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Thread: Pizza showdown: the best delivery pizza

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    Elite Member celeb_2006's Avatar
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    Default Pizza showdown: the best delivery pizza

    Pizza Showdown: The Best Delivery Pizza - Slice America on Yahoo! Food

    With all the options available from the nationwide pizza chains—thin crust, deep dish, stuffed crust, etc.—things can get a little confusing. Who better than Slice to coach you through the pizza playbook? Here is a careful analysis of the various crusts, toppings, and specialty pizzas from Pizza Hut, Domino's, and Papa John's.
    My colleagues and I spent hundreds of dollars on delivery pizza from the major chains in order to study their plays. Armed with napkins, paper plates, a stack of soft drinks, and plenty of antacid, we plowed through piles of crusty, cheesy, saucy stuff, to find the best pizza for you to order. We ordered a selection of each chain's specialty pizzas, as well as one cheese pizza to judge the foundations of each contestant's line-up.

    DOMINO'S
    Strengths: Fast delivery; cool online Pizza Tracker; many crust options; low price.
    Weaknesses: Underwhelming flavor; overly sweet sauce.
    Available crusts: Classic Hand Tossed, Crunchy Thin Crust, Ultimate Deep Dish, Brooklyn Style, Crispy Melt.
    Online ordering process: Awesome. Simple and intuitive, and allows you to add, remove, and edit pizzas easily while giving you the option to update pricing info without forcing a full page reload. Remembers your favorites. And has the great Pizza Tracker that updates in real time, so you can see exactly where your order is in the entire mouse-to-house enterprise.
    MVP
    The Philly Cheese Steak Pizza: This pizza, surprisingly, had the most going for it. It'd normally be an affront to both dishes—managing to muck up both iconic American foods—but its steak, Provolone and American cheeses, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms worked well together and had the best flavor among the Domino's line-up.
    Recommended crust: Classic Hand Tossed is hearty enough to stand up to the topping load but not so thick as to throw things out of balance.
    Second String
    The Bacon Cheeseburger Pizza: I never thought we'd pick hybrids as the top two players on Team Domino's, but this pie was a strong second made with mozzarella, cheddar, ground beef, and bacon. Our analysts determined that its strength came from ... the bacon, of course.
    Recommended crust: Try a Crunchy Thin Crust if you really want to emphasize the bacon-cheeseburger-ness of this specialty pizza.
    The ExtravaganZZa: Good ratio of meat and vegetable toppings. The crisp vegetables are a nice foil to the otherwise doughy texture of the crust. Plus, the saltiness of the meat toppings masks the sweet sauce.
    Recommended crust: Ultimate Deep Dish is a must in supporting the weight of pepperoni, ham, Italian sausage, beef, onions, green peppers, mushrooms, black olives, and extra cheese.
    The Least Valuable Player
    The Crispy Melt: Looks good on paper: a Crispy Thin Crust base and an equally thin layer of crisp dough on top that sandwiches sauce, cheese, and toppings of your choice. But this pizza doesn't complete the play. Too much dry, flavorless crust. Special notes: Only available in large, but you were going to order that anyway, right?
    The Vegi Feast: Flavorless vegetables serve only to add texture to this pizza. Only order it to please your whiny vegetarian friends.

    PAPA JOHN'S
    Strengths: Higher-quality toppings; the most specialty pizzas; decent crust; ample toppings; excellent presentation.
    Weaknesses: Higher cost. Only three crust styles. Again, the most specialty pizzas (some of them are pretty wack).
    Available crusts: Original, Thin, Perfect Pan.
    Online ordering process: Lame. The site itself looks like ass, and navigation is frustrating. Forces you to log in just to see ordering menu. Choosing/adding toppings is confusing.
    MVP
    The Works: This was the most visually pleasing pizza we encountered while scouting pizza pies. The crust had a rich, deep-golden-brown color around the edges and the toppings were artfully arranged: pepperoni, ham, spicy Italian sausage, onions, green peppers, baby portabella mushrooms, and black olives. All in a square pizza cut in a novel way. Amount of toppings exceeded those on comparable Domino's ExtravaganZZa and Pizza Hut Super Supreme. Example: Instead of laying pepperoni slices flat, several slices of the topping were nested together and placed on the pizza in concave hills of meat held in place by plenty of melted cheese. This seemed to increase the amount of pepperoni that could be placed on the pie. Small chunks of sausage dotted the pie evenly, around and hiding under pepperoni slices. Vegetables had better flavor than either Domino's or the Hut.
    Recommended crust: Perfect Pan was light and bready, but here its airiness collapsed under the weight of the toppings. A denser Original crust might be the way to go
    Second String
    The Meats: Pepperoni, sausage, hickory-smoked bacon, and ham give this pizza plenty of flavor and is sure to please any carnivores you're eating with. Like The Works above, the sliced meats are arranged carefully to allow for ample loads. Looks are deceiving here, but in a good way: Meat appears above the cheese and is hidden below it, so you get more than what you see. Be sure to keep plenty of beer or liquids on hand; the saltiness of the meat will make you thirsty.
    Recommended crust: We tried Original by chance, and it stood up well to the carnal onslaught.
    The Least Valuable Players
    Regular Cheese Pizza: We had high hopes for this one, based on the look and taste of The Works pie. But the plain cheese pizza from Papa John's really does need to be topped if it's going to have any flavor. Disappointing.
    Recommended crust: N/A
    BBQ Chicken and Bacon: Seemed promising. I mean, bacon? 'cue? We figured it was PJ's version of California pizza, but the substitution of barbecue sauce for the usual tomato sauce was a fake out we couldn't get our heads around. And the sweet intensity of the sauce drowned out any chicken flavor—not surprising as it's all white-meat chix.
    Recommended crust: N/A
    Hawaiian BBQ Chicken: See above, and add pineapple.
    Recommended crust: N/A
    The Towel Boys
    We had to designate these specialty pizzas "towel boys," since they're not even in the game. We couldn't even bring ourselves to order them. I mean, could you imagine yourself ordering the following for your Super Bowl party?
    • Spinach Alfredo
    • Spinach Alfredo Deluxe
    • Spinach Alfredo Chicken Tomato
    • Chicken Alfredo Supreme

    PIZZA HUT
    Strengths: Innovative specialty pizzas; the most crust styles.
    Weaknesses: Slow delivery; high price; innovative specialty pizzas (hello? Stuffed Crust?).
    Available crusts: Hand-Tossed Style, Pan Pizza, Stuffed Crust, Thin 'n Crispy, Crunchy Cheesy Crust, Pizza Mia.
    Online ordering process: Very good. Site itself looks beautiful. And ordering is just as intuitive and easy as Domino's, but gets upstaged by the Domino's Pizza Tracker. Allows you to store a "Pizza Playlist" (favorites) and your credit card info for even faster ordering.
    MVP
    Pizza Mia: OK. One of my colleagues in charge of getting pizzas went a little nuts and, unbeknownst to us, ordered one of Pizza Hut's new Pizza Mia pies with bacon and black olives. What kinda combo is that?!? But you know ... it worked! This was the best of the Pizza Hut pies we tasted. It was actually good and not just "good for Pizza Hut." The crust had a nice crispness to it and was thin but still just bready enough. The olives were flavorful without being overpowering, and the bacon wasn't half bad. The sauce is slightly sweet but not too much so, and the balance of crust, sauce, and cheese was pretty much on. We were all stunned that this thing came out of Pizza Hut. And, it's reasonably priced—much more so than the other pies we ordered.
    Recommended crust: N/A. If you order a Pizza Mia, you get the special Pizza Mia crust, "created for the taste expert" and made with "fine white Great Plains flour."
    Second String
    The Super Supreme: Just barely makes it into the game. After the Pizza Mia, this is the best Pizza Hut pie we tried. Toppings aren't as flavorful or as abundant as Papa John's, and crust is greasy and spongelike. Sauce is slightly bitter.
    Recommended crust: We ordered ours as a Pan Pizza, but this one would benefit from the Hand-Tossed Style crust. Notice how that's "Hand-Tossed Style." Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.
    The Least Valuable Player
    Anything with the Crunchy Cheesy Crust: Have you ever had really bad garlic bread—you know, really dry with just too much of that garlic powder–salt mixture? That's what this is like. It wasn't discernably more crunchy than any other Hut pizza we had and was in fact nowhere near as crisp as the Pizza Mia.
    Recommended crust: N/A
    OVERALL ANALYSIS
    For overall marks, we were most impressed with Papa John's. Its pizzas seemed to be made with more care, were tastier overall, and seemed to use better ingredients—and the delivery driver arrived quickly.
    However, our favorite single pizza was, strangely enough, the olive-and-bacon Pizza Mia from Pizza Hut.
    Domino's only seems worth ordering this Sunday if you want lots of inexpensive pizza.
    Special Thanks: Here's to everyone who helped taste-test the pizza. Eat through the pain, my friends! Eat through the pain. Pizza photographs by Robyn Lee.

  2. #2
    Elite Member Laurent's Avatar
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    It's Papa John's hands down for me.
    “What are you looking at, sugar-tits?” - Mel Gibson

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    Elite Member McJag's Avatar
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    I like Pizza Hut. Papa John's makes me sick,sick.sick.
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    Elite Member Dixie Normos's Avatar
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    ^Pizza Hut's bubbled, fried crust races thru my stomach. Domino's has a new 'za called a Boston Style (very large pepperoni). The kind I like best is Pizza Pizza...you Europeans/Americans have Pizza Pizza?
    "In the face of the blinding sun, I wake only to find
    that Heaven is a stranger place than than one I've left behind." - SM

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    Super Moderator NoDayButToday's Avatar
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    We have Little Caesars here, and their slogan used to be "Pizza! Pizza!", that might be the same thing. They used to be a huge chain, but they've gotten smaller over the years. They used to be my favorite carryout pizza place.

    ETA: just googled, 2 different places. It looks like Pizza Pizza is a Canada only chain.

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    Elite Member Dixie Normos's Avatar
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    Nope, we also have Little Caesar's, Pizza Pizza's different (tho they could be owned by the same corporation). They have so many healthy choices (but stay away from the multi grain crust, it's chewy) feta cheese, 3 types of olives, sun dried tomatoes, all super fresh and tasty, with a garlic dipping sauce with crack-like qualities in it's addictiveness.
    "In the face of the blinding sun, I wake only to find
    that Heaven is a stranger place than than one I've left behind." - SM

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    Elite Member *DIVA!'s Avatar
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    College days..nothing but pizza bolis they delivered until 1am

    now, every once in a while..Papa Johns nothing else!
    Baltimore O's ​Fan!

    I don''t know if she really fucked the board though. Maybe just put the tip in. -Mrs. Dark

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    Elite Member Mariesoleil's Avatar
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    I cannot stand Pizza Hut. I find it tastes like cardboard. Domino's has good pizza and so does Boston Pizza.
    "Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers."

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    Super Moderator Tati's Avatar
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    Pizza Pizza's pretty good, they have some really tasty toppings. Pizzaiolo is excellent, but it's an entirely different sort of taste (and very expensive), fairly healthy with light, fresh toppings, not overloaded with anything. The best pizza I've ever had (as with so many food things) was in Edmonton, from Panago. Kick-ass toppings and sauces, amazing service, and they somehow managed to get seriously custom pizzas to my door in 20 minutes, consistently. Steak and oyster pizza with jalapeno white sauce, or caramelized onion, chicken and pineapple pizza with sweet 'n smoky tropical sauce were my favourites.
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    Elite Member HelpMeRhonda's Avatar
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    Of those 3 I pick Pizza Hut.. Dominos is so greasy.. and Papa Johns is ok..

    My first job at 16 was at Little Ceasars..
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    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
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    I'm spoiled, growing up in NY we never ate chain pizza's. All the great local pizza places delivered
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    Elite Member Just Kill Me's Avatar
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    There's alot of yummy not chain places around and some are open very very very late which is awesome... I love pizza...

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    Gold Member birdmadgirl's Avatar
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    I love Dominos thin, crunchy crust. I don't like a big mouthful of dough.

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    Elite Member Moongirl's Avatar
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    Don't have a Papa John's in my town; usually order from Pizza Hut, although I didn't really like the new Pizza Mia because the sauce is sweet. We also order sometimes from a place called Pizza Guys:
    pizzaguys home

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    all these pizza threads are making me want pizza!!

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