REVIEW: DiGiorno Eggs Benedict Breakfast Croissant Crust Pizza

DiGiorno Eggs Benedict Breakfast Croissant Crust Pizza Box

My background with breakfast pizza is best described as inexperienced. I’ve had it, both fresh and frozen, but if I had to estimate how many times, I’d say six. Compare that with how many times I’ve had pizza (964) and how many times I’ve eaten breakfast (12,573), and you have a pretty insignificant number relative to breakfast and pizza consumption. In other words, cheese=MC2.

This is DiGiorno’s maiden voyage into breakfast pizza, and it’s doing it with three new varieties -— Sausage and Gravy, Cinnamon Roll, and Eggs Benedict. All are served on a croissant crust, something the brand has previously employed on regular pizzas. (But I haven’t had.)

DiGiorno Eggs Benedict Breakfast Croissant Crust Pizza Frozen

Here’s my next startling confession: I’ve never had eggs Benedict. The thing is, I don’t like English muffins. Like, at all. Their texture is abrasive, they smell like feet, and biscuits exist. I mean, there’s just no earthly reason to eat them. And seeing as how I’ve never encountered eggs Benedict involving anything but, well, here we are.

DiGiorno Eggs Benedict Breakfast Croissant Crust Pizza Flaky

But again, the base layer of this pizza is a croissant. And how is DiGiorno’s croissant? It’s decent. It’s a little buttery and a little flaky, but it’s not on par with Pillsbury croissants from a can. But it makes a sturdy base and is marginally more interesting than DiGiorno’s traditional crust.

On top of the OK Croissant (my favorite Radiohead cover band composed entirely of pastry chefs), you’ve got “cheddar and mozzarella cheese, scrambled eggs, diced ham and hollandaise style sauce.”

DiGiorno Eggs Benedict Breakfast Croissant Crust Pizza Cooked

So, there was some cheese, but not as much as on a normal pizza, and that’s fine because of the “hollandaise style sauce” I mentioned previously. It tasted like cheese sauce. And as established, I’ve never had eggs Benedict. So it should come as no surprise that I don’t really know what hollandaise tastes like. Then I Googled it up, just to see what hollandaise is supposed to be. And most things I read describe it as a “rich and decadent egg based sauce” with a “buttery flavor” that can range from “sweet to tangy” preparation depending. Or, in DiGiorno’s case, “cheese sauce.” And don’t get me wrong — I love cheese sauce! But if you’re looking for a true hollandaise, this probably isn’t it.

DiGiorno Eggs Benedict Breakfast Croissant Crust Pizza Slice

The ham was good. Smoky, evenly distributed bite-sized rectangles. My only complaint is that I could have used twice as much. The eggs were a bit rubbery and indistinctive. At one point, I said, “I wish this thing had more egg,” but then I remembered the whole “rubbery and indistinctive” thing and wondered why I’d want more of that.

As I was typing this out just now, I was wondering if I should give this a 7 or an 8, and I was also kind of wondering how I could justify an 8 when most of the review seemed to suggest that I didn’t like it; but that’s not the case. I really liked it, despite the sad egg and “meh” crust. This thing shined on the totality of its parts instead of failing on the weakness of its pieces. Did it taste like eggs Benedict? I mean… I don’t know. I suspect not. Did it taste like someone turned a Ham and Cheese Hot Pocket into a pizza? Weirdly, yes. But I kind of love that. And in that spirit, I kind of loved this. (Except for the price tag. $10 is insane for a frozen pizza, inflation or not.)

Purchased Price: $9.99
Size: 23.4 oz
Purchased at: Hy-Vee
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/5th of the pizza) 330 calories, 14 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 40mg of cholesterol, 690 mg of sodium, 36 grams of carbohydrates, 4 grams of sugar (including 1 gram of added sugars), and 10 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Papa John’s Epic Pepperoni-Stuffed Crust Pizza

Papa John s Epic Pepperoni Stuffed Crust Pizza Whole

I imagine that Papa John’s Epic Pepperoni-Stuffed Crust Pizza might have made Little Caesars — who released a similar product not quite a year ago — cry, “Et tu, Papa?” But I won’t subtract points for lack of originality. This combo feels quintessential; pepperoni and stuffed crust go together like pepperoni and pizza!

Before we get into the real meat of this review (ha, ha), I should point out that this crust is not just stuffed, but per Papa John’s website, also “seasoned.” This was a relief to read, as at first glance, the generous smattering of unexpected black flecks had me sort of concerned. The seasoning was zesty — hard to pinpoint one taste exactly, but it was simultaneously garlicky, salty, and a bit cheesy — and while I think the stuffed crust could have stood on its own, the addition wasn’t unwelcome.

Papa John s Epic Pepperoni Stuffed Crust Pizza Slice Side

Biting into the puffy, pillowy crust, I was pleased to notice that the taste of the pepperoni came through nicely but didn’t entirely steal the cheese’s thunder. It felt like a lovely complement, both in terms of the salty, meaty flavor popping against the mellower, creamy taste of the cheese, and the pop of slim, crisp texture contrasting the cheese’s silky thickness. But, while tasting this marriage of cheese and pepperoni satisfied my appetite, it couldn’t satisfy my curiosity; to do that, I had to peel back the crusty curtain.

Tearing open and rolling back the crust to reveal the cheesy, pepperoni-y secrets folded within had two effects. The first is that dissecting my pizza so thoughtfully made me feel kind of like a serial killer, or at least a very obscure sort of surgeon. The second, more pertinent point is that I could see exactly how many pieces of pepperoni went into the crust on each slice: two to three.

Papa John s Epic Pepperoni Stuffed Crust Pizza Slice Top

Honestly, that doesn’t exactly sound substantial enough to base a whole product around. Imagine how disappointed you would be if you ordered a pepperoni pizza and only got two to three pieces on each slice as a topping! You could argue that a little of this particular food item goes a long way, but I’m not sure the kind of person who orders their disc of meat and cheese with extra meat and cheese crammed inside is the kind of person who worries about oversaturation. It seems that at least three more pepperoni pieces could have been curled around the cheese stuffing without overlapping, and if you’re going to release something as all-out as pepperoni stuffed crust in the first place, why not fill every last gap you can?

Papa John s Epic Pepperoni Stuffed Crust Pizza Innards

Though maybe I’m just jealous because the site mentions that the pizza is “topped off with more pepperoni,” but mine didn’t come with any outside of what was in the crust. Maybe that’s on me for missing some step in online ordering, but I assumed a pizza with pepperoni in the name would include it as a topping by default!

I must disclose that I’m a stuffed crust fanatic, which might suggest that my bar for this offering would be quite high. But ultimately, I think it just means that I’m more willing to accept it for giving me the luscious cheese filling I crave even though its pepperoni potential underwhelms.

Purchased Price: $13.99
Size: Large
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Information not available on website.

REVIEW: Van Leeuwen Limited Edition Pizza Ice Cream

Van Leeuwen Limited Edition Pizza Ice Cream Pint

Yes, you read the title correctly. This is a review of a pizza-flavored ice cream, or is it ice cream-flavored pizza? Either way, the latest product you never knew you needed but are intrigued to try (or at least read about someone else trying) is from the folks at Van Leeuwen Ice Cream, who are also responsible for the previously reviewed Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Ice Cream.

Van Leeuwen Limited Edition Pizza Ice Cream Top

I imagine there was a meeting of Van Leeuwen decision-makers where someone threw out the idea of pizza ice cream, and it seems that at least some in the meeting thought it wasn’t a terrible idea (perhaps the same ones who gave the thumbs up for mac and cheese ice cream). Now, if Van Leeuwen was run by a bunch of first graders, then I could understand this flavor getting the green light, along with chicken nugget ice cream. Even though I did not do any research to back this up, I’m guessing Van Leeuwen is not run by first graders, although the company’s website refers to their products as “pints” when they only contain 14 (not 16) ounces, so I guess they do struggle with numbers a little.

So, is this a terrible idea?

Van Leeuwen Limited Edition Pizza Ice Cream Base

Actually, no. I sort of liked it, even though it only sort of tastes like pizza. This does contain a good number of pizza-ish ingredients — tomatoes, unbleached flour, mozzarella cheese powder, and unnamed spices — but they come through with different levels of flavor. The base ice cream (the cheese) is wonderfully creamy; I suppose because it’s French ice cream, which the container explains contains more egg yolks than non-French ice cream. There’s a hint of mozzarella taste but much more of a cheesecake flavor, thanks to the decidedly non-pizza ingredient of cream cheese.

Van Leeuwen Limited Edition Pizza Ice Cream Tomato Jam

The sauce part was a pleasant surprise. Despite how mixing tomatoes and ice cream might make you cringe, it was more than palatable. That’s probably because it’s a tomato jam, according to Van Leeuwen, and, according to me, it pairs nicely with the cheesy ice cream base. It has enough tomato flavor so you know what it is, but its mild sweetness eliminates the grossness factor.

The crust, made of basil cookies, is the only part that didn’t win me over. There was not much there as far as texture or taste, but it didn’t do anything to the detriment of the ice cream as a whole. It’s like having a co-worker who rarely does any work but doesn’t screw things up either.

Van Leeuwen Limited Edition Pizza Ice Cream Pizza Box

As has been said in other reviews of Frankenstein-inspired freaks of food folly, this product is not a great substitute for either of the items it claims to be. If you are craving pizza, then even that cold pizza in the fridge that you question if it’s still OK is to eat is probably better. And if you have a hankering for ice cream, then just about any “regular” flavor will hit the spot better than this. But you only live once, and do you really want to be sitting in a retirement home playing bingo and wondering what pizza ice cream tastes like? I certainly do not, so I’m glad I tried this.

Purchased Price: $4.98
Size: 14 fl. oz.
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (2/3 cup) 310 calories, 16 grams of fat, 9 grams of saturated fat, 110 milligrams of cholesterol, 230 milligrams of sodium, 38 grams of carbohydrates, 0 grams of fiber, 33 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.

REVIEW: DiGiorno Stuffed Pizza Bites

DiGiorno Stuffed Pizza Bites Bags

Tearing open my two bags of DiGiorno Stuffed Pizza Bites (which I keep wanting to call pizza rolls à la Totino’s), I was hit with the powerful feeling that I’d just gotten home from fourth grade soccer practice and was racing to prep my afternoon snack before my favorite cartoon started.

The bag suggests three ways to cook these adorable little Hot Pockets lookalikes, but since I don’t have an air fryer, I was limited to using my oven (for 22 minutes at 350° F) and microwave (for 1 minute and 15 seconds). Regardless of appliance used, the cooked pizza bites emitted the immensely comforting smell of warm dough, grassy herbs, and tangy marinara sauce, with just a hint of processed uncanniness to really drive the nostalgia home.

The bag advises you to use the oven or air fryer if you like a crispier texture and the microwave if you seek a softer pizza bite. The bites that I baked in the oven were impressively firm with a satisfying crunch. The microwaved ones, though… varied. One of the two that I put in the microwave came out noticeably softer but not mushy or falling apart as I’d feared, and in fact, I was pleasantly surprised to realize that I preferred it to its oven-ed counterparts. The other, though, somehow ended up extremely overcooked, a thick brick with even the filling nuked stiff. Whoops. Anyway!

DiGiorno Stuffed Pizza Bites Outsides

The two flavors were unsurprisingly pretty much impossible to distinguish just by looking at their outsides, though even after a bite I couldn’t immediately identify which was which. The one that I eventually pegged as the four-cheese was an oozy, vodka sauce-looking shade of orange. The other was flecked with dark red chunks that I immediately guessed were flecks of tomato from the sauce, but ended up being the pepperoni. Whoops again!

DiGiorno Stuffed Pizza Bites Insides

The four cheese flavor’s titular cheeses are reduced fat mozzarella, parmesan, asiago, and romano. The best way I can think to describe the potent results of mashing them all together is “funky.” I could make out a fresh, creamy flavor that probably came from the mozzarella, but there were also undertones of sharpness. According to Google, that would be the Romano. There’s also a sort of earthy nuttiness that Google also tells me is typical for both parmesan and asiago. With the pepperoni flavor, mozzarella is the only one from the cheesy cacophony invited to the pizza party, so the taste was dominated instead by the meaty, faintly spicy tang of the pepperoni and marinara sauce. The four cheese flavor wasn’t bad, but I definitely preferred the simpler, more classic taste of the pepperoni.

At the end of the day, these were about what you’d expect from a pizza roll, er, bite. I appreciated their unique heft (“2x the size per piece,” the bag crows), but the experience wasn’t notably different than, say, the aforementioned Totino’s. These pizza bites might have briefly flashed me back to my childhood, but now that I’m old enough to simply order myself an actual pizza instead of rooting through the freezer for my mom’s purchases to satisfy my dough-sauce-cheese cravings, I’d rather just do that.

Purchased Price: $6.49 each
Size: 14 oz bag
Purchased at: ShopRite
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (3 bites) Four Cheese – 200 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 340 milligrams of sodium, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein. Pepperoni – 230 calories, 12 gram of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 550 milligrams of sodium, 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 7 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut Spicy Lover’s Double Pepperoni Pizza

Pizza Hut Spicy Lover s Pizza Whole

If your love for spicy foods is anywhere on the spectrum between having a favorite Ghost Pepper sauce and tattooing flames on your tongue, Pizza Hut’s Spicy Lover’s Pizza might disappoint you.

The latest from the pizza chain gets its heat from spicy marinara, sliced red chilis, and fiery flakes. It’s advertised with three varieties — Spicy Double Pepperoni, Spicy Hawaiian Chicken, and Spicy Veggie. As you can see in the photos, I went with the first one that comes with standard pepperoni slices and the newer crispy cupped pepperoni that made their debut with the chain’s Detroit-style pizza.

Pizza Hut Spicy Lover s Pizza Surface

Even before trying it, I thought this would taste like a standard Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza, but, you know, spicy. For the most part, it does. However, there’s a nuance or two. The red chili slices give some bites a slight red bell pepper-like flavor, and it almost tricks my brain into thinking I’m biting into a supreme pizza. And then there’s the added flavor of those crispy cupped pepperoni that have a meatier and less greasy taste than the standard stuff.

With my first bite, I intentionally took one that had just the cheese, sauce, and bottom crust because I wanted to know how much heat the spicy marinara had. It burns, but the cheese and sauce’s sweetness make it a mild experience. The fiery flakes are a combination of herbs and crushed red pepper flakes. When I learned that, I was surprised because when I sprinkle the crushed red pepper flakes from the packets Pizza Hut provides, they give the slice a noticeable kick that I didn’t get with this pizza. It makes me wonder if I even got the seasoning.

Pizza Hut Spicy Lover s Pizza Seeds

Oh, if you’re wondering what those white-ish pieces are in the chili slices that look like they could be the fiery flakes, they appear to be pepper seeds because they show up only within the peppers. Even with those seeds, the chilis aren’t as spicy as the sauce.

Overall, the pizza I purchased had what I’d consider a low-medium heat. I’m typing this sentence 10 minutes since my last bite, and while there’s some spiciness lingering in my mouth, there hasn’t been any sweating, nose running, mad dashes to my fridge’s beverage shelf, or saying, “I can take it” as an internal mantra.

Pizza Hut Spicy Lover s Pizza Slice

Pizza Hut’s Spicy Lover’s Double Pepperoni was a nice deviation from the standard pepperoni. Like most Pizza Hut offerings I’ve had, I found it enjoyable and filling. However, if you love spicy foods and are looking for something that pops a bunch of capsaicin into your mouth, you’ll probably be disappointed that this packs less heat than Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.

(Day After Update: I had the pizza the next day for dinner and it was spicier to me. I’d say it was on par with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and my nose did start to run a little after eating the leftovers.)

Purchased Price: $16.99*
Size: Large
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 Hand Tossed Slice) 300 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 30 milligrams of cholesterol, 680 milligrams of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 13 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.