Worst of the Worst: The Chain Challenge
Today the 4 largest pizza chains in America go head to head for the title of “worst corporate pizza.” I know what you’re thinking. “Why, doughboys…why? You guys are better than that!” Look, this is something we’ve been wanting to do for a long time now. It’s not so much a review to find the best pizza as much as it is a guide to the worst of the worst. We both grew up eating za’ from these 4 places. They’ve spent millions upon millions on advertising. They came up with different ways to put cheese inside the pizza. They’ve constructed pizzas with 30+ slices and pizzas with breadsticks as the crust. The fact is, no matter what they try to do, their pizza will always in my eyes be the shittiest of shitty. So here for you are the worst chain pizzerias out there, ranked from best (if you can call it that) to worst.
1) Pizza Hut
Castro: According to the World Wide Web, the Hut was established over 50 years ago. There’s currently 6,000 Pizza Hut restaurants in the U.S and more than 5,600 locations in 94 other countries around the world. You would think a company with those kind of stats would have the pizza game on lock. Fuck no. Stuffed crust, the New Yorker, the Bigfoot…Every pizza they’ve managed to construct either was atrocious or it got me super sick. The only good thing to ever come from pizza hut is the buffet. I think the only reason I go is to try and beat my personal record of slices consumed. (18 slices circa 2002) Hey, remember throwing cherry tomatoes from the salad bar at the 66 bus on half days from school? That was pretty cool. I will give them the award for best commercials. Pizza head ruled. Anyway, we got a half pepperoni, half green pepper pie. Their pizza is entirely too thick and doughy for my taste. The cheese is super watery. Their crust is probably the only positive thing about their pizza…and that’s only if you get a side of sauce for dipping. It’s great pizza to get when you’re completely hammered drunk but on this particular visit, this pizza fucking sucked.
Plichter: Anyone who’s known me for the past ten years knows just how sick Pizza Hut makes me. I mean, literally. Early Good For Nothing practices always concluded with a trip to the Pizza Hut buffet, followed by me writhing in pain on Scott Boland’s porch. And did I ever learn my lesson? No. I continued to eat it almost every time simply because I’m a stupid moron and it was free. (Scott used to work there, so we got free pizza a lot.) Even since those days I still think to myself from time to time, “Hey, I wonder if Pizza Hut still makes me sick?” The last such occasion was about two years ago, when an impromptu trip to Pizza Hut for stuffed crust pizza ended with me vomiting in my father’s bathroom. The only reason I remotely got excited to visit Pizza Hut this time around was because I wanted to play the video games they used to have at the entrance of the store. And to my disappointment, they didn’t have them anymore. Fortunately, this time around I had my revenge on Pizza Hut by winging a slice of their horrible pizza at their store.
2) Papa John’s
Castro: “Better ingredients. Better pizza. Papa John’s.” God I hate the commercials with that guy twitching and smiling in his 1970 Camaro as he spits that line. I remember recently ordering a “six cheese Tuscan pizza” and getting what looked and tasted like a 1 cheese, plain pizza. Papa John’s literally has nothing going for them except that butter garlic sauce you get with every pizza. I definitely would/could/should do shots of it. Ok, so today we got sausage pie. As you can see from the picture, it was completely flaccid and flimsy. I’m guessing they use some kind of wheat-based flour for their dough in all their pizzas. I hate it. I ate one slice and I had to stop. The sausage tasted like bad diner breakfast sausage. My recommendation? Toaster oven yourself some Ellios because that’s the same quality pizza I’ve been getting EVERY time I end up getting a pizza from Papa John’s. Yo, good ole’ PJ’s fucking sucks.
Plichter: If Papa John actually cared about his customers as much as he claims, he would’ve traveled back in time and aborted himself to prevent naïve patrons from wasting their time and money. This was seriously like microwaved rubber with the worst breakfast sausage imaginable on top. Of course, Castro already mentioned the only redeeming factor: the butter garlic sauce. But even that couldn’t save this shithole. Oh and by the way, a shot of that garlic butter will set you back about 17 grams of fat, and their extra large Spicy Italian pizza weighs in at a combined 4000 calories. Eat E.J.. Eat up!
Castro: You’ve seen the commercials about dominos advertising new recipes and new ingredients. They guaranteed to build a new pizza from the ground up promising “hand tossed pizza with a new robust sauce.” I went in there with high hopes of something new that was gonna blow my mind. Guess what? It’s the same crappy pizza they’ve always been serving. We got a bacon pizza because let’s face it, bacon’s good on everything. Not on a dominos pizza. It literally had no taste to it. The cheese was rubbery. Out of all 4 places I was most disappointed by their pizza. Wanna hear a cool story? Dominos was the first company to have the “30 minutes or it’s free” guarantee back in the day. One of their delivery drivers crashed into another car injuring the other driver trying to make the deadline. She sued and took an 80 million dollar payout. Dominos immediately dropped the 30-minute guarantee. I LOL’d when I read it. Anyway, yo this pizza fucking sucked in 1991 and it fucking sucks in 2011 too.
Plichter: When looking back on some of the worst decisions I’ve made in my life, almost half of them have to do with ordering food. One such example would be when I decided to order from Domino’s in South Philly, even though I knew of about twenty awesome real pizzerias in the neighborhood. And why did I make such a rash decision, you ask? Because I actually gave them the benefit of the doubt when they revamped their recipe. After they screwed up my order twice and I had to wait about for 2 hours, I finally got to try this new and improved taste. I don’t care how many shitty commercials they put out with people approving of the new recipe. It still tastes the same! The only improvement they made was by adding the garlic and herbs to the crust, which makes only a minimal difference. I happen to think that Castro and I greatly improved their bacon pizza by throwing it on the ground and stepping on it.
4) Little Caesar’s
Castro: Their old slogan “Pizza! Pizza!” referred to them serving 2 pizzas instead of 1 like everyone else. They used to come on a piece of cardboard in a giant paper bag with no box. Classy, right? I’m not gonna lie, I said some good things when they opened the Little Caesars on Levick street last year. I was so hype about it. But then I realized that you’re paying $5 for a pizza that was probably made an hour before you walked in and has been sitting in a warming tray until it finally reaches your mouth. It just doesn’t sit well with me. We got a “hot and ready” pepperoni. I mean, your choices really are limited here. The bottom of our pizza looked like a sponge. The pepperoni was soggy and the cheese was slimey. I took one bite and immediately threw it against the wall. Seriously. This pizza really takes the cake of the worst corporate pizza ever. Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to throw up.
Plichter: Of everywhere we visited today, I am seriously the most disappointed in Little Caesar’s and the fact that they’re the worst of the four. Last time I had it was about two years ago while in Delaware, and I remembered it being fairly decent. Maybe my palate has broadened in that period of time. Maybe we just happened to visit a shitty Caesar’s, or just got a randomly bad pie. But there was no mistaking that this was the worst of the day for certain. I could at least finish an entire slice from the other places, but I couldn’t even do that here. It was TERRIBLE. Castro’s right, the crust looked like a sponge. But even sponges are relatively soft. This was like some sort of drywall/sponge hybrid that Little Caesar’s has been working on. It seriously looked and tasted like some sort of plastic pizza slice you’d find in a child’s play kitchen. I wouldn’t be surprised if even the rats out back of Little Caesar’s refused to eat it.