Who knew there was a pizza revolution taking place right underneath our noses? Forget frozen pizzas or even delivery, it seems the new movements is towards fresh-made pie, to be baked right in your home oven.
Though grocery stores have offered deli-made pizzas for years, businesses that specialize in take ‘n bake pizzas are relatively new to Edmonton. Papa Murphy’s opened its first shop in the city back in 2007, and now have six locations in the Edmonton area (their eventual plan is to expand to a total of 17 stores).
Papa Murphy’s trumpets their commitment of using always fresh, never frozen ingredients. Moreover, in an effort to set themselves apart from the likes of Pizza Hut, Panago and Domino’s, they emphasize the fact that their carryout pizzas will be hot out of your oven.
Armed with a 2-for-1 coupon, Mack and I stopped by the Papa Murphy’s around the corner from the Italian Centre South on our way home on Saturday, eager for an easy dinner option after a long day. It was empty, though in their defence, it was after 7pm. We were faced with twenty options, not including the possibility of a custom order. Pizzas ranged in price from $9.99 for a medium cheese pizza to $22.99 for a family-size double-layered grilled chicken and bacon-stuffed pizza. We decided on a more restrained choice, a medium Papa’s All Meat (mozzarella, ham, salami, pepperoni, Italian sausage, ground beef, provolone, cheddar) and a medium Rancher (mozzarella, ham, pepperoni, ground beef, onions, provolone, cheddar), both priced at $13.99.
Our pizzas were assembled right before our eyes, Subway-style, complete with a sheet of reheating instructions. My favourite line on the guide: “Please bake before eating”.
Assembling our pizza
Ready to take home
The staff were friendly, though our question about freezing a pizza seemed to throw them off – there was no way Mack and I would be able to eat our way through two pizzas at one sitting. The staff person said it could be done, but warned us to thaw it thoroughly before baking it, to prevent a soggy, uneven crust.
Fifteen minutes in the preheated oven back at home, dinner was ready. We had baked the pizza on the included tray, opting to see how well it worked. No surprise, it didn’t hold a candle to the result on a pizza stone, but was better than using a conventional baking sheet. The pizza also wasn’t overly greasy, and contained a solid amount of both toppings and cheese. All in all, it was a tasty pizza.
Papa’s All Meat, ready to eat
Though we enjoyed the pizza, I’m not sold on the take ‘n’ bake concept. Sure, it’s great that the toppings are fresh, and it could be convenient to pick up a pizza on the way home after work, but if I was looking for a quick fix, I’m fairly certain I would prefer calling for delivery, particularly if it would only end up costing me a few dollars more (and, well, I like Panago). That said, given the increasing number of Papa Murphy’s locations in the city, it looks like take ‘n’ bake has found some fans in Edmonton.
10431 51 Avenue (5 other locations in Edmonton and area)