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#101
Old 04-30-2010, 09:08 AM
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I never understood Pizza Elitism. I grew up in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, home to about 5,000 pizzerias per city block(1940s-early 60s) and I STILL want a Pizza Hut pizza from time to time. Hell I may go pick up a Little Caesar's $5 deal later today.

Snobs!
#102
Old 04-30-2010, 09:23 AM
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It's been my experience that the independant places use those pre-made dough slabs that are made in a factory and shipped frozen. I loathe that kind of dough. Especially when butter is used as the grease on the bottom. Dominos was infamous for this, which is why I hated it. After years of a household ban, I tried Domino's again. Dominoe's is actually better now. The cheese is better, the crust is fresh and they use oil instead of butter for the pan lube.

My absolute favorite pizza is Pizza Hut pan crust pepperoni. With extra sauce. I could live on it, and basically did for 3 years when I worked there. The dough was always made by hand every morning in a giant Hobart mixer (think Kitchenaid exposed to Fallout 3 doses of radiation) and all the veggies were fresh. I've been to some 'gourmet' pizza places here, and while it was good I didn't think the 20% markup was worth the taste.

Thin crust pizza is for poor people who can't afford a thick crust.
#103
Old 04-30-2010, 09:38 AM
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Depends on the chain, your tastes, how much you are willing to spend, and what you are calling pizza.

It is hard to beat a $5 pizza, and if you are paying $5 for a pizza, you should probably have pretty low expectations for that pizza regardless of where you get it from.

(I like the thin crust overly greasy, sausage and canned mushroom crap pizza - not too often - but I like it. Its horrible. Its wonderful. Around here its Red's Savoy or Carbone's. I'm also partial to a crisp crust gorgonzola, pear, and onion 'pizza' served out of a brick oven at a frou frou restaurant. Both those things are labeled as pizza, but they have little in common. )
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#104
Old 04-30-2010, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaffa View Post
I've often found the originator of a foodstuff is often not the best example. For instance, I went out of my way to visit "Pat's King of Steaks" for a cheesesteak.
Oh, I agree. But I think it's a good reference point. Why not start with the original concept and move from there? Pat's in Philly is a good example (although I do like it--I only had three steaks there, Pat's, Jim's, and Geno's, but Pat's was my favorite. I do regret not having the time to visit the smaller joints.), Anchor Bar in Buffalo is another one (although I also like them, too. They were not my favorite wing but they were better than most people gave them credit for.) I sometimes feel like these places get dismissed a bit because they are popular and can get touristy, and it's a little more hip to go to the off-the-beaten-track locations. While it's almost always true that there are better versions of the food than the progenitor's, I don't think I've ever had a truly bad example at the original location. The original locations are also nice as they are part of the history lesson of the food.

Anyhow, my dislike for Carmen's is a bit unfair -- I just don't really like stuffed pizzas (Carmen's deep dish is stuffed, Uno's and Malnati's are not). I haven't been there since college (Evanston location), but I remember just not digging the sauce.

Last edited by pulykamell; 04-30-2010 at 09:58 AM.
#105
Old 04-30-2010, 10:03 AM
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Location: San Antonio, TX
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilTOJ View Post
Thin crust pizza is for poor people who can't afford a thick crust.
Huh? What an odd statement. Do you really believe this?
#106
Old 04-30-2010, 10:07 AM
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Location: Atlanta, GA
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Chain pizza is fine.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Niles
Frasier, have we lost the ability to actually enjoy the simple things in life?
Papa Johns is consistently above average; Pizza Hut will do in a pinch and their breadsticks are seasoned with pure crack; and I always look forward to the value of a trip to CiCis. I haven't tried Dominos since they've revamped their pies, but there was a time in high school when I could polish off a medium pie in a single sitting.

Although it's become a bit more than just a regional chain, Mellow Mushroom is my favorite.

Hungry Howie's spicy crust pizza is super yummy, too.
#107
Old 04-30-2010, 10:10 AM
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We haven't had a chain pizza since we got the pizza stone for the oven. But if that were all I had to eat, I'd choose Papa John's over any of the rest. If only for the garlic-butter dipping sauce.
#108
Old 04-30-2010, 10:25 AM
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Papa Gino's, which I believe is pretty much New England only, has top-notch pizza. If properly prepared it rivals the best "real pizza joints" in my opinion.

Pizzaria Uno has absolutely awesome pizza. We don't eat there too often, but it is definitely a treat.

Pizza Hut used to be good, but at some point many years ago they switched from fresh dough to frozen, and that was the end of Pizza Hut.

Bertucci's is really good, too, but they chronically undercook their pies. The fools.

When I lived in Florida, the only decent pizza place around was a Papa John's. Now that I'm up in the Boston area again I've only had a single meal from Papa John's, and although the pizza was OK those retarded baboons fucked up my order so badly that I resolved to never go back.

The town I live in doesn't have any chain resteraunts, but we have a few really, really good pizza place in town - two thin-crust-style places and one Greek-style place. Mmm.

Friday night is take-out pizza night! Woo-hoo!

ETA: I never liked Domino's, but I wouldn't be totally adverse to giving them another shot, since it sounds like they are really putting some effort into their pizzas these days. If nothing else, I'll give them credit for trying (it's more than most do).

Last edited by Winston Smith; 04-30-2010 at 10:27 AM.
#109
Old 04-30-2010, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
When I lived in Florida, the only decent pizza place around was a Papa John's.
Some of my in-laws live in Florida. A decade or so ago, we sent them frozen Lou Malnati's Chicago-style deep-dish pizzas as a Christmas present. We were told that, if we wanted to, we could choose to send them this as their Christmas present every year, and they would be very, very happy.
#110
Old 04-30-2010, 02:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
Papa Gino's, which I believe is pretty much New England only, has top-notch pizza. If properly prepared it rivals the best "real pizza joints" in my opinion.
I like Papa Gino's but they do have one noticible flaw. There's always a few big pieces of tomato skin in the sauce.(Which after being cooked are basically inedible rubber sheets in the sauce.) Well ok, that and they have anchovies as a topping anymore. (They used to have it when I was a kid. Of course when I was a kid Dunkins made the donuts in the store every 4 hours. Now I only know one Dunkies that still makes their own donuts.)
#111
Old 04-30-2010, 02:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zsofia View Post
I am even now enjoying a Papa John's thin crust Hawaiian BBQ pizza. The pizza guy brought it to my door, as he does many Thursday nights when I work late. He probably thinks I don't even own a bra. It's delicious.
Bow-chicka-wow-wow
#112
Old 04-30-2010, 07:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Analogue Skywalker View Post
How ever, bland would be the opposite of spicy or food that contains gastric juice stimulating herbs (oregano/basil ) in the food world.
It's clear that the poster I was quoting was irritated by the sweetness. But no matter - I didn't realize that "bland" was being used as a technical term.

I think Papa Murphy's is the best of the big chains. Pizza Hut is probably the worst. None of them really suck though. It's pizza.
#113
Old 04-30-2010, 09:38 PM
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I do consider it all hyperbole. Saying something is so horrible, but saying you'll eat it anyways doesn't compute.

Also, I don't get pizza snobbery, but for a different reason. How the hell does enjoying a small subset of pizza make you better than me? If anything, I'm better because I can be happier with less.

Also, why does everyone compare all pizza places with McDonald's? Yeah, their burgers are so bland you don't even notice the meat. But why can't these pizza places be like the other chains that are much better? And it's not like any thing at McDonald's is anything like the homemade stuff. But all pizza is still pizza.
#114
Old 04-30-2010, 09:42 PM
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Native New Yorker, and in college, when it's all I could get, I thought Papa Johns was pretty acceptable. I also like California Pizza Kitchen (totally different animal from NY style, but also tasty).

Pizza Hut is aggressively nasty, dripping with grease.

Oddly, in Ann Arbor where Domino's is headquartered, you can get better pizza that's just as cheap from Cottage Inn, a local chain.
#115
Old 04-30-2010, 09:49 PM
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Location: Honolulu, Hawaii
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Pizza Hut is big in Thailand. I've noticed the quality varies wildly from outlet to outlet, but consistently good or consistently bad within a single outlet, so the trick is to find one you like.

Shakey's actually made a brief foray into Thailand in the late 1980s or early 1990s, with a shop in Siam Square. Lasted a couple of years. Domino's tried it's hand here too, but was just as bad as I remembered them in the US.

Last edited by Siam Sam; 04-30-2010 at 09:50 PM.
#116
Old 04-30-2010, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SanibelMan View Post
Domino's recently redid their recipe. They even aired commercials showing focus groups calling their old pizza crap and the Domino's chefs vowing to do better. I have to say, it is a much better pizza. The old recipe was crap.
WE just ordered Domino's when we were staying in Alexandria recently: I doubt that anyone slaved away over it, creating a hand-crafted masterpiece of a pizza, but when it got to our hotel room, it was hot, the crust wasn't soggy or doughy, and it tasted pretty all right - bacon, pepperoni, cheese. Enough cheese for flavour and not enough to glug the whole thing up, the sauce was a bit on the sweet side but not too bad, the meats were fine. Okay, not silver service, but a perfectly acceptable dinner when we were tired and looking for something quick and effortless.
#117
Old 05-01-2010, 01:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Also, I don't get pizza snobbery, but for a different reason. How the hell does enjoying a small subset of pizza make you better than me?
It doesn't. Who says it does?
#118
Old 05-01-2010, 01:36 AM
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[QUOTE=EvilTOJThin crust pizza is for poor people who can't afford a thick crust.[/QUOTE]

I'd pay more for thin crust. I *hate* thick crust pizza to the point where I pretty much won't eat more than a bite.
#119
Old 05-01-2010, 02:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
... How the hell does enjoying a small subset of pizza make you better than me? ....
Well, now that you mention it...
#120
Old 05-01-2010, 08:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by salinqmind View Post
The pizza snob would lead you to believe the only pizza worth eating is made by darling Italian elves
They had better be authentic Tuscan elves. Just the thought of pizza prepared by elves from anywhere else in Italy makes me want to projectile vomit. If it's not oh-so-sublime and truly, authentically indie, it sucks worse than the combined suckage of a thousand Applebee's. Oh my God ... I typed the A word ... not feeling so good ...
#121
Old 05-01-2010, 09:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood View Post
They had better be authentic Tuscan elves.
Bah, the only elves that make proper pizza are Neapolitan elves. I mean if you have to make do at least use Campanian elves. Geez, people don't know their Italian elves
#122
Old 05-01-2010, 10:08 AM
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Yeah everyone knows that pizza is from Naples. Sheesh.
#123
Old 05-01-2010, 11:14 AM
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I'm a pizza nerd*, to the point of making plans for a brick oven on my patio. Unfortunately (in this regard) I live in the butt crack of nowhere, and my local pizza choices are Papa John's, Pizza Hut, one local chain (Giovanni's) that's OK but doesn't deliver about half the time, and Little Caesar's, which is the one pizza I find nigh inedible.

Papa John's is the best of the lot, but you have to ask them to do a "well done bake", because otherwise their pizzas tend to be grossly undercooked. I'm sure it's partially a time thing and partially the tendency of people around here to regard anything that's undergone a molecule's worth of the Maillard reaction as "burned".

I can't decide if it's just my improved tastes or if Pizza Hut really is way, way worse than it used to be. Probably some of both. Even as their crusts went downhill you used to be able to count on them for copious amounts of toppings** compared to the rest of the chains and especially compared to the college "drunk pizza"*** joints. Now they've joined the race to the bottom. I still crave their breadsticks about twice a year, though, and when my colleagues want to go there for our monthly off-site faculty meeting I don't object.

If I had even slightly better options I'd probably never order from either one, but that's not to say they're truly bad. Especially when they bring it to the house.

* And you know what I hate more than elitism? Anti-elitism. I'm not a better person than anyone else because I have strong opinions about pizza, but you're not a better person because you don't. I feel a pit thread coming on.
** Real artisan pizza can get by with sparse toppings, since the crust and sauce are good enough to stand up as the focus, but utility pizza needs a lot more to be good. In fact, I would say this is what distinguishes artisan pizza from utility pizza--in utility pizza, the crust is there to hold up the toppings, but in artisan pizza the toppings are there to complement the crust.
*** "College drunk pizza" is really its own category, I think.
#124
Old 05-01-2010, 11:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorJ View Post
*** "College drunk pizza" is really its own category, I think.
$4 large cheese pizza delivered by Bruno's in Oxford, Ohio! Sadly they've left us.

Washington, D.C., has a couple of competing drunk pizza joints adjacent to each other in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood -- Jumbo Slice and Pizza Mart. They both boast of having the largest slices ever. It seems their patrons aren't necessarily interested in the pizza. There are a lot of complaints of partially eaten slices littering the area.
#125
Old 05-02-2010, 03:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martini Enfield View Post
I see a lot of mentions here on the boards about how people can't stand the pizzas from places like Dominoes or Pizza Hutt, describing them as "tasteless" or "bland" or just "crap".

Now, the thing is, it's trendy on the SDMB to hate (or pretend to hate) the things that normal people like, but I heard the "Chain Pizzas Are Terrible!" thing so often and from so many people I'm wondering if there's actually any truth to it?
I think it's an SDMB thing. The pizza isn't that great but it's not that bad either.
#126
Old 05-03-2010, 06:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acsenray View Post
$4 large cheese pizza delivered by Bruno's in Oxford, Ohio! Sadly they've left us.

Washington, D.C., has a couple of competing drunk pizza joints adjacent to each other in the Adams-Morgan neighborhood -- Jumbo Slice and Pizza Mart. They both boast of having the largest slices ever. It seems their patrons aren't necessarily interested in the pizza. There are a lot of complaints of partially eaten slices littering the area.
They are BAKED by the slice, since no oven can hold a whole pizza that big. Yes, I've eaten at two of those places, both on 18th St.
#127
Old 05-03-2010, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tr0psn4j View Post
I think it's an SDMB thing. The pizza isn't that great but it's not that bad either.
Like I said before, this. The SDMB has something of a hive mind when it comes to food. We've got rarefied tastes, and if something isn't either uniquely indie and local, or utterly sublime or ethereal, it causes us to projectile vomit.

The majority of middle-end delivery chain pizza is national "utility pizza". Decent, not great, not awful.
#128
Old 05-03-2010, 11:03 AM
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It's all in the cheese. Use industrial-grade low priced mozzarella and you get shitty pizza. Period. I notice that it has a rank smell that lingers for hours.

Last edited by BwanaBob; 05-03-2010 at 11:04 AM.
#129
Old 05-03-2010, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood View Post
Like I said before, this. The SDMB has something of a hive mind when it comes to food. We've got rarefied tastes, and if something isn't either uniquely indie and local, or utterly sublime or ethereal, it causes us to projectile vomit.

The majority of middle-end delivery chain pizza is national "utility pizza". Decent, not great, not awful.
But if I am buying for myself [in other words, I am not stuck in a situation I can not get out of, like a school lunch] I *want* pizza that isgood, not utility pizza. Utility pizza is what you get when you are stuck at work and they order cheap crap pizzas for the masses, or in a school caffeteria.

if you have a choice between a craptastic piece of food that serves only as a calorie and micronutrient delivery system, or something that is tasty, and delivers the calories and nutrients, which would you *really* choose? Do you go to the grocery store and pick the cheapest almost cheese preshredded product, or a good quality mozzarella, or spotty manky veggies or nice clean unblemished veggies? manky cheap fatty pepperoni or a good quality pepperoni?

Literally the difference between utility pizza and good pizza is ingredient quality.
#130
Old 05-03-2010, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elmwood View Post
Like I said before, this. The SDMB has something of a hive mind when it comes to food. We've got rarefied tastes, and if something isn't either uniquely indie and local, or utterly sublime or ethereal, it causes us to projectile vomit.
Nah. Threads of these types are going to draw somewhat exaggerated reviews and more passionate voices, anyway. I don't get the sense that the average Doper has more "rarefied tastes" in food or anything. There's plenty of eat-because-of-biological-necessity people (as opposed to eat-for-pleasure people) here, it's just they probably are not going to pop into food opinion threads, since they don't care.

Pizza (like barbecue or chili) is especially one of those foodstuffs people can get very vocal and passionate about, depending on their local tradition. The SDMB is not particularly special in this regard.
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