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Category Archives: pizza

Review: Top marks for Boston Pizza’s Pizza Taco

pizza-taco

I sometimes get requests to try new fast-food concoctions, and who am I to deny readers? The latest in this cavalcade of artery-hardening goodies is the Pizza Taco from Boston Pizza. It just so happens that I love pizza, and I also love tacos, so how could I resist? Here’s the thing – this particular item is only available till June 1 so you’ll want to hustle if this review piques your interest.

I’ll admit to not having done my research on this one, which is why I was surprised to sit down and see not one but two Pizza Tacos on BP’s menu. There’s the Chipotle Chicken and Bacon Pizza Taco and the Pulled Pork Pizza Taco. I’m on a pulled pork kick of late, but I couldn’t help but gravitate toward the other option, mainly because it had more, more, MOAR! in its title.

Beyond the headline meats, the two are mostly the same, each filled with “fresh tomatoes, crunchy tortilla strips, lettuce, cilantro and red onions and drizzled with a creamy sweet chili sauce,” as per the menu.

Not being able to decide, I asked the waitress and she handily suggested the chicken-and-bacon option. My instincts were right. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2014 in Boston Pizza, food, pizza, review

 

Review: Boston Pizza’s Pizzaburger is a mouthful

boston-pizza-pizzaburger

A burger and pizza in one? What’s not to love?

It’s always risky to release a new product on April 1, given all of the April Fool’s fake news that inevitably circulates on the web that day, but Boston Pizza went there anyway.

The Edmonton-based yet Americanly-named chain on Monday launched its new Pizzaburger, which is… well, exactly what it sounds: It’s a burger baked inside of a wrapped-up pizza… a burger panzerotti of sorts. Here’s the promo video:

Regular readers know I’m not one to miss out on such new concoctions, so I went down to the local BP to give it a try. And given that I love both burgers and pizza, how could I possibly go wrong with something that combines both? Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on April 3, 2013 in burgers, food, pizza

 

Review: Pizza Hut’s Crown Crust Pizza

Crown-CrustIt’s Friday and you know what that means – it’s time for another fast-food review. This time around, I take Pizza Hut’s new Crown Crust Pizza for a spin.

The recently launched product features your standard pizza, but the outside crust has meatballs and cheese baked into it, in alternating slices. Here’s the amusing commercial:

The pizza’s arrival in Canada is somewhat unusual, given that it’s not yet available in the United States. That’s something of a reversal of fortunes, given that parent Yum Brands has so far opted not to sell Doritos tacos – available through Taco Bell, another of its chains – in Canada. The original Crown Crust pizzas, with cheeseburgers and chicken filets, were first introduced in the Middle East. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on March 22, 2013 in pizza

 

Robot pizza machine heading for U.S.

Can a robot make a pizza as well as a human? Sure it can. Why not?

It’s the question foodies in North America will be asking now that Let’s Pizza, the strangely named pizza-making vending machine from Europe, is landing on American shores. The machine, which can make four different kinds of pizza in about two-and-a-half minutes, will soon be rolling out in amusement parks, malls, airports and other public locations, according to A1 Concepts, the company behind Let’s Pizza in the U.S.

There are a number of videos out there explaining how it all works, but this poorly dubbed one is probably the funniest:

I wrote about the benefits of such machines, which are essentially robots, a few years ago. For one thing, they eliminate the need for teenage labour, which can be mischievous to say the least. They also offer the promise of better-tasting food, provided that they’re continually stocked with fresh ingredients, because robots can follow recipes exactly and aren’t prone to human error. It’s a fact that horrifies food snobs.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in food, pizza, robots

 

The humble pizza box continues its evolution

Have you ever eaten a whole pizza by yourself? If you have, shame on you – that’s gross.

If you haven’t, then you’ve probably stored the leftovers in the fridge, possibly for days, in which case shame on you again – that’s also gross.

In many such cases, tin foil usually comes into the equation. Foil is great for keeping pizza relatively edible, but it’s also bad for the environment, which is where New York-based Ecovention comes in. Here’s the company’s GreenBox, the “pizza box of the 21st century,” in action:

As the video explains, the GreenBox handily breaks down into four separate plates, as well as a storage container, which does away with the need for tin foil and other materials. The company announced this week that Telepizza, part of the largest fast food chain in Central America, has adopted the new box in Guatemala and El Salvador.

The storage container is a great idea, but I’m not so sure about the other part. Aren’t plain old plates – the reusable kind that you wash in the sink – more environmentally friendly?

Regardless, Ecovention isn’t the first to think of this. I remember one of the best things about eating at Hell Pizza in New Zealand when I lived there was the box the food came in, which converted into a coffin for leftover storage. Food containers just don’t get any cooler than that.

Hell Pizza, by the way, has spent the past few years expanding into Australia, India, the United Kingdom, Ireland and Canada. If you can get it, give it a try as it’s darn fine pizza. My personal favourite was the Wrath, which features pepperoni, onions, capsicum (the Kiwis’ special word for green peppers), tomatoes and chili peppers.

 
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Posted by on March 1, 2012 in pizza

 

Are dumb customers helping Domino’s?

I was flipping through a recent edition of Canadian Business magazine yesterday when I came across an interesting tidbit. Apparently, Domino’s has completely reformulated its pizza. It happened way back in January and I vaguely remember it, but it obviously didn’t register. I try to stay on top of fast-food news, so naturally I’m ashamed of myself for initially missing it.

There are a couple of fascinating tidbits about this situation that make it more than just your typical “new and improved” story. First off, here’s the long-form commercial posing as documentary from Domino’s that explained the change:

What’s obviously striking about the switch is that Domino’s broke a cardinal rule of advertising: in quoting customers saying its pizza tasted “like cardboard,” the chain admitted its product was below average. Not surprisingly, the unconventional ad campaign got a lot of media attention when it was rolled out, which perhaps counts as a success for Domino’s. Indeed, according to the Canadian Business tidbit, the chain saw first-quarter U.S. sales go up 12%.

What’s even more interesting, though, is that the new-and-improved pizza was U.S. only, and from what I can tell, it remains that way. Domino’s in Canada, for example, has different ownership and its outlets are therefore not required to use U.S. recipes, according to the Vancouver Sun. Unless the media has simply failed to report the international expansion of the new U.S. recipe, which is doubtful, or the rest of us are still eating the old cardboard stuff.

I can understand trying to make waves with an unorthodox advertising strategy, but isn’t this a little overboard for the company? Is Domino’s hoping that people in other countries don’t realize it has acknowledged its product to be crap? And if that’s the case, why do people outside the U.S. still eat Domino’s pizza? Would we still drive cars if the makers told us they were junk, or would we buy a pair of shoes if the retailer said they were shoddy?

Ultimately, I’m not sure who’s more to blame for the illogic of the situation – Domino’s or its non-U.S. customers.

UPDATE: I got a tweet from Domino’s in the UK – they say they’ve always used a different recipe than the U.S. I’ve never had Domino’s in the UK, so I can’t say whether that’s a good or bad thing.

 
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Posted by on November 17, 2010 in domino's, food, pizza

 

Would you like that pizza… extra large?

Sex and fast food – what a natural fit, right? The owners of UK chain Pizza Express believe so. According to The Telegraph, staff are being trained in the fine art of flirtation in order to give customers a more “comfortable and relaxed” experience.

The chain is using classically trained actor Karl James to instruct wait staff in the fine art of conversation, and how to butter customers up so that they spend more. (I’m guessing that Pizza Express probably didn’t have too much trouble finding James, considering that like most actors, he was probably already on the wait staff.)

Interestingly, the chain felt that running these sorts of courses was necessary because technology and social media are making us completely inept at conversation. According to a source close to the company:

With social media and texting reducing our face-to-face interaction, Pizza Express has enlisted the help of a conversational expert who is incorporating flirting and unique conversation techniques … into its new staff training scheme to help completely redefine the restaurant experience for customers.

The best part of this whole story is… that it’s actually a story. I’ve known a number of waitresses and bartenders in my time and this sort of thing would not come as a surprise to any of them. I hate to break it to The Telegraph, but flirting with your customers to weasel more dollars out of them is a time-honoured tradition in the service industry.

Still, I may just pop by a Pizza Express while I’m over in the UK in a few weeks just to see how far they take it. According to the story, staff have probably been warned not to get carried away. “If they mean customer flirting in the sense of ‘what are you doing later when the kids are in bed’, that’s not a good idea,” said one observer.

 
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Posted by on October 15, 2010 in food, pizza, sex