Hot!Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age?

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Sundancer7
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/17 18:42:54 (permalink)
The first pizza I ever had was at Shakey's in Chattanooga in 1966.  I had it with a pitcher of beer and at that time I thought it was absolutely delicious.  Now in Knoxville, TN, it is hard to find a good pizza.  I have to drive 40 miles to Venti's in Vonore, TN for good pizza.
http://www.pizzeriaventi.com/
 
Paul E. Smith
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mar52
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/17 18:54:02 (permalink)
The seventies had me eating Piece 'O Pizza often. Back then there were several locations and the pizza was very good.

One location left that I know of. Quality consistency can ruin a business.
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/17 20:16:47 (permalink)
The first time I ate pizza was in Henderson, Kentucky in 1968 at a place on 2nd Street called Pizzaroma.  It had a ton of parmesan cheese on any pizza you ordered that gave their product a sandy texture.  I didn't care that much about it, but that's all there was.
 
In the next few years a few other independent pizza outlets appeared.  Most were pretty good.  All but Dave's Pizza, which has been around since (ca. 1971) have vanished, due to death or over-competition.  Dave's is where I eat almost all my pizzas.
 
In 1974 our town got a Pizza Hut.  This was the town's first chain restaurant.  40 years later it is still in the same location, doing about the same level of business it always has.  It's essentially the same product.  They've added some things to the menu over the years, such as wings and breadsticks.
 
In the years since 1974, nearly all of the pizza chains have come to town, stayed a while and disappeared.  But Pizza Hut has remained.
 
This is a bit off topic, but if you are interested in how the public perceived fast food restaurants, I'll tell you.
 
Henderson was hit by a wave of fast food restaurants between 1971 and 1975, with one seeming to appear nearly every month in the years 1973-1974.  The public was absolutely bewildered.  They couldn't keep track of which chain had what product.  I worked as a cook in a Dairy Queen, and we were constantly bombarded with requests for pizza, buckets of chicken, big macs, top chefs (an item from Burger Chef), and I don't know what all.  It seemed as if the public thought they were interchangeable.
 
It got to be a joke with the employees after a while.  One time after someone asked for a Top Chef, I went outside and asked the guy in the drive-through window, "Where on the menu board does it say "Top Chef?"  He didn't answer me.  He just drove off.  My guess is that he couldn't read and didn't want to admit it.
 
Did the food taste any better then?  Not really.  Only with Kentucky Fried Chicken could I really taste a difference.  The chicken they served in 1970 is a pale comparison to what they serve today; the chicken in 1970 so overloaded your taste buds that you dreamed about coming back as often as possible.
 
post edited by Louis - 2014/06/17 20:18:12
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 08:48:42 (permalink)
Louis

The first time I ate pizza was in Henderson, Kentucky in 1968 at a place on 2nd Street called Pizzaroma.  It had a ton of parmesan cheese on any pizza you ordered that gave their product a sandy texture.  I didn't care that much about it, but that's all there was.

In the next few years a few other independent pizza outlets appeared.  Most were pretty good.  All but Dave's Pizza, which has been around since (ca. 1971) have vanished, due to death or over-competition.  Dave's is where I eat almost all my pizzas.

In 1974 our town got a Pizza Hut.  This was the town's first chain restaurant.  40 years later it is still in the same location, doing about the same level of business it always has.  It's essentially the same product.  They've added some things to the menu over the years, such as wings and breadsticks.

In the years since 1974, nearly all of the pizza chains have come to town, stayed a while and disappeared.  But Pizza Hut has remained.

This is a bit off topic, but if you are interested in how the public perceived fast food restaurants, I'll tell you.

Henderson was hit by a wave of fast food restaurants between 1971 and 1975, with one seeming to appear nearly every month in the years 1973-1974.  The public was absolutely bewildered.  They couldn't keep track of which chain had what product.  I worked as a cook in a Dairy Queen, and we were constantly bombarded with requests for pizza, buckets of chicken, big macs, top chefs (an item from Burger Chef), and I don't know what all.  It seemed as if the public thought they were interchangeable.

It got to be a joke with the employees after a while.  One time after someone asked for a Top Chef, I went outside and asked the guy in the drive-through window, "Where on the menu board does it say "Top Chef?"  He didn't answer me.  He just drove off.  My guess is that he couldn't read and didn't want to admit it.

Did the food taste any better then?  Not really.  Only with Kentucky Fried Chicken could I really taste a difference.  The chicken they served in 1970 is a pale comparison to what they serve today; the chicken in 1970 so overloaded your taste buds that you dreamed about coming back as often as possible.


That is fascinating, and I guess it illustrates just how different communication was compared to today.  I mean, even in 1971, McDonald's, KFC, and other chains had been around for years, in some cases decades.  And they did have TV and print ads.  But if you didn't already have those chains where you lived, then you wouldn't have reason to pay much attention to that advertising, so ignorance and confusion would be inevitable. 

And if you'd never been exposed to chains before, then perhaps you wouldn't even have a conception of how they were or operated.

Even given that, though... wouldn't people have seen some fast food joints when they traveled elsewhere?  Wouldn't they have thought, hey, if restaurants bothered to have different names and identities, why would they have identical menus?  A restaurant is still a restaurant.  Maybe there's something obvious that I'm missing here.  (This is part of why I like hearing these stories - they take place long before I was even born and so everything is so alien to me, and it takes some work to drag my mind into a place where things are comprehensible.  Genuinely intriguing!)

It's interesting that you characterize PH's actual product as more or less the same; I wonder how much that varies by location.  For example, the placemat from '73 that I originally posted shows freshly-made, hand-tossed dough and slices of cheese.  Folks I know that worked at PH within the last decade or so speak of pre-packaged, pre-frozen dough, and I doubt any location anywhere uses sliced cheese today as opposed to pre-shredded.  And I would think that there had been several alterations to the sauce formula as well over the decades.  But of course different doesn't necessarily mean better, whether you're going backwards or forwards in time.
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 09:38:29 (permalink)
Louis
Henderson was hit by a wave of fast food restaurants between 1971 and 1975, with one seeming to appear nearly every month in the years 1973-1974.  The public was absolutely bewildered.  They couldn't keep track of which chain had what product.  I worked as a cook in a Dairy Queen, and we were constantly bombarded with requests for pizza, buckets of chicken, big macs, top chefs (an item from Burger Chef), and I don't know what all.  It seemed as if the public thought they were interchangeable.

 
I swear there is a special gene coding for this, since several members of the extended family still have issues with this.  If I had a dollar for every time I've been on a family outing to a fast food place and someone ordered something from a competitor (or worse, the ordering of a "McWhopper" has happened more than once), I wouldn't need to eat fast food.
I'm still a bit baffled by it, since it's not like we didn't have familiarity.  Growing up, between the ages of ~2 and ~10, our family had a sacred Sunday after-church ritual: we'd pile into the car at church, and head over to... McDonalds (the first McDonalds in Delaware!).  Like clockwork, every week, with only a few exceptions for holidays and special occasion.  Except for 1977, when we became a Burger King family for the better part of a year, since in December 1976 the McDonalds had a major gas explosion.
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 09:40:47 (permalink)
You raise very interesting questions, many of which I haven't considered. If a particular Pizza Hut seems the same after 40 years, could it be that it's an independent, or in some other way able to produce pizza as it did forty years ago in opposed, to, as you claim, the way many other restaurants of the chain do? Or perhaps, some people may be like me, with a limited gustatory memory. In which case, if the pizza still seems tasty, it may seem the same even if it is not.
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 09:47:17 (permalink)
Wow! 
 
Times have changed since going to Pizza Hut (or Shakey's, Barnaby's, Mr. Gattis, etc.) was quite the treat in the '70's - '80's.  Then, I even liked Augustines!  Today, I find those as appetizing as ketchup and cheese baked on Wonder Bread.
 
My favorite pizza then were the thin-crust pies served by Ken-Eve's and the villanova Inn in New Castle, PA, Art's in Beaver Falls, PA, Inner Circle in Youngstown, OH, Grotto in Rehoboth Beach, DE, Mario's in Arlington, VA, and all those little pizza places/chains in Manhattan.  (The one's in bold are still in business).
 
All of the above used Blodgett Ovens; the chains now use conveyors.
 
As memory serves I think my first brick oven (Neoploitan-style) pizza was enjoyed circa 1995 at Faccia Luna in Arlington, VA.  Now, thankfully, even Dallas has scads of such venues. 
 
In the 21st. Century it's most wonderful that the old school brick oven has taken ovr from the 'high tech' conveyors developed in the 'Space Age'.
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Louis
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 12:09:43 (permalink)
As far as Pizza Hut's product tasting the same as it did 40 years ago, I was referring to thin-crust pizza.  They have different kinds now (hand-tossed, etc.), but I think the ingredients are still the same.  It still has the same familiar taste.
 
I'm sure people traveled and saw fast food outlets, but in the 1960s and early 1970s they were not as ubiquitous as they are now.  They were not as heavily advertised as they are now.  And that's a big difference from today.  The constant media advertising onslaught didn't come about until the early to mid-1970s.  And it has never let up since.
 
post edited by Louis - 2014/06/18 12:16:12
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 12:49:06 (permalink)
All I can say....and I say this with the utmost sympathy and condolences is you don't realize how sorry I feel for everyone here.

All I know is that for the 3 years I lived in Seattle,...all I did was cry.....(yes there were certainly other reasons why I cried when I lived there) but the lack of good (or even ordinary) pizza, didn't help
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 13:52:28 (permalink)
I'll have to disagree with you, WJ.  I live in Seattle 8 years and Pagliacci was my East-Coaster workplace peers go-to pizza joint.  They bemoaned missing their favorite east coast places, but they thought Pagliacci a decent Seattle front runner.
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 14:51:34 (permalink)
Sundancer7
The first pizza I ever had was at Shakey's in Chattanooga in 1966.  I had it with a pitcher of beer and at that time I thought it was absolutely delicious.  Now in Knoxville, TN, it is hard to find a good pizza.  I have to drive 40 miles to Venti's in Vonore, TN for good pizza.
http://www.pizzeriaventi.com/

 
Venti's sounds interesting, but have you tried The Tomato Head downtown?  I love that pie.  And my wife loves Pizza Palace more than most anybody here loves anything, anywhere.  It's unhealthy how much she likes Pizza Palace.
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 15:56:11 (permalink)
'Back in the Day" these places were new, novel and unique plus there weren't a lot of Eat Out food options.
Today, they're old, not novel or unique and there are zillions of "Eat Out" food options.
My 17 year old Granddaughter has already eaten at more different food outlets than I did by the time I was 50! 
post edited by Foodbme - 2014/06/18 15:59:09
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 16:14:28 (permalink)
WarToad

I'll have to disagree with you, WJ.  I live in Seattle 8 years and Pagliacci was my East-Coaster workplace peers go-to pizza joint.  They bemoaned missing their favorite east coast places, but they thought Pagliacci a decent Seattle front runner.


When I lived in Seattle (92-95), Pagliacci sucked just like the rest of the joints I went to- ie.  Tony Maroni's, Round Table, etc.
The only place that was "passable" at that time was Big Time Pizza,  in Redmond. However, I did grab a slice of Pagliacci on my visit last year and it was better than I remembered...Equivalent of an average (at best) NY slice
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 19:02:18 (permalink)
wanderingjew

All I can say....and I say this with the utmost sympathy and condolences is you don't realize how sorry I feel for everyone here.
Why?  Because we grew up eating chain pizza due to our various circumstances?
 
Read the posts again and note how many times family and special occasions are mentioned.  Sure, the pizza may not have been that great by some standards but a lot of times it was about more than just the food...
 
That being said, nowadays I do avoid national chain pizza in favor of the independents and regional chains because they usually are better.  And I definitely would've preferred growing up with those options.
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2014/06/18 19:05:09
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 19:33:36 (permalink)

 
Brad,
 
Have you ever tried Buck's Pizza on Cottage Grove Road? I think Buck was a friend of my dad, so except for the few times we went to Shakey's, that was the only pizza for me growing up. I remember Buck's pizza as being very thin, but not very crisp. It was tavern cut and I remember a greasy layer on top.
 
When I became a teenager I moved on to Pizza Pit and Rocky's and haven't had Buck's ever since. Buck's is still the same building it was in 1960, so I think I'll be ordering their pizza some time when I'm in Madison.
 
Jim
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ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 19:41:54 (permalink)
I've been aware of it for years but have never tried the pizza.  We've been to The Pizza Oven on Monona Drive a couple of times, though, and it's pretty decent.
 
If you need help disposing of a Buck's (a 2-location chain now, BTW) pizza the next time you're in time just let me know.  You had me at "greasy layer on top"...
post edited by ScreamingChicken - 2014/06/18 19:43:18
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 22:10:55 (permalink)
In the 50's and 60's on Cape Cod.at least in my hometown.there were no chains whatsoever.......except a HJ.   One Pizza place.the Leaning Tower of Pizza......did have another spot in a town down Cape
 
I was not a fan of Pizza back then, and almost never had it until getting to college in the 70's. But there was one Inde place that was in my hometown and is still family owned and run today.............................Paul's Pizza..................... I am amazed at the volume they do.  Hard to find unless you know............ Aggro to park..........closed several days a week...they put out a tremendous amount of high quality RF style food a night.................. not just Pizza.  I have had dinner there many times and watched folks arrive for their take-out (FORGET Delivery!!!!!!!) and walk out with a dozen or more!
 
Chains had finally come....and most gone........but it is a testament to Mr Noonan and his family in how to make a quality product endure.
 
And no....i have no stake in the place............except a teenage crush on Mr. Noonan's daughter some 45 years ago
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/18 22:17:34 (permalink)
WJ has been happily spoiled by the many good pizza places in New England.  I think we agreed in a discussion on one of the many pizza threads several years ago that New England has the best pizzas in America.  (As they do seafood.)  The nice thing about America is that some regions of the country prepare certain items better than others.
 
The pizza places here in the upper South (where I live) and the Midwest in general do not have a reputation for America's best pizza.  But if you do some hunting (trial and error), you will find a restaurant that stands out above the rest.  It's like panning for gold.  I've found a couple of gems over the years that stood head and shoulders over all of their competition, but they either changed hands (and the recipes) or lost their suppliers.  I enjoyed them as often as I could for as long as they lasted.  But this is what roadfood is all about: the adventure of finding something really spectacular in places where it is least expected.
 
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/19 07:14:28 (permalink)
Louis

WJ has been happily spoiled by the many good pizza places in New England.  I think we agreed in a discussion on one of the many pizza threads several years ago that New England has the best pizzas in America.  (As they do seafood.)  The nice thing about America is that some regions of the country prepare certain items better than others.

The pizza places here in the upper South (where I live) and the Midwest in general do not have a reputation for America's best pizza.  But if you do some hunting (trial and error), you will find a restaurant that stands out above the rest.  It's like panning for gold.  I've found a couple of gems over the years that stood head and shoulders over all of their competition, but they either changed hands (and the recipes) or lost their suppliers.  I enjoyed them as often as I could for as long as they lasted.  But this is what roadfood is all about: the adventure of finding something really spectacular in places where it is least expected.


I honestly think the very idea of "best pizza" is flawed, because pizza comes in so many different styles that comparing them becomes apples and oranges.  Makes much more sense to break it down into the best examples of those styles, rather than a New England vs. NYC vs. Chicago vs. whatever war.
 
Since moving to CT I've had some incredible pizza and discovered that, with "apizza", you don't even need a whole layer of melted cheese for it to be absolutely delicious.  And I've found just how good a properly charred crust can taste.  I went to NYC once and had a pizza at a place called Don Antonio - it had a lightly fried crust (!) and nodules of smoked buffalo mozzarella.  Very much unlike anything I'd had before but it turned out to be one of the best pizzas I'd ever had.
 
And having had those, I can still happily enjoy a taco pizza from the Iowa/Midwestern chain Happy Joe's, or a sausage pizza from Harris in the Quad-Cities, or a cracker-crust pizza oozing with Provel from Leo's in Kansas City (ironically they do a better job of St. Louis-style than any Imo's I've been to), or a stuffed spinach pizza from Giordano's in Chicago.  Comparing the styles is nonsensical - they are all awesome in their different ways, and not to brag or anything but I'm kind of glad that my palate is open enough to appreciate them all.
 
Roadfood has shown me pictures of some very attractive-looking pizzas from places that no one ever associates with that food: the South, the Rockies, Appalachia.  I don't know when I will ever find myself in those regions of the country but you can bet I'll be consulting the database here for pizza guidance when I do.
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/19 09:19:03 (permalink)
ScreamingChicken

wanderingjew

All I can say....and I say this with the utmost sympathy and condolences is you don't realize how sorry I feel for everyone here.
Why?  Because we grew up eating chain pizza due to our various circumstances?



 
As I said previously, I'm not being sarcastic, condescending or facetious. I'm being as sincere as I possibly can.
Not from the sentimental perspective of fond memories with family.... but what amazes me, surprises me and what I find disappointing is the number of decades it took for pizza to arrive in other parts of the country. I see here that many of the posters note that chain pizza was a treat as recently as the 1980's!

Considering the roots in NYC at the turn of the century. I figured that word would have gotten around by the early part of the century (even as late as 1925 by conservative assumptions)  to other parts of the country (yes even without the internet and social media) and those who would have jumped on the bandwagon would have been independent local mom and pop joints, especially since many members of the forum tout places such as Kansas City, Fargo, Boise and Dallas, etc as rich with Italian immigrants.
 
Oh and Louis, although I live in New England, I'm a native New Yorker having grown up on Long Island.
 
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ScreamingChicken
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/19 10:42:08 (permalink)
From what I've read and heard it wasn't until WW II soldiers returning from Italy started spreading the word that pizza didn't start to really catch on in the less urban areas of the Midwest.
 
Now this is just a hunch, but I have a suspicion that one reason pizza wasn't all that popular before then might've been a "cultural barricade" put up by the non-Italians who largely populated the region, and it was only when the local GIs gave it a seal of approval that pizza and other Italian food became more accepted.  But this is just an unproven hypothesis...
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/19 18:32:01 (permalink)
Grew up on local CT pizza through the 50's/60's.  In the early 70's, I came across Pizza Hut as a potential stock purchase.  On paper, it sounded great - wide expansion possibilities and cheap ingredients.  What could go wrong?
 
Bought several hundred shares at $15.  I had never experienced chain pizza up to that point.  About a year later when the stock essentially doubled to $32, we made a trip to FL.  On our way, we stopped in a Pizza Hut in GA (first one I'd ever seen).  It was the most terrible excuse for a pizza I'd ever seen - essentially ketchup on a cracker.  When we returned home, I promptly sold everything.  Not too long after that, the stock dropped back to $15 and Pepsi made their take-over offer.  Nice profit, but it was a long while before I attempted another chain pizza.
 
A few years later, Shakeys was my second attempt at a chain pizza.  Found it to be very sweet.  The dough had an odd texture and was very sugary.  Have not eaten much chain pizza since, although once (or twice) I've attempted some of the others (Godfather, Chuck E Cheese, Mr Gatti, Dominos, Sbarro, Pizza Inn, Ceci's, etc), but have never had the desire to ever revisit any more than once or twice (mostly under pressure from others), with perhaps four exceptions.
 
I've stopped at Bertucci's several times (decent / acceptable when in a pinch), Papa Gino's (decent to get a slice or two), mellow Mushroom (been twice, decent / would go back when in GA) and Flatbread Company (excellent, but none in my current area, so it's a treat when we travel into MA/NH).  Flatbread is simply way too good to be grouped with the others, but with only about a dozen locations, maybe it should not be considered a chain.
 
Bottom line, for all practical purposes, chain pizza has always been bad.   One characteristic I've learned to respect is when a pizza place uses a conveyor system - WALK - DON"T BOTHER.
post edited by mjambro - 2014/06/19 18:38:03
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/22 22:13:01 (permalink)
wanderingjew

WarToad

I'll have to disagree with you, WJ.  I live in Seattle 8 years and Pagliacci was my East-Coaster workplace peers go-to pizza joint.  They bemoaned missing their favorite east coast places, but they thought Pagliacci a decent Seattle front runner.


When I lived in Seattle (92-95), Pagliacci sucked just like the rest of the joints I went to- ie.  Tony Maroni's, Round Table, etc.
The only place that was "passable" at that time was Big Time Pizza,  in Redmond. However, I did grab a slice of Pagliacci on my visit last year and it was better than I remembered...Equivalent of an average (at best) NY slice

I'd get either Pizza Time (and cook it longer in the oven at home), or Jet City Pizza. Not great, but not bad. Sure as heck not anywhere near as good as I can get back here in NY.
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/22 23:09:13 (permalink)
When I was 4 years old I burned the roof of my mouth on a plain apizza at Frank Pepe's in New Haven. I cried and said I wouldn't ever eat that again.
 
I lied.
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/23 00:05:10 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman

When I was 4 years old I burned the roof of my mouth on a plain apizza at Frank Pepe's in New Haven. I cried and said I wouldn't ever eat that again.

I lied.

you poor child. I feel your pain. Glad you were able to overcome your trauma" />" />
#55
harriet1954
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/23 12:35:26 (permalink)
There's only one chain pizza place we'll go to, and thus far only at one location (in Delaware): Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza. Their pizza is always good (and you have to like it well-done), and their wings are festooned with rosemary and also good. Sometimes the service is fawning and I don't like that.
#56
Buffalo Tarheel
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/23 13:05:04 (permalink)
I had forgotten about the Chef Boyardee pizza in a box until I saw the reference earlier.  Growing up in eastern NC, that was our only choice for pizza.  When I went away to college in Rochester and found all the local pizza places, I knew I was living much better.  Now, of course, my hometown has Pizza Hut and Pizza Inn, neither of which is much good.
 
The first time I had apizza from Pepe's, I could have burned both sides of my mouth and would still have come back because it is that good. 
#57
Glenn1234
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/23 14:03:55 (permalink)
harriet1954

There's only one chain pizza place we'll go to, and thus far only at one location (in Delaware): Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza. Their pizza is always good (and you have to like it well-done), and their wings are festooned with rosemary and also good. Sometimes the service is fawning and I don't like that.


 
harriet1954 - 
 
Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza is also the only chain pzza that I like.   Coincidentally, Janet and I happened to eat at the one in Wilimington/Pike Creek, DE this past Friday night!  (We've also been to the location on Concord Pike, Wilmington).  From what I understand, the chain was started in South Florida by a CT native who misssed having decent pizza.  So, he started the Anthony's chain in South FL, and now it's in a few other locations as well, including DE.    So far, Janet and  have eaten at the 2 locations in DE, as well the Coral Gables and Plantaton, FL locations.  The plum tomato sauce is excellent, so on future visits, we ordered extra sauce.   The pizza is not quite as good as the big names n New Haven, but it's better than anything, includng independents, where I live (DC 'burbs - northern VA). 
 
We're amazed by the rot-gut that passes for pizza in NoVA.  The problem around our area is that we can't even trust word-of-mouth suggestions for pizza places around here.  We first have to ask where the person was originally from.  If the person grew up in the DC area, they generally don't have a clue as to what good pizza is.  Many think that "piled high toppings" make a good pizza. ...  "Oh, the crust doesn't matter as long as it's piled with extra cheese and lots of toppings".      Um, .. no, thanks.   
 
Back on the old chain theme, ... when I was kid in the 1970s in RI, I can't recall any chain pizza.  We got pizza from "Two Guys from Italy" in East Greenwich, which was a town north of us.  "Two Guys from Italy" was later re-named "Frank and John from Italy", and I believe it is one of WanderingJew's spots he walks to from where he lives.   Later in my childhood, a greek pizza place opened in my town.  It was called "Fillippou's Pizza".  It was okay.  In the early 80s, when I was in high school, we got our first chain n town; .. "Papa Gino's".   Blah. 
 
We'll be up n RI for part of July, and have to hit up Frank & John from Italy.  .....   Dale, if you're following ths, I'll be pinging you to join us when I figure out the day we'll be htting Frank & John from Italy ... or maybe Jigger's Diner.      Likely some time from July 20 to 26, which is the week after my sigh school reuinon on the 19th.     
 
Glenn & Janet
 
post edited by Glenn1234 - 2014/06/23 14:08:26
#58
mjambro
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/24 06:55:23 (permalink)

"We'll be up n RI for part of July, and have to hit up Frank & John from Italy."
 
If you only have one pizza, it should be at Providence Coal Fire Pizza where their wings are a must side order (our favorite pizza is their Rocket).   http://www.providencecoalfirepizza.com/   They are building a second location in N Kingstown, but it appears to be months away from opening - maybe by July?.  (With two locations, will that qualify them as a chain?).
 
If two pizzas are in your plans, Bravo in North Kingstown is a must before Frank & John, unless nostalgia is a priority.  Haven't been to F&J in some five years due to several bad service experiences.  In addition to the wood fired oven, Bravo uses very fresh ingredients including fresh basil, fresh mozzerella, etc.
 
http://www.bravowoodfired...com/Pages/default.aspx
 
post edited by mjambro - 2014/06/24 12:35:22
#59
wanderingjew
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Re:Chain pizza - what was it like during the Space Age? 2014/06/24 09:12:36 (permalink)
Glenn
 
Believe it or not Fillipou's is doing quite well and now has a restaurant right on Main Street East Greenwich. They have outdoor seating and is quite popular during the summer months. I'm not a fan of their grinders but I do like their Moussaka Pizza and Calzones as well as their "buffique" wings (half buffalo/half bbq)
 
I'll be around in late July, let me know, perhaps I can convince Mike J to join us too!
 
mjambro
 
I'll admit I haven't had Frank and John's Pizza in years although they are still voted best West Bay Pizza by RI Magazine, however their grinders and dinners are second to none and equal any old school "red sauce" Italian Joint that I grew up with in the NYC area
 
 
#60
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