REVIEW: Papa Johns Crispy Parm Pizza

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.

7 thoughts to “REVIEW: Papa Johns Crispy Parm Pizza”

  1. Thanks for the review. Do you think the crispy parmesan being on the bottom/dough tastes noticeably different than if they had just added a(nother?) layer of parmesan to the normal cheese blend? I don’t know if you could have had the parm be crispy while keeping the rest of the cheese normal or if you’d have to make everything crispy.

    I admit that I’m so used to “creative” toppings that I expected this to be some sort of chicken parm combo of some sort. Do you know why you could only get one topping as opposed to just getting the crispy parm as an add-on to your standard multi-topping/specialty pizza?

    1. I may be wrong, but I’m guessing you can add more than one topping, it will just cost more. The one topping limit is probably for the promotional price ($12.99?). Each additional topping would just add the $1.50-$2 that they charge for each extra toppings, which you can add during “customization”.

    1. What difference does that make? (asking in a curious manner, not a snarky one 🙂 ) I’m guessing that it kinda might prevent extra grease/oil from the cheese etc. from seeping down and pooling around the crust bottom?

  2. I didn’t think it added much flavor at all, and it wasn’t crispy enougjh. I did like it, though, and bought it another time. I am craving it right now. It’s dinner time and I’m undecided what to get. Papa Johns is a little farther. If they had a coupon it would probably convince me to drive.

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