The Great Pizza Quest

   

Pizza Hotline is taking over. Or so it seems. The locally and privately owned franchise has opened up various locations across the city, and has even spread to outlying areas such as Brandon and Steinbach. For a franchise that began as a small restaurant in 1988, Pizza Hotline has established itself as an unmistakably successful pizza presence within the city - and beyond. Their radio ads boast of 'great pizza at a great price' and they do not disappoint. I'm not sure how they do it, but Pizza Hotline offers cheap pizzas. Like, they're cheap. But they don't cheap out on taste.

When my wife and I order, we get the regular crust well-done and thin; this makes for a crispy, yet chewy base as well as a pizza that doesn't fill you up on the bread content alone. Recently we've been ordering the classic pepperoni and mushroom alongside ham and pinneapple (we do one extra large, halved). The nice thing about a well done pizza is that there is not only a lack of soggy pie, but also the thinly-sliced, flavourful pepperoni is deliciously crisp while the mushrooms are tender but not too soft. The ham on the other side is also crisp and quite tasty while the pinneaple is still juicy, but not by too much. The toppings are well balanced and generally generous; the cheese is expertly baked and distributed; the sauce has personality, and is noticeably present without being overbearing and it has quite a complimentary flavouring to it; finally, the herbs and spices baked into the crust and upon the pizza are an excellent enhancement to the taste, blending in wonderfuly with the other toppings.

If you want to spend a little more money, you can order from their specialty pizzas, of which I recommend trying Tropical Chicken and Chicken Bacon Ranch - and I don't normally like chicken on my pizza. Both have sauces other than the traditional tomato-sauce, but they're both an excellent flavour-adventure I greatly enjoy experiencing every now and then. The toppings and tastes are just as excellently handled as you've come to expect from their more traditional fare.

I think Pizza Hotline is worth keeping on speed-dial, and not simply because it's affordable. While the toppings are probably not of the highest calibre possible - or else the pizza would likely be more expensive - they're certainly at least if not above middle-of-the-line. But for a $14 extra-large two topping (or two sides with two toppings each) that tastes incredible, it's defintely not only the price-point that's bang on, but also the product. This seemingly ubiquitous pizza place is definitely everywhere for a reason: because they know pizza and don't pretentiously over-charge like some.


[posted by ericjordan]
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