It’s been over a year since I have ordered from Papa John’s; the last one I had was before I was 86ed from Portland, it was one of my ‘go-to’ delivery choices, though I discovered late in my tenure there that my fave local pizza was from an obscure corner market called Uncle John’s. (No relation to Papa). That was a massive New York, fold-able style pie.
Papa John’s, based in Louisville, is the 4th largest pizza chain, with over 4000 locations worldwide. In addition to pizza, they offer some variations on pizza, like cheese bread, and pizza-shaped cookies. Chicken wings and boneless chicken are also available. They feature Pepsi beverages.
I decided to try Papa John’s today because they have an early week special which is cheap, and I wanted to try their “Chkn Poppers”, white meat tenders, lightly breaded, oven-baked, says the website description. Sometimes I worry about food that has a somewhat funky spelling, but maybe vowels were extra. (FYI – “Chicken” is spelled out on the packaging).
Papa John’s online ordering is easy to navigate and gives you a wide variety of choices for customization. I’m also a sucker for those little tubs of garlic sauce that they peddle, and loaded up on them with this order.
I went for the all meat thin crust, and delivery arrived after about a hour. I figured it would take awhile, the shop is about 5 miles away, kind of surprised they even drive that far. Natch, the food wasn’t that hot.
The Chkn Poppers are little smaller and similar in texture to McNuggets. They are not seasoned, but you receive a choice of dipping sauces with the order. I like “buffalo” sauce, though I can’t recall the first time I had it, because I’m not a wing nut (in either way). So I probably didn’t experience it until restaurants started using it on other types of food. I do enjoy it with blue dress dressing on a burger on occasion.
Having shot my sauce sides wad on the garlic sauce, I pulled some buffalo and blue cheese out of the frig. I like Frank’s Original for Buffalo, and Litehouse for blue dress dressing. The entire line of Litehouse foods, from Idaho, are top notch. (And they often have coupons on their site).
The chicken is ok. Like any oven-baked breaded product, the breading isn’t crispy. I’m often puzzled as to why the food industry hasn’t figured out how to get a crisp crust without frying.
The pie? OK, also. Far down the list of local choices, being as the Chicago area is pizza heaven, but Papa John’s is far ahead of Pizza Hut and Domino’s for my personal taste.
I have a minor beef with the relatively new practice of delivery places charging for delivery, but saying in their disclaimers that it’s not a “tip”. I think the delivery fee should go to the driver.
Papa Johns Review