CHAINS. I wanted to tackle the prominent area pizza chains for part 3. (You read parts 1 & 2, right?) I’m really not supposed to eat pizza right now thanks to recently diagnosed GERD/Acid Reflux/Barret’s Esophagus, but I have eaten many pizzas from these many chains over the years. I’m going to be extra picky about my pizza from now on. I’ll probably stick with Slice on Broadway and Aiello’s. But the event may come up where I need to pick a chain place again, and here’s where they fall…
Fox’s (or Fox’s Pizza Den) is pretty good. The different locations aren’t always consistent, but when you find a good one… stick with it! I really dig the one in Bridgeville as of late, but the one closest to home is the one in Brookline. I grew up on Fox’s in Murrysville, as it was the only place who would deliver to my house out in the boonies. I don’t know if Fox’s recently revamped their UrbanSpoon profiles or what, but I know I’ve reviewed the one in Brookline, but it’s not there. Their pages all seem to have little to no reviews or votes. I remember going on & on about the wedgies. In fact, I found it at another source…
Gimme a Wedgie!
It’s not the sick twisted fantasies of a nerd that likes being dominated by bullies… It’s a call to order the best #%@$ing sandwich you’ve ever had. It’s served up on a pizza crust instead of a bun. How awesome is that? The steak one is my favorite, but I’ve never seen one that doesn’t look appetizing. Just make sure you’ve got plenty of napkins on hand.
Their pizza is pretty damn good too. There was a Fox’s near where I grew up in the suburbs, but they never had a menu this vast. I sometimes end up getting the fried zucchini or the potato wedges… but really can’t ever eat anything after finishing a whole wedgie. In fact, my wife & I even sometimes just split one to avoid over-stuffing. Ordering for delivery is usually the standard half hour to 45 min., and they’re usually there before they said they were going to be… so that’s a plus. You can’t go wrong with Fox’s.
Vocelli Pizza is another one that must have purged old UrbanSpoon reviews. There’s virtually nothing there. I used to love Vocelli’s, even if they’re just named after a made up Italian sounding word. The service at the local one went down hill, and this is what it used to say on UrbanSpoon:
I used to love this place, & would order quite frequently. But, the last time we got a Buffalo chicken pizza, there was hair on it. My wife called & told them, they said they’d send a coupon for a free one next time. We never got any coupons, and were hungry for their food again… so I got a stromboli and the wife got a buffalo chicken pizza… and the pizza had hair on it again. She found it (luckily) on the first bite. So, she called the call center. She of course, didn’t eat any more, so we could show them. The delivery boy showed up… was incredibly rude, didn’t look at the old pizza, and practically threw the new one at my wife.
I don’t know why he took it personally… I was gonna tip him for coming out the 2nd time because he didn’t put hair on the pizza… but with actions/service like that, they can shove it. I always tried to tip well too, as we (used to) get pizza form there all the time. This was enough to end it. There’s plenty of other pizza shops around, apparently they don’t need our business, anyway. Hair in a pizza once? I can see it happening. Twice within the span of a month or two? That’s just absolutely ridiculous.
So… in closing, I’d say what used to be a great place has now sunken to a.) being filthy, and b.) having terrible customer service.
…but in all fairness, after a while we did go back & they seemed to have weeded out the bad employees. I’ve also tried their artery-clogging Alfredo sauce on a pizza, and loved it. My triglycerides did not. I do like Vocelli’s normal sauce, and they generally make a consistent pie & decent subs. If you’re ordering for a crowd, I’d say Vocelli Pizza is an across-the-board crowd-pleaser.
Papa John’s rules with their online ordering. The sauce isn’t quite as good as Vocelli’s, but they do always give you the tasty garlic dipping sauce and a Peperoncini. They do rock as far as consistency. You know what you’re getting every time. I wish they had subs, I always like to get subs… especially turkey, or sometimes you’re in the mood for a pizza-shop Italian sub. But then again, maybe they just want to focus on pizza & doing it well. Check out these amusing blog posts about Papa John’s:
- YaJagOff! | Papa John’s Weekly Special, “One Large Pizza With Anchovies, Pepperoni and Extra Ignorance, Please.”
- Blurt | That Was Wrong, But Why Was She Eating At Papa John’s?
Little Caesar’s, what the hell happened? When I was a young lad, we would pickup a pizza after we left Network Video (a place where you rented VHS tapes for the kids out there), we’d pop into Little Caesar’s for what I think was called a Bigfoot… two big-ass square pizzas side by side? I’d always want breadsticks, because I have an unnatural love for carbs. I was sad when Little Caesar’s all but disappeared and was relegated to Kmart stores for some strange reason. When there was a recent resurgence, and a subsequent person paid to stand on West Liberty Ave. and sling a Little Caesar’s sign… I was excited. We tried the new incredibly cheap pies one night… and they were terrible. The sauce is definitely much more bitter than I remember, and perhaps in my old age I forgot about all the grease that adorns (soaks) their crust. I still like the breadsticks, and $5 is pretty good for the amount that they give you, but $5 of crap is still crap. If I’m in the mood for punishment, need an immediate meal, and it’s a week where I need to pay for dinner with couch change, I may go back.
CiCi’s ought to change the name to CaCa’s. I’ve only ever been there once, but that’s all I need. Wow. It was like eating wax & tomato soup spread out over crackers. Who cares if it’s cheap and all-you-can-eat when it’s absolutely terrible nutrition? My high school cafeteria served better pizza, and even better pizza imitation food. I think there was a salad bar, and an unholy “mac n’ cheese” pizza. I don’t remember much other than the dried crusty partial pies getting tanned under the hot lights and maybe even someone shouting a welcome when we walked in. I just wanted to leave but had paid and tried to just stay & eat my few dollars worth. CiCi’s won that day. There’s no way I had eaten more of that crap than hat I paid for.
Pizza Hut causes me great gastrointestinal distress. Every few years, I forget and enter a Pizza Hut thinking “ah, it wasn’t that bad”. Yes, yes it is. Perhaps I hit an age long ago where Pizza Hut was no longer compatible with my intestines. Perhaps I was really slow to learn the pattern. We didn’t do Pizza Hut too much when I was growing up. Maybe I never built up a tolerance/immunity. The pizza itself isn’t bad, I’ve had the personal pan, the normal pies, a few lunch buffets… they generally have a good crust & good flavor… albeit greasy. It’s just that their pie unleashes itself like an assault team on my digestive system. The one in Greentree is the last one that I visited. The service was slow, and I didn’t feel welcomed at all. Hopefully it steels my resolve to skip Pizza Hut in the future.
I’ve dealt with Pizza Hut many times in the past…
- Pizza Hut’s Intestinal Warfare
- I wrote back to Pizza Hut…
- Pizza Hut: “…and I will handle them personally.”
- Fun with Pizza Hut Customer Service
- A barrage of emails from Pizza Hut
- Pizza Hut Customer Satisfaction.
- W(aL)D Maze & Letter for Pizza Hut?
I know I missed Domino’s, but I was never impressed with their pies… and there’s never one around where I’m ordering. I did like the Noid commercials back in the day though. I haven’t tried their revamped pies. I don’t feel like I’m missing anything.
Did I miss your favorite chain pizza? Did I miss your most reviled?
Take the poll, it’s only open for a week!
Your favorite pizza sucks, my favorite pizza rules! (Part 2) (aixelsyd13.wordpress.com)
Your favorite pizza sucks, my favorite pizza rules! (Part 1) (aixelsyd13.wordpress.com)
- Un-pizza week: day one (scrumptiousgruel.wordpress.com)
- Pizza pizza pizza! (wistfullywandering.wordpress.com)
- What’s for Dinner: It’s Pizza Night! (faithfulprovisions.com)
- Wacky Product of the Week: Pizza Clippers (savings.com)
- The Anti-Wrinkle Pizza (bellasugar.com)
- When Your Craving Can’t Wait (eatdrinkloveandexercise.com)
- A Collection of Domino’s Pizza Ads, Demos and Backing Tracks (Exploring My Reel-to-Reel Catacombs, Volume 22) (MP3′s) (wfmu.org)
- Corporate Schlock: Advertising Tie-Ins to Video Games (1up.com)
- Papa John’s makes ordering pizza easier with Android app (droidflash.wordpress.com)
- Papa John’s continues mcommerce push with Android app (nfcdata.com)
- Use Android, get cheap pizza: Papa John’s grants 25% off through new app (droidflash.wordpress.com)
- Pizza Wars: Managers Of Pizza Joint Set Fire To Rival Business (lezgetreal.com)
- That Was Wrong, But Why Was She Eating At Papa John’s? (blurtblog.net)
- Papa John’s Employee Unwisely Decides to Call Customer ‘Lady Chinky Eyes’ [Poor Judgment] (jezebel.com)
- Pizza Guy Calls Cops On Dad Smoking Weed (buzz103.radio.com)
- “my name isn’t lady chinky eyes” (eugenecho.com)
- Hot-N-Ready (kristinspoint.wordpress.com)