REVIEW: Little Caesars Crazy Calzony

Little Caesars Crazy Calzony Top

Little Caesars has launched another limited-edition novelty item: the Crazy Calzony. According to Little Caesars, this fusion dish is a pizza with a “calzone-like crust filled with garlic white sauce and cheese.” I’ve been a Little Caesars fan for most of my life, so I felt compelled to try this.

The Crazy Calzony is available in pepperoni or cheese. I opted for the former. The pizza portion of the dish is topped with sliced pepperoni, while the calzone-like crust contains julienne pepperoni.

Upon opening the pizza box, I was struck by the Crazy Calzony’s unique aesthetic. It reminded me of a cross boomerang. The calzone crusts were overflowing with cheese and looked quite appetizing. Its aroma was quintessential Little Caesars, but with a heavier presence of garlic.

The pizza segment of the slices tasted exactly as one would expect. If you’ve had a pepperoni pizza from Little Caesars, you already have a good idea of how this tastes. The foundational pizza crust did seem a little thinner than usual, though.

Little Caesars Crazy Calzony Cheese

Now, onto the most important part: the calzone crust. With my first bite, a strong garlic flavor immediately jumped to the forefront. I love garlic, so it worked well for me, but it may be overbearing for some people.

Beyond the garlic, the creamy cheese stuffing tasted mildly sweet. Its texture and sweetness reminded me of the ricotta that is generally featured in calzones. The Crazy Calzony’s description states that the crust is filled with “garlic white sauce, cheese and julienne pepperoni.” I imagine that if it contained actual ricotta, the description would say so. The garlic white sauce likely mixes with the cheese to create that ricotta-like texture. Either way, it’s totally tasty.

The julienne pepperoni provides a nice textural contrast. Its mild spice helps to cut the creaminess of the cheesy filling and brings balance to the overall presentation.

Little Caesars Crazy Calzony Dip

Dipping the calzone crust into the included Crazy Sauce continued to elevate the flavor. The acid from the tomato sauce helped to further tame the richness. The outside of the crust was dusted with parmesan and had a mild buttery flavor, which immediately reminded me of Crazy Bread. It was cooked to a perfect golden brown and had the slightest crunch, while remaining airy on the inside. As a whole, it was similar to many calzones that I’ve had.

Little Caesars Crazy Calzony Bite

As far as novelty pizza dishes go, the Crazy Calzony is a winner in my book. Little Caesars nailed the calzone aspect, but it makes me wish they would offer standalone calzones. If you already like Little Caesars, it’s a safe bet that you’ll enjoy it as well. If you’re not a Little Caesars devotee, then no amount of craziness in the crust will change that for you.

Purchased Price: $8.49
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 pizza) 2650 calories, 123 grams of fat, 2.5 grams of trans fat, 50 grams of saturated fat, 245 milligrams of cholesterol, 6010 milligrams of sodium, 256 grams of carbohydrates, 13 grams of fiber, 15 grams of sugar, and 109 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Chuck E. Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza

Chuck E Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza Box

What is Chuck E. Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza?

While restaurant-branded foods sold in grocery stores aren’t a new thing, Chuck E. Cheese has decided to enter the market with a frozen pizza line. Currently offered in cheese or pepperoni, these pizzas are currently exclusive to Kroger.

How is it?

Chuck E Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza Baked

As I was sitting down to try the pizza, I realized I needed to recreate the feeling of being in a Chuck E. Cheese to really bring you all a well-rounded review. I spilled some soda on the floor, blasted some Rock-afire Explosion on my TV, and had my husband run up and down the hallway screaming about a broken game machine.

While I don’t think that added much to eating the pizza, I was pleasantly surprised by the item’s quality.

Chuck E Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza Crust

The crust was thin, but not so thin that it crumbled when cut. The sauce was a little on the sweet side, but a fairly standard pizza sauce. It could have used a little more cheese, but most frozen pizzas tend to be lighter on cheese. The pepperoni was a pleasant surprise in both quality AND quantity.

Chuck E Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza Slices

I couldn’t tell you how it compares to what’s served at Chuck E. Cheese locations, but I’d hope the in-store product is a higher quality than grocery store frozen pizza.

Anything else you need to know?

Chuck E Cheese Pepperoni Frozen Pizza Tickets

There’s a coupon on the back of the box for 250 e-tickets. I have no idea what that means in real people’s money, but I think it equals around 100 Shrute bucks.

Conclusion:

While I doubt you’ll find yourself reaching for this unless it’s on sale or you have kids who want those sweet e-tickets, it’s a perfectly serviceable frozen pizza. It sits firmly ahead of Totino’s Party Pizzas, but under DiGiorno in terms of quality.

Purchased Price: $6.99
Size: 18.55 oz
Purchased at: Kroger
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 pizza) 310 calories, 14 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 20 milligrams of cholesterol, 760 milligrams of sodium, 32 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 15 grams of protein.

REVIEW: DiGiorno Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza

Gluten Free Pepperoni DiGiorno Pizza Box

I’ve had enough DiGiorno Pepperoni Pizzas to know that if you stuck one in a generic pizza box and told me it was delivery from some local restaurant, I’d take out the pizza, look to see if there were any grease stains on the box and if there weren’t any, I’d put it in the recycling bin. And if there were grease stains, I’d scold you for wasting a perfectly good pizza box on a poorly planned prank.

My internal prank detector would also quickly notice an attempt to swap a regular DiGiorno pepperoni pizza with DiGiorno’s new Gluten Free Pepperoni Pizza. Unlike Gluten Free Oreo Cookies, DiGiorno’s gluten free offering doesn’t look, smell, or taste exactly like the gluten-ful version.

Gluten Free Pepperoni DiGiorno Pizza Whole

The burnt cheese may say otherwise, but I did follow the instructions. As I pulled the pizza from the oven, I knew the crust’s rigidness meant it would be crispy or crunchy. While regular DiGiorno crust has some crispiness, this gluten free crust was noticeably crunchier and drier. It even looked like it would be with its too long at the tanning salon looks.

According to DiGiorno, its gluten free pizzas are the only ones in the frozen aisle that feature a thick hand-tossed crust.

Gluten Free Pepperoni DiGiorno Pizza Toppings

Of course, crust only is part of the pizza equation. The sauce, cheese, and pepperoni seem to taste like what’s on a regular DiGiorno offering. While they’re the same toppings, the crust really affects how everything tastes. It’s noticeably blander than the standard stuff, and not even the toppings can help hide that fact.

It’s not a bad pizza, but it’s also not a great one. It’s a good enough pizza, and if I was late to a frozen pizza party and this was all that was left, I would gladly eat it. But more importantly, for those of you who have gluten sensitivities, you now have another option. Or do you?

The ingredients list says it contains wheat starch. Yes, wheat contains gluten. But wheat starch is followed by an asterisk that leads to the following statement, “The wheat has been processed to allow this food to meet the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) requirements for gluten-free foods.”

What does that mean? Research for me.

According to the FDA website, a product that contains an ingredient that’s been processed to have less than 20 parts per million (ppm) of gluten can carry a label of “gluten-free.” So, what I take from that is that this may contain a trace amount of gluten or no gluten. But, if there is, it’s below or meets the FDA requirement. Um, yeah, that doesn’t make things clear. So if you have Celiac disease or are very sensitive to gluten, you may want to skip this pizza.

Gluten Free Pepperoni DiGiorno Pizza Stretch

Look, I’m not someone who would typically eat gluten-free food. I’m a gluten-free food hobbyist. I like to try them and compare them with the original version of the product if there is one. I brought up Gluten Free Oreo because it did wonderfully at replicating what a regular Oreo tastes like. But this Gluten Free DiGiorno Pizza wasn’t able to accomplish the same.

DISCLOSURE: I received a free product sample. Doing so did not influence my review. Also, my sample was sent in a plain white box, so the image at the beginning of the review was provided by DiGiorno.

Purchased Price: FREE
Size: 26.1 oz.
Purchased at: Received from DiGiorno
Rating: 5 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/5 pizza) 320 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 970 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, 2 grams of added sugar, and 10 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Papa John’s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza

Papa John s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Whole

The year is 1995. Coolio is busy living in a gangsta’s paradise. Alicia Silverstone — as Cher Horowitz or Hamilton (they accidentally gave her two last names) — was falling in love with her stepbrother, but no one cared because hey, it was Paul Rudd. And, an innovation that would change the junk food world forever, Pizza Hut was stuffing cheese in its crust. The chain also attempted to convince the American people that “eating your pizza backwards” was a thing everyone would start doing.

(Spoiler alert: no one actually did this.)

Fast forward 25 years. Coolio is living…man, who knows where Coolio is living these days. Paul Rudd has eclipsed his stepsister’s fame by a wide margin. Pizza Hut is still slinging cheese-stuffed crusts, and has even been known to occasionally put other things in there, too. (Hot dogs, bacon, shrimp and mayo, Marmite.)

Meanwhile, competitor, Papa John’s? In all these years, they’ve never stuffed anything into a crust.

So, if you were in Product Development for Papa John’s, what would you do? Why you’d introduce your own version of the stuffed crust pizza to capitalize on an idea Pizza Hut begat a quarter-century ago.

It’s 2020, so sure, why not?

Here’s the absolutely bizarre thing about this pizza: the pizza body is no different than a normal Papa John’s body, but the hat? Tastes exactly like Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Crust. It’s almost like a Frankensteinian operation that involves surgically grafting the two pizzas together.

Papa John s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Slice

From the slice’s point up to the crust, it is distinctly Papa — the sweet sauce, the cheese that doesn’t do much stretching (and sadly, wasn’t even melted uniformly on mine), and whatever toppings you choose to make it your own. (For the sake of the review, I went with pepperoni.) The point being, you’ve had this pizza. And you are either fine with it or don’t like it; this particular incarnation won’t do anything to change that.

Papa John s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Cheese

Then you get to the crust. And, like I said, you’ve probably had this, too, just not from Papa John’s. The thing I find most unusual is that the dough used to make this crust is probably Papa’s regular hand-tossed, or “original” dough, just, you know, stretched. It’s the same way Pizza Hut does it. But Pizza Hut’s hand-tossed dough is decidedly different than Papa John’s, wouldn’t you agree? They’re distinct until they’re stretched and stuffed with cheese around the perimeter! Something about that act makes the two crusts indiscernible.

Papa John s Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza Flyover

Overall the cheese in the crust is warm and appropriately stretchy and a nice way to end a slice. With Pizza Hut’s version, you can add some flavor to the crust, like a garlic buttery blend or toasted parmesan, which elevates things. Papa John’s crust didn’t have butter, but it would’ve added a little something. Not to be a broken record, but if you like Hut’s stuffed crust, you’ll like this, too.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go see if I can find out how Coolio is doing.

Purchased Price: $12
Size: Large
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: Unavailable at time of publication.

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REVIEW: DiGiorno Meatless Monday Meatless Sausage Supreme Pizza

DiGiorno Meatless Monday Meatless Sausage Supreme Pizza Box

What is the DiGiorno Meatless Monday Meatless Sausage Supreme Pizza

Well, for starters, it’s a bunch of words. So going forward, I’ll probably refer to this as DMMMSSP, or “dimsup” if I’m saying it aloud. This is the frozen pizza maker monolith’s ode to fake meat, which has been quite the rage for the better part of recent history.

DiGiorno Meatless Monday Meatless Sausage Supreme Pizza Whole

How is it?

It feels as though this review should be split between “how’s the fake sausage” and “how’s the product, overall?”

DiGiorno Meatless Monday Meatless Sausage Supreme Pizza Closeup

So, to answer the first one — it’s great! Made with pea protein, you’d be hard-pressed to discern these crumbles from the real deal. (At least in terms of, you know, frozen pizza sausage.) There is a very convincing chew and real sausage-like seasoning. It’s peppery without being spicy.

DiGiorno Meatless Monday Meatless Sausage Supreme Pizza Slice

The pizza, however, is just okay. If you’ve had DiGiorno, you’re familiar with the bland, muted veggies (in this case, red and green bell peppers and onions), the overly sweet sauce that gets applied with a sauce cannon, and the crust which is thick and uncompromisingly bread-y.

Anything else you need to know?

“Meatless Monday” was started in 2003 by Sid Lerner, who advocated that people give up meat one day a week for both their health and the health of the planet. Is it weird that this was the first time I’ve ever heard of it? And I say this as someone who’s been a vegetarian for brief spurts in the past and regularly consumes meat-alternatives.

Conclusion:

While I used to think DiGiorno was tops in terms of the frozen pizza empire, it feels as though they have recently been passed on all fronts by multiple competitors. But while brands such as Urban Pie and Screamin’ Sicilian may best DiGiorno in most ways*, their meat-alternative options are, for now, nonexistent. Kudos to DiGiorno for taking the leap; hopefully, we’ll soon see more brands do the same.

*The best option, if you have it in your area, is Brew Pub Lotzza Motzza frozen pizzas, by the way.

Purchased Price: $6.99
Size: 20.8 oz
Purchased at: Target
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/4 pizza) 300 calories, 10 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 15 milligrams of cholesterol, 750 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 14 grams of protein.