“It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Papa John’s is getting into the holiday spirit.” – Press release for Papa John’s new Philly Cheesesteak Pizza
“What the hell do Philly Cheesesteaks have to do with the holidays?” – Me
Yes, Papa John’s has decided that the best way to show their Christmas/Hanukkah/whateveryoucelebrate spirit is to offer a limited-time Philly Cheesesteak Pizza. Rejoice! Sound the trumpets!
Or, if you’re from Philadelphia, shake your fist angrily at yet another pizza bastardization of your beloved sandwich. At least, that’s what I imagine people from Philadelphia are doing. While they can’t seem to decide who offers the best cheesesteak within their own city, they can probably all agree that Philly Cheesesteak Pizza is bullshit.
Not that Papa John’s is the first offender in this regard, and I’m sure they won’t be the last. But they do seem especially fond of taking other foods and turning them into pizzas. The Fritos Chili Pizza had barely been released before the Philly Cheesesteak came along, and earlier this year they released a Double Cheeseburger Pizza.
Papa John’s describes their Philly Cheesesteak Pizza as “hand-tossed pizza crust layered with creamy garlic sauce, steak from the Original Philly Cheesesteak Company, fresh onions and green peppers, then covered with mozzarella and provolone cheese.”
Before you oo-la-la over the Original Philly Cheesesteak Company, know that they offer bulk steak that’s been fully cooked and blast-frozen, including a Value Pack, which is described as “The economical choice—marinated with Soy Protein for maximum value.” But hey – at least it’s actually from Philly, right?
Before I get to the bad, I’ll address the good parts of the Philly Cheesesteak Pizza. Don’t worry, it won’t take too long.
The steak – sorry, the Original Philly Cheesesteak Company steak – was sliced thin and was tender; I didn’t have to wrestle with it like it was beef jerky. The onions and green peppers added a nice bit of crunch for contrast. There was plenty of gooey cheese topping the pizza.
Okay! Moving on. First off, the steak, which I would consider the most important part of the pizza, was practically tasteless. It wasn’t even salty. While the onions added a little bit of their flavor, the green peppers were tasteless, and I only knew they were on the pizza because of their color and crunch.
The real food crime that took place here was the creamy garlic sauce. From the first bite onward, it overwhelmed the rest of the toppings. I love a good, garlicky white pie, but this sauce just made me sad. It tasted extremely over-processed and bitter.
In fact, it took me a bit to figure it out, but I was finally able to pinpoint that the most off part of it was that it had the taste of bile. I know that sounds gross and extreme, but that’s the most accurate way to describe it.
All of the toppings on Papa John’s Philly Cheesesteak Pizza were tasteless or unimpressive, but the worst offender by far was that creamy garlic sauce. It took this pizza from underwhelming to straight-up unappealing. Hell, if you’re going to use a processed sauce on a cheesesteak pizza, why not just use Cheez Whiz? To state that Cheez Whiz would have improved any pizza should let you know that you should pass up on this holiday offering. Bah humbug.
(Nutrition Facts – Nutrition Facts not available on website.)
Item: Papa John’s Philly Cheesesteak Pizza
Purchased Price: $12.00
Purchased at: Papa John’s
Rating: 1 out of 10
Pros: Onions and peppers add crunch. Angry fist-shaking. Steak is tender.
Cons: Steak is generally flavorless. Peppers are flavorless. Creamy garlic sauce tastes like bile. Wishing there was Cheez Whiz on my pizza. Creamy garlic sauce tastes like bile.
11 thoughts to “REVIEW: Papa John’s Philly Cheesesteak Pizza”
Nice review, made me laugh but…damn, I was hoping this would be good.
I agree with this review, the sauce was horrible. My husband swore it had sour cream in it but I thought it was just the nasty aftertaste and texture. He liked the pizza in general, but he also put a ton of horseradish sauce on it so idk.
It was mayo I just thru mine out
The problem I have with it is how do I verify that the crust was indeed “Hand Tossed,” and that it is not a cheap marketing gimmick?
Imo if Papa Johns provided a live feed of the actual crust being tossed, it would provide a great deal of reassurance.
My opinion of Papa John’s has slid so far over the last decade. I’d rather have pizza from any other chain, or practically any pizza in the freezer section.
I assume the Domino’s version of Philly cheese steak pizza is better then?
Yes especially on the Brooklyn style crust
Wow, seems like a truly miserable reviewer here, going as far as to say something tastes like bile. Out of curiosity, where have you tasted bile before?
Other comments negative because there is no proof it was actually “hand tossed”. Give me a break.
Haven’t tried it but I’ve talked to several that think its one of PJs better specialty pizzas I would be more inclined to beliive them over this biased? or just plain angry reviewer.
What a dbag, get over yourself man, this pie aint that bad after a few vodka tonics
Drat. I wanted to try it and it’s no longer available. All the people I talked to who’ve had it LOVED it.
I bought this today, it’s lacklustre at best, not impressed, probably won’t buy again. A little mom and pop would probably do a better job.
Comments are closed.