When I signed up to review Domino’s new Artisan Pizzas, I immediately began thinking of disparaging comments to make about their choosing to use the word artisan. “Domino’s employees are to artisans,” I imagined myself writing, “as the Noid is to a relevant cultural icon.” That’s not even the cleverest or pithiest analogy I had lined up, if you can believe that’s even possible.
I was so ready to do the whole snarky-blogger thing, but Domino’s has preempted any snark by actually embedding it into their ad campaign. The text on their new pizza boxes starts with, “We’re not artisans, we don’t wear black berets,” and their new TV ad vilifies some vaguely French chef who’s acting like a prima donna. By acknowledging the images associated with artisans and wink-winking at the ridiculousness of their artisanal aspirations, the folks at Domino’s have managed to take all the fun out of making fun of them. (Although it’s great we can all still make fun of the French â€“ what is with those berets, amirite?)
While they could get out in front of my snarkiness, I knew they couldn’t stop me from criticizing their crappy pizzas, and I was intent on writing a blistering review. There was only one problem: these pizzas were actually pretty good.
Each pizza was rectangular and cut into eighths, with all the toppings reasonably well-distributed across the slices. Both pizzas had crusts that were thinner and crispier than usual Domino’s fare but still structurally sound enough to support the toppings.
The Spinach & Feta pizza had alfredo sauce, feta and parmesan-asiago cheeses, fresh baby spinach, and onions. I was pleasantly surprised to find that there was a significant amount of feta, as its sharp tanginess was the primary flavor of the pizza. In some places the cheese was spread almost from edge-to-edge, leaving the crusts quite tasty, as well. The spinach and onions were noticeable in their contributions to the texture of the pizza, but I wish there had been more of each topping, as both were mostly overwhelmed by the feta.
The Italian Sausage & Pepper Trio had parmesan-asiago cheese, sliced Italian sausage, and red, green, and banana peppers. The sausage was nothing special; it had some sweetness but wasn’t particularly spicy. I imagine it was the same as can be found on any other Domino’s pizzas, but serving it in thicker slices rather than the usual crumbles seemed to hold in the flavor better. The green and red peppers added some mild crunch, but they were completely upstaged by the banana peppers. The banana peppers were the clear-cut stars of the Pepper Trio, much like Beyonce to Destiny’s Child or Joe to the Jonas Brothers or somebody else that would make you look less poorly upon my musical tastes. I had never ordered a pizza with banana peppers before, but their strong vinegary, spicy presence on the Italian Sausage & Pepper Trio has convinced me to add banana peppers to the toppings rotation from now on. A generous dusting of oregano rounded out a pretty well-made pizza.
As far as other complaints go, the pizza was relatively pricey and fairly small compared to their regular offerings (they measure in at 13″ x 9″, so roughly the size of one of their medium pizzas for the price of a large). Still, I give these pizzas a thumbs-up, and they’re certainly better than Domino’s re-launched pizzas from last year. Domino’s, you guys are running some annoyingly self-aware ad campaigns, but as long as you keep up the tastiness of these Artisan Pizzas and the Francophobia in your commercials, I will make sure to keep my blogger snark in check.
(Nutrition Facts – 1/6th of a pizza – Spinach & Feta – 150 calories, 7 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 250 milligrams of sodium, 17 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Italian Sausage & Pepper Trio – 160 calories, 7 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of saturated fat, 330 milligrams of sodium, 18 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.)
Other Domino’s Artisan Pizza reviews:
Item: Domino’s Artisan Pizza (Spinach & Feta and Italian Sausage & Pepper Trio)
Purchased at: Domino’s
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Spinach & Feta)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Italian Sausage & Pepper Trio)
Pros: Crust was thinner and crispier than regular Domino’s pizzas. Spinach & Feta had significant amount of feta cheese spread from crust-to-crust. Italian Sausage & Pepper Trio had delicious banana peppers and thickly-sliced sausage. Vilifying French people. Referencing the Noid. Beyonce’s having a baby!
Cons: Not enough spinach and onion to stand out against the feta. Green and red peppers were kind of useless. Pizzas were a bit expensive for the size. Domino’s pre-empting my snark. Spellcheck not recognizing snark as a word.