05 December 2011

The Age-Old Question

When I think, "What would I like to rot my insides with tonight?", nine times out of twelve the answer is "Pizza!" It's got just the right combination of complex carbs, sugary tomato sauce, and rennety cheese, hitting every point on any reasonably healthy person's "DO NOT CONSUME" list. But I like to take it up a notch; or down 83 notches, to the lowest of the low, based on your perspective. In the race among Brooklyn pizza delivery joints, for me it always comes down to two: Domino's and Papa John's (Singa's, apparently the truly lowest, based on this yelp review, has disqualified itself based on this other yelp review; Pizza Hut would be the sure winner, if there were any nearby). Sure, I'll look at the menu for Carmine's and Sal's, and even the newer, hipper Best Pizza. But those are my slice places. I go there for slices. For a whole pie, plus breadsticks, without which I feel my pizza delivery meal is incomplete, it must be Domino's or Papa John's.

The first time I had Domino's was in high school. There was a Domino's outpost attached to the on-campus 7-11. That Domino's was truly abominable. Never before, and never since, have I tasted that unique combination of cardboard + process cheese food + generic ketchup. Even the time that I got the mostly raw Little Caesar's pie was better than this Domino’s. If I consumed it on more than one occasion, it was out of truly desperate hunger. Pretty much all that the 7-11 stocked was Sun Chips, mortal enemy to my taste buds. I didn't touch it again until I moved to the Lower East Side in 2005. There was a Domino's nearby. My favorite neighborhood pizza place, Rosario's, didn't deliver. A cold/stormy night + epic hungers = me ordering Domino's delivery. It's been me n' D ever since.

Papa John's was my jam in high school. I knew a guy that worked there who would hook me up with pizza if I hooked him up with a gigantic milkshake from the ice cream shop where I worked. But that ish was worth its weight in gold to me (see, pizza doesn't weigh that much, so it's fine). What Papa John's was then is much what Domino's seems to be now. The sauce so sugary/tangy, the crust so doughy, the breadsticks pillow-esque. Perfection! (Not to say I didn't indulge in the occasional Hungry Howie's pie with butter cheese crust). Whenever PJ's wins out over Dom's, it's this flavor nostalgia that tips the scales.

Here are the things that weigh on my mind each time I decide on pizza over rice & steamed veggies:

Dom's Pros
- Consistent. Domino's may not be "the best," but it always arrives hot, melty, and saucy, the flavor is actually respectable, it's always exactly what I expect it to be, and I've certainly had worse.
- Cheap. They have all these great online coupons! Yes, I am secretly your coupon cutting grandma. DEAL WITH IT.
- Order tracking. Like UPS, and just as reliable! Before it goes out the door they do a "perfection check"! And you get to pick the background theme for the tracker! I always pick the bodice ripper theme. Not that I order often enough to describe my frequency as "always," or anything. Just sayin'.

Dom's Cons
- GUT BOMB. Do not go on a date after consuming. Actually, don't go anywhere after consuming. You'll probably be balls deep into When Harry Met Sally anyway.

PJ's pros
- Ehhhh, pretty much the same as Dom's, except NO tracking. Get with the future, PJ's! I represent the people and the people want pizza tracking!

PJ's cons
- As previously mentioned, the no tracking blows. Even if the Dom's tracker is a fake-out, it's very comforting to see progress.
- And obviously, the GUT BOMB factor.

I began this quandary knowing it would lead me to one of two ends. Gut Bomb + When Harry Met Sally, or Gut Bomb + Dirty Dancing. The Domino's pizza tracker just informed me that Ramon has left the store with my order. Could it have been any other way?

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