REVIEW: Domino’s Cheeseburger Pizza

Domino s Cheeseburger Pizza Whole

There is a semi-large, local to Kansas City pizza chain that makes a really fine cheeseburger pizza. I just thought I’d throw that out there to let it be known that a tasty cheeseburger pizza is within the realm of possibility.

What this local chain does right, it’s worth noting, is add pickles (you know, sliced pickle “chips”) and gobs of mustard. Now, I’m not even a mustard and pickle person on my REGULAR cheeseburger, let alone when I consume a pizza masquerading as a cheeseburger. But on this particular pie, it works.

Sadly, unless you are in the KC Metro area, you can’t have this unorthodox delight. Instead, I present to you, Domino’s depressing new cheeseburger pizza. According to the chain, their pizza is made with “a ketchup-mustard sauce, American cheese, beef, fresh onions, diced tomatoes, shredded provolone and cheddar cheese.” Opening the box, I was pleasantly surprised to see how well it had been constructed. The smell was appealing, too, but only in a generic, “yep, that smells like a pizza, alright” sort of way.

The visual and olfactory positives would be the high points of this forgettable dining experience.

Domino s Cheeseburger Pizza Plated

The first thing I noticed when taking a bite was the overpoweringly obnoxious falsity that is American cheese. I’ve unwittingly ended up with American cheese on another Domino’s pizza at some dark point in the past, and all I really want to know is why? American cheese has its place in the world, sure – on an actual cheeseburger, mixed up in some scrambled eggs, melting messily atop a McDonald’s breakfast sandwich – but the desire to include it on a pizza is peculiar, no matter what the pizza purports to be.

The next thing I noticed was that I DIDN’T notice the sauce. As previously stated, the pizza was supposed to have a ketchup-mustard sauce. There was something under the cheese, I think, but all I really detected were subtle notes of slightly tangy wet.

Onions were present, but there were few and they added little, and the beef was your standard pre-formed, pre-cooked, straight-from-a-box, hamburger pellet that seems to find its way onto any national chain pizza when “beef” is involved. (Somewhere there is a beef pellet factory churning out hundreds of thousands of pounds of this product annually, I’m sure.)

Domino s Cheeseburger Pizza Closeup

Two things surprised me in a good way: the diced tomatoes added a pleasant and necessary juiciness to the proceedings (and I say this as someone who is generally anti-hot tomatoes in most situations) and the hand-tossed crust tasted fresh and flavorful, with a buttery, crunchy exterior and a soft, pillowy interior.

Domino s Cheeseburger Pizza Floppy

In fact, the crust was so enjoyable, and the construction and freshness of the overall pizza so impressive, I found myself excited to try Domino’s again at some point in the near future. Only, you know, not this particular pizza. And okay, probably not for full price. But the next time they run one of their 50% off specials? I will definitely consider probably giving them another shot. Maybe.

Purchased Price: $11.99 (promo price)
Size: Large
Rating: 4 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 slice) 380 calories, 19 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 50 milligrams of cholesterol, 880 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 1 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Domino’s Chicken Taco Pizza

Domino s Chicken Taco Pizza Whole

I am an Iowa native.

Why is this relevant?

Because Iowa is home to the first taco pizza! Happy Joe’s, a Midwest pizza chain, supposedly invented it in 1974. I grew up on the “original” taco pizza with refried beans, taco-seasoned meat, lettuce, tomatoes, taco chips sprinkled on top (my favorite part), and taco sauce on the side.

Although Domino’s Chicken Taco Pizza lacks many of those ingredients, I wanted to give it a try. I could’ve added my own chips and salsa, but sadly my kitchen lacked these add-ons when I ordered mine. It does includes American cheese, taco seasoning, grilled chicken, onions, green peppers, tomatoes, provolone cheese, and cheddar cheese. It looks like it was built in this order as well.

Domino s Chicken Taco Pizza Slice 2

It has no traditional sauce, instead replaced by American cheese and taco seasoning. With my pizza, these base ingredients were not equally distributed with my first slice being heavy with the seasoning, while my second slice was more American cheese. The seasoning is what really gives this its taco essence. Plus, I don’t know a lot of folks who include American cheese in their usual lineup of taco ingredients.

Domino s Chicken Taco Pizza Slice

The other components were better distributed, but kind of blended together with no single ingredient overpowering the others. As expected, there were obvious texture differences — a chunk of chicken tastes and feels different from a green pepper string.

Domino s Chicken Taco Pizza Cheese Closeup

The provolone and cheddar cheeses also blended together and started congealing, which pizza cheese does if not immediately eaten. That was likely due to time delays from my pizza being ready until I actually got to bite into it. (I had to wait about 30 minutes from the time Domino’s Pizza Tracker indicated mine was ready until it finally hit my mouth!) So it was lacking in cheesy ooziness as well as a strong scent, which are two components that typically get me excited to dive into a pizza.

Domino’s has touted this (as well as its new Cheeseburger Pizza) as “designed for delivery” given that tacos and burgers are not food items that always deliver well. This pizza is not a taco replacement, but it is a solid Domino’s offering with some taco-flavored inspiration (mostly the seasoning).

Some of the ingredients could be found in a taco, although the onion and green peppers seem more fajita-esque. To enhance it with your own taco-flair, I recommend adding some chips (hard-shell bits or crumbled Doritos) and salsa.

While I do not think Domino’s Chicken Taco Pizza compares to the “original” taco pizza, I would probably order it again if wanting a change from any traditional pizza.

Purchased Price: $11.99
Size: Large
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 slice) 350 calories, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 45 milligrams of cholesterol, 780 milligrams of sodium, 34 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 1 gram of added sugars, and 16 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Domino’s Wisconsin 6 Cheese Pizza

Domino's Wisconsin 6 Cheese Pizza

Full disclosure: I’ve never actually been to Wisconsin. But my parents are from Michigan and I have watched several episodes of That ’70s Show, so I assume I qualify as a part-time resident. However, I’m also from New Jersey, which means my standards for pizza are unreasonably high. This presents a dilemma because I want to give Domino€™s credit for experimenting just a little bit. Six cheese pizza isn€™t exactly cherpumple-level creativity, but it€™s at least a step outside their usual wheelhouse, so good for them. Doesn’t make up for unleashing the Noid upon humanity, but hell, it’s a start.

That said, I live on the PA/Jersey border. When there are four great pizza places within five miles of your house and another thirteen decent ones, it€™s hard to get jazzed about Domino€™s no matter how many improvements they make. I imagine it€™s akin to visiting Louisiana, stepping off the plane, and immediately asking where the nearest KFC is. It just isn’t done. But pizza snobbery has no place here, and I’ll admit I was curious about whether they’d successfully crafted a pizza with six distinct flavors, or if it’d be just one big gooey orgy of cheese, wantonly bumping and grinding on my palate. Don’t… picture that too vividly.

If nothing else, I think we can all agree that Domino’s nailed the exact right number of cheeses to slather on this thing. Seven would be ostentatious, and five? Five? Get fucking serious. No, it had to be six, and so it is. Now indulge me as I live out my secret dream of being a sportscaster and let’s break down this formidable Wisconsin lineup:

Mozzarella – The veteran. Classic, not flashy, just shows up every time and leaves it all out there.
Provolone – Highly heralded acquisition, known for solid play on a variety of other dishes.
Feta – Surprising pick. Not an anticipated “get,” but might be exactly what’s needed to plug holes in the flavor profile.
Cheddar €“ Coming off long stints with rivals like burgers and tacos, but has partnered effectively with mozzarella in the past. Look for a devastating one-two combo.
Parmesan – Perennial free agent. Rarely an integral member of the team, but proven ability to work well with others.
Asiago – The new hotness. Bold, crass, outspoken; could be trouble, but dammit, just so talented.

Upon getting the pie home, I immediately dug in because pizza waits for no man, woman or child; if you leave it alone long enough, it will actually eat itself. It was warm, a good start because it’s winter in the northeast and we’re keeping the heat low as a cost-saving measure. My pregnant wife, of course, is a virtual blast furnace and thinks the temperature is just fine; but meanwhile I’m chipping icicles off the thermostat and our daughter’s first complete sentence is “Mama, I can’t feel my legs.” So hot pizza was a welcome commodity. But that€™s not what you’re here for — you want to know how it tastes.

Domino's Wisconsin 6 Cheese Pizza SliceWell, it tastes like regular cheese pizza.

I mean, decent cheese pizza — give Domino’s credit, their new blend IS an improvement on what they used to offer. I’m not a foodie, but there was definitely a bit of tang attributable to the asiago. (Ironically, most of it seemed to come from the crust, which was crisp and quite tasty.) By concentrating I was even able to detect a very slight aftertaste that was almost certainly either provolone or my imagination. But, you know, that’s it. No feta chunks or discernible feta at all, really. Domino€™s press release claims “We€™re talking 40 percent more cheese than a regular Domino€™s pizza,” but I€™m talking you’d never know it. If you eat pizza the way I usually do, scarfing it down while watching TV or playing on the Internet, you are essentially eating a one cheese pizza. It’s like if the five Voltron lions flew up in the air and combined to form one and a half lions. Still cool, but the whole is less than the sum of the parts.

In the interest of giving a full and fair hearing, I even reheated some in the microwave to see if that changed the taste in any way. No, don’t thank me; that’s just the kind of journalistic excellence we strive for here at TIB. As expected, it didn€™t have much of an impact. There may have been a bit more bite to the asiago, but there€™s a 90 percent likelihood my mind was playing tricks on me. Or maybe it€™s just that I was eating it for breakfast. Either way, my initial impression remained the same: not bad, but just regular cheese pizza… no more, no less.

I think I walked away disappointed from Domino’s latest offering because I had built it up in my mind as something that was going to kick my tongue’s ass and convert me into a Wisconsin Badgers fan. It didn’t, but if what you’re looking for is a very slight variation on a familiar theme, it might be right up your alley. Otherwise, take the extra money you would have spent and get yourself a real topping instead.

(Nutrition Facts )one slice from 12″ pizza) 250 calories, 100 calories from fat, 12 grams of total fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 500 milligrams of sodium, 25 grams of total carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 2 grams of sugars, 11 grams of protein, 10% vitamin A, 6% vitamin C, 20% calcium and 10% iron.)

Item: Domino’s Wisconsin 6 Cheese Pizza
Price: $13.99
Size: 12″/8 slices
Purchased at: Domino’s
Rating: 6 out of 10 (apropos, no?)
Pros: Supporting my almost quasi-part-time state. Thinking outside the box. Improved recipe. Crisp, cheesy crust. Fights the winter chill. Avoids the Noid.
Cons: Shaming my actual home state. “Outside the box” remarkably similar to “inside the box.” Neutered Voltron. Missionary-style cheese orgy. Not as fun to say as “cherpumple.” Costs more than getting 3(!) toppings on the same-size pie.