with a swirl of mild Buffalo sauce.
I'm going to make an admission now that most likely will result in my instantly losing any and all street cred that I've worked so hard to slowly build up on Slice over the years. I sometimes order in pizza from Domino's.
The Cheesecake Factory offers a menu that includes, well, everything. Hamburgers, nachos, popcorn shrimp, and Thai lettuce cups? Yeah, they've got all of that! And it goes without saying that a menu that aims to please every diner will most certainly include pizza. We take a look at whether The Cheesecake Factory has any hope of getting its pizza right amidst the other bajillion items on the menu.
A couple of months back Domino's introduced out Parmesan Bread Bites to round out their menu. Are these mini breadsticks worth popping into your order? We ordered some up in the name of research.
While we think mom-and-pop shops make the best pizza in the nation, we'd be remiss if we didn't keep abreast of what the chains are up to. Suit up, it's time for another Chain Reaction, folks.