I have home tested quite a few frozen pizzas, including other offerings by Red Baron. Tonight’s choice, due to a sale price of 2 / $7, was Red Baron’s Classic Pepperoni packaged with a side of Mozzarella Cheese Sticks.
The image I found on line (left) for the package states “12 Cheese Sticks”, but my package included the disclaimer “11-13” cheese sticks. I received 12 in my box, I guess packing limitations prevent the precise number being included in each pack.
The pizza and cheese sticks are wrapped separately of course, and have different baking instructions. The pizza called for 400 degrees, and about 18 minutes; the instructions said to put the cheese sticks in the same oven when there was 11 minutes left on the timer (providing you were eating/serving both at the same time).
I looked deep inside the box to see if there was a packet of dipping sauce; most cheese sticks at fast casual restaurants come with a side of marinara, and I see no reason why for a couple pennies more Red Baron didn’t include same, but they choose not to. I whipped up a quick marinara from some of our canned garden tomatoes, easily done while waiting for the pie and sticks to bake.
I’ve been lukewarm on Red Baron in the past, but the product seems to continually improve. I liked the crust on this one, slightly crispy, and the toppings were ample. At the sale price, it’s a ‘bargain’ in the world of frozen pizza.
My largest “complaint” about the cheese sticks, and it’s not directed at Red Baron specifically, but any company that tries to emulate frying food in the oven, is the cheese sticks aren’t adequately crispy. That is, not reminiscent of the finish food gets when its fried. This ‘complaint’ includes most every pseudo fried product I have tried, from fish filets to ravioli. It’s a technique food science simply hasn’t figured out yet.
Mrs. Burgerdogboy, the beneficiary of the bulk of the cheese sticks, enjoyed them. She liked the texture (stringiness) of the hot cheese. And of course, my house-made marinara added to the experience!
Red Baron’s “Pizza and Sides” line is also available with “Wingz”, boneless fried chicken bits, I will get around to trying those in the future.
Do I recommend this product? Yes, it’s as good as any in the ‘value-priced’ segment of frozen pizza, and the addition of the ‘side’ makes it pleasing for an after school or family snack.