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Papa John's Pizza

In a word: As you'd expect.

The specs: #0471  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, EatDrinkMadison; official web site, Papa John's Pizza on Urbanspoon

Latest Papa John's news and reviews

Conor, JM, Katie, Natalie, Nichole, Peter Clark, and Tina ate the Hawaiian BBQ chicken, original sausage, and thin-crust mushroom pizzas.
The bill was about $24, or $3.43/person with coupon (thanks, Bucky Book!).
Conor gave Papa John's Pizza an A-; Natalie gave Papa John's Pizza a B+; JM, Katie, Nichole, Peter Clark, and Tina gave Papa John's Pizza a B (see our grading rubric).

Papa John's

Papa John's Pizza is good for feeding a group, and we were lucky enough to have one to feed this time. Everyone was decently satisfied. Conor was its biggest fan, mostly (it sounds like) because of happy memories, so true of all food.

The sausage tasted pretty much like Brown and Serve, but in bite-sized morsels. The mushrooms went well on the thin crust, and the cheese and sauce were tasty but not, to put too fine a point on it, memorable. We appreciated the spicy banana pepper in each box - great for cutting grease and cleansing the palate - as well as the garlic dipping ""sauce"." Turns out that more than one of us had independently discovered that the oil-and-flavoring mix makes a thrifty substitute for butter with a box of Kraft Mac & Cheese.

Papa John's: Yup, standard take out pizza.


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I am both horrified and intrigued by the idea of putting the "garlic butter" sauce into Kraft mac&cheese (and astounded that more than one person had thought of this). How does one come upon this realization? Were you making mac&cheese the same night a roommate ordered pizza? Or do you (shudder) keep extra garlic sauce around looking for inventive ways to use it?


Papa Johns is at best a "C" [and that's generous]. This explains why cookie cutter, unoriginal, tasteless pizza places [ala "Pizza Extreme"] are allowed to boast that they've won "best pizza" in various Madison publications. The only time Papa Johns should be considered satisfying is why you're stoned or drunk.

Be better than this.

The first time I ever had Papa John's pizza (when it first opened in Neenah, WI, in the mid-90's), there was an inch-and-a-half ring of bare crust inside the outermost ring, with all the ingredients piled up in a goopy, soggy center region. It was terrible--undercooked and disgusting. I've eaten it maybe once since then.

Yeah, not that good. If you're going to spend this kind of money it's worth supporting the local pizza places, as generally mediocre as our offerings are for delivery in Madison. Roman Candle is quite a bit better, and Glass Nickel is at least a notch more edible.

Ed - among "cookie cutter, unoriginal, tasteless pizza places" would you say Papa John's rates a B? We try to make apt comparisons. We're not measuring this against Lombardino's or Greenbush or even Tombstone.

Timmy - "this kind of money"? $8 per pizza, $3.43 per person? That's not huge. (A big slice each at Ian's, sure.)

Believe me. I would rather eat good pizza. But we have this list thing we're doing...

...sorry if that comes off as cranky, but it kinda sounds like we're being hated on for not hating hard enough on Papa John's.

Chain pizza I eat:

Little Caesars (B+ at best, C- on those occasional off days)

Chain pizza I rarely eat:

Pizza Hut (B- for taste, but C+ because I usually get a stomach ache afterwards)

Chain pizza I really never eat:

Papa John's (C- at last recollection)
Dominoes (D at last recollection)

Forgot to mention Ian's, probably my favorite pizza delivery left now that Pavlov's closed.

I like Papa John's just fine. If I don't want to spend $20 on a pizza from somewhere like Glass Nickle this does the trick

I go for Emil's frozen or Trader Joe's before I go for a chain. Thin crust only. Does the trick.

I salute you guys trudging through the McDonaldses to make an even-handed set of reviews. I'd rather eat Glass Nickel, but Papa Johns is obviously around for a reason.

Papa Johns is fine - I prefer the thin crust, with the "extra bake" option. Plus, they have a great online ordering system. Great pizza? No. Decent, yes.

Converging minds - last week, without having read this review, my 16 year old daughter said the sausage reminded her of breakfast sausage (but not in a bad way....)

I love papa Johns and think that it is great for a chain. The Garlic Sauce make me smile!:)

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