Cheese pizza is the most underrated item in the fast food world. Often looked at as “plain” or “boring,” cheese pizza’s perfection is in its simplicity. While I do enjoy various toppings on pizza as well as “creative” offerings, it’s nice to do a palate cleanse once in a while. Papa Johns’ new Crispy Parm Pizza seems like a perfect chance for my taste buds to hit the reset button.
The menu item takes Papa Johns’ thin crust and adds a layer of toasted parmesan cheese to the bottom. As someone who has thrown shredded cheese into a hot pan to make a crispy cheese bite on more than one occasion, I was very into this idea. You can order it with up to one topping, but I am pleased to have stuck with just cheese.
Driving home, the unmistakable smell of parmesan filled my little Ford Focus. It made me all the more excited to try the item. Visually, it was a standard issue-looking cheese pizza. I immediately flipped a slice over to look at the crispy parmesan on the bottom. There was a fairly decent amount adorning the crust’s underside. It was, however, not super crisp to the touch. I had hoped it would have a more crispy bite when trying it, but that wasn’t the case.
My first taste confirmed that the “crisp” parmesan doesn’t really add any textural difference to the item. I think once the pizza gets put in the box, the parmesan loses its crispness from the heat reflecting off the cardboard. But it does add a lot of flavor to the pizza, working well with the sweet red sauce and salty mozzarella to deliver a satisfying slice.
While I was disappointed the item didn’t fully live up to its name, I still enjoyed it. Papa Johns’ Crispy Parm Pizza has all the makings of a really good pizza, but it just trips a bit at the finish line. I think if you have the time (i.e., aren’t planning to immediately eat it when you bring it home), throwing it in the oven on a sheet pan might crisp up the bottom more. That sort of defeats the purpose of bringing home pizza for dinner, but it might be worth the extra step.
Purchased Price: $12.99
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 slice) 260 calories, 15 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 650 milligrams of sodium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 12 grams of protein.