Blake Snow

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Taste test: Domino’s beats Pizza Hut, Papa John’s in deep dish delivery war

DOMINO'S PIZZA PAN PIZZA

If you want over-priced, unappetizing deep dish pizza delivered to your door, try Papa John’s new pan pizza. Otherwise, read on. 

Because the best hand-tossed pizza in Utah doesn’t deliver deep dish—nor does Papa Murphy’s for that matter—my family will sometimes order Domino’s pan pizza. First introduced in 2012 after the company successfully reinvented itself, these medium-sized one-inch pies come in black boxes are are simply scrumptious. Not amazing—but above average and a great value.

When Papa John’s recently announced their new pan pizza, however, I thought it would be fun to compare their deep dish against the reigning king and the original gagster of pan pizza delivery (aka Pizza Hut).

I’m sure major cities have better deep dish delivery options than the aforementioned chains. But for everyone else or whenever a pinch, I wanted to know which national pizzeria delivers the best pan pizza. Plus I wanted a good excuse to throw a taste test party with friends.

After planning, ordering, eating, and scrutinizing all three last weekend, this is how six adult judges (my wife, four friends and myself) and one 11 year old (my oldest child) independently and unanimously voted:

  1. Domino’s. Best overall flavor, texture, and value. At just $21.83 (excluding tip) for two 12″ pizzas, it was also just 10% more than the cheapest option but noticeably more delicious. A well deserved reputation for good pan pizza.
  2. Pizza Hut. Worst presentation, second best flavor, best finishing crust, most affordable. At just $21.85 (excluding tip) for two 14″ pizzas, Pizza Hut offers slightly more food for your buck. But even though the crispy finishing crust is the most satisfying of the three, Pizza Hut doesn’t cheese or top to the edge like the other two do. Second place is better than I was expecting but overall this pizza is just okay. Not bad. But not memorable or exciting ether. Until further notice, however, I will order this above the third place option…
  3. Papa John’s. Worst overall flavor, texture, and value. Even the Papa John’s fanboy in attendance admitted this. At $26.34 (excluding tip) for two 12″ pizzas, Papa John’s new pan pizza is downright unappetizing. Will not buy again.

Coincidently, the overall Google user rating’s of my three local stores mirrors if not accurately scores the above experience: Domino’s 3.5, Pizza Hut 3.1, Papa John’s 2.8.