While Domino’s has been rebuilding basically everything on their menu over the past few years, Pizza Hut was still dominating them in one category: pan pizza. That was mainly due to the fact that Domino’s did not have pan pizza. Well, now they do. The new pizza comes in one size, medium (12″), and with two toppings of your choice it will set you back just $7.99 (great deal!).
According to every online article about the new product, pan pizza makes up one-fifth of U.S. pizza sales. That seems like a high number, but hey, statistics. To this point, pretty much all of that 20% has belonged to Pizza Hut, so Domino’s coming out with their own version is a real kick in the pepperoni. (I promise that is the only genitals joke in this post. Please don’t leave.)
What’s Domino’s angle with their new pan pizza? Well, it seems they have quite a few, all of which are printed on the pizza’s sleek, black box. Let’s see. “2 layers of cheese in every bite.” That’s cool I guess. One would have been fine, but hey, two is more than one. What else – ooohhhh here’s a good one: “We didn’t invent pan pizza, we just set out to perfect it.” BOOM! Take that, Pizza Hut! Moving on. “Our Pan Pizza toppings go all the way to the edge…” OK.
Those are some of the claims, but it seems what they really want you know is that the pizza is handmade and the dough was not frozen:
This pizza was made with fresh, never-frozen dough.
Pressing dough into a pan by hand is a labor of love. It takes more time, but it makes the pizza so darn delicious.
Each and every Pan Pizza we make is crafted by hand.
Crafted by genuine human hands.
Made in a kitchen, not a factory.
Crafted with LOVE by HAND.
These are not-so-thinly-veiled jabs at Pizza Hut, whose pan pizza dough comes frozen, and whose employees’ hands are apparently not genuine. I tend to agree.
So let’s talk about my pizza-eating habits. I rarely eat pizza, and when I do it’s usually from Costco or Papa Murphy’s because those clearly have the best value. Of the major chains, the much-maligned Pizza Hut is probably my favorite. I enjoy their Stuffed Crust, Pan Pizzas, and breadsticks. Personal Pan Pizzas are fantastic. Unfortunately, the Pizza Hut store nearest my house refuses to deliver to me despite being only 10 minutes away, so I eat there just about never.
As far as Domino’s, I think the last 3 times I’ve ordered from them were all for reviews. I have nothing against them, but like I said, I rarely eat pizza. And when I do, Domino’s just doesn’t cross my mind for whatever reason. Did the new Pan Pizza put them on my radar? Was it upper-crust? (Insert rimshot.) Stay tuned to find out!
First, watch the mandatory 15-second ad in this video which for some reason will not embed, then skip to the 3:08 mark for a fantastic Domino’s burn, courtesy of Seth Meyers. Or if that’s too much, I can just type it out for you:
Domino’s Pizza this week introduced a new Pan Pizza with a thicker crust, so now you have a little bit more to chew through to reach rock bottom.
Well done, Seth. Well done.
Anyway, the fine folks at Domino’s offered to have a Pan Pizza delivered to me free of charge. I responded with, “Hell no, I hate getting free things, especially ones that have cheese and bread and meat. Those ones are the worst.” After some persuading, I finally relented. Shout out to Phil at Domino’s for hooking me up on such short notice! Phil is awesome; he has many leather-bound books. He once shotgunned 7 beers in a row and then hooked up with Adriana Lima. He invented bacon. Actually, I’ve never met Phil and don’t know him at all, but I imagine all of those things are true.
So the doorbell rang just before 6 PM, and on the porch stood a twenty-something dude wearing a hat and holding my pie. There it was, in its cool black box. He was also holding a box of Parmesan Bites. Bonus free stuff! I tipped him and proceeded to the kitchen for a taste test.
First, the Parm Bites. Last time Domino’s sent me a free pizza, it also arrived with 16 0f these dough balls. I thought they were mediocre; not much flavor going on, just baked parmesan. I gave them a 5 out of 10. The batch I received this time, however, was nothing short of awesome. The difference was that these bites were absolutely drenched in garlic butter, something I don’t think they had at all last time. The garlicky, buttery goodness bumped their score up to an 8.5. Kudos, Domino’s.
Now let’s talk pizza. For my two toppings I chose pepperoni and ham, because meat. The coverage was solid, with about 25 slices of each. It wasn’t loaded, but certainly not bare, either. Upon first bite, I was hooked. The cheese was plentiful and delicious. There wasn’t much sauce, but I didn’t mind. The ham tasted like ham and the pepperoni like pepperoni, so no complaints there. But obviously none of those ingredients are new. It’s all about the pan crust.
And that crust was fantastic. It was soft and as promised, oh, so buttery. The bottom even had a little crispiness, which was nice. The best part may have been when I reached the very edge of the pizza, because the outer edge was über-crispy and buttery and delicious. 9/10
I must say that, although I’m not a regular Domino’s customer, they absolutely hit a home run with these new Pan Pizzas. For just $7.99, you get a decent size, 2-topping za that’s packed with flavor. Despite my infrequent pizza eating, I will certainly consider ordering this pizza again. I would definitely order it over Pizza Hut’s, if only because the hut won’t bring it to my door. Pizza Hut, you’d better step your game up, ’cause this is WAR!
If you like pizza (who am I kidding, everyone likes pizza), give Domino’s new Pan Pizza a shot. And don’t forget the Parm Bites!