Wal-Mart house brand Sam's Choice produces a staggering array of food. This includes frozen pizza of various shapes, sizes, and flavors; for this post, I've chosen to review their Italia Cheese Trio.
The pizza takes somewhat longer than the equivalent Publix product to cook. It is, however, larger and more substantial, which does to some extent compensate for the additional time. Perhaps most remarkable, it tastes like a truly good pizza. The pie's flavor closely resembles that of esteemed shopping-mall staple Sbarro, rich in flavor and Italian undertones; although the rather mediocre cheese unfortunately tends to rather overpower the sauce near the edges, the pizza still impresses considerably.
For any pizza, a taste such as this would be well worth a try. For a frozen pizza, it is nothing short of remarkable. While it won't substitute for a truly great restaurant pie, anyone needing a quick frozen pizza to heat up should look no further than the Sam's Choice Italia Cheese Trio.
Co-founded in 1982 by famed actor Paul Newman, this estimable food brand has branched out into frozen pizzas for retail. The company is well known for donating its profits to charity; whether the pizza is as good as the intentions, however, remains to be seen.
Unfortunately, it isn't. While not precisely bad, the pizza overwhelmingly feels like a pale imitation of Publix's superior product, and it lacks in distinctive flavor. Worse, it tends to become rather cloying over time, making it hard to recommend.
Newman's Own isn't bad for a frozen pizza. But compared to Publix, it simply doesn't quite make the grade.
For this review, I try, for the first time in some while, the well-known chain Domino's. The box proudly proclaims its contents as a "great pizza;" my goal herein will be to ascertain the truth of that assertion.
The pizza is in fact surprisingly pleasing. The crust in particular is excellent, with a unique flavor and an alluring hint of garlic butter. Granted, the cheese tends to overpower the rather weak sauce, and despite the box's paeans to the glories of Domino's cheese, that particular aspect is in fact rather underwhelming; overall, however, Domino's does a considerably better job of producing a memorable pie than one might expect.
Domino's is far from perfect. For a national delivery chain, however, it most certainly takes a credible, if not brilliant, place.
This Tennessee-founded chain is likely more recognizable to readers for its general Italian cuisine than for its pizza. Nonetheless, the latter is the main component of its title, and so I arrive at Gondolier for this, my first review of February 2018.
The taste, while not precisely bad, is decidedly underwhelming. The cheese drowns out the sauce to the point of the latter's being barely noticeable; were the cheese particularly exceptional, this might be acceptable, but in fact it possesses no especially memorable qualities. This combines with a slightly tough texture and a hint of unpleasant greasiness to make the pie, while again still to some extent enjoyable, one rather worth forgetting.
In a pinch, Gondolier will do as well as any other pizza, and it does have its virtues. However, next to some of the truly exceptional pizzas I've reviewed in the past, it's hard to justify a full-throated recommendation.
Pizza from Rosaria's, a Kennesaw outfit, smells delicious; this becomes evident the minute one puts it in the car. However, its looks appear rather underwhelming. It comes in a plain, unlabelled box, and the pizza itself has a rather homemade look to it. Appearances, however, can be deceiving.
In this case, they most definitely are. Rosaria's may not look like much, but it packs considerable punch. The taste resembles the excellent Pizza Shack but with a toning down of its more unusual elements and a better cheese-sauce balance; there is also a hint of the inimitable Vincent's. This pizza is deeply satisfying, and I found myself wanting more even some time after I had exceeded the limit my body would normally tolerate, simply because of the pizza's exceptional taste. Perhaps most exceptionally, Rosaria's pizza preserves perfectly when frozen; a customer could conceivably eat some for leftovers the next day without losing any of the flavor,
Despite its unassuming exterior, Rosaria's is an excellent pizza, one of the best I've reviewed for this blog. Its fine cheese-sauce balance and remarkable ability to keep its flavor when frozen take it from a good pie to a great one. Needless to say, this particular variation on the venerable Neapolitan flatbread comes strongly and unreservedly recommended.
Jet's is a chain best known for its popular deep-dish offerings; for this review, however, I opted to go with their more conventional New York style pizza. The pie may seem small but is in fact quite filling; the taste, of course, is a separate question.
The cheese is an instant standout, with a taste far superior to those of most other chains; this would seem to confirm the chain's frequent advertising of its high-quality mozzarella. Granted, the sauce, while good, isn't much to write home about, and the cheese-sauce balance is slightly tipped in favor of cheese. Especially with the quality of cheese, however, that last isn't much of a problem, and even the pizza's slight greasiness doesn't detract from its general excellence.
Overall, Jet's has created a fine product, a pizza that, while not quite stellar, nonetheless stands out unmistakably from the crowd. Kudos to them on a job well done.
Big Pie in the Sky's pizza is big. Not just slightly larger than average, not just oversized, not just a bit cumbersome—this outfit's largest offering is almost the size of a standard kitchen stove. Of course, they do offer pizzas in smaller, more normal sizes—but if one were looking for a smaller, more normal pizza, then why would one come to Big Pie in the Sky?
As a matter of fact, the first taste reveals that there are a number of reasons one might do so. The brashness of the pizza's size and name is balanced with a subtle, pleasing flavor that seems to hit an admirable balance between the unique tastes of Vincent's and Pizza Shack. The pie achieves similar balance in its excellent sauce-to-cheese ratio, and while Big Pie in the Sky never quite reaches the echelons of greatness, it most certainly stands out in a good way from the crowd.
Its size gimmick may at first seem its main recommending quality, but this pizza has far more than just that that's worth writing home about. It's not perfect by a long shot, but this restaurant offers exceptional, high-quality pizza that very much deserves a try. In other words, Big Pie in the Sky makes a big success of a pie.
This Detroit-based chain's longtime slogan "Pizza! Pizza!" ("Two Pizzas!" in Canada) once referred to the outfit's former packaging gimmick of serving two pizzas in one container. This particular meaning is no longer true, but the description continues to hold for the pizza's pricing: at five bucks a pie, one could easily buy two or even in some cases three Little Caesars pizzas for the price of one from another vendor. This alone, along with the chain's "Hot-N-Ready" model, in which pizzas are offered inside for customers to carry out, would make it an unsurprising hit with consumers pressed for time. However, even at Little Caesars' low prices, the question still remains as to whether the quality is worth the money.
In general, it (somewhat surprisingly) is. Granted, it's unspectacular, and the sauce-cheese ratio could use work. But Little Caesars does more than enough to satisfy hungry taste buds, and the flavor (enhanced and marked apart by the chain's somewhat unorthodox use of Muenster cheese) is pleasantly distinctive enough to make it a memorable experience. Taste can, in my experience, vary from pizza to pizza; overall, however, Little Caesars delivers plenty of bang for the buck.
Little Caesars won't win the next award for thorough pizza excellence. It's more than sufficient for a pleasant eating experience, however, and in a five-buck pizza, it's hard to ask for any more.
Based in Marietta, Vincent's isn't precisely a pizzeria of the traditional sort; it serves and is known for a far broader array of dishes. However, while the outfit doesn't focus on it exclusively, pizza does form an important part of the restaurant's expansive menu. It is for that reason that, for this fourteenth review of the blog's history, I find myself reviewing this particular pie.
It is immediately apparent even before the first bite that this pizza is saucier than a Shakespearean jester. This doesn't, however, totally drown out the cheese; in fact, Vincent's could serve as a poster child for the perfect cheese-to-sauce ratio. Its taste, meanwhile, resembles a considerably better Stevi B's. It's far from perfect, and like the Pizza Shack, it can grow somewhat cloying after a while. The pies here are also quite large and quite filling, so one may want to consider sharing with a group. Overall, however, Vincent's has accomplished a pizza to be proud of.
Again, Vincent's doesn't approach the greatness of certain of its competitors. However, the remarkable achievement of its cheese-to-sauce ratio alone makes it worth a try, and its flavor is pleasing and distinctive enough to merit a visit even for consumers less interested in sauce percentages. In conclusion, it's a more than worthwhile option for someone looking for a good-quality pizza in the Cobb County area.
This Dallas, Georgia, outfit makes unusually large pizzas. This is fairly obvious from the outset; even the imposing size of the pizza boxes makes that particular fact clear to the customer. Even the pie's relative thinness does little to reduce that quality. Consequently, although they're far from giant, someone looking only for a small bite may prefer another pizza if he or she isn't sharing with a group of some size.
That aside, the pizza itself is quite solid. The Shack has a most unusual taste, resembling nothing so much as the venerable shopping-mall stalwart Sbarro (possibly to be the subject of a later review). Anyone who's tried or heard of Sbarro, however, knows that this is far from a negative comparison. The Pizza Shack is nothing if not its own pizza, though, and it remains delightfully distinct. Unfortunately, the cheese does rather drown out the sauce, and the flavor can become somewhat cloying after a while. This doesn't, however, cancel out the pie's considerable virtues.
The Pizza Shack offers a solid pie, and its unique flavor makes it well worth a try, especially for consumers who may be growing tired of more "typical" pizza tastes. Although some problems make it hard to count among the best, it's more than worthy of attention.