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What's the Best Chain Pizza?


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#31 DTBarton

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 11:58 AM

I'll put in another word for Bertucci's, although as noted, it is a regional chain. Ours in Annapolis is easily the best pie in town, not that we're known as a pizza destination.

Also agree with gfweb's review to stick with the pizza. The few times I've strayed from it you're sitting there saying, "Why didn't I get pizza"?

Don't know if this is chain wide policy, but in Annapolis, the lunch deal is good. Order a pizza and you get all the salad and rolls with olive oil dip you want gratis. Their rolls are good and yeasty and usually warm fom the oven. They give you a bag of rolls with a take out pizza also.

#32 Jane Randahl

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Posted 22 May 2012 - 06:58 PM

We have a Pizza chain in Michigan, I do not know if they are throughout the mid west or only Mi. but Jets is a franchise pizzeria/delivery, and they have a very good deep dish pizza. Nice fresh mushrooms, real cheese, crust that is soft and crunchy on the corner edges, really quite good! I for one do not like
Frozen pizza, something about the crust is all wrong. The best Pizza is usually found at local Italian Restaurants. So I would suggest trying to find a local recommendation when in a new area.


After reading all of this I actually can't believe what lack of pizza chains there are in the US. I'm originally from MI and I remember Jets. Heck I had friends who worked there and it was pretty awesome for chain style. The deep dish was exceptionally good for a chain and the ranch was pretty good too (not even a fan of ranch).

There's also Hungry Howies, I think that might be a MI only chain too, but that one isn't horrible either.

#33 bmdaniel

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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:24 PM

I have a special place in my heart for dominoes thin crust - wouldn't compare it to real pizzas, but for what it is I like it.

#34 cave76

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 08:43 AM

I wouldn't say Little Caesars is 'great' !!! but for $5 you can get a 'hot and ready' (usually pepperoni and cheese) that's passable.

Costco makes a really good pizza.

But no pizza anywhere can stand up to my gold standard of Lupo's in North Beach San Francsciso. (Not a chain, so I'm a bit off topic here). It's now called Tommaso's and I moved away before the name change so I can't say if the food has remained the same.

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#35 LizD518

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 09:08 AM

I have a special place in my heart for dominoes thin crust - wouldn't compare it to real pizzas, but for what it is I like it.


Yes, a Domino's thin crust ham & pineapple hits a certain sweet spot for me that I can't identify, and can't duplicate anywhere else.

There is another regional chain from Florida, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza, that is expanding to the mid-Atlantic and maybe northeast and is pretty good. I like their Melanzane, although I always ask for them to go easy on the sauce, other wise it overwhelms everything else.

#36 DanM

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 11:49 AM

Dare I ask what others think about Woflgang Puck's pizza chain? You can find them in most major cities. Are the pizzas worthy of his name?
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#37 Lisa Shock

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 12:27 PM

Dare I ask what others think about Woflgang Puck's pizza chain? You can find them in most major cities. Are the pizzas worthy of his name?


I ate at one of the Tokyo locations (vegetarian stuck in a place with no other vegetarian options for most of a day), and it was quite good -especially since Japanese Italian food tends to be sweetened, and this was not.

#38 Porthos

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Posted 16 June 2012 - 10:17 PM

Well, from the posts here I'm abviously a Cretan - but - I still enjoy Round Table Pizza. I gave up on Papa Johns a few years ago. I mostly patronize a local place that makes good, but not fantasic, pizza.

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#39 MomOfLittleFoodies

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Posted 24 June 2012 - 12:03 AM

Well, from the posts here I'm abviously a Cretan - but - I still enjoy Round Table Pizza. I gave up on Papa Johns a few years ago. I mostly patronize a local place that makes good, but not fantasic, pizza.


I like Round Table Pizza too... while it's not gourmet, it's good. Dominos and Pizza Hut are tolerable in a pinch. My pizza of choice though, is a local chain called Skipolinis. I'm a peasant though, and don't like my pizzas too frou frou.
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#40 LynnFoodies

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Posted 04 July 2012 - 09:00 PM

I don't have much luck making pizza by my own.. So my kids prefer the chain.. :sad:
Mostly we go for Round table
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#41 joiei

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:12 AM

Here in Tulsa I tend to go to http://www.topthatpi...u-oklahoma.html unless I am wanting it precooked then I go to Wolfgang Puck's Bistro, neither of which deliver. I haven't had delivered pizza in probably 10 years.
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#42 CaliPoutine

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:50 AM

If you mean regular pizza - like Domino's, Pizza Hut, etc. I think that you are out of luck. I actually prefer frozen pizza to those places. It's a shame, but that's my opinion.


I totally agree. We have all of those within delivery distance and we NEVER order them. I keep a stash of Jack's cheese pizza( 3.00) at Wal*Mart in the freezer and added some penzey's pizza seasoning before baking. Its a very thin crust plain cheese pizza that is decent if we want a quick meal.

#43 CaliPoutine

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 09:58 AM

I used to love Round Table when there was one close to me, but alas no more. The chain seems to have dramatically shrunk in the last 15 or so years. Not much of a presence in SoCal any longer, I'm afraid. Surprisingly, Shakey's is stronger. None close to me, but still around. Again, haven't sampled their wares in many years, so don't know if they're any good. There's also one other chain I forgot about (probably because their pizza is so forgettable), Straw Hat. I think they're strictly a California operation. Nothing to write home about.

Agreed that small, Ma & Pa Italian restaurants are the way to go, but a), they're few and far between in the 'burbs, b), they usually don't deliver, and c) in the OP's situation of being stuck in the middle of nowhere, with no food options, probably not a realistic solution.

Bottom line.....national chain pizzas suck.



We have a Round Table right down the street. We got some coupons in the mail, so we made our way over there. Never again, there was a piece of wood(dont ask me where it came from) in my veggie pizza.

#44 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:01 PM

Here in Ecuador we've got exactly four pizza chains on a national level - Pizza Hut, Papa John's, Domino's, and Ch'Farina, all of which suck. Even if it was reasonably good pizza (and it's not), I also boycot Pizza Hut, as they burned down a landmark theatre and then had the guts to say "wasn't us!" even though it was clearly a grease fire due to poor kitchen practices.

I am a great patron, however, of the regional chains El Hornero (excellent Uruguayan-style deep dish pizzas, real pizza sauce), and Ali's (excellent NY-style thin-crust pizzas, real pizza sauce). When I don't have the time or energy to make my own pizzas, I go to one or the other of them for something that, while not gourmet, is not gawdawful either. Although sometimes the topping choices throw me - at El Hornero, for example, it's possible to order a pizza that comes with sliced green olives and choclos (white corn) on top. (It's their vegetarian, which is actually an awesome pizza - along with the green olives and corn, it also has artichoke hearts, caramelized red onions, and more mushrooms than you can shake a stick at.)

ETA - And if any of you are wondering why I cite "real pizza sauce" as a concern, please consider that at least three of the big four down here use this sweetened, runny stuff that may have once been shown a tomato and perhaps had some herbs waved in it general direction, and have the temerity to call that pizza sauce. The two regionals use thick, well-spiced, tangy tomato sauces, which are worthy of the name.

Edited by Panaderia Canadiense, 09 July 2012 - 12:01 PM.

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#45 MelissaH

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 05:19 PM

I am a great patron, however, of the regional chains El Hornero (excellent Uruguayan-style deep dish pizzas, real pizza sauce), and Ali's (excellent NY-style thin-crust pizzas, real pizza sauce).

I know what NY-style pizzas are. But please enlighten me: what's an Uruguayan-style pizza? How does it differ from other deep dish pizza?

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#46 Panaderia Canadiense

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 05:45 AM

Principally in the crust, I think - it's thicker than a Chicago-style pizza, but properly cooked - my guess is it's probably blind-baked before it's filled. The approach to cheese is different as well - strong-flavoured ones, like Angochagua, feature in a middle layer, and the top is fresh mozza with something quite sharp, like Manchego.
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#47 Crouton

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Posted 10 July 2012 - 06:45 AM

Am I the only one who likes Sbarro's?

#48 MelissaH

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 01:06 PM

Am I the only one who likes Sbarro's?

You may be. My principal experience with Sbarro's has been at JFK Airport when I'm not flying JetBlue, and the pizza has invariably been tasteless and greasy according to everyone who's eaten it.

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#49 gfweb

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 04:48 AM

Am I the only one who likes Sbarro's?


Probably.

#50 toolprincess

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Posted 06 August 2012 - 02:31 PM

My husband adores pizza of any sort. He generally orders Papa Johns or sometimes he will pick up a Little Caesar's take and carry. I used to be a fan of pizza Hut pan pizza and their breadsticks but there isn't a PH near us for delivery and my last few experiences were that it is very greasy -- I guess it was good in my much younger days but can't handle it now. We had Papa Murphy's recently and it wasn't bad. I am just finicky about crust. I would prefer to get thin but my husband prefers more substantial chewy crust.

I used to love the Domino's pepperoni just because they cook it so the pepperoni's would curl up and get crispy on the pizza.

We have 1 good local place but it's about double what Papa John's will cost us (of course you get what you pay for) - they are fairly close but don't deliver.

I harbor a (not so) secret love of Mr. P.'s pepperoni which has been discontinued form my grocery store. But I think it's some childhood taste memory of the cafeteria pizza cause I am fully aware that at 1.00 per Mr. P. it's got to be absolute dreck. Probably best for my health that those have become harder to find!

#51 ScoopKW

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 12:09 PM

I second Costco. I find it FAR better than the national chains. It's not great. But it's still FAR better than the national chains. I think it's a stretch to call Papa John's "food." Let alone "pizza."


EDIT -- My question about these chains in general is, "Were they always so bad?" How was the pizza that John Schnatter made in 1984, for instance? Surely these places didn't get so big by originally offering the inferior products that they currently sell.

Edited by ScoopKW, 07 August 2012 - 12:21 PM.

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#52 gfweb

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 12:46 PM

I second Costco. I find it FAR better than the national chains. It's not great. But it's still FAR better than the national chains. I think it's a stretch to call Papa John's "food." Let alone "pizza."


EDIT -- My question about these chains in general is, "Were they always so bad?" How was the pizza that John Schnatter made in 1984, for instance? Surely these places didn't get so big by originally offering the inferior products that they currently sell.


My guess would be that they were always this bad. I think they all started up away from the pizza belt, where standards are lower. Or perhaps just identified a price point for a market that wasn't buying "real " pizza anyway.

#53 Lisa Shock

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Posted 07 August 2012 - 08:41 PM

I'm thinking that many of these places declined once they started using factory-made frozen dough.When I was a teenager, in the 70's, I worked a mom & pop place that got dough delivered daily from a bakery. The Pizza Hut where my brother worked used a lot of inferior ingredients (at that time, the location he worked at used a cheese-topping product to simulate mozzarella -the main ingredient in it was vegetable oil) but, they made dough from scratch.

My recollection is that the crusts weren't like this when I was a kid.

#54 Chef Joel

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Posted 12 September 2012 - 10:52 PM

CiCis!!!! They make every kind of pizza known to humankind, and some that may not be. And there is always plenty of it (buffet). For $4.99 for all you can eat, it is unbeatable.

For more upscale pizzas, I'd have to go with Gondoliers.

#55 ermintrude

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 09:58 AM

If your in London these are great http://www.firezza.com/ and from a wood fired oven
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#56 Hassouni

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Posted 13 September 2012 - 12:09 PM

If your in London these are great http://www.firezza.com/ and from a wood fired oven


Wow, expensive....

#57 Rebecca263

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 03:38 AM

We have a method when we are stuck ordering pizza from a chain. We order a thin crust, VERY well done, NO cheese, with sauce and whatever fresh vegetables they offer. Sometimes I add anchovies to half of the pizza, my daughter won't eat them.We ask for basil and oregano on the side, and sometimes "parmesan", although I don't eat it. We ask for sides of sauce and if it is edible, well woohoo, we dip the crusts. IF the cheese is guaranteed to be real, and we DO ask what brand it is, and we DO check online for ingredients of said "cheese" first, we might order it on half of the pizza, but that hasn't happened in years. We have never had a terrible pizza when ordering this way- a few times we have excellent pizza. The secret to getting a decent tasting meal when ordering from a pizza chain is in ordering only the parts of the pizza that will be edible. The cheese will mostly be inedible, the meats will be disgusting, the crust will be wan unless cooked to a char. Fresh vegetables will be edible at least. BTW, my daughter worked in a Pizza Hut a few years ago when a friend needed someone in one of their shops. He was so grateful to her for taking care of the problems he was having in the restaurant that he offered us many free meals, but my daughter didn't bring anything home, ever, and she never ate a thing there except for fresh chopped tomatoes from the salad bar. The ingredients in their "fauxd" freaked my daughter out and brought her back to join me on my journey to eat more REAL food.
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#58 redfox1939

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Posted 12 October 2012 - 12:21 AM

The food at Sbarro's can be compared favorably with such eateries as Olive Garden due to their larger than life menu that includes not only pizzas, but dishes such as Chicken Portofino, (battered, marinated, and sauteed chicken with zucchini and yellow squash), Baked Ziti and Lasagna.
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#59 rdarby

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:33 AM

It simply has to be Dominos!

#60 Meredith380

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 02:32 AM

It simply has to be Dominos!


Agreed. The thin crust is good and the greasy deep dish goes well with beers for Sunday Funday Football.