This is a post about pizza

I like my pizza. I really, REALLY like pizza. It would be really tough to get me tired of it, and even if you did, it wouldn’t last long.

I will also admit that despite the Fontana/Rancho/Ontario area having a metric buttload of local/one-shot pizza houses, I’m guilty of most often going with the big guns… specifically, Papa Johns and Pizza Hut. (Online ordering ftw?)

Before you ask… no, I can’t answer concretely who makes my absolute favorite pie… each variation has something I like but there is no one “perfect” variant. I’ll just list the configurations:

Papa Johns:
– Permanent: Hand-tossed X-Large Sausage + Pepperoni + Extra Cheese
– Event: The most recent event config I really liked (and STILL wish was made permanent) was the “John’s Favorite,” which was a minor upgrade of the sausage + pepperoni config (it had extra spices and such). Dude, if this is the favored config of the guy who owns the chain, why ISN’T it permanent? o_O;
After this… waaaaaay back when the King Kong remakes came out, there was an event spec that had JINT pepperoni slices and sausage. (I think they advertised JINT sausage pieces but they were normal size.)

Extra win point for always bundling a garlic cup (though with anything bigger than medium, I almost always need at least two). If only I could opt-out of the pepperonici(sp?) and replace that with a second garlic cup. :P

Pizza Hut:
– Permanent: Hand-tossed Large Sausage + Pepperoni + Extra Cheese
– Event: Currently, the Stuffed Crust Pan w/ sausage + pepperoni. (Note: if you do go 2+ toppings with this one, do yourself a favor and just get extra cheese. For some reason if you do more than one topping, there’s less cheese in the main body, I think most of it gets funneled into the edge.)
I REALLY wish they would bring back the Big New Yorker– it wasn’t an event pizza, it was around for a really long time– and was stupidly huge for being a $10 pie.
I had their “Edge” event config… let me put it this way: It’s basically a giant Ritz cracker turned into a pizza. Not necessarily a bad thing, but very much unexpected.

Often has better single-pizza coupons. Also the sides… oh smoo, the sides… *keep reading*

The above two are the most frequent targets. Next we have the smaller fries…

They only come in cheese or pepperoni (and I always get the latter). Surprisingly tasty, albeit slightly spicier than I’m used to. They’re also bigger than Xbox, literally!

Given that AFAIK they only exist in malls around here, it’s very expensive (lawl food court inflation)… however, if I’m at the mall, this is more or less inevitable. There was one pie at Ontario Mills I had earlier this year while waiting for LensCrafters to make my glasses… it was more or less a giant calzone in pizza form, practically impossible to eat normally and for what I paid for it I could have bought at least two Papa Johns-brand X-larges, but I gotta give Sbarro’s a thumbs-up for it anyway. :P

Little Caesar’s:
It used to be that we’d avoid them because their pies tasted like cardboard (I’m pretty sure that was something father said) but they’ve gotten better. Not sure if this is global, but at least in the Cardenas marketplace node you can get a Pepperoni pizza for $5. Not bad if you’re craving pie and want it on the cheap. However, there is something I like far better than their pizza…

But, just pizza by itself? Boring! Factor in sides and you’re REALLY going to have a hard time getting me to pin a favorite pizza house/chain. I’m only listing the ones I’ve actually had.

Papa Johns:
The Mario of side items. Decent across the board with a couple of high-performers. (Well, there’s no such thing as a BAD side for me.)
– Breadsticks: You get a sampler of dipping cups with these. I prefer the garlic and pizza sauce cups.
– Garlic Breadsticks: Dude, these are TASTY. Forget normal breadsticks and go with these, unless you have an aversion to garlic butter. Otherwise, OMNOMNOM. (No, really… I remember the first time I got these at [info]brendala‘s house and we were both all “holy shit this wins so hard.” It was hilarious XD)
– Cheese Bread: Basically a small white pizza sliced into strips. Comes with garlic and pizza sauce cups. This is my second-favorite side overall.
– Chicken Strips: They’re okay, though the “skin” comes off somewhat easily. Comes with a ranch cup (yay!).
– Cinnapie: I’ve only had this once and because it was slightly burnt they gave it to me for free. :P I’ll have to get it again before I can really comment on it.
– Chocolate Streudels: Or, as the WoW nerd in me calls them, “Chocolate Mana Streudels.” XD (No, really, they look like the pastries from the second-tier version of the Mage abilities “Conjure Refreshment” or “Ritual of Refreshment,” except these have CHOCOLATE) I thought these were an event item and was sad to see them go away, but as of a couple weeks ago they’re back on the menu. Yay! Currently my favorite dessert-type side. Has an option to add MORE icing, but for me that isn’t necessary.

Pizza Hut:
They have a lot of extras, and most of them are awesome. :D
– Cheese Bread: They come in long strips, which makes them somewhat awkward to handle. Comes with a huge marinara cup, with more sauce than can be reasonably used with the cheese bread, so you can use the rest with the pizza crust. :P
– Cinna-sticks: Also comes in long strips. Very chewy! If you think cheese bread is awkward to handle, these are even worse, since they’re sticky. (Bring a knife.) Comes with an icing cup, which you would be very wise to heat up to soften it if you get this via delivery or if you don’t eat this side right away because it stiffens up FAST.
– Breadsticks: These actually function more like garlic breadsticks. I haven’t had these in a long time… I think they also come with a huge marinara cup.
– Pizza Rolls: I had these tonight. Imagine slightly-bigger Crescent rolls with cheese and pepperoni inside. You get a choice of either a marinara or ranch cup… I opted for ranch and will probably do so in the future.
– Mozzarella sticks: These only appear in nodes that have a Wingstreet. They’re… a little on the small end. Probably this is the only underperformer of the lot. Comes with a marinara cup.
– P’zone: Technically not considered a side item but I do anyway. Best side EVER. (Can you believe these used to be $10? EXTREME win for the price drop.) You’ve a choice of three specs: Pepperoni, “Meaty” and Supreme… because I’m a weeny, I go with the Pepperoni spec. You know those sponges that get bigger if you add water? In a twisted way, P’zones are kind of the same; once you take a bite, the flavor drastically increases. You gotta eat these fresh for maximum awesome. They come with a marinara cup, but I often find that I don’t need to use it for P’zones and use them with the normal pizza crust instead. Now, if Pizza Hut really wanted to be awesome, they would add a fourth spec that would let you configure the filling as you wish, so I can get sausage + pepperoni P’zones… :9~~

Little Caesar’s:
Remember how I said that they have something that’s better than their pizza? They make the best cheese bread, period. Ohgod. It’s almost EVIL cheese bread. For the love of all things tasty, eat this right away. @_@ This comes very close to P’zones as overall best side item, it’s that awesome.

So, yeah. Good luck trying to get me to pick a favorite provider now. :P

Finally, I will share a weird habit I have with pizza…

If it has sausage on it, I’ll pluck off the sausage bits and eat them first. I don’t know why. I would think my love of breakfast sausage might factor into this somehow. Sometimes I’ll do this with pepperoni, too… but I ALWAYS do this with sausage. I swear it’s like candy.

This would probably explain why I’ve yet to order a sausage-only or double-sausage pizza… I’d pluck it naked, surely!

On that note, omnomnomnomnom.


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