Drive-thru review: Pickles on a pizza? That's just wrong, Papa John's

By: Ken HOffman King Features Syndicate
February 17, 2014 Updated: February 17, 2014 at 11:35 am
photo - Ken Hoffman - Drive Thru
Ken Hoffman - Drive Thru 

This week I tried the new Double Cheeseburger Pizza from Papa John's.

Let's be gentle. Papa John's founder John Schnatter and big-time franchisee Peyton Manning might be feeling down after Manning's Denver Broncos were schnattered by the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl.

Here's the Double Cheeseburger Pizza blueprint: a double dose of "real" beef, zesty burger sauce, layers of dill pickles and "100 percent real cheese made from mozzarella," on top of hand-tossed crust.

First, I'm frightened when a pizza joint, or any restaurant, assures me that my meal contains "real beef." As opposed to ...? And promising "real cheese" isn't helping, either.

What exactly is "burger sauce?" It sure tastes like there's mayonnaise in the mix. So why not say mayo? That would make it easier for me to say "hold the mayo!" You want to cut calories in the drive-thru? If something has mayo on it ... take the mayo off it.

Between "real beef," "real cheese" and "burger sauce," I'm thinking the lawyers billed a lot of hours before the Papa John's press release went public.

You know my pizza pet peeve: Just because it's round, that don't make it a pizza. I'm a pizza purist. A Cheeseburger Pizza isn't a pizza. It's a cheeseburger in a circle. And a "chocolate chip dessert pizza" is blasphemy.

I'm open to expanding the pizza paradigm. But pickles on a pizza? Now I've got a beef with Papa John's. A "real beef."

Just don't drop the makings of a cheeseburger on pizza crust and call it a Double Cheeseburger Pizza. If you like cheeseburgers, though, you'll like this limited time-only special. It does deliver as promised. Everything in the blueprint is there - and double. If you're expecting a pizza that tastes like an Italian pizza, though, sorry.

And to make matters even worse, if that's possible, the Double Cheeseburger Pizza commercial shows bossman Schnatter flipping big, fat, juicy burgers on a grill. Then there's a tiny disclaimer saying that's not the way Papa John's makes burgers for this pizza.


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