Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Pizza Delivery: Papa John's

I'm not a fan of pizza delivery: It's been more than three years since I last ordered one. Still, it makes sense to weigh in on who's the best at moving pizza pies around the nation's capital. Besides, maybe takeout pizza has improved since I last had it. Our first stop inside the Beltway is Papa John's, home of the two million pizza giveaway.

I'm having dinner late tonight, but thankfully Papa John's at 1417 Otis Place, NW delivers up to 1:00 AM. Before I order my large, spicy Italian sausage (double) & onion pizza, I revel in the fact that I have a promo code. This code provides yours truly with 25 reward points for placing an order of more than $12. What does 25 reward points get you? A free large pizza, available in 24 hours if I want. Pow! A large, 3-topping pie costs $13, with $2 for delivery and $1.50 for the tax man. $16.50 and 3 bucks for a tip brings our grand total to $19.50 (not exactly cheap; but I'm getting a free pizza to boot.)

I requested my pie well done, which pushed my delivery time to just under an hour (55 minutes.) The delivery guy stayed in his car (it was raining) and parked in front of the wrong building, requiring me to dodge Connecticut Avenue traffic to get my pizza. My pizza box has a nice sign on its flap, reminding me to "reward your driver with a tip for outstanding service." I suppose it was outstanding, when you consider I didn't get hit by a car going back and forth across a busy street in the rain.

The pizza was... in a word, pedestrian. Paper thin crust with zero flavor. A double order of sausage equaled a single order anywhere else. One lonely pepper tossed in the corner of the box. Blah. Almost $20 for this? No wonder I haven't ordered delivery in so long... It's terrible. Worse yet, I'm stuck with a free one (minus delivery, tax and another tip... I sure hope it's not snowing next time.)

Order details:
Placed: 10:07 PM
Weather: Showers
Estimated delivery time: 30-40 minutes
Arrived: 11:02 PM (55 minutes)

Order process: A (Online ordering is a breeze, and I was able to use a promo code.)
Wait: C- (55 minutes is a while, but I did ask for well done.)
Presentation: C-
Taste: D
Value: D- (I got a free pizza, but why would I want to eat another bad pie?)
Overall: D- (Almost an hour and $20 bucks for cardboard pizza that doesn't even make it to your front door? Why does anyone order pizza delivery anymore?)