Monday, November 14, 2011

Piling On (the Toppings)

As a presidential candidate, Herman Cain has frequently cited his experience as CEO of Godfather's Pizza, a franchise he turned around into profitability for Pillsbury, then headed up a buyout of and took independent.

So, the question had to come up sooner or later: Is Godfather's pizza any good?

ABC's Lauren Torrisi reviews it:

The cheese sticks were pretty good. Put cheese on something that tastes like it has been soaking overnight in butter and I'm game. Sprinkle some dried oregano on it and you've upgraded it to "fancy" fast food. Then, dip it in marinara sauce and you've got yourself a well-rounded meal. I was happy.

The "Humble" pie wasn’t as fantastic. I was hoping that their signature pizza would have more pizzazz.

Time for a second opinion. Mine.

Like Torrisi, I visited a convenience store Godfather's outlet -- a Huck's on the corner of I-170 and Natural Bridge just outside St. Louis ... a few minutes west of the main setting for this Nelly ditty (I live between the two points):

King's Highway by Nelly on Grooveshark

So anyway, I think more of the pizza than Torrisi does, but I don't go for the Humble Pie. If you're looking for pizzazz, the Godfather's pizza you want to order is the "Hot Stuff" -- pepperoni, beef, Italian sausage, jalapenos and onions. I usually add black olives to that, and get generous with the crushed red pepper. You want pizzazz? This will take the roof right off your mouth, but there's flavor in addition to just plain heat.

The standard Godfather's crust is roughly the equivalent of Pizza Hut's "hand-tossed," and I do mean roughly: Unlike the Pizza Hut version, it actually has, um, flavor. As Torrisi mentions with respect to the breadsticks, it's a sort of buttery flavor.

Godfather's is generous with the cheese and the toppings, too. The "mini" size is pretty much a full meal even for a big eater like me.

I live within a quick hop of (about the same distance as from Godfather's) Pizza Hut, Little Caesar's, Cecil Whittaker's, Papa John's, et. al, and within the delivery areas of Domino's and Imo's, and there are some very good places within a reasonably close drive (Talayna's is the best, but also Racanelli's and Frank & Helen's and Bada-Bing).

But when I'm jonesing for a quick, convenient pizza (as opposed to one of the high-end sit-down experiences), I don't think twice -- Godfather's is my go-to joint. They're fast, they're courteous, they're inexpensive and they hands-down make the best pizza for anything like the price. The kids seem to like it too.

I still don't vote. If I voted, I still wouldn't vote Republican. And if I voted Republican, I still wouldn't vote for Cain. But I won't put down the man's pizza.

Godfather Theme by Godfather on Grooveshark

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