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In a word: Campus adjunct does it just fine.

The specs: #0665  
Address, hours & details via Isthmus; reviews at Yelp, The Daily Cardinal, Eat Drink Madison; official web site, blog, Twitter, Topper's Pizza on Urbanspoon

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Anne, JM, John R., John S., John W., Mark, Nichole, and Rose ate a pepperoni/sausage, a Canadian bacon/pineapple, and the Veggie Classic pizzas on hand-tossed crust.
The bill was about $40 plus tip.
Mark gave Toppers an A; John R. and John S. gave Toppers a B+; Anne, JM, John W., and Rose gave Toppers a B; Nichole gave Toppers a B- (see our grading rubric).

Hawaiian pizza

What is Toppers?
Toppers is a pizza delivery restaurant chain based in Whitewater, WI.

How many Toppers are there?
About 30, with more than half in Wisconsin. The one in Madison is located on Regent St.

Does it bother you that Regent St. is split in two and you can't get from one segment to the other without taking that weird detour through the park?
Well, we have to be careful when we're given any Regent Street directions to make sure they do not mean the other Regent Street. Which could also confuse Toppers delivery folks, though we have no proof of that.

Do you remember Toppers from college?
Yup, totally. It was a common choice for dorm snack food.

Who ate these pizzas with you?
Family and friends. Their ages ranged from under 6 to over 60.

How did people like it?
It turns out that kids like pizza. Toppers pizza is pizza, ergo these kids liked it.

Isn't that a tautology?
Probably, though that seems a little defensive. We would be more likely to say that Toppers pizza satisfies the minimums of pizza.

Do you think that is damning with faint praise?
Well, we haven't had much of a chance to respond yet. You haven't asked any questions about the pizza other than people's thoughts and we started with the kids.

So, what is good about these pizzas according to the adults?
Toppers pizzas have a hand-tossed crust that is really good and cracker-y.

With respect to pizza crust, is it possible that the word 'cracker-y' has jumped the shark?
I think it may be overused, but it conveys an important concept.

What about crisp? Couldn't people just use that word?
Well, that seems a little... controlling.  People should be able to use whatever word they want.

Do you think that there is too much groupthink in food writing that leads to a description like 'cracker' crust?
Food writing, such as it is, employs really only two methods: vivid description and metaphor. Descriptions tend be very similar because the potential gamut words that are useable are very limited, so food writers tend to differentiate themselves based on metaphor. The problem with that is that a good metaphor tends to be adopted and become a shorthand to a description. Not that any of this is bad.

Shouldn't we be talking about Toppers?
It's your catechism, man.

How does Toppers differentiate itself?
It has several specialty pizzas, which are supposed to be quite good.

Which of those did you try?

Don't you think you should have?

But didn't you have the Hawaiian?
Yes, but this is not considered a 'specialty' pizza. Pizza purists are, we're sure, throwing up a little in their mouths. Although, one of the Johns indicated it was one of the better Hawaiian pizzas he's had. Another John reported that he liked the amount and mix of vegetables on the vegetable pizza.

But the website says the veggie pizza is a specialty pizza, doesn't it?
Yeah, but the picture makes it seem like a completely different menu item. A Tasty Lie if we ever saw one.

Did you eat the banana peppers?
We did eat the peppers, but they seem like a sop to try to compete with Papa John's.

Is Toppers better than Pizza Hut?
Yes. Yes, it is.

What is "A Toppers Hangover"?
After a night of consuming some, albeit not necessarily too many, adult beverages, an eater may consume a certain quantity of Toppers pizza.  The following morning the eater might feel intense gastrointestinal stress moreso than with the drinks alone.

Euphemize much?
Look, pal, we're running a family food blog here. We could say that people who eat Toppers drunk get the sh*ts but we don't talk like that here.

Anything else?
Yeah, one of their pizzas is called the "Ultimate suchandsuch," which means that you're never allowed to have another of those pizzas in your natural life.

Is that being a little pedantic and not allowing a word to change its meaning over time?
We don't think it is such a good idea to let advertising people change the meaning of words so that they all mean AWESOME.

Are you little a bit bitter about that?
Not really bitter so much as annoyed.

So, if this is the 'ultimate' question, I cannot ask another?
If you were adhering to the spirit of the word 'ultimate'.

Veggie pizzaPepperoni and sausage pizza

Maybe, if we feel like it. It is cheaper than Glass Nickel.


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