Monday, December 28, 2009

If food were social classes: pizza edition

I decided to document a gchat convo that Tiffany and I were having about pizza, during which she suggested that this become something of a feature with fast food or chain restaurants. It seemed like a fun idea to me, so here we are.

Broke-ass pizza: Little Caesars, Dominos, Pizza Hut
The pizza itself may be good, and depending on your state of mind it may be great. But if you've ever been inside any of these pizza joints, you know that you've stepped into a delightfully trashy establishment. Whether it's the pronounced dirt on the floor, grease stains on the walls, or the simple satisfaction that you're getting a large one-topping pizza for $5, you accept that you're eating cheap and you also gracefully accept the risk of hepatitis that comes with it.

Middle-class: Round Table, Numero Uno
The ingredients are probably better than your broke-ass fare, but there's still a charming kitsch enervating from these places that doesn't really speak "refinement." Some dine-in experiences at RT and NU can be downright family-friendly. I actually wish there was a Numero Uno closer to me, as in my experience they aren't stingy with the cheese.

Nouveau Riche: Papa John's
Papa John is pretty assured that he's better than his competition; he tells us in his commercials how "fresher ingredients make better pizza" and his warm smile and shots of children happily eating in the background promise a wholesome, clean, tasty pizza-eating experience. The thing is, Papa John's pizza is better than those other guys -- but -- he's not so much better that he doesn't care. He's still in the game, advertising and making sure that the other guys aren't nipping at his heels. His pizza is at a higher cost, but he knows he's not so old-money that he could get away with charging a bit more and expanding his repertoire -- his faithful would probably accuse him of forgetting where he's from and selling out. Papa John does not want that kind of press.

Upper crust: BJ's, CPK
Take-out, but no delivery; calculated ambiance; higher prices -- BJ's and CPK offer designer topping options and booze, and they don't even pay attention to what the little guys are doing with their cheap pizza and limited time offers. In fact, they're so elite that they don't even serve just pizza -- they've got fancy salads and basic pastas too, among other entrees to entice potential consumers into the fabulous side of pizza. Careful, pizzagoers. That kind of lifestyle may seem glamorous, but it's not for everyone.

On another note...

The La Roux song "In for the Kill" has made the rounds lately and been remixed aplenty. It's a pretty awesome song and I hope it gets even more attention. But today's song of the day is another song on the album: "Bulletproof." It's actually probably my favorite on La Roux' eponymous disc, and I'd like to share it today with anyone willing to listen.

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