What’s meatier than a Shaq-a-Roni, more novel than a Papadia, and able to clog three times as many arteries in a single bound? Papa John’s new Triple Bacon Pizza! Its claim to fame is containing three types of bacon: crumbles, julienne-cut pieces of Canadian bacon, and good old-fashioned strips.
At first glance, the strips were the most noticeable part of my pie. The chunky juliennes stood out as well, but were more prone to being submerged under cheese (this often made for a nice mid-bite surprise). The crumbles were the shrinking violets of the trio, with their smaller size, denser texture, and deeper color, making them surprisingly hard to tell apart from the dark dots of cheese. The lattice of varying shapes, textures, and shades of red made the pie look almost like a piece of avant-garde art—so like any good art connoisseur would, I immediately ripped it apart with my teeth.
The strips were, well, typical bacon strips, though I particularly enjoyed the variations in texture, with some bites lean and burnt and others fatty and chewy. On the other hand, the juliennes were consistently thick and tender, and since they were Canadian bacon, they had a slightly sweeter, meatier taste. I’m finding it harder to sum up the crumbles, whose standout feature seemed to be that they were just the strips, only torn into pieces. Papa John’s website specifically describes the crumbles as “smokey,” but for me the bulk of the smokey flavor came from the sheer surface area covered by the strips. While the strips were large enough that each one tended to have representation of both crispness and meatiness (even if they weren’t evenly distributed), each crumble typically only captured one of those flavors, which meant they didn’t contribute distinctly to the overall taste.
While I deeply appreciated the audacity of laying down full bacon strips across the entire pie, the flavorful juliennes with their perfectly pluckable shape were my favorite of the three types. Hearty enough to stand alongside the slice instead of just blending in, they had a similar appeal to the classic meatball or sausage pizza toppings, while the thin strips meshed with the cheese and sauce as smoothly as pepperoni. I’m not sure exactly what the advantage of the crumbles was. They felt like they were just tacked on as a cheap way to get a third selling point for this new menu item, and I suspect the two star students would shine better without them.
All in all, the savory saltiness of these three breeds of bacon was a great, if not exactly world-shattering, pairing for Papa John’s dense cheese and sweet sauce. It made me wonder how this classic breakfast topping would hold up on a slice eaten cold the next morning, but my household demolished our box too quickly to tell. Fortunately, this meaty marvel is good enough that I don’t mind having an excuse to get it again some time and find out.
Purchased Price: $13 (that’s for the basic Triple Bacon pie, though I splurged an additional $3 to add stuffed crust)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Information not available on website.