Friday, July 29, 2016

Papa John's XL Dual-Layer Pepperoni Pizza

Who you gonna call? No one. It’s 2016: no one calls anyone, anymore. But I DID order the new “Ghostbusters” themed pizza from Papa John’s online. No human interaction, and within 30-40 mins it was at my door.

I’ve been bustin’ ghosts since the 80s, the proof is there. The original Ghostbuster’s movies and cartoon were an important part of my childhood. And I’m excited to see this new one with the LADIES. I guess I’m a little more open-minded than some. But, this pizza made me feel like a SUCKER. There’s nothing Ghostbustery about it. And I pride myself on being one of those free-thinking, not-a-slave-to-marketing types. The box was just a pizza box, not green like ectoplasm, no sweet pictures of them busting a ghost and cramming it into “the trap.”  Nothing. I was immediately disappointed on delivery, simply because this gimmick was just a way to push crappy pizza on people. And Papa Johns isn’t the only side-piece this new Ghostbusters movie has, car insurance commercials, drink commercials, it doesn’t end. Besides, Ghostbuster’s is set in New York City, hello?! A city that never stops talking about how allegedly good it’s pizza is (that’s a rant for another time), nobody is ordering Papa Johns with a pizza shop on every corner. It’s like hearing a Queen song in a car commercial… I died a little bit inside when I got this pizza. 


Now, for the sake of fairness, I have to admit something before writing the rest of this. I don’t even like Papa Johns. I live in Boston, where there are also pizza shops on every corner, and I always opt for mom’n’pop. One of the main reasons for this is that you always spend more on these “fast food pizzas” than you do at a locally owned pizzeria. It’s baffling. This “Ghostbusters” Dual Layer XL Pepperoni pizza is advertised at $12 bucks. Yet somehow, pairing that with a 20oz soda, it comes to $25. If I wanted to spend that much on pizza, I could get top 3 of all-time level pizza. And I’m not picking on Papa Johns here, all those places are exactly the same, Dominos especially. Have you ever ordered from Dominos and not had it be $30? Personally, IF I’m in a spot and need to go with a chain pizza, I’ll go with Pizza Hut or Papa Gino’s… for some reason, they’re just better in their own ways. Now since I’m already a bit biased going in to this, I will list the pros and cons as they pertain to me, and I will let people think for themselves  (ooh scary).

Pros: Though I wouldn’t order it again, I’ve had worse pizza. Aesthetically it looked decent. And I did enjoy the top layer of pepperonis, which are the larger superball sized ones. I’m a bit of a purist when it comes to pizza, though I enjoy the odd eclectic or adventurous topping, my go-to will always be pepperoni, and I like when places use the big ones. It was cooked well, and delivered in a timely manner.

Cons: One of my biggest criticisms for pizza chains (Dominos, Papa Johns, Little Ceasars) is their ingredients. It just tastes so bad for you, like chemically. The crust tastes like (and has a hint of a taste of) paper. Even if it’s doughy inside, the outside is a total bummer. The sauce is somehow a combination of bland, sweet, and acidic. It also never tastes fresh, it tastes frozen. Every bite was a disappointing, heartburn inducing, journey of regret. Also the size of it! HOW DARE they call this an “XL” pizza. I seriously wish I’d measured it. I’m 99% sure it’s smaller than a LARGE at Pizza Hut, and if not, it’s certainly no bigger. And at any self-respecting pizza place, it would be a medium. They should call this the “Ghostbuster’s False Advertising Pizza”, each pie comes with a free kick to your inner-child’s nuts.

The biggest disappointment here: the missed opportunity. This is a HUGE nostalgia piece. Where are the collectable glass cups with ghosts and ‘busters on them? Where is the fancy boxes that look like they’ve been slimed? Or all colorful and lazery? WHERE IS THE DAMN PESTO PEPPERONI PIZZA? SOMETHING?! All this pizza did was remind me that things were better when I was 8 years old, and it’s all been downhill from there. Thanks Papa Johns… you just crossed the streams.

Review by Dave James, who currently resides in Cambridge, MA and tames wild horses in his spare time.

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  1. I at least got a special themed box with the Ecto-1 and the Papa John in a ghostbusters jumpsuit on the front. And my pizza really did only cost $12. But I live in Lousiville where Papa Johns is headquartered so maybe we get a better experience than everyone else.

  2. I don't think I've ever spent more than $10 on fast food pizza... If you paid $25 for that pizza and a thing of pop maybe you should have asked why they didn't charge you the correct price??

    To be clear I always prefer mom and pop pizza, but in my experience it is always more expensive.

  3. > Have you ever ordered from Dominos and not had it be $30?

    I order from Domino's weekly, and it's always right about $10. Sadly, unlike you, we have no good local places around here, and I do really like Domino's crust. Plus, $10 for a large pizza with toppings is a good deal.

    That being said, agreed that there's no way they should have called your pizza an XL -- it looks more like medium.

  4. I very thin! i want biger
    Good! Thanks for share!
    I'm working in the thay man hinh xiaomi. It's amazing