The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

Pizza Gorging, Spudnuts, and Healthy Home Cooking

meat and things vegetarian friendly ish hawaiian uh...
Before death, there is pizza.

"We're gonna have at least 15 pizzas."

People usually ask me if working at Serious Eats entails gorging on free food all the time. No, most definitely not. ...I mean, there is a ginormous apple pie in the fridge right now (about the size of a baby's bathtub or an obese cat) that I eat a slice of nearly every day and will probably last for the rest of the month, but we don't usually have giant pies lurking in our kitchen. I swear.

But sometimes you just have to rate questionably edible delivery pizza for the good of the Super Bowl-watching public. I think this is referred to as, "taking one for the team, or "decreasing your life span."

The results of our taste test—the idea of which was borne forth from Adam's brain—can be found at Slice's Pizza Showdown: The Best Delivery Pizza, so there isn't much need for me to go in depth with the details here. Here are some things that didn't make it into the entry.

Domino's Hawaiian Pizza

My pick for the worst tasting pizza would be Domino's Hawaiian Pizza. The crust was super-flat and somewhat flaky with a flavor reminiscent of paper. What kind of malformed mind invented this pizza crust? We didn't all agree that this was the worst pizza, so maybe the crust takes on different qualities depending on who's eating it. Or maybe I'm crazy. Or maybe everyone else is crazy. It's hard to tell sometimes.

weird ass crust of weirdness
Ugliest pizza

Pizza Hut's plain pizza with a crunchy cheesy crust wins for ugliest pizza, solely because of the crust, which was neither crunchy nor cheesy. It tells liiiies. So what is a crunchy cheesy crust? It's like a normal crust...patchily covered with scabby protrusions resembling clumps of sand in variegated levels of burnt-ness. These clumps tasted vaguely like freeze-fried garlic. To my horror, I found out that Pizza Hut has a contest dedicated to this unworthy crust that asks customers to pick two words to describe the crust's taste before smooshing the words together to form the ultimate CRUNCHY CHEESY CRUST WORD! (Guess what words "savorshizzle" comes from!)

...Alas, the words I would pick are not available, those words being "epic" and "fail." (It's possible that the Pizza Hut we got these pizzas from just didn't know how to make a crunchy cheesy crust—Pizza Hut is not very popular in NYC—but if they can't make it, they shouldn't even offer it.)

After tasting most of the pizzas, my burps tasted like pizza and I had a tingling suspicion that my pores were releasing a pizza-like scent. In a desperate attempt to combat this odor problem, I drank some highly artificially flavored grape soda, hoping that the grape-esque chemical flavoring paired with carbonation would somehow dislodge the pizza oils that oozed through my veins and leaked out of my skin. However, ingesting the bottle of grape soda didn't completely mask the pizza flavor; instead, my burps gained an artificial grape-flavored undertone. I can't really say it was worse than pizza on its own, although certainly not any better. In conclusion, there is no hope. This statement applies to more than just pizza.

oh noes, too much pizza
By this point, the fun died down.

I don't mean to say that all delivery pizzas are horrible. On an edibility scale of one to ten, I'd say they ranged from -2 to 8. Most of them weren't that bad (if you have low standards; this ain't New York style pizza). I probably couldn't rate them very well since after eating so many different kinds in one sitting, they all started to taste the same, partially due to my head being enveloped in a cloud of generic delivery pizza smell. Also, my brain disintegrated just a lil' bit, a symptom that they pizza box failed to properly warn me about. My advice would be not to try more than ten kinds of pizza in one meal. I'm pretty sure you can do that.

And then there were...donuts.

yay donuts!
they come bearing food
Donut delivery boys.

When Tristan said he was coming up from Charlottesville to NYC for a short trip (with his friends Paul and Lihan), I couldn't think of anything to ask for...besides donuts from Spudnuts. I regretted not doing the best donut sampling job the last time I was there. I didn't specify how many donuts I wanted. Some, perhaps. A mountain, possibly.

Being the awesome friend he is, he erred on the side of "mountain" and lavished the pizza-coma-ed Serious Eats crew with a box of 12 donuts—four each of plain, glazed and cinnamon—plus one each of the cherry cinnamon and apple cinnamon donuts. Sadly, my stomach was so crammed with semi-digested pizza sludge that I wasn't able to indulge in as much donut magic as I would've liked. Since shoving an entire donut down my throat was likely to trigger reverse peristalsis, I only cut myself little chunks out of the donuts, leaving it up to everyone else to clear off the rest of the sweet, fluffy, fried dough matter. It nearly makes me weep to think about those donuts...the donuts that got away.

Everyone agreed that these were exceptionally good donuts. C-ville may fail in a many ways (Tristan would be able to describe these ways better than I could), but their donuts are full of win.

CHOP CHOP CHOP chop chop!

That night Tristan cooked the two of us a vegetarian friendly dinner to veer my body off the path to pizza and donut-induced death. The recipe was simple: combine red bell pepper, onion, swiss chard, spinach, and garlic in any way you see fit (a bit of chopping was involved here), shove in a pan with some oil (the order of the vegetables counts here, but you can probably figure it out because you're smart!!!), season with soy sauce, and BOOYA, you've got a pile of minerals and tastiness.

We have a kale? Uh huh!

Cooking with vegetables is kind of satisfying and sad at the same time because you can start off with a huge baby-sized head of swiss chard...


...And end up with something 1% of the size of what you started off with. When those leaves hit the pan, they melt into a little concentrated pile of vegetable-ness. (This photo may have been taken before we put the swiss chard in, but it didn't look all that different after the swiss chard was added.) Cellulose, be gone; ease of edibility is miiiine.

Unfortunately, Tristan couldn't taste much due to intense nasal blockage, but I assured him that the finished product tasted great. Because it did. Admittedly, my favorite vegetable was the sweet red pepper, which is more of a fruit than a vegetable, but altogether each bite was...A BURST OF...MOTHER NATURE. With a hint of soy sauce.

Tristan wants me to eat more healthily so I won't die so soon. Isn't that sweet? I love my friends!


I'm pretty sure you can figure out where Domino's, Pizza Hut, and Papa John's are.

309 Avon St
Charlottesville, VA 22902

Boston people?

I noticed that there's a topic in my forum asking for Boston food recs. People use the forum? OH JESUS! Okay. I mean, it's awesome that people use it, but I unfortunately don't know anything about Boston and I dunno how many people notice that I even have a forum. Anything that I can answer I will—everything else is up for grabs. And there aren't many potential grabbers. If you have any recs, please help a TGWAE reader out. Thanks!


angela / February 14, 2008 11:43 PM

the only delivery pizza my friends and I buy is from Round Table Pizza. it's more expensive, though its toppings are more diverse and fresh.

I come from So Cal, where there the majority of stuff comes from chain stores and prominent brands.

do they have round table pizza in NYC?

jen! / February 15, 2008 12:12 AM

I love the quad of pizza pics, it reminds me of the Brady Bunch. I can nearly see each pizza turning right and left and up and down and diagonal, as if to say "you're my brother! and you, my sister!" Awesome. Too bad they nasty.

santos. / February 15, 2008 12:59 AM

we had a theory? theorem? in uni: where there's pizza, there's doughnuts. proved true in this post!

and subsequently, where there's doughnuts, there's cops. but i don't see any here.

Mortimer ze King of Dazzle / February 15, 2008 7:24 AM

We all want you to live longer. In the short span I need you to so you can guide me around that big slab of a country on the other side of the Atlantic, and in the long run life would just be less interesting without this blog to catch up on.

Goodie, goodie twoshoes!

Kay / February 15, 2008 7:51 AM

I'm hungry!

This makes me think of the clam pizza from an old serious eats video! I need to go there before I die!!!!!

Julie / February 15, 2008 10:46 AM

I agree with the person upstairs--Round Table is the best takeout chain, but barring that (meaning you're not in SoCal), I'll go for Papa John's. Poor Ed--was this the week he gained a pound? I think committing seppeku would be the only way I would've lost any weight in that situation ... being dead and unable to stuff food in my maw is a great dieting plan, eh?

Hooray for veggies! Veggies = no need for seppeku!

Julie / February 15, 2008 10:52 AM

More on Round Table Pizza: It's mostly a West Coast chain, with the exception of Arkansas (wtf), and there's actually one here in Phoenix, in Terminal 2 of our airport (wtf again). That's, like, United Airlines and other international airlines ... A part of me thinks I should go for lunch someday soon. But how good (and spendy) can airport food be, even if it is from a good chain?

wonders / February 15, 2008 11:37 AM

Geeesusss that's alot of freakin pizza!!! We occasionally order Dominos but they always come soggy and soft, maybe it's cause it takes them an hour and half to get here but still...

You're extremely hungry and then get disappointed when it arrives but eat it anyway cause you're starving..

I can't wait to get off work so my gf and I could goto Red Mango then Taim!!! I'm gonna be expecting quite alot from Taim but I trust you! -=D

Jones / February 15, 2008 12:55 PM

That Pizza Hut compound word contest sounds suspiciously like the Taco Bell ad campaigns. I know they're the same company, so I'm not surprised they're sharing it. What I am surprised about is that it must have been successful for them to deem it worthy of 'Hut fame. Do you remember these ads?

Three waning twenty-somethings are sharing a depressing Taco Bell lunch at a tiny table. They enjoy their food so much that they are unable to describe it using the shared lexicon that us poor saps who haven't enjoyed that very taco platter are left with. The resort to coming up with compounded adjectives: "cruncheweezy." Gesundheit!

Clare / February 15, 2008 1:33 PM

Ew I hate pineapples in pizza anyway! I've never understood why people like hot, molten cheese mixed with chunky sour fruit. It's a World of Nooooooooooooooooos!

I do love kale though.

Willow / February 15, 2008 2:53 PM

Hey Robyn!
so i recently visited ridgewood to see my friend and he took me to taste of thai. I remember that you also went there some time ago so i ordered the dessert you had; their pumpkin custard thing was kind of tasteless since i was expecting something off the charts good from your description. maybe the chef was having a bad day? lol

my friend also took me to Country Pancake House and the portions were humongous! omelete, with a side of fried potatoes...mmmm try it next time ur in ridgwood.

Gordon / February 15, 2008 3:12 PM

Ugh, I'm not sure when I'll be eating pizza again.

Hey so that giant apple pie, I saw it in the fridge yesterday and I was wondering how old it is now and whether it's still good or not.

roboppy / February 15, 2008 4:34 PM

Angela: Nope, don't have Round Table here as far as I know. I think we only have Domino's, Pizza Hut, and Papa John's, and I'm not sure how popular they are considering that there's a pizzeria on nearly every block. We used to have one next door to our office but it become a cafe or something. And we already have two of those within like, 30 seconds walking distance. Hm.

Jen: Your comment made me LOL. I imagined the pizzas with funny cartoon voices. And their cheese/toppings moving in a way that gave them facial expressions. ...It's kind of creepy, maybe.

Claudia: TRUE DAT!

Santos: There are no cops in the land of Boppy!


Morten: I will live long enough so that I can show you around my wonderful country!

Kay: I've heard of clam pizza, but never tried it. Maybe...I need to put that on my list.

Julie: Being dead is a good way to not gain weight!

I'm not sure there's ever any good food in airports. Or rather, an airport location would not be the best representation of the product. ._. But if you're curious enough!...

wonders: Ohh man, old pizza usually sucks (without proper reheating). Even if it was good to begin with.

I hope my recommendation doesn't disappoint!

Jones: I haven't seen that commercial, but that pretty much sounds like the same idea. THEY ARE RUNNING OUT OF CREATIVITY. And "crunchewheezy"?...

Well, I've never had Taco Bell, so maybe it really does taste crunchewheezy. -__-

Clare: I too prefer pineapple...on it's own. Or in desserts.

I like this WORLD OF NOOOS!

Deb: Man, we had so much extra pizza. If we had planned it better we could've had an AWESOME PIZZA PARTY.

Willow: Yay Ridgewood, I love it there!

Oo, I haven't been to Ridge Thai in a while. I didn't mean to portray that the pudding was "something off the charts"—I just thought it was interesting and worth trying. Not something I'd crave. :\ Maybe the one you ate had less taste though...wah!

As for Country Pancake House, I've unfortunately been there so many times that I'm burned out. (If you search for it on my site it'll come up more than 5 times, hehe.) The portions are scary big! I WANT ONE PANCAKE! One! Not 4 things that could eat my face. Ah well, they make good leftovers.

Gordon: I don't know how old it is! But I think the sugar content is prevent it from rotting...if that makes you feel any better. MAYBE I'LL EAT A SLICE TODAY!!!

Christina / February 15, 2008 5:09 PM

I need to find some doughnut-bearing friends! Very cool of him to do that, and cook dinner.

Domino's Pizza... Their cheese is suspect... I can't even describe now what it was like, but WRONG is definitely what it was.

wonders / February 16, 2008 10:44 PM

Ah I didn't make it to Taim, we went to Momofuku instead and it was a great experience! Those pork buns are....OMG ! I can't even describe how much I liked them! lols My friend and I sat at the bar holding our jackets and bags until we realized theres hooks under the bar like 3/4 into the meal. That place is so packed, it's crazy. We will goto Taim though, it was just too cold to eat outside.

Talk about cold pizza.....we're having dominos tonight..lols oh joy lols

roboppy / February 17, 2008 7:38 PM

Christina: Tristan's coming back soon; I WILL ASK FOR MORE DONUTS, BWAHAHA!!

The most "wrong" cheese we had was in the stuffed crust pizza from Pizza Hut. I dunno what that was.

I filled out the survey in my new entry! :D

wonders: Oh yeah, Momofuku is really good. I don't even mind paying crazy money for their food. Sigh. Goddamn pork buns..

Carrot: HOLY MOLY.

Those ears are freakin' huge.

joanh / March 6, 2008 9:37 AM

yum.. these pizzas are much more drool worthy than the weird asian crust pizzas.. i thought i had seen weird already with the takoyaki pizza from pizza hut in taipei, but you had some seriously strange asian spins on pizza. hope you're great!

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