One thing that MPizzablog is, is an independent, honest, non-affiliated with any food company, supplier or restaurant, non-biased (tho a tad distrustful towards Detroit & New York style pizza; this is a Chicago-area blog) completely non-compensated blog that uses no photo editing other than color adjustment due to the webcam, and uses all-new original pics for each blog entry, sans the pizza box pic; if a repeat (this particular box has 3-22-10 stamped in red on the bottom & this being April 3, 2010). The rule here is every single pizza is eligible for review or critique, whether its a frozen pizza to a crappy homemade pizza that could basically be fake cheese & ketchup on a saltine cracker, carry out or even half of a slice of leftover pizza from a restaurant.
I’ve eaten a lot of pizza since I started on April 26, 1987, and the worst was always the shitty-ass pizza served at my childhood schools that was shitty dough with diarrhea-style grease red sauce, full of big air bubbles and the cheapest fake cheese known to exist that sank into a putrid pool at the crust’s lowest elevation. I can’t believe I was actually pissed one Thursday 11 a.m. morning hour during the 1987-88 school year, that I threw up about 10 minutes until lunchtime that was the month’s Pizza Day for that shitty pizza, and I had to be taken home without my pizza slice. As for pizza chains, there’s lots of them in the Chicagoland area, and to me, Domino’s has always been ranked the worst. Terrible tasteless crust, cheap on cheese, dry, plain sauce, gritty sausage that wouldn’t pass as dog food, pepperoni pizza that made me want to choke to death on it. It always ranked worst to me, even behind Little Caesar’s. But apparently Domino’s got tired of the universal bitching of how they really suck, some self-respecting employee actually tasted a Domino’s pizza, or got tired of [I assume supposed] declining profits, decided to actually do some food quality control and actually put an ounce of effort into making flavored food. I’ve seen the commercials for the new sauce, new crust & herbs, but figured it’s just another empty promise gimmick.
Tonight the deal of two medium pizzas with two toppings for $5.99 each was placed. Both on crunchy thin crust that measured 1/8th thick, was crunchy, smooth on the bottom and was decent. The “new robust sauce” on both has some zest to it, and some hints of green herbs but still was on the dry side. The cheese was a shredded Provolone cheese that at a normal serving, was again cheap in distribution and barely filled out in 1/16” to 1/8th’s thick. I’ve never seen in person a Domino’s pizza that cheese was the main ingredient like most local pizzas are, so that wasn’t expected, but it did have a nice mild-sharp flavor.
One pizza was roasted red peppers and Italian sausage, and the other was pepperoni & mushrooms. The red peppers were 1” by ¼” strips, were very soft and had a pleasant pepper taste; and was covered in a green spice that smells a lot like thyme and/or basil or green spice blend that had a nice greeny Italian aroma, but definitely not oregano, tarragon or rosemary. The Italian sauce actually resembled like real pizza sausage; was in chunks, firmness and flavors you actually expect from pizza. On the other pizza, the pepperoni was 1 ½” wide, and seemed like a standard spicy pepperoni but better than I remember by Domino’s standards. The mushrooms were fresh and smelled good & were actually cut ¼” thick; unusual for fast food pizza but was very sparse & was no one that one chunk per 3” x 2” party-style slice, totally about 8-10 in all. The pepperoni’s covered some ground, tho I’d expect more expensive toppings like mushrooms & red peppers would be used less on smaller sizes.
I can honestly say these were the best Domino’s pizzas I have ever had, but the bar was set so low there was really no place to go but up. It actually tasted like real pizza, maybe a hair step above a mildly-expensive frozen store pizza, but the flavors were there and the crust was crispy & cracker-like, like a true thin crust. We don’t rank pizzas here, and time will tell if Domino’s can keep up this rare quality control, and other variety’s will have to be tried, as long as they keep putting out coupons and/or special deals, since convenience is not exactly on the highest level in this particular area, tho I seem to recall Domino’s has always had a highly-funded advertisement budget with constant commercials.
Two pita pizzas. I put about 1 tablespoon of BBQ sauce, some leftover cold chicken & some chopped onions topped with freshly grated Mozzarella cheese, and the other pita a heaping tablespoon of salsa, and a mix of mostly cooked scrambled egg with sour cream, chopped cooked bacon, diced red peppers & lightly covered with Monterey Jack cheese. Cooked in the oven at 444 degrees for 10 to 13 minutes until the cheese is bubbling & golden brown. The pita's edges & bottom crust came out crunchy & golden brown. The breakfast pita tasted like a crunchy omelette with a little heat from the salsa and the egg puffed it up to almost an inch high, and the BBQ chicken tasted like a Chicken McNugget with an extra crunchy bread taste along with a smoothness texture from the cheese.
During prep & while the pizzas were baking, (see pic #4) I put together a mixture of flour, baking powder, sugar, salt, (then later butter & buttermilk) using that same sheet & hot oven again and made some crispy biscuits; layered & soft in the middle at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. I halved a recipe so that's why there's so few & the recipe said to fold the dough at 1/4" over before cutting to create break-off pieces, and of course the mutant irregular biscuit (2nd to last pic, bottom biscuit) with the leftover dough.
MPizzablog 08/20/09 Jet's Pizza Pepperoni and Parmesan Crust cheese pizza. http://jetspizza.com
Jet's Pizza just opened a store in the area and had to try it. Got coupons for it in the mail, and got the Hand Tossed Medium Pizza for $7.99. This pizzeria is known for putting stuff on the crust: butter, poppy seeds, Parmesan, garlic, sesame seeds, cajun, Romano, or Turbo Crust, with butter, garlic and Romano cheese. Well as you can clearly see, there is no Parmesan cheese on it. They forgot to put it on, despite requesting it!
The cheese is pretty light, the sauce is okay, and the crust is soft in the middle, crunchy on the bottom, and tough chewy end crust. I don't think I've ever seen pepperoni that small on a pizza, it's like the size of a quarter. After taking a few bites, immediately I thought "this tastes and feels a lot like Little Caesars" and sure enough, a trip to the website shows its celebrating its 31st year in business, and it's from Sterling Heights, MI and surprise, a Detroit suburb! Little Caesars of course is Detroit Style Pizza, heavy emphasis on bread. Jet's even offers cheese bread very similar to Little Caesar's Cheesy Bread, not to be confused with Crazy Bread, which is soggy breadsticks. I don't know what's in the Detroit ground water, but this particular pizza is a total rip-off of Little Caesars.
Jet's Pizza has over 160 locations in Texas, the Midwest and central eastern U.S.with two more coming in Illinois; Buffalo Grove and Schaumburg. Jet's Pizza apparently has 11 different specialty pizzas, all which none look appealing to me, or to any serious Chicagoland pizza eater. As mentioned, this was $7.99 with a coupon, a small pizza that measured only 12" across, 6" pieces, the slices were 1/2" thick and the cheese was a very paltry 1/16th" thick, and 1" pepperoni that "cups" and would had been $12.50 with tax! The crust was really thick, and in the end, it reminded me a LOT of a Little Caesars Hot 'N Ready pizza, which the last time I checked were only $5 and basically identical to this one. So my advice: you're better off sticking to Little Caesars, not that I would recommend that asshole Detroit Red Wings / asshole Detroit Tigers owning shitty pizza in the first place. I predict once the word spreads Jet's Pizza will be gone from the area in a year or so.
I've been eating Papa Murphy's takeout pizza for years now and I don't think I've ever been unsatisfied with one. They're pretty generous with their toppings and this one is no exception, with the total pizza height coming in at 3/4ths inches tall, and it always tastes fresh and good. It's the little things that make this pizza different.
No tomato sauce. The pizza sauce is actually a thin layer of refried beans & salsa blend. There's diced Roma tomatoes which which cooks up nicely. Black olives, plenty of green onions which is always a plus, taco seasoned beef sprinkled throughout, and two types of cheese; mozzarella & cheddar; which gives this pizza a lot of nice color and a nice Mexican food aroma. There also seems to be some green spice sprinkled on. The crust is the standard for Papa Murphy thin crusts; 1/4" thick and soft, eventually the edges will end up brown and crunchy. A nice touch to this pizza would be sprinkling on red pepper, and maybe even a dollop of sour cream. That effect would give this more of an open-faced Torta. It's not a cheese-heavy pizza, but it doesn't need to be. They don't list the pizza on the website & apparently it's a limited time thing for $9.99, tho I've been eating it on and off for a few years now. Let's hope they keep it around! After a quick search, this pizza came to be in 2007, and is listed on the website's news section: http://www.papamurphys.com/public/about_companyNews.cfm#newsId23
It's a deep dish pizza, but not Chicago Style, since there's no tomato sauce but canned diced tomatoes in Italian seasonings and tomato liquid, and the cheese is on top. Mozzarella cheese, canned tomatoes, fennel seeds, Italian sausage, fresh button mushrooms with a hint of onion powder and garlic powder. Crust is crunchy & chewy & is 5/16" thick, the rest is soft and apparently very moist from the cheese & tomato liquid so it's rather soggy. Cheese is very moist and tasty, very thick and dense. Pizza was cooked in a 12" pan, and the pizza was 1" thick overall. Pretty satisfying. The brown things in the bottom right of the 1st pic is actually hard crispy browned crust which was dough curled over on the edge of the pan.
Start with a fresh flour & yeast dough kneaded in a bread machine, risen & rolled out. As for the cheese, the Frigo low moisture whole milk mozzarella cheese, the whole 16 oz. block was actually stored in the freezer and was frozen solid & thawed out in its sealed package throughout the day. In fact, some people recommend that you put a block of mozzarella in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes to stiffen it up and make it easier to grate. Because only lazy, sausage-fingered people like Rachael Ray used store bought pre-shredded cheese.
Regular Hunts canned tomato sauce, added seasonings of oregano, fennel seeds and some onion powder, then the sliced sweet onions & bacon were added. A very juicy pizza, but like when you add bacon to anything, its juices and fat just take over, giving it an overall murky bacon flavory tasting pizza. I think a better idea might be cooking the bacon first somewhat as it looks very pink here, tho that may destroy the whole purpose of it. The cheese & crust all at various spots, were 1/8" to 1/4" thick each. The crust was cooked to brown on the edges and is 1/2" thick on the edges with a stiff but chewy texture.
Rosati's Chicago party style thin crust cheese & mushroom pizza. http://www.rosatispizza.com/
Cheese is a paltry 1/16" to 1/8" thick and kinda cheap, even for them, but that's why we do MPizzablog. The mushrooms are fresh but thin as paper, and plenty of oregano on the cheese and in a hearty tomato sauce. Crust is 1/4" thick, and very hard and stiff on the bottom, and the edge crust was like a cracker. Pizza has a pleasant tomato smell, tho when flipped over, it had a very strong smelling yeast crust, something I've never smelled that strongly before. A pretty okay pizza.
Since it's Opening Day weekend, broke out the fitted White Sox cap circa 1991, complete with flat-embroidered correct logo and no MLB logo on the back. The White Sox open at the Cell on Monday against the K.C. Royals. The forecast isn't good, with a Low Pressure system over the Central Plains dumping snow and thunderstorms as I type this, and the forecast says temps in the mid 30s, winds over 30 m.p.h. with snow showers, starting Sunday night into Monday all day. They probably won't get the game in and possibly not play until Wednesday. GO SOX!!!
16" Old Town Chicago thin crust party style cheese and pepperoni pizza. http://www.oldtownpizzaco.com/
Wow! Looks like somebody couldn't have been bothered tonight! This is without doubt, the largest pieces of party style pizza in the history of MPizzablog. Two pieces, measuring together at a whopping 8" by 4.25"-5" ! Let me explain the whole concept behind the Chicago party style cut pizza.
Rule #1, it has to be a thin crust, and not some deep dish or stuffed deep dish pizza where you need a fork, knife and plate to eat it.
Rule #2, it's meant to be eaten at a party (fucking duh) meaning it's most likely either for kids, or done at the office or home where there isn't a supply of plates readily, or the host at the home is too lazy and doesn't feel like doing dishes, hence the pizza is meant to be held in the hand, cut into a small piece, usually about 2" squares or 2" x 3", to be consumed quickly in its short lifespan. "We don't have plates so shove the damn thing in your mouth as quickly as possible".
And for Rule #3, I guess there is no Rule #3. I eat pizza with a fork on a ceramic plate, because when you have crooked teeth, you might as be toothless, because you're going to have the same effect. It's not fun to tear food off into your mouth.
Tonight's pizza is a nice one, the cheese at its thickest is at a really good 1/2", the crust is 3/16ths" thick, and crunchy like a cracker on the ends, and stiff and chewy (perhaps a little too chewy than usual). Both the sauce (which is a bit light tonight) and cheese is sprinkled with oregano, and the pepperoni is under the cheese. Looks like somebody REALLY didn't want to be bothered tonight, one piece had pepperoni stacked right on top of each other. Odor, well, it's pepperoni, and it has a mild skunky odor to it. Overall, it's not a bad pizza. Oh, and the food dye in the background, that was for St. Patrick's Day
, where I dyed some Miller High Life to a deep Kelly green. Adding green food dye would make a more yellowish green, and well, you needed a cheap yellow beer, because you sure as hell can't dye Samuel Adams or Guinness green.