Papa John’s boldly goes where every fast food chain went last year.
Delivery pizza and football are two of America’s guiltiest pleasures. We know that these things aren’t particularly good for us. We know that these things often aren’t even particularly good, as anyone who has had the misfortune of tuning into a Thursday Night Football broadcast or an Oregon football game this season can attest. And yet there’s something undeniably satisfying about parking oneself on the couch, eating some middling pizza and shouting at the TV while players risk dangerous injuries for our own amusement. Papa John’s is the official pizza of the National Football League. Yesterday, the Louisville-based chain released three pizzas selected by NFL players in an offseason poll, including this week’s subject: the Sriracha Meats Pizza.
If you’re like me, you had a few burning questions when this pizza was announced: Why now? Why not a year ago? And it is an interesting question. Sriracha went from a hot sauce found at Asian restaurants to being tossed on every conceivable item in the fast food world. Pizza Hut itself introduced a Sriracha swirl of its own last fall when it tried to rebrand itself as an artisanal pizza place last fall. The far less inventive Domino’s even introduced a Sriracha pizza in foreign markets with an BDSM-themed print campaign in January this year. So why has it taken Papa John’s—who was last seen in this column after having haphazardly tossed chili and fritos onto a pizza—so long to hop onto the trend? A ghost pepper pizza would have been more on trend.
Questionable timing aside, I decided to give the Sriracha Meats Pizza a spin. There is currently a deal allowing you to get a large of any of the three Player’s Choice pizzas for $12, but be warned that you need to click through the deal on the homepage to actually get that price.
The Sriracha Meats Pizza is a fairly conventional pizza—pepperoni, sausage, red onions and a red sauce—with a swirl of the Thai chili sauce spiraling towards the center. It isn’t too far removed from the pizza I dubbed the Banh Mizza (ground pork, red onions with the house honey sriracha sauce) in my review of Pizza Hut’s then-new menu. Many people already pour hot sauce on their pizza; Papa John’s is helping you skip that laborious step.
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SOURCE: Willamette Week