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Sunday, November 22, 2015

Papa Murphy's Pizza: A Review

Happy Sunday everyone!

Last week, a coupon arrived in my email inbox Buy One Get One half-off for pizza from a place called Papa Murphy's. For those who may not be familiar, Papa Murphy's is a pizza chain where they prepare the pizza, but then give it to you to take home and bake yourself. I'd seen this chain in a few places around town for years, but thought it was rather odd that a pizza chain would make a pizza that you had to finish baking at home. I thought that defeated the purpose of a pizza chain, since anyone who orders pizza expects it to be cooked already when one goes to pick it up or when the delivery driver arrives at their home.

But when I looked closer at the coupon, I saw that Papa Murphy's took food stamps. And that's when everything clicked.

In the state of Arizona, food stamp recipients cannot purchase hot foods with their EBT cards. Poor-shaming aside, it has more to do with taxes since hot food is taxed differently than cold foods. Cold foods aren't taxed, whereas hot foods are (the justification being that the hot foods require taxable fuel to prepare). I'm not sure how other states have their food stamp programs arranged, but this is how it is set up in Arizona.

So with the coupon in hand, and some very good recommendations from a Facebook friend who is a regular at her local Papa Murphy's in Kansas, I decided to give this place a try.

The closest Papa Murphy's pizza joint to my home is located near a Super Walmart. So after we went to Super Walmart to get some needed essentials, I had my husband wait with the baby in the car while I went to get the pizzas. I selected a Chicago-Style stuffed pizza and a Papa's All Meat pizza. The cashier queued in my order, and the food stamps went through without a problem. The total came to $25 for the two pizzas. However, the cashier made a mistake. She'd queued in family size for the stuffed pizza when I'd requested a large. Due to the method of payment being EBT, she couldn't refund me the difference, so she let me take a side home for free as compensation. The side cooler contained two different types of cheesy bread, a few varieties of salad, cookie dough and dessert pizzas. I knew that whatever I got I was gonna have to eat myself cuz my husband wasn't gonna touch them. He hates melted cheese, in addition to milk chocolate with a passion. I took the cheesy bread. It was small and I wasn't up to eating bunny food either.

The line preparers finished the pizzas. I was surprised by how large they were. I knew I didn't have a pizza pan big enough to hold them, but fortunately, they came with baking pans that could be used once for the job and then disposed of. My cashier finished up the visit by going over the cooking directions and sending me on my way. The baby was fussing for me by time I got back with the pizzas. My husband, in addition to being relieved to see me return, was pleased at my freebie.

After we got home from an emergency computer visit to our family friend's home, my husband put the All Meat pizza into the oven, sticking the stuffed pizza into the fridge. Since it was evening, the weather outside was cool and so was our home. The running oven warmed things right up. When the pizza was done, my hubby took it out and cut it up for us to eat.

This is a large. It runs 14", normal price $14. It is quite large, as my 12" pizza pan couldn't fit the pizza.

I was genuinely impressed by the quality of it. It tasted great and with the coupon I had, it only came out to $7 for a large. That was better than even grocery store pizza! As for the cheesy bread, it was not atrocious compared to some other cheesy breads I've had. I'm not crazy about cheesy bread, but this was one of the better ones cuz they didn't skimp on the garlic.

A few days later, we baked up the stuffed pizza. Unfortunately, this pizza was just about too big for the oven and the bottom got scorched up because the pan was kind of folded in to fit.

The bottom got scorched. My husband, after getting confused at what he was looking at, said that he thought I'd gotten a giant calzone! Given how big it was, I think this is the family size (16", $18)

I was not terribly impressed by the "Chicago style" pizza. Sure it was tasty, but as a native of Chicago, it was NOTHING like what I had back home. Chicago pizzas are typically thick, deep dish and made with lots of meat and cheese. There was plenty of meat, but not as much cheese. And the vegetables (tomato, green onion, and onion) were a bit sparse too. My husband hated it. He likened this pizza to a giant calzone. He threw some of his favorite ham slices onto it before he would eat it.

There are other varieties of pizza that Papa Murphy's does. They also do pan pizza and thin crust, which my husband was pleased to hear. He prefers thin crust as opposed to the thick, bready crusts that I prefer.

Overall, I would say I'm generally pleased with Papa Murphy's Pizza. The fact that they take food stamps is a HUGE plus, and their coupons offer some decent deals. I will definitely be ordering from them again in the future, although after eating pizza all week, I'm pizza'd out for the month! Maybe next month would be a good time to try something new.

For more on Papa Murphy's and their nearest location to you, check out their website here.

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