The NEW Domino’s pizza: A review

By January 21, 2010Food

The buzz in the world of pizza several weeks ago was the announcement that Domino’s was changing their core recipe. Against the grain of traditional advertising, wherein you fix something terrible by rolling out something “new” or “improved,” Domino’s was curiously candid about why they were changing the recipe and the knowledge of how terrible people thought their pizza was. It was both refreshing and awkwardly risky and the combination was enough to make Neil and I curious as to how much they could improve take-out pizza.

I say quite proudly more than often that Neil and I don’t eat out often. We love cooking at home and eating healthy and mostly vegetarian. We’re not extreme, picky or elitist about food or special diets. A take-out pizza is fast food, something we feel should be eaten sparingly but not a catastrophe if eaten every once and a while. Living in a college town there are pizza places on almost every corner, including the four major national chains and one smaller regional chain. Each has their peculiars:

  • Domino’s (old): Sauce tastes like ketchup/heavy marinera, crust is stale, cheese suspiciously one texture and width throughout and peels off in one piece.
  • Pizza Hut: Greasy, like more than 10 napkins can soak up.
  • Papa John’s: Suspiciously spongy crust coated in tons of white flour.
  • Imo’s: It’s cold before they put the crust in the box. What toppings?

Needless to say our expectations weren’t high and last Saturday after a long day of cleaning and driving across three states to pick up our new Jeep Liberty Diesel (details soon), take-out pizza sounded like just the ticket to end the night without a lot of extra work. We ordered our favorite pineapple and ham on a hand tossed crust online (how awesome is technology!) and went for a celebratory drive to pick it up.

Now I can’t speak for the quality of every Domino’s but this looked and smelled amazingly fresh for take-out. The old Domino’s recipe was a lake of shapeless cheese on undercooked cardboard. The new Domino’s formula has a lighter, crispier crust, less cheese and more toppings. The sauce has far more flavor, filled with herbs and an actual aroma. I find it hard to believe that I’m talking about take-out pizza.

The bad news is that it’s still take-out pizza. It still has grease, it’s still fast food. It doesn’t hold a candle to homemade pizza. This was the first fast food pizza I’d had in a good long while, and I definitely had the worst heartburn I’ve had in a while. The good news is, it is by far the least greasy and lightest of all the pizza chain options that still leaves you satisfied and not hating yourself after.

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