Friday, December 25, 2020

Kroger French Bread Pizza (Three Meat) & a Hot Sauce Tasting

Merry Christmas, folks. I can't imagine many people will be checking out this blog on Christmas Day, so this isn't going to be the best frozen pizza I'll ever write about. 

You may remember a few weeks ago, I was shocked at how good a Stouffer's french bread pizza tasted after going more than 20 years without trying one. I decided to try another french bread pizza soon, if the opportunity presented itself.

So when I saw Kroger offered several flavors of french bread pizza, all on sale for $1 each, I jumped at the chance. 

It was not particularly attractive, either cooked or uncooked. 

And it wasn't particularly flavorful, either. I was not surprised. Nor was I disappointed. Store-brand items like this, especially with a $1 price tag, or not designed to be gourmet. The chief selling point is not the item, but rather the price. 

But it wasn't bad. It lacked the umami presence of Stouffer's, but it did the job. 

I don't drink like I used to, but if I did, I would make it a point to always keep these in the freezer for those evenings when I have a lot of beer and need something in my stomach.  

I decided to liven up the pizza by adding some of my favorite hot sauces. Behold:  

Tabasco Cayenne Garlic. 

Hank Sauce "Cilantktro." Stupid name; delicious sauce. 

And, what is probably my favorite hot sauce - also with a stupid name - Texas Champagne. 

THE RATING: 🍕🍕

Friday, December 18, 2020

Donato's Seriously Meaty

I have written over the last year - most noticeably about Trader Joe's pizzas - how disappointing it is when the toppings of a frozen pizza stop well short of reaching the crust. I am pretty used to it at this point, though TJ's has taken it to extreme heights - er, depths - lately.

Which is why I was pleased to see a frozen pizza for sale recently that advertises right on the box "edge to edge toppings." I immediately purchased it. 

And I was pleased upon unboxing the pizza: There are lots of toppings and many of them extend to the edge. 

This is one of those things where your mileage may vary. 

For me, there were too many toppings. The combination of Provolone cheese, pepperoni, ham, and bacon made this the saltiest food I have eaten in years. I could not finish half of it, and even with that amount, I drank perhaps a half-gallon of water over the next couple of hours.

Still, it wasn't bad. The crust did nothing to distinguish itself but the sauce, and particularly the sausage, were very tasty. 

And in a world where so many frozen pizzas skimp on the toppings, I can't hold it against Donato's for including too many.  

When I was a kid, it's possible I would have loved this pizza. But I haven't been a kid for a long time, and I most likely won't get one of these again.

But I'm not going to tell you to avoid it. If you like salty foods more than I - or if you're drunk when you eat this and need it to soak up the alcohol - you might enjoy this pizza very much. 

THE RATING: 🍕🍕🍕

Friday, December 11, 2020

Screamin' Sicilian Thin & Crispy Chicken Bacon Ranch

Screamin' Sicilian debuted a few years back and I tried them pretty quickly, finding them to be much better than your average frozen pizza. But I haven't eaten them too many times, for two reasons. First, while they're better than average, that's not saying much when it comes to frozen pizza. It's like being the valedictorian of summer school or the best defensive player on the 2020 Dallas Cowboys. 

Second, when these pizzas are not on sale, they are generally priced around 9, sometimes 10 dollars. That's not outrageous - I spend more money on food than anything else in my life, by a wide margin - but it's just a little bit more than it should be. If I'm paying that much for a frozen pizza, I expect it to be something I love, not merely something I find "better than average."

A couple of weeks ago I noticed, for the first time, that Screamin' Sicilian now offers thin & crispy pizzas - in their typically irreverent way, the box announces "I'm Thin & Crispy."

I opted to try the "Chicken Bacon Ranch" flavor, despite the fact that I have yet to have one of that variety that I truly enjoy. I mean, I could have gone for the pepperoni, but why not take a chance? 

As with the other Screamin' Sicilian pizzas I have tried, there was a decent amount of toppings. This one did not have quite as many as I am used to, but it was by no means skimpy. 

Part of this is fantastic. Part of it is truly awful. 

Want more details? Okay. 

The sauce was better than I ever could have imagined a "ranch sauce," to be. While I do not hate ranch, I do not particularly like it, almost always finding it boring. This was neither boring nor bland. And the cheese was good, too. Often cheese on a frozen pizza doesn't melt so much as it merely gets softer. This cheese melted into a tasty pool. 

However, the chicken was the most rubbery, flavorless chicken I believe I have ever tasted on a frozen pizza. In the past, I have found Screamin' Sicilian's toppings to be quite good; it is surprising that their chicken could be this awful. 

Ditto the crust. While the thicker crust of other Screamin' Sicilian pizzas have been pretty good, this thin crust was terrible. 

It's disappointing and, quite frankly, shocking, that they could nail the cheese and ranch sauce but screw up the rest so completely. I will never get another one of their thin crust pizzas. 

(However, they also now offer a crust made with beer... if I can find one anywhere - it does not appear they are currently sold in my area - I will absolutely be getting one of those.)

THE RATING: 🍕

Friday, December 4, 2020

Whole Foods 365 Thin Crust Supreme

I took advantage of Whole Foods 50%-off sale on frozen pizza at the beginning of November. This is the penultimate pizza I purchased during that time. 

I'm not going to go into a long rant; I'll keep it simple. This frozen pizza was the definition of insipid.

The flavors weren't bad. They were nonexistent. 

There were not enough toppings. It's tempting to say that more of them might have helped, but then again, the toppings that did exist were so flavorless, I do not believe more of the would have made any difference.  

The first 365 pizza I tried, the BBQ Chicken, was so good that I thought I had stumbled upon an untapped resource for frozen pizza. It turns out, that was the outlier. All the rest of them have sucked. 

And this was the worst. By far.

THE RATING: 🍕