When Papa Johns arrived fashionably late to the stuffed crust pizza scene in December of 2020, it may not have been timely, but it certainly made a big entrance. The somewhat amusingly named “Epic Stuffed Crust” is similar to what Pizza Hut introduced in 1995. However, in my humble yet experienced opinion, Papa Johns outshines its competitor with this creation.
As a child of the 90s, stuffed crust pizza holds a special place in my heart, forever associated with Pizza Hut. Unfortunately, the quality of their stuffed crust has declined in recent years, leading me to only visit for new, unique items. In contrast, I have Papa Johns on speed dial. For their third iteration of the Epic Stuffed Crust, Papa Johns takes it up a notch by incorporating their signature garlic sauce, setting it apart from other pizza chains. The Epic Stuffed Crust Pizza features a garlic parmesan seasoned and drizzled crust, original pizza sauce, melty cheese, and your choice of topping, with pepperoni as the standard.
In simple terms, if you enjoy Papa John’s Stuffed Crust and their Special Garlic Dipping Sauce, you will love this pizza. However, I do have two minor complaints.
- Pricing: I recently moved to a dense and bustling part of the city where, for some odd reason, the one-topping promotion costs $20.99 instead of the expected $13.99. It ended up being more expensive than I had anticipated.
- Garlic Level: Personally, I would have preferred a stronger garlic flavor. While the crust’s seasoning is excellent and complements the ooey gooey cheese, it leans more towards parmesan than garlic. It provides a satisfying umami crunch but lacks the garlicky punch.
Toppings and Quality
Papa Johns has consistently stood out among mainstream pizza chains when it comes to the freshness and abundance of their toppings. Over the past decade, it has been my favorite for this reason. The sauce strikes the perfect balance between sweetness and robustness, while the cheese brings a dense flavor. The pepperoni adds a delightful crispiness and a hint of spice. When ordering from a chain like this, I always recommend requesting the pizza to be well done. Although it is unlikely to be burnt, these establishments often produce pizzas at a rapid pace, occasionally resulting in slightly undercooked pies. Requesting a well-done pizza ensures a properly cooked and delicious experience.
While this pizza could benefit from the addition of diced garlic, like the one found on garlic knots, it remains an exceptionally delicious pie. Without a doubt, it is my favorite new fast food item of the year. Additionally, if you can get it for $14 instead of the unfortunate $21 in my metropolitan area, it’s a fantastic deal that should not be missed.
Purchased Price: $20.99 (but should be $13.99 in your area)
Size: Large 1 Topping
Rating: 9 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 slice) 420 calories, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 35 milligrams of cholesterol, 990 milligrams of sodium, 39 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 16 grams of protein.