Mar 4, 2013

Review: Papa John's - Steak and Cheese Pizza

Papa John's Steak and Cheese Pizza is their latest limited-time creation. It's topped with a mix of both pizza sauce and creamy garlic parmesan sauce, marinated steak slices, mozzarella cheese, and Italian herb seasoning.

A large-sized pizza is available for $11 (or $10 if you take advantage of their early week special, which runs Monday through Wednesday)

I have to point out that this is not a "Cheesesteak Pizza" and it really should be called a "Steak Pizza" rather than a Steak and Cheese Pizza. It's not like we call a pepperoni pizza, a "pepperoni and cheese pizza." As far as limited-time pizzas go, just steak alone is rather uninspired.

I asked that my order be baked "well done." Now I've gotten my pizza from Papa John's well done before and the  results were good, but this time, it was bad. The dough was overcooked so that even the crumb was dry and chewy. You can see from the pictures that the crust is so dry that it cracked where they cut it. Basically, it was like a cracker-dry thin crust, except it was thick.

The steak was charred a bit, but otherwise decent. It wasn't quite tender, but was easy enough to chew. The meat was lightly seasoned and the flavor wasn't bad.

Steak coverage was pretty uneven however. Some slices had a fair distribution of steak where most bites would have some steak in it, but some slices had maybe two or three pieces and ended up tasting like cheese pizza. Considering that steak was the only topping, there needed to be plenty of steak and there wasn't.

The pizza sauce-garlic parmesan sauce was a little different from Papa John's standard pizza sauce. There were some hints of parmesan notes to go with the lighlty-sweet pizza sauce. The sauce coverage was even and just enough. I'm not sure why they went with a blend rather than just a full-on garlic parmesan sauce. The latter seems more interesting to me.

The Italian herb seasoning seemed to be MIA, but fortunately I always ask for a packet or two whenever I get Papa John's.

Overall, the Steak and Cheese Pizza makes for a decent topping choice. It's pleasant enough, but it's not going to bowl you over. I would note, again, that my particular experience was marred by my pizza spending way too much time in the oven.

Nutritional Info - Papa John's Steak and Cheese Pizza (Large Original Crust)
Serving Size - 1 slice (149g)
Calories - 340 (from Fat - 130)
Fat - 14g (Saturated Fat - 5g)
Sodium - 990mg
Carbs - 38g (Sugar - 5g)
Protein - 15g


  1. But papa says that he uses better ingredients and therefore his pizza is better.

  2. Quote: I asked that my order be baked "well done."
    Perhaps this time it would have been better to let PapaJohn do it "his way"... but thanks. My curiosity to try this has been satisfied well enough that I need not place my order. lol

  3. Used to be a manager at a pjs for 4 years, the product is crap and they used an old dough skin that was sitting out for to long, that's why it's burnt ad cracked when cut. Garbage!

  4. Usually if you don't ask them to do it well done, it's almost raw, pale cheese with no color at all. They used to make them very good, with thin crust, a decent amount of cheese that's browned and lots of sauce. Now it's raw old pizza with no sauce and tons of bread. Sucks.


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