In the pizza chain innovation playbook, it’s a must to mess with the crust. So Papa John’s stayed true to form with the new Parmesan Crusted Papadia.
While it’s a standard play to jazz up the crust, the execution is actually pretty genius because it takes a unique offering in the crowded chain pizza space and makes it more unique. It also delivers exactly as promised — a Papadia with a nice crispy parmesan exterior.
The addition can be ordered with any of the existing varieties. It’s a one-dollar upcharge. I went with my favorite one thus far — the Meatball Pepperoni.
After opening its box, I could immediately tell it was cheese crusted from its golden hue. It was like someone folded a doily made of cheese onto the Papadia.
The visible shredded dairy melded onto the surface was reminiscent of the pizza chain’s garlic parmesan crust. But this version is so much better because of the added surface area and the wispy cheese edges like the overflow on a grilled cheese sandwich. 2?r now equals C for cheese!!!
Said cheese doily didn’t take away from or overpower the existing meat and tomato sauce flavors. It complemented them really well with extra savoriness that culminated in a much cheesier taste than the original version. I also enjoyed the added texture to each bite. It’s not crunchy like eating Cheetos, but rather it’s more like a light crispness, similar to eating a parmesan crisp!
With all that said, this cheese-crusted version was a little less “handheld happiness” than the original, as the parmesan crust left quite the oily residue.
All things considered, I would pay the extra dollar for the crispy goodness again and again.
I’m actually secretly hoping that this catches on at other chains and even local pizza joints. Can you imagine an added cheesy exterior like this on a folded NY-style pizza?! SHEEEEEESH (as the TikTokers would say).
This is innovation at its finest, people!! Simple but effective and delicious.
Purchased Price: $7
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (Not available on website, but here’s the info for a regular Meatball Pepperoni) 940 calories, 49 grams of fat, 21 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 140 milligrams of sodium, 2390 milligrams of sodium, 79 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 42 grams of protein.