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Our pizza doesn't suck any more
January 13, 2010 3:00 PM   Subscribe

Domino's would like you to know: Our pizza doesn't suck any more.
posted by Joe Beese (178 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

 
Pizza blue.
posted by splice at 3:01 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Dear Dominos,

Ad where you tell everyone how much you sucked and how you're better now make you sound like a co-dependent ex-girlfriend.

Sincerely,
blue_beetle
posted by blue_beetle at 3:02 PM on January 13, 2010 [21 favorites]


The thing that I found intriguing about this whole thing was that despite having awful pizza, Domino's was still #2. So in the process of saying, "Yeah, our pizza sucks, but now it's so much better!" they're alienating... all those loyal lovers of sucktacular pizza. Sucks to be them!
posted by Madamina at 3:04 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait, they sucked? I thought they were pretty good. I liked the thin-crust sausage-feta pizza.
posted by jock@law at 3:05 PM on January 13, 2010


There are enough pizza places in any given city that if I want to eat pizza, I can get it from a local place. Sorry, Donimo's.
posted by LSK at 3:06 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Domino's pizza's might suck, but at least they're getting smaller, so you don't have to eat as much of it anymore, even if you're still paying the same price you did before.
posted by Effigy2000 at 3:09 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


I work in the same building as Domino's headquarters. They have a training kitchen downstairs, and they've brought in tons of managers to teach them how to make the new pizzas. When that's happening, we can buy them for $6 each. They really are quite tasty.

Also cool seeing this video with scenes from the building I work in.
posted by Roger Dodger at 3:09 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


It's easy to pick on Domino's, but for a chain pizza place, they actually take their food fairly seriously. My other half used to work there, and they did teach hand-tossing dough and everything (my local place doesn't even do that -- they just use a mold and a big round thing to push it into shape), so it's not like they were just microwaving frozen bricks before.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:10 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read an article on this ad campaign somewhere this morning, can't find it now. The agency's goal is "shocking" viewers , not necessarily complimenting the products- just getting people to talk about the ads. Like we're doing here.
posted by Liquidwolf at 3:11 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]




Excuse me for a moment while I participate in you with your viral marketing.
posted by Damienmce at 3:14 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


they just use a mold and a big round thing to push it into shape), so it's not like they were just microwaving frozen bricks before.

Well you can be sure they're using enough low quality oils and preservative ridden ingredients to cancel out any honest intent that goes into those things.
posted by Liquidwolf at 3:14 PM on January 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


You know, the best pizza I have ever had is from a hole-in-the-wall joint in a strip mall in Toronto: Albany Pizza.

I ordered from them reluctantly. I picked one of their veg pizzas. I opened the box and, I swear to god, I was stunned. It was beautiful, and goddamn if it wasn't delicious. But... I thought it was a fluke. I ordered another of their veg ones. Same thing. I swear to god it was like the suitcase in Pulp Fiction. Like light was shooting out of the box it was so good. Same thing happened a third time--each time ordering from their pre-selected menu items (Albenese is my favorite).

I started telling everyone about it. I was stunned how good this friggin pizza was. They all thought I was exaggerating until they tried it and got the same ray of light feeling when they opened the box.

After 10 times of this I said, "Fuck this, I gotta meet this guy." So I walk over to the store and introduce myself and tell the owner/chef that it's hands-down the best pizza I've ever had. He's beaming. His name is Pepe. I've ordered many of their pizzas and a few of their pastas and I've never been disappointed. If this guy's store was in a hipper part of town he'd be a friggin millionaire.

Seriously, Dominoes? Why the fuck would anyone order from them (they've got a location around the corner from Pepe)? No matter how they change it... it's a goddamn formula. It has to be for all stores to make the same pizza. But Pepe... damn, he makes it right based on the fresh ingredients he has in front of him.

Seriously, if you're in Toronto, try one of his preselected pizzas. The combo of ingredients is choice and rarely something I would think of doing on my own. Fantastic stuff.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 3:15 PM on January 13, 2010 [68 favorites]


I never really understood the Domino's hate. I mean, sure, it's chain pizza, but in Canada (well, Toronto, anyway), you're better off ordering from them than most of the other major chains. IMHO.
posted by The Card Cheat at 3:15 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


the ad worked on me. tried them again, and yeah, the sauce and crust is a lot better than it was before. also, as a vegetarian, they have a lot more options than most pizza places.

i still miss the thin crust double decker pizza, though
posted by nadawi at 3:16 PM on January 13, 2010


If the crust is more than 2mm thick, it's not a pizza. It's cheese on toast.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:17 PM on January 13, 2010 [8 favorites]


I get the feeling the "tastes like cardboard" comment is viral. It gets repeated because it's what people think they're supposed to say. And on it goes.
posted by davebush at 3:18 PM on January 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


Colbert named Domino's his Alpha Dog of the Week last week.
posted by pecknpah at 3:18 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


The other day my wife ordered Domino's pizza for dinner, which is atypical for us. I questioned her decision to buy Domino's instead of the Mamas and Poppas pizza we usually get, considering her opinion of pro-lifers generally.

Her response: that guy no longer runs the company, she saw the ad campaign about the improved recipe, and they have a new online web site that keeps you updated on your pizza's status and lets you see "who's making your pizza right now", which I personally think is hilarious but she found compelling.

Turns out the pizza itself was not the greasy mess I expected from them; it was actually good, and I preferred it to Papa Johns and Mammas and Poppas (something I did not expect at all.) So yes, pizza blue, but suddenly (between removal of the Tom Monaghan taint1 and the improved product and the amusing web site ordering system) I find myself a fan. So much so that I bought stock in Domino's Pizza this morning, and I'm risk-averse. Take that as you will.

1getchermindoutofthegutter
posted by davejay at 3:18 PM on January 13, 2010 [13 favorites]


Believe it or not, where I'm from - the former Yugoslavia - has many amazing pizza places (especially in Croatia) . Real pizza, cooked in a clay oven, with wonderful cheese and great crust and amazing toppings. And I've been fortunate enough to live in some great cities in America for pizza. So I'm rather shocked and amazed that anyone would ever think that Domino's pizza was anything other than a really poor facsimile of what pizza could and should be.

But I was over at some friends' house when they ordered the "new" Domino's pizza. It's different from the old Domino's pizza. But the cheese was still low-grade, the sauce stupidly seasoned, the toppings low quality and the crust still tasted like cardboard, except with more oil and garlic on it. It was laughable. How dumb are people anyway?
posted by Dee Xtrovert at 3:20 PM on January 13, 2010 [13 favorites]


How much do you want to bet that the "censored" ingredient is high fructose corn syrup?
posted by emelenjr at 3:20 PM on January 13, 2010 [14 favorites]


Hey, your favorite pizza? It sucks. Everybody chime in now.
posted by Roger Dodger at 3:21 PM on January 13, 2010


I ordered from them reluctantly. I picked one of their veg pizzas. I opened the box and, I swear to god, I was stunned. It was beautiful, and goddamn if it wasn't delicious.

I had the same feeling last week when I picked up a hot dog from Larry's in Burbank, after spotting the sign (I'd never been before.) I expected ordinary (and a subsequent purchase of a polish sausage later was, in fact, ordinary) but the Chicago dog I bought was...beautiful. The mustard and onions appeared to be interwoven by an elf of some sort, and both were bursting out of what I can only describe as a bun spread open from the force of the awesomeness. That, plus the included tiny, round yellow peppers looked comically cosmetic but tasted just as they should have.
posted by davejay at 3:22 PM on January 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


I'm on Domino's mailing list for junk mail and offers. They know where I live from the deliveries, but they don't know my name - I guess their data capture isn't wired up to the payment system. Consequently, every couple of months I get a gaudily coloured flyer through the door addressed to THE PIZZA LOVER.

Every time I pick it up from the floor in the hall I reply to the flyer "WHY HELLO MR DOMINO'S FLYER! WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?"

True story.
posted by Jofus at 3:23 PM on January 13, 2010 [13 favorites]


Serious Eats does a pretty good review and says it is better but still meh, and that if you've found a good local option, stick with that instead. Seems obvious!
posted by sararah at 3:23 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


God damn if I don't miss Pete and Elda's pizza. That stuff is the truly thin, orange river of grease down your arm, gift from god kind of pizza. Tucked away in this sleazy bar in Neptune, NJ is a transformative pizza experience.

Is there anything better than Escape From New York available in SF? Lane Splitter's in Oakland seems pretty good, too. Neither of them hold a candle to Pete and Elda's, though.

Dominoes was good when I thought D&D was better than girls. Papa John's had the cholesterol buckets, though, so we ordered from them instead.
posted by poe at 3:25 PM on January 13, 2010


This is a variation on the extremely successful "We try harder" ad campaign that Doyle, Dane & Bernbach ran for Avis in 1962. The biggest short-term success of the campaign was found in Avis’ market share, which grew from 11 percent in 1962 to an amazing 35 percent in 1966.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:25 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


so it's not like they were just microwaving frozen bricks before.

Um, I used to work at Dominos back in college (around 2000), and that's EXACTLY what they were doing. Everything was frozen. Even the people that worked there wouldn't eat it. Mistake pizzas would get thrown away.

This ad made me chuckle when I first saw it though. Almost made me want to try their pizza again.
posted by Big_B at 3:26 PM on January 13, 2010


ObOnionLinkTM explaining why pizza quality is ultimately not that relevant to the Domino's bottom line: Everyone Involved In Pizza's Preparation, Delivery, Purchase Extremely High
posted by killdevil at 3:27 PM on January 13, 2010


Is Domino's still redlining?
posted by box at 3:28 PM on January 13, 2010


if you've found a good local option, stick with that instead.

Well, sure. I don't think any of us are arguing that Domino's beats a good local pizza, and I have a couple of local places I favor. I think the point is more like, "For mass-marketed fast food pizza, Domino's is better than it used to be and was never quite as bad as people said."
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:28 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Domino's would like you to know: Our pizza doesn't suck any more

But does it suck any less?
posted by mazola at 3:29 PM on January 13, 2010 [49 favorites]


I used to work at Dominos back in college (around 2000), and that's EXACTLY what they were doing. Everything was frozen.

OK, my other half worked there in the early to mid-'90s. I think I forget how quick things can change in the supposedly uniform world of fast food.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:30 PM on January 13, 2010


On supporting the locals...

Back when I was in college, there was this old, local guy named Homer who made and sold pizzas out of his kitchen. He supplemented his Social Security that way. He stayed open only until he ran up to the monthly income limit on his SS. Then, he'd close for the rest of the month. You always had to call ahead and ask if he had hit his SS limit, or if he'd still be open that night.

Damned good, cheap, pizzas, though.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:30 PM on January 13, 2010 [14 favorites]


Excuse me for a moment while I participate in you with your viral marketing.
posted by Damienmce


Oh no you don't. No one participates in me without the express written consent of Babblesort and Major League Baseball.
posted by Babblesort at 3:40 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


I never really understood the Domino's hate.

Me either. I'm blessed with an astonishingly awesome Italian place called Bel Gustos just a couple of miles from me, they do pizzas and lasagnas so good that I have to believe that some sort of deal with the Devil was involved with their founding.

But I still eat at big chain stores every now and again. Because that's what's convenient or what I'm in the mood for.

I'll give Domino's new stuff a try. It won't be better than the best I've had, but it could very well be good enough to get me to come back.
posted by quin at 3:41 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


If the crust is less than 1/2" thick, it's not a pizza. It's crackers and cheese.
posted by majick at 3:42 PM on January 13, 2010 [18 favorites]


if I want to eat pizza, I can get it from a local place.

Right on. That's my view of all fast food, including pizza. I'd just add that I can get a far, far better pizza from a local place. (There are tons of great local pizza spots here in Seattle. Actually one of my favorites right now is the pizza counter at our local crunchy granola grocery store, PCC.)
posted by bearwife at 3:43 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


NONE pizza with left beef
posted by dirigibleman at 3:47 PM on January 13, 2010 [23 favorites]


Hmmm. I'm torn.

The local place is only about a block away but a large pizza is $35 or more. Not kidding. It is _fantastic_ pizza though.

But Dominos is .. cheap.
posted by rr at 3:48 PM on January 13, 2010


I felt bad when the head chef and one other person said that the Domino's hate really struck them hard. At the same time, though, I couldn't help but think... haven't they ever eaten Domino's pizza?

I haven't had it in a long, long time, and there's a good reason for that. Still, I guess there are a lot of people who like it, but that fact is only barely comprehensible to me.
posted by Flunkie at 3:49 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Actually some of the best pizza I've had lately was made at home, and there's a thriving forum out there to help do it right. The key thing is to mail order quality ingredients (supermarket mozarella doesn't cut it), get good flour and semolina, and get a pizza stone. The cost of a large pizza works out to about $8 in ingredients when you factor everything in. Pizza-making nights have become somewhat of a social event with some of our family friends, and there's no $70 check at the end of the night.
posted by crapmatic at 3:53 PM on January 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


If the crust is less than 1/2" thick, it's not a pizza. It's crackers and cheese

HERETIC! Try enjoying pizza for the blend of bread, cheese and toppings, rather than cheap bread soaked in sauce.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:53 PM on January 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


I (and a few others) missed what would have been my first ever lecture and tutorial at university because I spent the day hunched over my hall toilet, forcibly expelling the remnants of an undercooked Dominos pizza given out the night before at a fresher's event. True story.

Erm, we were each hunched over our own toilets - I don't mean to imply everone was gathered around mine.
posted by Beautiful Screaming Lady at 3:55 PM on January 13, 2010


In Michigan, Domino's *is* local, and provides jobs with health insurance.
posted by limeswirltart at 3:55 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


This ad made me want to try their pizza again, since it's the closest to my house. Fortunately, my brother thought the same thing and informed me that their pizza was insufficiently changed.
posted by Stylus Happenstance at 3:58 PM on January 13, 2010


Sigh, every time a pizza thread comes up, it makes me sad that I live in a pizza wasteland.

On topic: These ads are very catchy, it'll be interesting to see if they catch on the way the Subway 5 dollar thing has.
posted by madajb at 4:04 PM on January 13, 2010


Well, Domino's is pretty crap, so full marks to them for trying to improve things, but this advert seems like a really weird way to do it. Shirley, you'd do it by saying "NEW!!" and "IMPROVED!!" and other things in capital letters, not by saying "we were crap, but we're a bit better now".

Not that it matters, because I'll still ignore them because they've got a shop with no parking nearby and refuse to deliver more than a hundred yards away.

The best mass produced pizza in the UK (IMHO) is Pizza Express. A long way behind is Pizza Hut, with Domino's a way behind them. The thing is that the majority of the independents (around here at least) are even worse. There may be a diamond in the coal, but after half a dozen horrific failures, you give up and choose formulaic over disappointment.
posted by twine42 at 4:04 PM on January 13, 2010


If I'm gonna eat cheap pizza it's gonna be Digiorno's from the freezer. Other than that, my local pizza joint around the corner is what I get.

OTOH Domino's did keep me fed years ago when I was in college. Back then it was really good. I don't know what happened.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:06 PM on January 13, 2010


My girlfriend and I were staying at a hotel, and we stupidly bought the frozen pizza they had there.

Some ridiculously small piece of shit by "Chef Antoine" or something generic like that. They had a pizza oven, so we cooked it, and brought it back to our room.

Now. These people might say that Domino's crust was like cardboard, but I can guarantee you they have never had this pizza we had that night. It was beyond bland. I mean, I honestly don't even know how to describe this. Cardboard is too nice. In fact, I think I even said "Cardboard has more flavor" The sauce had NO pep whatsoever, I mean, it didn't even taste like tomatoes. The cheese had no zing. I mean, I honestly don't know how they pulled it off, but it was amazing in the fact at how un-amazing it was.

I had dominos on NYE, cuz her son had ordered it and sadly, I was too drunk to remember what it tasted like (I think it was probably the first time I ever had dominoes) So I honestly can't give my opinion. The leftover piece that I do remember eating was "eh" but I wouldn't go so far as to call it cardboard.

I'll still with my Pizza Extreme and Gumbys (Pepperoni Rolls, and Chicken Bacon Ranch French Fry FTW), and of course Glass Nickel.

Madison used to have a kick ass NY Slice pizza place (2, in fact, at one point, but they're both shut down -- I miss that! Big droopy artery clogging 'ZA! You haven't had pizza til you've had a slice or two of that.)
posted by symbioid at 4:08 PM on January 13, 2010


Is it just me or has Dominos gotten significantly worse over the years? I hadn't had it for a few years (papa johns exclusively for a while now) and it was just shockingly awful. I'd honestly rather eat a Red Baron frozen pizza.

Haven't had the new recipe yet, but I can't imagine it's any better.
posted by empath at 4:08 PM on January 13, 2010


No one ever ordered Domino's because it was GOOD. They ordered it because it was FAST and CHEAP.

I can't wait for the next Little Caesar's ad campaign: "We still won't bring it to you, but, hey, it's dirt cheap and now contains 10% less cockroach parts!"

We have two local places within delivery distance. One makes a killer white pizza with spinach and artichokes, good calzones, and tasty cheap sandwiches. The other makes this gargantuan $40 pie that will feed eight and contains real meats, cheeses, and veggies. Better pizza from local businesses = bye-bye, Dominos.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:09 PM on January 13, 2010


I've never tried Dominos but I might give this a shot. I live in the sticks and there really is NO good pizza around here. And I love a good pizza. There is an ok, but not consistent pizza at a restaurant near the local college, but it is like a 20 minute drive, and overpriced. I usually go there anyway but last week I had a coupon for Pizza Hut so I decided to give them a try. a) they screwed up my order b) what we got was nearly inedible c) we threw it in the trash and opened a can of soup. Now I remember eating at Pizza Huts when I was young and the pizza was pretty good. So have my tastes changed that much or have they changed. Because seriously, that pizza was gross.

Aan Richman's best 25 pizzas in the US (I agree with him about Italian pizza.)
posted by vronsky at 4:11 PM on January 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


There was this local pizza place in my hometown, I was convinced they laced their pizzas with a drug (maybe ketamine or something raver-y?). I would eat a few delicious slices and my body, especially my toes, would tingle in the most pleasant way. I ordered from there again when I visited my mother over Christmas break, and that one cool guy wasn't taking my order, and the pizza was good but I didn't get any tingling sensation. Disappointing! I hope you're rocking on wherever you are, cool guy who laced the pizzas.
posted by naju at 4:12 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have always figured that Dominos is like PBR - cheep and tasteless and something you got used to when you were young, dumb, and poor. Because of that, most people still buy it out of nostalgia (or are still poor).

Then again, maybe there are plenty of people in the world who just flat-out don't know any better.
posted by Pecinpah at 4:12 PM on January 13, 2010


Pizza blue.
posted by oddman at 4:21 PM on January 13, 2010


One of the most memorable pizzas of my life was from Domino's. Allow me to explain.

I was living in India at the time. January in Delhi, cold and grey. (Daytime highs still in the teens Celsius, but down into the single digits at night and there's no insulation and very little heat, so when it's eight degrees, it's that temperature basically everywhere.) Mrs gompa and I were staying in this ridiculous wreck of a guesthouse in a back alley on Connaught Place - the exterior wall of our room had a big hole in it, half-patched with cardboard, where an old A/C unit had once been. It let in a steady, chilling breeze.

So one evening after spending the entire day shuttling from one government office to another, trying to get some visa stuff straightened out, we come back to the guesthouse and start drinking quart bottles of gawdawful chemical-tasting Indian beer. The hotel staff keeps giving me these winking sort of looks each time I go to pay for a couple more - you know, like oh your wife is certainly drinking quite a bit, you are in for some fun tonight, sir!

Chilled to the bone, exhausted, enduring the winks and grins as civilly as we can manage, it strikes us: Domino's! Just a block or two over. We'd noticed it a couple days earlier - all new and shiny, hadn't even been there on our last sojourn in Delhi just a couple months earlier. First North American pizza chain in India, I believe. It's been half a year since we've had any pizza whatsoever. We're practically swooning at the thought of it.

I think we got a large with onions and those dog-kibble balls the chain pizza places call sausage. We devoured it out there on the hotel balcony, wrapped in shawls, encircled by leering young men, between swigs of beer so thick with preservatives it made your head start to ache before you even got properly drunk. Best goddamn Domino's pizza I ever ate. Transcendent. So I guess I'll miss the old formula, just for that one perfect moment with it.

Domino's: When you've all but given up on life and you're several continents away from anything familiar, it's a small, cold comfort.
posted by gompa at 4:25 PM on January 13, 2010 [38 favorites]


I'm kinda sad about this, because I live at least 50 miles from the nearest Domino's. The next closest thing is a Taco Bell/Pizza Hut, but the annoying teenagers there apparently don't like making pizzas, because I've yet to show up there and find a pizza available.

There is a Round Table only 30 miles away, but have you ever tried driving 30 miles with a hot fresh pizza piping deliciously away in the passenger side footwell, knowing that it is slowly losing its piping hot deliciousness with every mile you drive? It is not easy.
posted by ErikaB at 4:25 PM on January 13, 2010


Here in Japan, Domino's is probably the #1 pizza chain. The funny thing is, the Domino's pizza in Japan is much better than the American version. I haven't eaten it in the U.S. in probably 15 years, but my memory is a big wide expanse of cheese--though a thin layer at that--and a pathetic, skimpy smattering of topping. In Japan the Domino's is quite good, though still can't get away from something "cookie-cutter" about it. Maybe it's the crust.

The darkside of Japanese delivery pizza: it's expensive as hell, and you have to avoid all the bizarro shit they put on them, like corn, potato, nori, fish eggs, mayonnaise.
posted by zardoz at 4:29 PM on January 13, 2010


Seriously, Dominoes? Why the fuck would anyone order from them (they've got a location around the corner from Pepe)?

I was stationed in Brooklyn, NY, while I was in the navy. Lots of the guys on base would go to pizza hut rather than any of the small mom and pop places. I never understood it. I think it was fear, wanting something they were familiar with as opposed to something new.
posted by doctor_negative at 4:29 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have always figured that Dominos is like PBR - cheep and tasteless and something you got used to when you were young, dumb, and poor.

Have you actually had a PBR lately? People say it's bad for the same reasons they spout any popular opinion, but in reality it's actually pretty good (it won a gold medal in the 2006 GABF).
posted by axiom at 4:30 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Did not read the comments here yet, but I had to add my 2 cents.
We tried that "wonderful" pizza last night just because we saw the TV commercial.

Yup, it still kinda sucks.

The crust tastes like it is mostly undercooked.
They sprinkle the pizza with some kind of Parma-ZAN cheese or something.
(I really dislike parm cheese, smells like a week-old gym sock from Larry's locker.)
posted by Drasher at 4:31 PM on January 13, 2010


HERETIC! Try enjoying pizza for the blend of bread, cheese and toppings, rather than cheap bread soaked in sauce.

YOU COME HERE TO CHICAGO AND SAY 'CHEAP BREAD SOAKED IN SAUCE' and then I will take you to Pequod's and you will hopefully change your mind, but if not we can still have a beer
posted by shakespeherian at 4:32 PM on January 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


P.S. We like Jets more.
posted by Drasher at 4:32 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I live in one of America's most horrifying food ghettos. Domino's is one of the few places we'll order delivery from because every time I see the actual establishment where my food is being made, I stop ordering from it. (And the one place I liked sent me food with a fly in it. So they can't deliver to me any more.) Domino's, however, is the one thing that has stuck. Their storefront looks reasonable, and though their food has always been fairly awful, it goes in my mouth and down to my tummy.

Anyway, I still order from them because of that stupid Pizza-o-Meter or whatever the hell it is. I think it's hilarious whenever Mothy starts making my pizza. Mothy! I have never met this fellow, but he rarely gets my confusing order wrong: thin crust, ham on one side. One day, I will go to Domino's and give Mothy a high-five.

Seriously, though? The other night Domino's screwed up majorly and delivered me one of their new regular crust pizzas instead. I thought the crust was horrifying. I couldn't eat it. Seriously, it was just covered in butter.

I ordered one of those breadbowls once, and the crust on those is the same.

Basically, they're now just using the one dough for almost everything: Their weird greasy buttery garlicky crap.

I would rather eat cardboard, thank you.

(Thankfully, the crispy crust is almost unharmed. It's like eating matzoh with cheese and sauce!)
posted by brina at 4:36 PM on January 13, 2010


People don't eat Domino's because it tastes good; people eat Domino's because it's cheap. The whole "yeah, we sucked, but we don't anymore" just means they're not really in touch with the majority of their customer base.
posted by amyms at 4:38 PM on January 13, 2010


Cheap pizza is supposed to suck. That's what makes it so great. Improving cheap pizza would put it into the untasty valley currently inhabited by Pizza Hut: Too bad to be good and too good to be so-good-it's-bad.
posted by DU at 4:39 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


As an exercise in marketing, this ad is fascinating: It tackles a perennial what-if question, What if we just matched all the negative beliefs the consumer already has... and used the trust gained to leverage him/her to a new belief?

Bluntly, when I saw this ad, I was blown away.

My guess, off-hand, is that it will spur many new sales in the short run, but might actually reduce sales in the long run.

Or, more precisely, we can slice the marketing pie three ways:

1. Domino's customers (DC)
2. Domino's potential customers (DPC)
3. Domino's haters (DH)

1. DC might feel insulted, and some will buy less often
2. more DPC will buy and become DC
3. DH, for the most part, will be confirmed in their hatred and continue to not-buy-- but a few will become intrigued and buy (ironically!, and with trucker hats)

All that said, if there actually is a discernible improvement in quality, some of the new customers might even stick around. The first purchase is always the toughest, because it represents an identity shift from a Never-use-Product X-er to a Sometimes-I do use-Product X-er. (The third purchase, of course, tends to stamp one's identity as I'm-an-X-er-and-damn-proud-of-it!).

At any rate, I'll be very curious at the results of this campaign.
posted by darth_tedious at 4:39 PM on January 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


(it won a gold medal in the 2006 GABF)

In Category 1: American-Style Cream Ale or Lager.

The 2009 Winners:

Bronze: Red Dog
Silver: Hamm's *
Gold: Milwaukee's Best.

So, yeah, it's the water.


* From the land of sky blue waaaaters....
posted by eriko at 4:40 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Pizza is like sex...

...it's better cold and greasy the next morning in a cardboard box.
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 4:43 PM on January 13, 2010 [13 favorites]


but in Canada (well, Toronto, anyway),...
Toronto has Amato's. Your argument is invalid.
posted by joe defroster at 4:45 PM on January 13, 2010


Too bad to be good and too good to be so-good-it's-bad.

I meant this to be a clever bon mot but instead I messed it up...OR DID I MESS IT UP SO GOOD THAT IT'S BAD??
posted by DU at 4:45 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


In elementary school my mom packed peanut butter crackers, an apple, and yogurt pretty much every day K through 8. Not bad, but sometimes the school had Dominoes delivered. All the kids waited in line to buy a slice with a dollar. (you could get two slices if your mom said it was ok). The pizza came on a white paper plate, with a side of coleslaw. the pizza was always on top of the coleslaw so it wasn't really a side. After getting the pizza i'd go outside and sit down at the long table under the trees with all my best friends and playground buddies. i'd wash it down with red punch. there were free refills on red punch I'm pretty sure.

Many years later, I moved to Ann Arbor. one winter day, I was feeling the cabin fever coming on, I was depressed and lonely and stuffed up in the house. and I thought: Alright. I gotta get out of here. I'm gonna go walk to the nearest Dominoes and get some pizza.

I walked into the wind, Brrr, like in LOTR when they're going up the mountain and they have to turn back. I made it there. "One medium sausage for carry out, please." I opened the pizza in the parking lot outside and ate it right there. MMmmmm. it was EXACTLY how I remembered. It brought me right back to that sunny day so many years ago. I could literally taste the coleslaw. The glands in the back of my mouth were secreting juices in anticipation of the lightly coleslaw flavored bottom of the Dominoes Pizza. Sitting there in the parking lot, with pizza in one hand a bottle of wine in the other, feeling like a bum, I could hear in my mind the voices and playground laughter and warm breeze ruffling the eucalyptis trees.

"Ann Arbor: Home of Dominoes Pizza. Your Home for Dominoes Pizza." the sign said.
posted by water bear at 4:55 PM on January 13, 2010 [18 favorites]


Anyone know what's up with French pizza? I had the most revolting pizza of my life in Paris (4e arr.) - I didn't know all the words for foods so I just picked one off the menu, thinking how bad could it be? It came with barely cooked egg and cream on top of it. What. The. Fuck. You're right next to Italy, guys.
posted by desjardins at 4:55 PM on January 13, 2010 [5 favorites]


Improving cheap pizza would put it into the untasty valley currently inhabited by Pizza Hut:

Hmm, what universe do you live in where Pizza Hut is better than Dominoes? I mean, neither is very good, but PH is about the worst.

(is it the one with the airships and the bicycles on wires?)
posted by wildcrdj at 4:58 PM on January 13, 2010


the best pizza I have ever had is from a hole-in-the-wall joint in a strip mall

Thing about non-chain restaurants is that they have to survive on word-of-mouth, so if a place has been in business for more than a couple of years, there's an extremely high probability that it's producing good product.
posted by Jimmy Havok at 5:03 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


the pizza was always on top of the coleslaw so it wasn't really a side.
posted by water bear


That line cracked me up more than it probably should have.

Watching this video gave me half-remembered flashbacks of when I worked at some fast-food places in high school and they would try and motivate us and get us excited about the new product! I'd be pretty much baked the whole time, thinking "I'm in the back, cooking chicken, what the hell you want from me?"
posted by marxchivist at 5:11 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


There are too many parallels between Domino's "reinvention" and Starbucks' "reinvention" for these similarities to be coincidental.

Domino's: The Starbucks of pizza.
Starbucks: The Domino's of coffee.
posted by ethnomethodologist at 5:13 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


It came with barely cooked egg and cream on top of it. What. The. Fuck. You're right next to Italy, guys.

I don't know about the cream, but a barely cooked egg on top of a pizza is pretty Italian. And very, very good if done right. The pizza needs to be brought out fast enough that you can break it and mostly finish cooking the egg on the hot pizza. Yum. Now I want a Bottarga pizza from Pizzeria Paradiso and I don't normally eat/like any seafood.
posted by skynxnex at 5:16 PM on January 13, 2010


Hmm, what universe do you live in where Pizza Hut is better than Dominoes? I mean, neither is very good, but PH is about the worst.

Exactly my point. Pizza Hut is worse than Dominoes because Pizza Hut is better than Dominoes.
posted by DU at 5:20 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Anyone know what's up with French pizza?

The French do not make pizza. The French use croissant freaking dough to make "pizza." They put stuff on pizza (Le Topping) that should never be within a mile of pizza much less sitting right on top of pizza.

Stick with quiche in France. They can do that well. But pizza? No, no, no.

Just no. Or non.

No French pizza. Merci Beaucoup, mais non.
posted by metagnathous at 5:20 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh, and speak of Domino's pizza... I remember I had it a number of times in my youth because I was on a summer camp campus for hours at a time because my mom was the director and Domino's was the only place that I, my 8 or so year old self, could find that would deliver a small pizza for myself and sister. It was about $5 delivered then, if memory serves me. I think we normally got a cheese thin crust. Found memories of eating that outside in the early summer afternoon. The delivery guys seemed to get a kick out of an 8 year old with his 5 year old sister taking delivery of it in front of an old barn serving as an office building.

My wife and I ordered Domino's several years ago just because neither of us could remember when the last time was we had it, but we both remembered it from our childhood. It was not particular bad, but nothing special either. If the chance presents itself, I'll try the new pizza just because I like to be hip to pizza of all types.
posted by skynxnex at 5:21 PM on January 13, 2010


"Make your own pizza" is the proper response. I can make an unbelievably great large pie for under $3 using top-drawer ingredients, and I'm far from a whiz in the kitchen.

Although Round Table is pretty good, in a pinch...
posted by porn in the woods at 5:21 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


You know, the best pizza I have ever had is from a hole-in-the-wall joint in a strip mall in Toronto: Albany Pizza.


On the strength of You Should See The Other Guy's recommendation, I just had a pizza from Albany delivered. It is good pizza and all, but it took 70 minutes to get here (and it was lukewarm), and it is too salty at the finish. I remain a partisan of (the recently rebuilt) Massimo's, and it shall continue to receive my pizza-related hyperbolic compliments.
posted by mellifluous at 5:22 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Here in Japan, Domino's is probably the #1 pizza chain.

I read an interview with the Japanese-American president of Domino's Japan a few years ago, and apparently they're the sixth-largest pizza delivery company, so they're pretty close to the bottom rung of the national chains. Their pizza may be better than in the US, but it's still one of the worst here, especially since Salvatore Cuomo entered the market.
posted by crustacean choreographer at 5:29 PM on January 13, 2010


It was really painful to watch them clapping their hands then shouting "domino's" in unison.
posted by selton at 5:29 PM on January 13, 2010


Anyone know what's up with French pizza? I had the most revolting pizza of my life in Paris (4e arr.) - I didn't know all the words for foods so I just picked one off the menu, thinking how bad could it be? It came with barely cooked egg and cream on top of it. What. The. Fuck. You're right next to Italy, guys.

actually when ms. lester and i went to paris, it was the local pizza restaurant that got our repeat business. didn't get the one with the egg on it, but ms. lester did. it was quite tasty, and a nice local version of pizza.
posted by lester at 5:29 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, yeah, it's water.

Well, sure, I'd rather have a Unibroue or Bell's. But that's like comparing a Kia to a Cadillac. My point was that for its class it's pretty good, not for all classes, which obv. not. If you want to drink a decent cheap beer, PBR is a better choice than most.
posted by axiom at 5:30 PM on January 13, 2010


...which is basically the same point others are making about comparing Domino's to the $30 local pie.
posted by axiom at 5:36 PM on January 13, 2010


I dunno, I don't think I've ever had a good pizza. Like, a really good pizza. There was a place in Melbourne I used to order from all the time, the calabrese pizza I think it was, and it was tasty enough, and then there were a couple of other pizza places in Brisbane that did a decent job (protip: Hell Pizza has never been, and will never be, worth your while even if you like the idea of being edgy and having that little cardboard coffin "for your remains"), but in the end you're sitting there and I don't like fractions so much so when you're over halfway through the pizza, you just gotta keep going, and then the pizza's gone you feel sick, and grease gets into the remote control buttons, and you're sitting there feeling sick with a warm tallie of MB and watching Requiem For A Dream for the eleventh time and you think to yourself, Jesus, then generally you'd go back to playing Baldur's Gate II until about five in the morning, cigarette butts piling up, and you fart and it's wet.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:36 PM on January 13, 2010 [10 favorites]


Actually that's a lie I had a really awesome nacho pizza in Fitzroy one time. The girl serving it had a shaved head and a nose piercing and I was all, yeah, baby, Imma eat this fucker all on my own, and then I did. Also this pizza place was right near My Beautiful Laundrette and if you haven't hauled a $2 Crazy Clark's blue-red-white striped canvas bag filled with wet clothes three clicks on a full belly after impressing the girl with the shaved head, you've not really lived.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:39 PM on January 13, 2010 [7 favorites]


I got home and my housemate's dalmation had urinated on my Tea Party CDs.
posted by turgid dahlia at 5:40 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


Dear Dominos,

I would like to try you again. But I'm not sure I trust you. Not even a little. Because, see, the last time I was in Northern England I stopped at a Dominos. And I got the house pizza. I was told it was a pizza blanca with seasonal vegetables and local seafood. In May. In Yorkshire.

Well, I thought, it'll probably be some sort of weird river eel and potato. Sounded terrible, but fascinating. In the spirit of insane culinary tourism I figured I'd order a slice. Girl at the counter promised me it was 'pretty nice.'

It wasn't.

It was awful.

Here is what it was: a can of oil-packed tuna fish overturned on a bed of still half-frozen sweetcorn, drizzled with ranch dressing and pine nuts like, err, sheep droppings all over the top.

Oh. And. I got food poisoning. Six days vomiting into a pail.

I will only try your pizza if you promise never, ever, ever to combine tuna fish and ranch dressing again.

Sincerely,

mr. remy.
posted by mr. remy at 5:43 PM on January 13, 2010 [10 favorites]


The new Domino's pizza is rather tasty.
posted by Atreides at 5:44 PM on January 13, 2010


Their pizza has definitely gotten better. The crusts are better, the seasoning is better.

There are plenty of "local" pizza places around me, and I do order from them but:

- Dominos is open until 2am, and none of them are. For me, pizza is usually a "late night I haven't eaten anything and there's nothing in the house" decision.

- Also, I can pay with my bank card and since I never carry cash that is significant. A lot of the small local places around here are still waiting to get on that bandwagon.

- Domino's is the only pizza place that offers online ordering and delivery to my home. I LOVE ordering online, and I love watching the progress: "Andre just placed your pizza in the oven"..."Andre is performing a quality check"..."Janice left to deliver your order at 11:10pm".

- While watching the progress you can play Connect-4. Only Connect-4, and only for two minutes per game, but for some reason Domino's is really pushing Connect-4. I hadn't seen the game since childhood and I guess I missed it.

- They almost always get my order right (the only mistakes they ever make are when they forget the soda, and all of the local places make that mistake a lot more often).

- The local pizza joints aren't really all that better taste-wise in the only thing that matters: how will it hold up tomorrow morning when it's been sitting out all night and I want to eat it cold? Domino's still tastes exactly the same (for good or for ill).

"Make your own pizza" is the proper response.

"Make Your Own Pizza" is never the proper response. Do you know why pizza is ever on the menu? It is not for the joy of cooking it yourself. Might as well make a healthy meal or something.
posted by Danila at 5:47 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyway, it's pretty much safe to say that apart from one or two smaller stores, bought-pizza will always such.

The best pizzas are the ones you make yourself. Buy a base, lather it with a quality tomato paste, thin layer of cheese at the bottom. Then you throw on whatever you like. Meatballs, mushrooms, pineapple, tomato, capsicum, potatos (yes, potatos, seriously try it), and then cover all that shit with a layer of cheddar and mozzerella. Cook in the oven for 20 or 30 minutes on high with a garlic bread sitting next to it. Eat. Feel your arteries harden and love it.

It'll cost you more than a chain pizza, or one you buy from the frozen food section of your supermarket. But unlike those pizzas, it'll have tonnes of topping and will taste magnificent. Two or three slices will fill you up. The extra 5 slices will give you lunch and dinner for another day or two. Plus you'll be less inclined to ever buy a fast food pizza again, which is probably for the best.
posted by Effigy2000 at 5:50 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


BTW, if anyone is ever in DC, then you at least once need to get shit-faced in Adam's Morgan and get a jumbo slice at Pizza Mart at 2am.

Best possible way to enjoy a pizza.
posted by empath at 5:51 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Buy a base,

WHAT?

Seriously, Effigy, now we're talking cardboard. Every store-bought pizza base I've ever tried (and I've tried a few, experimentally) has not actually been anything even vaguely resembling pizza dough. I mean, using Pita bread works better than any "proper" pre-made base. Using a store-bought base results in a pizza that tastes like store-bought frozen pizza. If you want to prove me wrong, go ahead, tell me what brand you're using.

Making the base is the best part anyway, and it's easy. I mean, shit, you need flour, water, salt, sugar, oil, and a lazy half-an-hour while the dough rises. No need to go to the shop for a base, just use what should be in your pantry.
posted by Jimbob at 5:56 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Anyone know what's up with French pizza?

Or British pizza. Eucch. I seriously saw spam pizza offered somewhere over there once. Come to think of it that's what Domino's really reminded me of, British pizza.
posted by XMLicious at 5:57 PM on January 13, 2010


Oh, and er yeast. Yeast is kinda important.
posted by Jimbob at 6:00 PM on January 13, 2010


You should see the other guy: Based exclusively on your post, I just got off the phone with Albany pizza. I now eagerly await my pizza and you've got my hopes sky-high so I better not be disappointed.

However, I've never ordered Dominos in Toronto, but I used to order it in Boston and I liked it just fine.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:01 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Yeah seriously, the dough is the easiest part of making a pizza especially if you have a bread machine to do the work. Toss in some ingredia hit "start" and 1.5 hours later pull out the fresh dough. Then comes the hard part: Choosing what toppings to limit yourself to.
posted by DU at 6:01 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Now that I've read the rest of the thread, Mellifluous' review has me nervous. I tend to be sensitive to too much salt. But I find Massimos far too greasy so I'm hoping Mellifluous and I don't share taste in pizza.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 6:04 PM on January 13, 2010


Jimbob, I don't mind the Tip Top bases.
posted by Effigy2000 at 6:05 PM on January 13, 2010


I will, hesitantly, try them next time I feel like making pizza.
posted by Jimbob at 6:10 PM on January 13, 2010


If all this about Domino's making crap pizza is true, this ought to tell you how bad pizza in Korea is -- Domino's is far and away the best choice if you're anywhere but Seoul.

Me, I dunno. I'm generally so thrilled to have cheese and pepperoni in my mandibles that I just don't care about the finer points.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:14 PM on January 13, 2010


NONE pizza with left beef

That was great.
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 6:39 PM on January 13, 2010


It is good pizza and all, but it took 70 minutes to get here (and it was lukewarm), and it is too salty at the finish. I remain a partisan of (the recently rebuilt) Massimo's, and it shall continue to receive my pizza-related hyperbolic compliments.

Where do you live? Massimo's is Kensington, yes? I'm surprised they even delivered that far. It's always piping hot when it hits my door (30-40 minutes) but I'm not far from the shop.

I've only ever had slices from Massimo's but they've never done much for me. I'm sure their pies are better, though.

I'm curious which one you ordered?

I await penguin's review and hope s/he ordered the Albanese. :)
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 6:39 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


...and then cover all that shit with a layer of cheddar and mozzerella....

Cheddar? CHEDDAR? Sir I believe you've just declared war on Italy.
posted by contessa at 6:40 PM on January 13, 2010 [3 favorites]


Looks like Albany Pizza should offer a Mefi discount! It looks like they're only a few blocks away from me… I'll have to try them sometime. Gotta be better than the Pizza Pizza across the street.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 6:48 PM on January 13, 2010


all I could see when I saw this post was that Simpsons episode where Homer gets Snakes car and when they fly past Chief Wiggum's speed trap, he puts a pizza delivery sign on the door so he won't have to chase after them. His deputy says: what if they like pizza?" So Chief Wiggum puts a domino's sign on the roof. "Got it covered, Lou"
posted by Redhush at 7:04 PM on January 13, 2010


Believe it or not, where I'm from - the former Yugoslavia - has many amazing pizza places (especially in Croatia)

When I was in Zagreb I had some of the best pizza I've ever had in my life. And I live in Brooklyn. And I've lived in Boston, Ann Arbor, LA, etc. I know from pizza.
posted by spicynuts at 7:08 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Albany Piza: Meh. Sorry. I didn't find it overly salty. However, the crust was a little soggy and tasted odd (like slightly burnt, but it obviously wasn't burnt). It's not bad but I don't see myself ordering from them again. The toppings were plentiful and cut large. I'll give them that.
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 7:18 PM on January 13, 2010


If we're talking places you *should* order pizza from in Toronto; John's Classic. Stratenger's in the east end also puts together a pretty good pie; it's all about the wood-fired oven.
posted by The Card Cheat at 7:33 PM on January 13, 2010


The worst pizza I have ever had is from a hole-in-the-wall joint in a strip mall.

It's a shame too - within walking distance from my house, amazing interior with the stained (plastic) glass and Chianti-bottle candles. Even the waitress was great. She was a gorgeous Russian lady who told my husband, "OK, put away your papers - it's time to eat," before laying the pie down.

If it would've been Domino's instead, I would've been thrilled.

Luckily I've got other options in this city. But, "local" is not always best.
posted by Kloryne at 8:00 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone know what's up with French pizza? I had the most revolting pizza of my life in Paris (4e arr.)

Really?

Some of the finest pizza I've ever had was in Tours. It was a beautiful thin crust (not croissant dough), topped with all manner of French-originated shellfish. And a bottle of the only Chianti I've ever liked.

The only weird part of French pizza is you eat it with a knife and fork. Except, lately, I've found that I prefer doing that with even American pizza.
posted by Netzapper at 8:04 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


And even closer to me is the abomination known as Mozza's. Only L.A. can support a mediocre pizza place that takes reservations. I've been there often for work events and I still don't get it.
posted by Kloryne at 8:05 PM on January 13, 2010


Pizza blue.
posted by splice

I read an article on this ad campaign somewhere this morning, can't find it now. The agency's goal is "shocking" viewers , not necessarily complimenting the products- just getting people to talk about the ads. Like we're doing here.
posted by Liquidwolf

Excuse me for a moment while I participate in you with your viral marketing.
posted by Damienmce

the ad worked on me. tried them again…
posted by nadawi

This is a variation on the extremely successful "We try harder" ad campaign
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium

Pizza blue.
posted by oddman


Pepsi Blue. Direct advertising to the membership via front page post. Current media campaign. Flagged.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:19 PM on January 13, 2010


five fresh fish: "Flagged."

[checks the time]

What's the longest it ever took to get a post deleted?
posted by Joe Beese at 8:32 PM on January 13, 2010


What's the longest it ever took to get a post deleted?

Ask Tom Cruise.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:36 PM on January 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


Once someone told me my sauce tasted more like ketchup. Them's fightin' words.

No, really. I almost ended it all that night. It takes a while to pick up the pieces after that kind of heartbreak. 1994.. the worst year of my life.
posted by Mael Oui at 8:37 PM on January 13, 2010


Did they apologize for this?
posted by kurumi at 8:38 PM on January 13, 2010


If you're ever on Whidbey Island, on the south end, try Village Pizzeria in Langley.

Mind, they have that whole "teenagers prefer gossiping over serving" thing down pat, but their pizza is really much better than you'd expect out of a small-town joint. Thick or thin, both fine. Just don't order thick crust when it's clear you're going to be the final customer, they'll rush it and you'll get something which isn't all the way cooked.
posted by maxwelton at 8:40 PM on January 13, 2010


Disclaimer: Currently working at Dominos in pizza delivery.

My other half used to work there, and they did teach hand-tossing dough and everything (my local place doesn't even do that -- they just use a mold and a big round thing to push it into shape), so it's not like they were just microwaving frozen bricks before.

Yeah, but the dough is shipped in from off-site, and the thin crust and deep dish crusts come pre-made.

I never really understood the Domino's hate. I mean, sure, it's chain pizza, but in Canada (well, Toronto, anyway), you're better off ordering from them than most of the other major chains. IMHO.

In Dominos' favor, they do get fresh ingredients. They use fresh mushrooms on their pizza; for that alone I can't hate them too much. (Canned mushrooms are an abomination unto Bob.)

I'm on Domino's mailing list for junk mail and offers. They know where I live from the deliveries, but they don't know my name - I guess their data capture isn't wired up to the payment system. Consequently, every couple of months I get a gaudily coloured flyer through the door addressed to THE PIZZA LOVER.

There seem to be at least two computer systems used in Dominos stores today.

Our store is a flagship for the area, the first that the new owner had and established by him, so it has a fancy, high-falutin' new system, with an interface that looks like the bastard stepson of the Windows XP taskbar, with big blue-and-orange buttons and custom UI widgets. It looks frankly overdone, and it didn't help when a few weeks ago the whole store's computer system went down and we had to go to paper receipts for an entire day while Dominos brought someone in from out of town to look at the damn thing. This system damn well does remember everyone's name, and phone number, and address, and the last thing they ordered even.

In its favor, it does list every menu item, offer and special currently going right there on the screen. The old system (the other one I mentioned above) is a console-based, user-hostile nightmare with one-letter codes for every topping that have to be memorized (the only one I remember is that pepperoni is K).

It's different from the old Domino's pizza. But the cheese was still low-grade, the sauce stupidly seasoned, the toppings low quality and the crust still tasted like cardboard, except with more oil and garlic on it. It was laughable. How dumb are people anyway?

The cheese has just changed over to a new supplier, and it is supposed to be better, but I hadn't noticed. The sauce is now based off of red-pepper instead of black. I didn't actually notice when the crust changed; the most noticeable thing about it is the garlic topping that is now applied at the cut-table. But the toppings are still pretty good (and haven't changed); that's the best things, I think, about the pizzas.

Um, I used to work at Dominos back in college (around 2000), and that's EXACTLY what they were doing. Everything was frozen. Even the people that worked there wouldn't eat it. Mistake pizzas would get thrown away.

There is a big cooler in every store that keeps things, it seems, at just above freezing. Most toppings, cheese, and crusts are stored in there, as well as prepped items like sauce. Some sealed toppings like pineapple, unopened sauce and canned goods are kept at room temperature. The dough is a little weird; apparently it is supposed to age a little while before it is used. Being at room temperature can accelerated the aging a little.

Our own store is pretty good quality wise, I'd say. We do (well, some of us) eat our own pizzas, and sometimes we even pay for the privilege. It is not the best I've ever had, but then I have been leaning away from pizza more and more lately.

ObOnionLinkTM explaining why pizza quality is ultimately not that relevant to the Domino's bottom line: Everyone Involved In Pizza's Preparation, Delivery, Purchase Extremely High

I cannot speak for certain about my co-workers, but this is absolutely untrue for myself, and there are some other people in the store who I think are unlikely to be doing pot.

In Michigan, Domino's *is* local, and provides jobs with health insurance.

Our store's owner at our store in Georgia keeps talking about giving us health insurance. However, all of us proles earn either barely-over-minimum wage, or less than minimum (since we get tips), so it seems unlikely to me.

Is it just me or has Dominos gotten significantly worse over the years? I hadn't had it for a few years (papa johns exclusively for a while now) and it was just shockingly awful. I'd honestly rather eat a Red Baron frozen pizza.

I think a lot depends on the individual store. The crust, sauce, cheese and toppings are pretty much universal, but I suspect different stores put on different amounts of the ingredients, or leave it in the oven for longer, or use a slightly different temperature, or use under- or over-proofed dough.

The ovens at Dominos stores have a conveyor belt that carries the pizzas through. The speed of the belt is adjustable, as is the temperature of the oven, and that affects how done is the pizza. (The wings, by the way, go through the same oven but on a different belt.)


- While watching the progress you can play Connect-4. Only Connect-4, and only for two minutes per game, but for some reason Domino's is really pushing Connect-4. I hadn't seen the game since childhood and I guess I missed it.

They had a deal with Hasbro HATEHATEHATE for a while to push their astonishingly stupid!! board games. I'm not sure what you were talking about with the Connect 4 thing, but for a short while we did have medium pizza boxes with Hasbro games printed on them. There was a Connect 4 box with pop-out pieces, but because it was printed on the box that was more of an after-eating thing. (That box was responsible for at least one bad order for me. The piece perforations made the box structurally weaker, and one on the bottom of a stack of four caved in on a delivery....)

I will only try your pizza if you promise never, ever, ever to combine tuna fish and ranch dressing again.

Ranch is a recent menu addition here, but tuna fish must be a regional thing; the only fish offered at our store is those ever-hateful anchovies.

The crust tastes like it is mostly undercooked.
They sprinkle the pizza with some kind of Parma-ZAN cheese or something.
(I really dislike parm cheese, smells like a week-old gym sock from Larry's locker.)


I don't think parmesan is actually put on Dominos pizzas unless it is ordered specially. It makes me wonder what happened in your case.
posted by JHarris at 8:43 PM on January 13, 2010 [6 favorites]


3. DH, for the most part, will be confirmed in their hatred and continue to not-buy-- but a few will become intrigued and buy (ironically!, and with trucker hats)

And if they succeed in getting you to risk it — I'm not going to! — and you guys buy their pizzas, and they fuck it up, the blowback could destroy them.

Flatbread crust, local “fresh market” ingredients, light on the cheese and big on the other flavours, made at home = a decent bit of nutrition, fantastic taste sensations, and light on the wallet.

Lighter than Dominoes by a long shot, is my guess. A 10" flatbread loaded with shrimp and garnish packs a helluva whallop, especially if there's appies or dessert involved. There's a lot of cost in operating a storefront, employees, franchising fees and requirements, etceteras.

It just occurred to me I could use a springlock cake tin to make it dead easy to spread ingredients evenly to the edges, level it out, drop in a wax paper, and repeat until full. Leave the ring on, use vacuum sealer, drop in freezer. Hot damn. Cost me what, five bucks for a couple slick-coated, dollar-store cake pans.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:46 PM on January 13, 2010


What's the longest it ever took to get a post deleted?
posted by Joe Beese


Sorry, man. Maybe I'm old and out-of-touch, but I didn't think current advertising campaigns were the deal. The PBness of the link caught me by real surprise, frankly, and the frequency of the PB callout being ignored surprised me, too.

If Pepsi Blue isn't a bad thing, my flagging is for naught. I'm okay with that, too, and I'll take less notice of both the relative flood of similar callouts and the flagging function.

Now get off my lawn, unknown-aged presumably-male recognizably-named and thus frequent thread contributor! Kids or elders these days and their marketing hi-jinks!
posted by five fresh fish at 8:55 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


Once someone told me my sauce tasted more like ketchup.

That's what they said!

Okay, so I checked the timing out. Obviously, I am indeed very aged and crotchety, and I apologize for the call-out in the thread.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:58 PM on January 13, 2010


five fresh fish: " I apologize for the call-out in the thread."

Thanks.

I mean you have to admit... if I joined MetaFilter to shill for Domino's, at least I did my homework.
posted by Joe Beese at 9:07 PM on January 13, 2010


Mr. WanKenobi has celiacs, so usually we just make pizza at home with millet and flax crust (good, but kind of doughy), but the Gainesville area has the two tastiest pizza joints I've ever visited: Blue Highway Pizza, whose pizza vongole and buffalo chicken pizza is to die for, and Satchels, which has the best garlicky crust ever.

As for pizza chains, I've always preferred pizza hut's pizza-like-substance to dominos. I guess they brainwashed me in second grade during Book-it.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:11 PM on January 13, 2010


When I was considerably younger, my mother would take my brothers and me to music lessons. There wasn't much cash to go around, as she was a homemaker, my pop was only beginning his career, we had just moved from New York, music lessons were expensive, and three boys tended to eat a lot of Doritos.

On one particularly cold winter day, she treated us to pizza. We went to the Domino's joint across the street. The windows were a bit fogged up, and I distinctly remember being able to see my breath before we walked in, and then feeling bathed in the warmest, toastiest, coziest air I'd ever experienced.

There were two guys spinning dough behind the counter. I'm not sure if they were just putting on a show for us kids, but they were really going at it, kneading the dough, then tossing it up in the air. My brothers and I sat down by a window, as my mother went up to the counter. I know there was some concern about price, as my mother kept reaching at her pocketbook, and divisibility-- the latter always being an issue when it came to feeding three boys and maintaining some sense of equality so we wouldn't fight over pieces or portions.

And then in halting English, my mother carried on a conversation with the two guys. Turns out they were brothers, and that they'd opened up the franchise recently. They said they had a special going.

Then they got to work: I saw them pick up, separate, and knead out some pre-made dough, and they knuckled things down, and stretched things out, and tossed the dough into the air higher and higher. We were rapt.

Some more patting of the dough, and then sauce, and the cheese, and the toppings: sausage and pepperoni. A ton of pepperoni on one because I said I liked pepperoni.

Some minutes passed by, and they presented us with the boxes. In each one was the most amazing pizza I'd ever seen, each one sized for a kid. We ate the piping hot pizza then and there, and I swear to you: it was the best fucking pizza I'd ever eaten to this day.

As we left, my mother told us to say "thank you," which we did with waves and glee. We'd return there every couple of weeks for some number of months to repeat the whole experience again. Always those two guys would wave us in and ask how our lessons were going, how school was going, etc. They always talked to my mother even while they were busy taking orders and making pizza. We'd stop by around the holidays to drop off small presents, and sometimes some other gifts like Asian pears. These times are some of the fondest times I've spent with my mother and brothers that I can recall.

Eventually, we stopped taking music lessons there. This particular Domino's franchise closed. It wasn't until many years later that my mother told me that those two brothers never charged us for a single pie.

Those were the best goddamn pizzas I've ever had. Those guys were awesome, my mother's awesome, and, yes, over the years I've become comfortable with saying that my brothers are awesome, too.
posted by herrdoktor at 9:25 PM on January 13, 2010 [88 favorites]


Did anyone else see this ad and think it was a joke at first? I caught it during the Simpsons on Sunday and was like "Oh, funny, they're parodying those American car company commercials about how our product was crap and now we're knuckling down and actually taking it seriously for a change." Then as it went on it seemed less and less hilarious and more and more real...and I didn't know what to think.

Guess this is real! I don't know what about the commercials made it seem like such an obvious parody to me.
posted by crinklebat at 10:26 PM on January 13, 2010 [1 favorite]


I just realized that the exact moment when Domino's went wrong was when they avoided the Noid (for the last time). Moral: always stick by your weird, annoying mascots!
posted by Mael Oui at 10:26 PM on January 13, 2010


I tried the "new" Dominos earlier this week. The changes are fairly subtle, with the exception of the garlic seasoning on the crust. I didn't think the crust was noticeably different, and while the sauce might have been a little spicier, it wasn't that striking. (However, I always order with light sauce to keep them from slobbering too much of it on — better too little than too much — so maybe it's more obvious if there's more of it.) When I saw the ad my prediction was that the sauce was going to be loaded full of oregano (yuk), but it wasn't offensive.

But in general, I didn't really think it was that big a deal, certainly nothing negative. But then again I've never really had anything against Dominos. Maybe there was a time when they were really bad, or maybe I've just had good luck in the stores I've ordered from, but I think it's basically middle-of-the-road pizza. It's cheap, consistent, they deliver quickly, and they have a pretty solid online ordering system. I prefer it over Papa Johns. (PJ's seems to be made bland, with the idea that people who want flavor will use that little included container of petroleum byproducts garlic sauce. Even if it's the same thing that Dominos is brushing on their crust, something about seeing it there in that little tub disgusts me.)

Sure, there are better pizzas in the world. There's a much better place down the road that I'm quite a fan of, but they don't deliver — so it's a different product. I could make my own, too (the trick, IMO, is half a dozen unglazed quarry tiles on the bottom rack of your oven, and using real water-packed mozz). But it's not just something you decide to do at 6:30 and eat at 7: to do it right, it's a project.

There's a three-dimensional time/money/quality tradeoff at work. You can pretty much pick any two: if you want good food and you're lazy but price insensitive, services like Takeout Taxi will get you just about anything you want from real restaurants, delivered. Want good food but cheap? It's going to take more time, because you're going to be DIYing it. But if you want cheap, fast food, and you're not looking for anything more than "nontoxic" — that's the corner wherein the delivery chains lie.

I happen to think Dominos pushes out further along the quality/taste axis than most of what's in that corner, but you definitely have to set your expectations and standards to "fast food" levels.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:42 PM on January 13, 2010


We once got a coupon delivered to us in the mail from Domino's that had the addressee listed as JEW (all caps). I'm not joking about this. It was something that said, "Domino's pizza apologizes for your inconvenience. Please accept this (whatever) percentage off your next order as an apology," (I'm paraphrasing).

Funny thing is - well, besides the OBVIOUS humor - is that we hadn't ever ordered from Domino's at our apartment and my husband is, in fact, a "Jew."

We wondered for years what may have happened with the previous tenants to cause this. We kept the coupon on our fridge for a long time for amusement, but damned if we would ever cash it in. I can't imagine what we would've found in the cheese.
posted by Kloryne at 11:06 PM on January 13, 2010 [4 favorites]


If only McDonald's would take this approach.
posted by Fezzik's Underwear at 11:13 PM on January 13, 2010


I had Domino's for the first time in years this past weekend, and it was pretty awful. Mind you, they delivered the wrong order first, plus my friend who ordered it got the regular crust instead of thin crust, which is just wrong anyway.

Domino's thin crust is like crack, with both the crazy high and the crash a half-hour later that makes you feel like death. Still, I used to get it every once in a while back in the day even when I knew better but couldn't help myself.

But for real pizza, let me just say that one of the biggest tragedies of my moving away from New York is losing my access to Two Boots. If you have had Two Boots pizza, and it is not in your top ten slices at the very least, then you are either a liar or a fool. For those unfortunates not in the know, the "boots" refer to Italy and Louisiana, and the crust, beyond being perfectly crispy the way any respectable pizza crust should be, is infused with spices that make it simply unbeatable. Seriously, if you eat meat, get yourself a slice of The Dude and then tell me with a straight face that you've had better. If you succeed, then you'll win a quick cock-punch from me for heresy.

Now I live in DC, however, where people eat fucking Armand's, which is possibly the worst pizza in North America. The cheese is a flavorless, non-uniform congealed mass sliding uncomfortably atop a bland, watery sauce that acts as a barrier between the cold, stale toppings and the crust - almost a unique success in it's failure, which resembles nothing so much as damp graham-cracker.

But here's the weird thing - people in DC will seemingly ALWAYS order from Armand's, despite there being a place in Adams Morgan which rivals Two Boots for pizza perfection. These people will tell you that they even LIKE Armand's. I understand that tastes will vary, but trust me when I say that if someone tells you that they enjoy Armand's Pizza, they're recommendation should be taken exactly as seriously as an eight-year-old telling you their favorite song. All it means is that the person speaking has no experience, and is to be pitied and gently mocked.

Finally, as a child on my family's Eurpoean Vacation, my brother ordered the "Pizza Complete" on our first night in Paris. It included all of their pizza toppings, but piled up in the center of the pie rather than spread out, with - yes - a fried egg on top. My brother spent the better part of dinner trying to flag a waiter to make him aware of the "mistake."
posted by Navelgazer at 11:24 PM on January 13, 2010 [2 favorites]


stavrosthewonderchicken, I hope you don't have mandibles. One is sufficient.

Germany is even closer to Italy than France and their pizza is equally miserable. Avoid at all costs.
posted by readyfreddy at 11:29 PM on January 13, 2010


I must second the awfulness of german pizza.

It is more than made up for by doener stands, though.

goddammit now I want a pizza doener
posted by flaterik at 1:11 AM on January 14, 2010


On the awfulness of German pizza, I love the adverts in England for Dr Oetker's "genuine Italian pizza" which by regulation have to have the strapline "Made in Germany".
posted by patricio at 2:00 AM on January 14, 2010


I normally don't order from Domino's since there are several fantastic non-chain Italian restaurants within either walking or delivery distance of my home. But in the name of SCIENCE! I ordered from Domino's last night.

The new default sauce is too sweet, even though it does have a noticeable spice to it. The new hand-tossed crust with garlic flavor tasted basically like chewy garlic bread that wasn't baked for long enough. There was a noticeable squirt of garlic butter as I chomped on the ends of the crust.

Pizza by focus group is pretty awful. Too many competing flavors.
posted by emelenjr at 2:53 AM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


German pizza is pretty bland, as are pizzas made in "Italian" restaurants here to German pizza expectations. But, in large German cities it is possible to locate an Italian restaurant that doesn't only serve italo-german and get a very good Italian pizza (this is also true for lots of other Italian dishes that you can't get in the standard German Italian restaurant - do some legwork, you'll find a place). Although I prefer good NYC (LI/NJ/etc) Italian-American pizza immensely to Italian pizza regardless of how well it's done, so it only slightly tempers my disappointment to get a great Italian pizza here versus what I really want. There is a NY style pizza place here in Berlin called Fat Ass Pizza (!) and a Canadian (!?) pizza place not too far away from where I live, but I don't expect great things* and I'm not up for the letdown so I haven't tried them.

We also eat it with knife + fork and frankly it's a goofy way to eat pizza, especially if you get a nice thin-but-resistant semi-charred crust from a place with a good oven - saw, saw, saw, odd-shaped little piece, saw saw saw, odd-shaped little piece. A pizza is generally a tiny bit larger than a standard plate so where you're going to make the first cut without causing an overbalance is quite a conundrum. I start in the center but my tablemates look at my pizza surgery askance.

I read this thread before going to sleep last night and I had a nightmare about being forced to be in the focus group for this new Domino's pizza and it was terrible, but I didn't want to disappoint them after all the trouble they went to.

*I mean, if NY-style pizza sucks only about 25 miles outside of NY, and usually sucks within the borders of NYC, it seems improbable that the one NY-style pizza place in Berlin is going to magically have good pizza. Especially if it's in Prenzlauer Berg.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 2:54 AM on January 14, 2010


Aiello's pizza in the Burgh (in Squirrel Hill, where else?) - now that's fricking pizza up against which all corporate pizza should held and roundly contemned. Ditto for Pizza Al Volo, Campo Santa Margherita, Venice - face-sized slices in which to smash your face. On the other hand, it seems pretty damned near impossible to find a pizzeria worth its salt in the Low countries, a situation in which corpizza only offers the bitterest of solace.
posted by rudster at 3:32 AM on January 14, 2010


Maybe it's because we're geographically closer to Italy, but pizza in southern Germany isn't too bad if you don't get it from a döner shop or one of those places that sell pizza along with "Chinese" and "Indian" food. There are a couple of restaurants around town that serve better pizza than I've eaten in Italy.
posted by cmonkey at 4:01 AM on January 14, 2010


Chiming in with my love for Broadway Pizza in St. Paul. Incredibly tasty!
posted by bullitt 5 at 4:43 AM on January 14, 2010


This whole debate is incomprehensible to me, mostly because as far as I'm concerned "pizza" is "the food you buy when you can't be bothered to cook and just want to eat something unhealthy in front of the TV". The whole idea of really caring about the quality seems odd. To that end, I just buy it frozen from the supermarket. Just as quick as delivery (if I was going shopping anyway, that is), perfectly edible if not fantastic, always hot because I've just cooked it, and about a fifth of the cost of delivered pizza. Sure, the delivered stuff may be better, but...five times better?
posted by ZsigE at 6:00 AM on January 14, 2010


Is this "new garlic crust" similar to the seasoning Domino's would put on their "deep dish" pizzas? Because, doughiness aside, that stuff was surprisingly not bad.
posted by anthom at 6:02 AM on January 14, 2010


I didn't think current advertising campaigns were the deal. The PBness of the link caught me by real surprise, frankly, and the frequency of the PB callout being ignored surprised me, too.

Just FYI, yeah this post was flagged a bunch and we looked at it a few times but most of the time it seemed to be decent reminiscences about pizza in general and light on the ad stuff. Joe Beese is a known quantity here so we were pretty sure he wasn't set here as a plant to drop this ad on us. We generally like to keep generalized product hype [and yes we make exceptions for games and gadgets] off the front page but it seemed like a bad precedent to skewer an interesting thread just because it was sparked by an ad. If we see more of this sort of thing, we may start leaning towards a more pro-delete stance. Sorry for the mod PSA.
posted by jessamyn at 6:13 AM on January 14, 2010


In Tallahassee, you can get good pies at Decent Pizza, Momo's, and the especially delicious Leaning Tower.

For prices that beat the chains.
posted by grubi at 6:18 AM on January 14, 2010


Believe it or not, where I'm from - the former Yugoslavia - has many amazing pizza places (especially in Croatia) .

A college friend had a theory about pizza -- the closer the restaurant was geographically to Italy, the better the pizza. Granted, he was mainly talking about pizza places in the United States (I think he was trying to explain why New Haven, CT had better pizza than New York), but your note kind of reinforces it. (Not sure about Germany and France -- then again, I've never had their pizza.)

I rarely eat Domino's because I rarely order pizza, and I also tend to avoid chains anyway. Even when I was a kid we had really good local places and so Dad would always order from Tony's rather than Domino's or Pizza Hut. These days I'm more likely to make my own.

But navelgazer speaks truth about Two Boots. I especially love their efforts to come up with Cajun pizza -- which I know must sound like an abomination unto God, but their "Bayou Beast" slices are damn good (BBQ Shrimp, crawfish, andouille, a little bit of jalepeno). Plus, good people -- they used to have more of a restaurant proper at one site as opposed to just pizza, and I once brought a group of visiting Irish folks who'd never had Cajun food. When I saw they had "jambalaya PASTA" on the menu, instead of proper jambalaya (they basically made jambalaya without the rice and then poured that over pasta), and was a bit disappointed my friends couldn't have the genuine article, the waiter overheard and offered to do up some rice real quick so they could have it that way instead.

Navelgazer -- next time you're up this way, heads up: one of the Two Boots parlors has now started also selling homemade ice cream.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:33 AM on January 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Did anyone else see this ad and think it was a joke at first?

Yup. I even started laughing, what a great spoof! I suppose the best spoof isn't a spoof but makes you think it might be. Or something. I need pizza. Not Dominos, though.
posted by ob at 6:49 AM on January 14, 2010


You Should See the Other Guy, I live near there, and I just ordered a pizza from them over the weekend, and it was pretty fucking good. And it's such a dumpy looking shop when you walk by. Strange.
posted by chunking express at 6:57 AM on January 14, 2010


Dominos pizzas are still mass produced, assembly-line pizzas. Pizza should be hand tossed and placed on a stone in a wood fired oven.
posted by birdwatcher at 6:58 AM on January 14, 2010


The Card Cheat: I never really understood the Domino's hate.

I do! I do! In the same way I refuse to buy whatever crap the Boy Scouts are selling at the local grocery store, I never wanted to take the chance of inadvertently directing my money in any way towards a business owned by a pro-lifer. An IRISH(1) pro-lifer, for heaven's sake. (Note all the "awful European pizza" references above. If you're not within spitting distance of Italy, you're taking your chances).

davejay: (between removal of the Tom Monaghan taint...

You can remove the taint, but Domino's pizza still tastes like ass.

I can make a pizza that tastes about 500 times better than Domino's using stuff from my freezer and fridge, and it takes about 5 minutes to make, 25 to bake.

Pizza dough from the Italian bakery (available at my local grocery): 50 cents
Shredded cheese in a bag: $2.50
Various vegetables and stuff from the fridge: $1.50
Trader Joe's tomato sauce base (good stuff! tomatoes, olive oil, garlic): $1.

Voila. $5.50, feeds 2 pizza-loving adults and it's going to be freaking awesome. So why bother? (If I am feeling particularly lazy, there are two amazing pizza places that'll have something to me or ready for pickup in 25 minutes, too...both locally-owned).

Yeah, no thanks, Dominos.

(1) not-Hibernianist
posted by bitter-girl.com at 7:16 AM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


In the US I live in the DC area and haven't found truly great pizza. I used to love Armand's Chicago Pizzeria when I was younger, but I went back after a 10 years, and it was meh at best.

Currently I'm in Taipei, Taiwan -- a gourmet paradise, except for pizza! I can't find anything here that will remotely satisfy the pizza jones. I can't bring myself to order from Dominos, even though they ran an amazing ad for shrimp tempura pizza last year.

This is my favorite domino's related thing ever (the onion): Domino's Scientists Test Limits Of What Humans Will Eat
posted by askmehow at 7:17 AM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


I got a few locally owned and operated pizza places that are 10 times better than anything any of the chain places can muster on their best days. I'm sure I'll stick with them.

(Except for that one place where the really mean old lady works.... )
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:48 AM on January 14, 2010


Pizza should be hand tossed and placed on a stone in a wood fired oven.

You say that with startling self-confidence for someone who's obviously never experienced the gustatorial satori of pizza from a coal-fired oven.
posted by gompa at 8:13 AM on January 14, 2010


I did an esurvey asking me if I'd seen the new commercials, which at the time, I hadn't. Then, suddenly they're EVERYWHERE. Normally, I make my own pizza, or iin a pinch we get a pie from a great local place, but last Friday...we were snowed in here in Atlanta. Perhaps you saw something about it on the news?

Anywho, my husband and I were experiencing cabin fever at around noon, plus we were hungry. Noting that the street outside our house was suitable for ice skating, I put in an order for Dominos, half-expecting a call from someone telling us that there was no way they'd send a sled and huskies with our food.

Oddly enough a guy showed up with some hot food. We fell upon it as though we were the Donner Party.

Would I order it again? Only if I didn't feel like leaving the house or spending a few hours doing my deal with pizza dough.

Take it for what it's worth.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 8:26 AM on January 14, 2010


Little bit of Domino's trivia for those of you who know Ann Arbor:

There's a beloved local institution known for its, well, mostly its sangria served in mason jars, called Dominick's, over near the law school. Once upon a time, Tom Monaghan and his brother James worked there, and at that time, there was a second Dominick's in Ypsilanti. The Monaghans first managed that location, then bought it from Dominick DeVarti. This is the story I got from Dave, Dominick's son, who ran Current when I worked there, and from Rich, who runs Dominick's now. It is odd that the timelines given in print—Ann Arbor News, New Yorker—both have both businesses starting in 1960; I'd tend to believe that's when both locations of Dominick's opened, not when (as is commonly given) the Monaghans bought Dominick's.

As for the pizza, I just had Domino's for the first time in years, and it's still got one of the most fundamental problems—the sauce and the crust are both too sweet. Neither should be, really. And that's a pretty prevalent problem with American chain pizza.
posted by klangklangston at 8:28 AM on January 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


I don't even buy the "it's cheap!" argument.

In Winnipeg, there are so many restaurant options it's kind of silly, and this includes all sorts of pizza joints, at all ranges of poor quality to amazing and cheap to crazy expensive.

At it's price range, Domino's is still nowhere near the best pizza. The *only* reason to ever order from domino's is that they are the best pizza, at their price range, that is open late.
posted by utsutsu at 9:26 AM on January 14, 2010


I grew up down the street from the Monaghans in Ann Arbor. There were two daughters who were a few years ahead of me in school and rode the bus with me. One looked like Joan Jett and wore ripped spandex and leather pants and had headphones on all the time. The other had long blonde hair and wore pastel floral print empire-waist dresses like she'd emerged, fully-formed, from the head of Laura Ashley.

Pizza was Domino's at our house the way people call adhesive bandages band-aids or photocopies Xeroxes. I'd be afraid to try it again after all this time because I suspect it will suck in the way re-watching Saturday Night Fever as an adult sucked, which is to say A LOT.
posted by *s at 9:57 AM on January 14, 2010


i avoid the noid here in portland by going to american dream, flying pie, vincente's, hammy's, apizza scholls, ken's artisan, or...anywhere that isn't a goddamned chain.
posted by rainperimeter at 11:22 AM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


In reading through the comments, it seems like people really miss the cheap college food that they had while "studying"... Those were the good times... Me, I really miss Hot Truck, where Bob would make his famous French-bread pizza... ah, so much more delicious than Dominos.
posted by JiffyQ at 11:47 AM on January 14, 2010


Mr. Llama loves Dominos, so we get it about twice a month. We call it "ordering out for despair."

The Cinnastix will have you contemplating your own mortality with longing for like a day after.

I have to tell you, though -- their web interface is just about one of the best online ordering experiences I've ever had. No, seriously.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 1:57 PM on January 14, 2010


I also had delicious pizza in Paris, on the outskirts with my then boyfriend. The pizza came in a round, uncut, and I watched my boyfriend proceed to eat from one side of the circle to the other. I'll never forget the look of horror on his face when I explained how New Yorkers eat pizza. He was truly appalled by the idea of using my hands to eat the 'za! I will admit to having another, pretty bad pizza, in Brittany.

I too can vouch for Two Boots, one of which has opened a block from my apartment and is consistently a threat to my diet. All of this talk makes it hard to resist the allure of The Dude slice. The Dude abides.
posted by miss-lapin at 1:59 PM on January 14, 2010 [2 favorites]


Is this "new garlic crust" similar to the seasoning Domino's would put on their "deep dish" pizzas? Because, doughiness aside, that stuff was surprisingly not bad.

No seasoning goes on the deep dish pizzas as they come out the oven. I think some oregano goes on as they go in. I think the deep dish pizza crusts come with seasoning already applied. The garlic butter is applied to the hand-tossed pizzas and the pasta bread bowls alone.

Dominos pizzas are still mass produced, assembly-line pizzas. Pizza should be hand tossed and placed on a stone in a wood fired oven.

Well Dominos hand-tossed pizzas really are hand-tossed, that is not false advertising. The ovens are metal and electric though.

Really, any pizza place that wants to stay in business has to adopt an assembly line approach to keep up with the demand necessary to pay rent and labor. At Dominos, this means one person spreading the dough, one working the make line, and one at the cut table. You might actually mean how the major ingredients come from elsewhere and there you would have a point.

Really, Dominos and other fast-food pizza is not like other fast food; it is pretty much always made on-site. Our store at least uses fresh toppings. I've stocked our makeline many times and the temptation to snack on the mushrooms is difficult to resist.

I hate working at Dominos, but the food isn't bad, at least, or so it seems to me.
posted by JHarris at 2:43 PM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, I can't believe how well this ad worked on me. I am ordering Domino's RIGHT NOW, because I am dying to see how the new recipe is different. I know I'll be disappointed, but I can't help myself.

Well played, Domino's.
posted by feathermeat at 4:31 PM on January 14, 2010


I also had delicious pizza in Paris, on the outskirts with my then boyfriend. The pizza came in a round, uncut

Well, to be fair, uncut is the norm in most of Europe.
posted by sevenyearlurk at 5:26 PM on January 14, 2010 [1 favorite]


Verdict: don't bother. The sauce is pretty much just regular Domino's sauce with a little kick. The cheese is regular. The crust tastes the same to me.
posted by feathermeat at 5:47 PM on January 14, 2010


Well, that's it, I'm having abott's for dinner tonight. Thanks, metafilter, for making me eat pizza.
posted by flaterik at 5:57 PM on January 14, 2010


Ann Arbor?

Silvio's! I love Silvio's.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 1:48 AM on January 15, 2010


Shit I doubt any one is reading this thread still, but... What about Frozen 'zas? I mean, surely some of you have a favorite brand? I actually really love the cheap as fuck Tony's... That light flakey crust, that weird sausage of theirs.
posted by symbioid at 3:01 PM on January 15, 2010


Mellow Mushroom. That is all.
posted by jquinby at 3:23 PM on January 15, 2010 [3 favorites]


For Ann Arborites: Silvio's is OK; Anthony's is ace but expensive as hell; Backroom used to be better but is still pretty sweet when you're drunk as hell.

I wonder if that halal pizza joint is still open—it used to be up in the Plymouth Road mall, around back, run by the same folks who run the halal market there. They were pretty good but prone to amateur hour bullshit like forgetting that you had even ordered.

I've worked for both Backroom (before the Brown Jug changed owners and turned into the bland rip-off it is today) and Marco's, which has some of the worst pizza ever imagined. It is one of those places where you can be nearly positive that your delivery driver will be willing to sell you an eighth of weed, though.
posted by klangklangston at 5:38 PM on January 15, 2010


OK Subway. your turn.
posted by Muirwylde at 2:36 AM on January 16, 2010


Nope, you called it wrong: Mefi's next direct marketing campaign to its user base via front page post — gods, I hope Matt is making a killing from this — is none other than Taco Bell!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:12 AM on January 16, 2010


I was seriously saddened when the best pizza place in the world burned down. But Totonno's in Coney Island, Brooklyn is being rebuilt.
posted by Splunge at 12:50 PM on January 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


So, my husband and I were actually intrigued enough by the ads that we ordered Domino's last night. I guess this campaign is working for them because I don't even know the last time we ordered pizza. We tend to be big suckers for "novelty" fast food ads though...I remember we literally dropped everything and went to Rubio's when they introduced that hamburger-taco hybrid. As in, I think we were making dinner and we saw that commercial and looked at each other and said "Are you thinking what I'm thinking?" and went to Rubio's instead.

Verdict? It's about as edible as any other pizza chain. I don't really remember eating Domino's before this so I couldn't say if it's better. But there is one thing that is pissing me off HARD about this pizza: they brushed the crust with some combination of garlic and butter flavors. This would be fine if it was just the garlic, but the "buttery" flavor is clearly "movie popcorn" sludge. It isn't butter, that's for damn sure, and there are few flavors I loathe more than artificial butter.

So, if you're like me and you ask for your popcorn without butter at the movies and throw out butter-flavored Jelly Bellys, just skip the crusts, because they're going to gross you out.
posted by crinklebat at 1:12 PM on January 16, 2010


One thing I think I can say for sure about Dominos' pizza is that it is much better before it cools that first time and the cheese congeals. Pizzas should not ever arrive cold from Dominos by the way, they use heat bags that charge up while waiting for orders, and they're also insulated. Bags are known to go bad from time to time however.

All this talk about local pizza makes me wistful for when there was our very own local pizza place within walking distance of the house. Unfortunately they went out of business about a year ago, probably not coincidentally when the Dominos opened up. (I'm surprised there's enough business here for the Dominos store even, but it turns out there are a hell of a lot of subdivisions in the Brunswick GA outskirts.)
posted by JHarris at 3:46 AM on January 17, 2010


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