One of the pitfalls of reviewing a chain restaurant (like Dominos) is that quite frequently, you're only reviewing maybe one location, right? Somebody might screw up at the local shop and ruin you for life on a chain that might actually be pretty good.
Epinions has a solution for that: the overall rating of locations in the aggregate should give you a pretty good idea of just how good a chain is overall. For my part, when writing about Dominos, I can tell you that I've had experience with Dominos all over the country, and it's pretty much the same wherever you go: boring, artificial, imitation of what pizza can be. Sort of like how Budweiser is to beer, if you'll allow me the analogy.
Possibly I'm spoiled on really good pizza from spending most of my life in Rhode Island. The best stuff there was to be found in the little parlors run by those of Italian (and surprisingly enough Greek) descent. No chain ca ever equal the wonderful thick crust pies I used to get at Pagliarini's Pizza, after all. Good old Al Pag.
Over the years, I've had pizza from Domino's in Rhode Island, Maine, Georgia, Ohio, Washington, and more. And I never liked it very much. Tonight, the kids wanted pizza, and for some reason they wanted Domino's. And I was reminded again why I don't like it.
A good crust is the foundation of any good pizza. It should be crisp and firm, and maybe even a little crunchy, at least to my taste. (this doesn't apply to thick crust, Sicilian style pies). Domino's standard crust just doesn't measure up. It's boring and too limp, with no character. How can you build a pie on this? For some reason I do like their thin crust, which is more of a cracker than a crust. Problem is, you could eat an entire thin crust pie yourself .
Next comes the sauce, and here again, Dominos is found wanting. The sauce should be tangy, zesty, and spiced with Italian herbs like oregano and basil. Maybe Dominos uses these, but I cant taste them. Its boring, period.
Mozzarella is the standard, but I used to enjoy pies from a local parlor in Rhode Island that blended in cheddar. The cheese Dominos uses is pretty much the same as their crust and sauce: boring. They also dont use enough of it. Even on an extra cheese pie, there isnt enough cheese.
They skimp on the pre-portioned toppings. Tonight, the kids got the "5-5-5" deal, three one topping mediums for five bucks each. One chose mushrooms, one black olives, one pepperoni. To be fair, the toppings are usually fresh: fresh mushrooms, peppers, pepperoni, etc. But on each pie, they were scattered about far too sparsely. Compare to a small local, where youll likely find a far more liberal sprinkling.
The wings here are actually better than the pizza in my opinion, and better than the dreadful ones youll get at Pizza Hut . But theyre not crisp and crunchy the way I like them, instead being soggy and at times rubbery.
It usually takes 40 minutes on our area (45 tonight, a Wednesday at 8:30PM). The delivery was warm, if not hot.
I really dont see much reason to patronize Dominos. If you must use a chain, Ive found Papa Johns to be superior. Better yet, give your local independent parlor a try instead. I'll make the drive to Mellow Mushroom anytime.
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