Tag Archives: pizza

Papa John’s Fritos Chili Pizza

Papa John's Fritos Chili PizzaI wasn’t aware of the existence of Frito pie until I was an adult. I always considered it somewhat of a Midwestern delicacy, although Wikpedia tells me its influence reaches to the southern and southwestern states.

I always considered this to be somewhat of a simple-minded dish, until I once cooked up a dish of cream cheese, Cincinnati-style chili, and shredded cheese. Dip some Fritos in there and taste the delicious combination of four simple ingredients.

That said, much like many other menu items that now exist in the fast food world, one food does not necessarily translate well into another. Several other restaurants – I’m thinking specifically of Sonic and Taco Bell – have incorporated Fritos into their menus, mostly consisting of “here’s a general menu item and then we threw some Fritos on or in it”.

…Which is exactly what happened with Papa John’s Fritos Chili Pizza. Actually, that’s not entirely fair. Papa John’s at least tried to stay somewhat true to the spirit of Frito pie – the pizza consists of cheddar cheese, Roma tomatoes, beef and onions, all on a bed of chili sauce. Oh, right, and Fritos. Duh.

Upon bringing Papa John’s Fritos Chili Pizza into my home, it was immediately filled with the smell of warm Fritos. I wouldn’t want a scented candle of this fragrance, but it was actually quite pleasant.

Papa John's Fritos Chili Pizza Slice

The Fritos were obviously put on after the pizza came out of the oven, as they were not at all soggy and looked fresh out of the bag. There certainly were a lot of them, too – I’ve never seen any other pizza topping given this much coverage. Of course, you’re just chucking a few cents’ worth of corn chips on there, so why not?

A disadvantage to having the Fritos applied after cooking was that they didn’t have the opportunity to stick to the rest of the toppings, which resulted in a lot of chips flying off the slices as I took them out of the box and again as I bit into them.

Papa John's Fritos Chili Pizza Toppings

Because of the amount of Fritos and perhaps their strong flavor, a lot of the other toppings got overwhelmed by the chips. The beef seemed barely there, and I only remembered the onions were a topping because they added a different textural crunch than that of the Fritos, which obviously added a lot of crunch. Crunch that didn’t really belong with the rest of the pizza. It was too jarring of a contrast.

Of all the toppings, the one that unexpectedly struggled through all the Fritos was the Roma tomatoes. They added a fresh flavor and a slight crunch that helped out the struggling pizza.

Don’t think I’m forgetting about the chili sauce. It was actually the shining star of Papa John’s Fritos Chili Pizza. It was pretty much everything you’d want to have on a pizza that’s trying to represent Frito pie – it tasted a hell of a lot like Cincinnati chili, which is to say, thin, cheap, beanless, but yet somehow delicious.

After the Fritos, it was the first thing I tasted from the pizza, and I was surprised and pleased at the flavor. There wasn’t even an overabundance of it, but just the little amount that was there delivered the flavor.

Papa John’s Fritos Chili Pizza isn’t gross, it’s just dumb. Tossing a bunch of chips on top of a cooked pie does not a pizza make. In fact, I wound up taking the Fritos off the rest of my pizza and found it more enjoyable that way – the beef and the onions were able to come through and mix in with the chili sauce, which I really enjoyed.

The flavor and the texture of the Fritos amounted to nothing more than a distraction. They took me out of pizza mode. I just wish Papa John’s would make chili sauce an option on their build-your-own pizzas, because it really saved this pizza and I’d love mix it up with some other toppings.

Papa John’s Fritos Chili Pizza

  • Score:2.5 out of 5 Fritos flying everywhere
  • Price: $12.00
  • Size: Small
  • Purchased at: Papa John’s #1355
  • Nutritional Quirk: Fritos.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust PizzaPizza Hut and Domino’s are like rival siblings. As long as I can remember, they’ve been the two biggest pizza delivery chains in the USA. Back when I was a kid, both companies had their own schtick: Domino’s had the infamous Noid and their “30 minutes or free” guarantee, and Pizza Hut had…well, Pizza Hut had some weird commercials. I thought Pizza Hut had a 30 minute guarantee, too, but I can’t find evidence of that on the Internet.

Basically, both company’s marketing was pretty plain back then. “Hot and fresh.” It was a simpler time, when you had to use a corded phone to place your order, and the Hawaiian pizza was probably the most exotic thing on either of their menus.

Now you can order your pizza online, customizing it yourself and not having to tell another human being, “I want everything on my pizza. No, I mean literally everything. And make that with triple cheese.” Technology has come so far in allowing us to hide our shame.

But enough about me. The point here is that, as they’ve grown up, Domino’s and Pizza Hut have gone very different ways. Domino’s launched their “our pizza sucked, but now it’s better!” campaign, which has worked out very well for them.

Pizza Hut has gone in a very different direction – instead of focusing on quality, they’ve decided to focus on gimmicks and hype.

Hype is smart. The Internet loves gimmicks, and Pizza Hut has given it a lot to buzz about. P’Zolos. Overstuffed. Sliders. And these are just pedestrian gimmicks from the United States. Pizza Hut has gone batshit loco internationally. I was lucky enough to have a friend in the UK review one of these offerings, but you can see even more craziness here.

To round out the admittedly loose sibling analogy, Domino’s found success by admitting its past mistakes, straightening up and flying right, while Pizza Hut found success in stuffing cheese and whatever else it found on the floor into their pizzas. It’s like Domino’s went to med school while Pizza Hut started selling weed. Both are making good money, but how.

This analogy sucks. Let’s get to the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza, shall we!

First off, I’d like to give you a choice nugget from Pizza Hut’s press release: “Pizza Hut, the world’s largest pizza company, announced today the debut of one of its most-heralded and highly-anticipated new products of all time – Crazy Cheesy Crust.”

“Most-heralded and highly-anticipated new products of all time.”My, aren’t we full of ourselves! As my grandma would say, don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back, Pizza Hut.

Pizza Hut describes Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza as “16 dough pockets as its outer edge…each pocket is filled with a blend of five Italian cheeses.” Those cheese specifically are provolone, asiago, mozzarella, fontina, and mild white cheddar. I don’t know if “mild white cheddar” is Italian, but hey.

As you can see above, the Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza looks like a beautiful, greasy flower.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza Slice

And the slices look like greasy hearts! I love it! I also think Pizza Hut was remiss not to launch this around Valentine’s Day. Nothing says “I love you” like clogged arteries.

I went for pepperoni on my Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza because that’s the topping that was shown on Pizza Hut’s website. I am a mindless follower.

As expected, there’s not much to say about the pizza itself. It is a Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza. We’re really here for the crust.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza Cheese Pocket

I wasn’t really sure what Crazy Cheesy Crust etiquette was. Was I supposed to rip them off right off the bat? Turn the slice around and eat the crust first, then the pizza?

In the end, I just ate it like a regular slice of pizza. Once I got to the cheese pockets, I was pleasantly surprised to find that they tasted very different than the rest of the pizza.

I am not a pizza crust person. If I were not so strongly against wasting food, I’d toss the crust of pretty much every slice of pizza I’ve ever eaten in the trash. Instead, I “tolerate” the crust, and by that I mean, I drown it in ranch dressing mixed with Frank’s Red Hot Sauce. Don’t judge it ’til you’ve tried it, folks.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza Cheese Pockets

Given my distrust of crust, I was dubious about just how Crazy this Cheesy Crust would be. Consider me plum surprised. The cheese-to-crust ratio was just right, making it seem like I wasn’t eating crust at all. It was more like eating a little cheesy-laden thin breadstick. The cheese was plentiful and gooey, and you could actually taste the different cheeses. Well, I’m no affineur, so I couldn’t identify all the cheeses, but I definitely detected the asiago and mozzarella, so I can say with confidence that Pizza Hut wasn’t completely trying to shine me on.

After tasting the cheese pockets in their natural habitat for the sake of objectivity, I could have dipped. But you know what? I didn’t. I truly felt it did not need to be dipped. And that’s big, coming from me. The cheeses were tasty enough to stand on their own.

It turns out that Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza isn’t that crazy, after all. Sure, it looks a little odd. Cute, but odd. But when it comes down to what’s important, which is taste, it actually delivers. The cheese in the pockets are plentiful and delicious, although they are admittedly greasy as hell. But for someone like me who considers pizza crust nothing more than a necessary evil, I was truly impressed.

The biggest problem with Pizza Hut’s Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza is that it’s attached to a Pizza Hut pizza. Seriously, why can’t they give the whole pizza the Crazy Cheesy treatment? It would make their pizza 100% tastier.

So, while Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza temporarily cured me of my dislike of pizza crust, it could not cure me of my dislike of Pizza Hut pizza. It’s back to dipping the crust of better pizzas for me.

Pizza Hut Crazy Cheesy Crust Pizza

  • Score: 3 out of 5 pools of grease
  • Price: $12.99
  • Size: 1 large 1-topping pizza
  • Purchased at: Pizza Hut #026692
  • Nutritional Quirks: In a surprising twist, one slice of pepperoni Crazy Cheesy Crust has only (well, “only”) 390 calories. I was expecting a much higher caloric disaster.

Other kuh-raaaaazy Cheesy Crust reviews: The Impulsive Buy, GrubGrade, and Brand Eating

News: Domino’s – Get 50% Off Any Pizza When You Order Online

I’m not usually one to post about deals (unless they’re flat-out freebies), but I’ve taken advantage of this deal before, and I have to say, it’s pretty awesome.

From now until August 12, order any Domino’s pizza online via their website  or using their mobile app, use the promo code “50off”, and get any pizza for 50% off its menu price. Any pizza, including their Artisan pizzas, their American Legends line, or that dangerously-overloaded-with-toppings custom pie you’ve been customizing in your dreams. I assume you have pizza dreams like I do.

Plus, when you order off their website, you get to watch Domino’s Pizza Tracker, so you can see exactly when Dave has quality-checked your pizza!

Take advantage of this deal while you can – again, the promo code is “50off”, and the deal ends August 12!

News: Papa John’s Wants to Make Your Party a Total Sausage Fest with Their New Five Sausage Pizza

Just can’t get enough sausage? Are you insatiable when it comes to long, thick tubes of meat? Well, Papa John’s has what you need with their new Five Sausage Pizza. That’s right, I said five sausages. Can you handle that much sausage in your mouth?

Let’s run them all down: it starts with just “sausage”, which is obviously pedestrian, but then moves on to both mild and spicy Italian sausage. Whew, it’s getting a little warm in here! But we’re not done yet. There’s also smoked sausage, which, as everyone knows, is the most sultry of all the sausages.

Most interesting to me, however, is the last sausage – chorizo! Chorizo is typically a spicy, crumbly sausage, for those of you not living close to our friends south of the border who may be unfamiliar with it. I live in the southwest, and I’ve never seen chorizo available as a pizza topping, even from local joints that have some pretty exotic topping choices.

You can currently get all five of Papa John’s sausages in your mouth on a large pizza for the promotional price of $9.99.

Source: Papa John’s