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Cheap chain pizza - anything good?

A Little Ceasars opened near a market where I shop. It kind of is getting me crazy ... so save me from myself.

For $5 you can get a large pepperoni pizza. Anyone tried this?

I have a flyer in the mail for PIzza Hut's P'zone - 1 lb stuffed full of pizza toppings only $6.99.

What about Pizza Hut's quepapas - potatoe bites filled with chees and 'a hint of jalepenno flavor'.

I don'f do Domino's. I've never had a good experience there. The cheese is ...well ... cheesy ... in a bad way ... as in cheap.

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  1. At LC, I'll ask for cheese only- and for it to be "well done" so the cheese is nicely burnt.

    1. If you don't like Domino's, then run (don't walk) away from Little Caesar's.

      "Pizza! Pizza!"

      :-)

      3 Replies
      1. re: ipsedixit

        Little Caesar's is a piece of cardboard with ketchup on it.

        1. re: ipsedixit

          I personally dislike Little Caesar's. However, a friend of mine eats it religiously every Friday at work and seems to love it. So, guess you just have to try it and see what works for you.

          1. re: Firegoat

            7-11 sells a $5.55 pepperoni that looks like the same thing Little Caesars is selling. I'm tempted to see what I'll get for that extra 55 cents. I'm guessing diarrhea.

        2. I have only had bad experiences with both Domino's and Little Caesar's. If I'm going for cheap chain pizza, I'll probably use the Buy One Get One carryout option at Papa John's.

          5 Replies
          1. re: mojoeater

            There you go. Papa John's...excellent chese sticks, too. They're the best of the large chain delivery options, in my mind.

            1. re: ccbweb

              And I am constantly getting PJ coupons in the mail!

              1. re: mojoeater

                Actually, I like the takeout pizza Costco.

                1. re: ipsedixit

                  I agree - Costco is indeed a "chain" and their pizza is way better than any of these other chains plus it is cheaper, too. It is ridiculous the way these chains call a 12" pizza "large" or 14" pizza "jumbo." At least Costco gives you your money's worth.

              2. re: ccbweb

                The sauce on Papa John's pizzas is about the sweetest of any chain pizza I've ever tried. It's like there's more corn syrup than tomatoes in it.

            2. I think they're all pretty awful but Round Table is probably the least awfullest.

              1 Reply
              1. re: monkuboy

                Their Italian Garlic Supreme is the best!

              2. Call me crazy, but I'm a fan of CiCi's. $4.99 AYCE and it's not horrible. I admit, I love the dessert pizzas.

                Not a fan of Little Caesars. Would rather eat the box it came in personally. But I used to love the commercial with the guy doing origami..."it's a pteridactal....caw! caw!" :)

                2 Replies
                1. re: creativeusername

                  I like Little Caesars, for $5 what do you expect? I love their Crazy bread for $1. I could just eat that and call it good.

                  1. re: creativeusername

                    CiCi's is pretty good pizza - I always forget that they have takeout. Little Caesar's is pretty bad, but I kind of like their crazy bread and crazy sauce.

                  2. Little Ceasars has got to be the worst of all chain pizza joints.
                    When I have no choice about having chain pizza, for the money, especially if taking a group of kids, I go to CiCi's.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: goodeatsinadive

                      even a bad frozen pizza is better than Little Caesar's at their best. Fot chain pizza I stick with Round table or Numero Uno.

                      1. re: calabasas_trafalgar

                        I just finished an order of Quepapas from Pizza the Hut along with the Pan Pizza and Hot Wings. I like Pizza Hut because they frequently bring out new trial products that have been consistenly good. I have never paid full price (they always provide adequate coupons), and with the variety I just brought home for about $20.00, I will keep coming back.

                    2. If you just want to spend $5-8 on a slab of cheese with some stuff on it, there are plenty of smaller pizza chains and mom-and-pops that would do a much better job than any of the mega pizza chains. Little Greasers crust is way too cardboardy for me; I used to work in Dominoes and I've seen how they get made during rushes by drivers who aren't the best at personal hygene; and Pizza Hut's goes kinda crazy with those buttery sprays.

                      There's a local DC chain called Stone Hot Pizza that uses halal meat that's actually quite tasty, and their crust actually tastes like bread instead of burnt flat dough. Jerry's Subs is decent; their $4.99 specials are their bread and butter. Or cheese, as the case may be.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                        You're lucky to live somewhere that has all those small local chains. Most of us don't have that though. There are only about 3 in my town - and none in the $5-8 range. One is on a busy very downtown street with no parking, one is thirty minutes away, and one is just plain awful.

                      2. Papa John's is OK, but only in emergencies. My favorite chain pizza is Donatos, which is no longer available in my area =( They have a crispy pepperoni pizza that I dream about.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: jessicheese

                          Mmm, Donato's... A favorite of mine back in Ohio. I especially miss the chicken veggie medley pizza with hot sauce for dipping.

                        2. When in a pizza/time crunch I usually default to Papa Murphy's, a few additions and a 500 degree oven. It's not as good as homemade but is more acceptable than a luke warm delivery.

                          1. Little Ceasers is really good quality for the price. You'll be punishing yourself by not going and trying it at least.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: LordMontague

                              They're not that bad. I just don't like the fact that they're pre-made, not made to order. How long have the pies been sitting under the lamp? McD's does the same thing with the burgers.

                            2. papa john's has a half price deal anytime any one of the local pro teams wins, or wins by a certain margin. we like the "john's favorite" pizza, well done, with added onions, black olives and banana peppers. can get extra large for around $11 with the deal. otherwise we don't order chain pizza, but go to a local neapolitan place, pupatella. (arlington, va).

                              1. In college, Domino's had a 6 for 6 deal, I think it was. Six toppings on a large pie for six dollars. They took two hours to make the dang thing, and it was terrible from start to finish. I'll blame my Taiwanese friend for that one.

                                1. Since this thread has reappeared, I'll chime in by saying all of the big national chains -- Papa John's, Dominos, Pizza Hut, Little Caesars, etc -- truly suck. Their products are nothing but a cheap way to get some caloric intake.

                                  We have a chain around here (Northern Va) called Vocelli's. Not sure how widespread it is now, but it's half-decent.

                                  zpizza is another smaller chain that is pretty good.

                                  1. The only local chain pizza we get regularly is Ledo's, and even those can be hit or miss.

                                    Bertucci's does a good chain pie, but at the $10 price point. You're better off spending the extra couple bucks at a mom & pop pizza joint.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: monkeyrotica

                                      Yeah, we like Bertucci's and generally like Ledo's too (once in a while). My comments should be limited to the big chains that specialize in delivery of tasteless, doughy pizza.

                                      1. re: monkeyrotica

                                        Oh, I agree with the local joint stuff. Sadly, the local place that opened near our house has just wretched service (the staff stand around right outside the front door smoking while on breaks....would have to go through the smoke to get into the place at all) and so we've abandoned them. The pizza was passable, but definitely not worth putting up with owners and staff that don't seem to care a bit.

                                        We have another place that's further away and they do alright, but then we discovered that they'll deliver their full menu and their pastas are far, far superior to their pizza. We patronize them a lot, but almost never for pizza anymore.

                                        As for cheap chain: I tried Domino's for the first time in maybe 20 years when my wife was out of town a couple of weeks ago. The toppings were really flavorful...but the sauce was far too sweet and the crust was very doughy and the cheese had a texture I didn't like very much. It's a shame because their technology and speed were really impressive.

                                        1. re: ccbweb

                                          A lot of the local mom & pops are hit or miss. Just because it's small and not a chain is no guarantee of quality. We found a couple old Greek carryouts and diners that serve a decent pie for not much more than the chains. Worth the extra couple bucks.

                                          Agreed on Dominos. It's an improvement, but the sauce is still too sweet for my tastes. It really begs for salty toppings (pepperoni, ham, anchovies) to compensate for the sweetness.

                                          1. re: monkeyrotica

                                            I keep a jar of capers handy in case I ever have to eat this sweet-sauce chain pizza.

                                      2. If you haven't had Domino's in the last year or so, and you're declaring it to be terrible based on past experiences,I suggest giving it another try. It's better than any other chain pizza I've had since they revamped it.

                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: Boston_Otter

                                          I was recently staying at a friend's place in Chicago who ordered in a Domino's pizza for dinner. After giving him all kinds of shit for getting Domino's, in Chicago of all places, I was forced to eat my words as the pizza turned out to be actually pretty tasty. Crispy, well bubbled bottom crust, salty cheese and ample portion of crispy pepperoni. Hard to find fault with it especially for $7.

                                        2. I don't recommend the Little Caesar's pizza, not even at 5 bucks. With pizza probably more than most items, you get what you pay for (there's also the danger of paying for what you don't get, too, because of pretension, but that's usually with non-pizza parlor restaurants selling the pie as a luxury item) and 5$ for a large LC Frisbee is slightly more than it is worth from a culinary standpoint. However, since it's made of cardboard, you could fold it, let it dry out (applying paper towels to absorb the grease) and it would make an excellent door stop. But why expend the effort when you can just go to Papa John's and get one of their pre-dried door jams?