“Join the Take-N-Bake” Pizza Revolution is what the new Papa Murphy’s pizza says on their website, and judging from the traffic in the store on last Wednesday evening, plenty of families are taking and baking their homemade pizzas for dinner tonight in the Herndon area. Just unwrap the custom, freshly-assembled pizza from the plastic wrapping, and bake it according to their directions in an oven for approximately 15 to 18 minutes. No cookie sheets needed, as you bake it right on their bake-able sheet (under the pizza).
The pizzas are assembled on a line in front of you—sub-shop-style—to your specifications, or, you can select one of their pre-designed pizzas. We selected their Chicago-style Stuffed Pizza (stuffed pizzas are $15 large, $17 for family/extra-large). We observed as it was generously stuffed with salami, pepperoni, sausage, ground beef, mixed onions, tomatoes and red sauce, with a top crust. It bakes in a 375-degree oven for 45-50 minutes, checking it after the first 20 to assure it is not getting over-browned. They also suggest you use a fork to puncture any bubbles that appear on the top. Slicing this into 8 extremely-generous wedges, this was astoundingly good pizza. The flavors were high quality and nicely balanced—your taste buds know when you have hit a really good pizza. This was truly great pizza!
Look at the website before calling in your order (for quicker service, as you just go straight to the cash register). On their website you can join their E-Club and get one pizza at regular price and the second for 50 percent off. There are also other coupons. Remember to have plenty of arms available for carrying the big, heavy uncooked pizza. One dad was holding a baby in his arms, and needed somebody to carry the pizza out to his car for him (one customer gladly helped him). They hand you the wrapped-in-plastic-wrap floppy raw pizza, made on an oven-proof baking paper plate. It is not in a rigid box.
This is perfect for a party, as one customer was picking up seven pizzas for a bachelor party that evening. (No, they do not deliver.) They are open weekdays and Sundays from 11 a.m. until 8 p.m., and 9 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Call-ahead ordering is a very good idea on a busy weekend evening.
Our family-size California Garlic Chicken Pizza was absolutely delicious, and easily fed 4 to 6 hungry adults. It cost $15 (large costs $13), and was loaded with toppings. The fresh-shredded mozzarella is a premium-quality cheese. It is light and springy to the touch, and not dry and rubbery. The chicken was generous, and the white Alfredo-type garlic sauce underneath had just enough zest to make every bite bounce with flavor. You just wanted to savor each mouthful, hoping there would be another slice of cheesy goodness waiting when you finished the one on your plate.
This chain is very popular in the Western U.S., and the only other location in the Washington, D.C. area is in Fredrick, Maryland. “We were urged to open a franchise that was adjacent to, or near, a Giant food store, as this is the prefect take-home place for people who finish their shopping after work,” said the new owner.
Be sure to try their take-home chocolate chip cookie dough (shape and make your own cookies) or their dessert pizza (cinnamon and cream cheese icing). The dessert pizza smells heavenly when it is baking in the oven.
Something different in the world of “take out” for this busy Herndon-Reston area—and with easily-printed coupons, it is also easy on the food budget.