Tuesday, January 12, 2010

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Domino's New Pizza

Domino's has been making quite a production about their all-new pizza recipe. Can you imagine a company actually reinventing it's main product line from the ground up because of "customer feedback" they received? The last time I can remember a company undergoing such a major product overhaul was when New Coke rolled out. The only thing that accomplished was to tack the word "Classic" onto the end of a drink that didn't really need a name change.

Now Dominos goes the route of Coca-Cola, reinventing their pizza "from the crust up." The cheese is now 100% real mozzarella with just a hint of provalone "for flavor." The sauce is all-new and spiced with red peppers. The crust is new and buttery and sprinkled with garlic and parmesan. Dominos calls it "perfectitude." So is it?

Tonight we tried Dominos new pizza for the first time. We have always shied away from Dominos because, well, it just didn't taste good. In a family of widely varying tastes, our options were severely limited. And, of course, our order was influenced by a coupon for two large one-topping pizzas for $9.99.

My wife, who is best described as a carniphobe, is very hesitant to eat meat from any animal (no, that's not redundant -- she actually thinks of veggie burgers as meat). She's not a vegetarian or a vegan or some bleeding heart animal rights nut. She's just afraid of meat.

I, on the other hand, never met a pig that I didn't like . . . the taste of. There aren't many animals I don't eat, except for those who swim in their own waste. But while I love meats of all varieties on my pizza, you can keep the veggies and crazy stuff like pineapple and anchovies.

My kids are pretty easy to please when it comes to pizza: cheese and pepperoni.

So we ordered two large one-topping pizzas for $9.99: a pepperoni and a cheese pizza with half green olives. Everyone can at least be satisfied.

My expectations weren't very high. We eat a lot of pizza and we are pretty picky about where we order from. We all have our favorites, and they're all very good. But none of us have ever considered Dominos a favorite.

So, then, how was it?

Pretty good, actually. The cheese was definitely better than their old recipe (as well as I can remember -- it's been quite some time since we've had Dominos). I felt they could have been just a little more generous with the cheese, as the sauce showed through in some areas on the cheese pizza.

The sauce, well, it is quite amazing that it was visible beneath the cheese, because it was barely even there. I'm not one who can tolerate the spiciness of red peppers very well, and I couldn't even taste them in this sauce. In fact, this was the first time in a long time that we haven't had to mop the sauce off our children's faces when they were done eating. Yes, it could definitely use some more sauce.

As for the new crust, well, at least they've done something right. The crust was actually quite tasty. It seems that the outside edge of the pizza crust is brushed with butter then sprinkled with garlic and parmesan. Crunchy and delicious. My kids, who rarely eat any of the edge crust on a pizza, ate every bite tonight. My son said he puts it second to Pizza Hut's Stuffed Crust pizza. My wife simply said, "Yummy crust."

Dominos has done their homework this time, and the preparation has paid off. On a scale of 1 to 10, my wife gave it a six. On a standard A to F grading scale, I would say B minus. Dominos used to be on my Do Not Order list along with Little Caesars. Now, I'd put them above Little Caesars and Papa Johns, right beside Pizza Hut and just a fraction behind Donatos. They still have a long way to go to catch my favorites:
1. Sweet Lous in Terre Haute
2. More Than Just Pizza in Indy
3. Chicago's Pizza in Greenfield and McCordsville
Of course, Unos would be on that favorites list, too, if we had it a little more often. Overall, Dominos has definitely improved. I probably won't order it again any time soon, but I wouldn't turn it down if you were buying.

What pizza do you prefer?

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