The Brunching Shuttlecocks Ratings

Overkill. Seeing as all but the oddest pizzas are covered with pureed essence of tomato, actual tomato slices add little to the effect. This is especially true given that commercial tomatoes have grown increasingly tough and pale over the years, as if there were a historic merger of the vegetable and sports equipment industries circa 1989, resulting in tomato-softball "synergy." C

Ground Beef
"Sausage? No, no, that's too daring. Pepperoni? No, I wouldn't want the neighbors to find out. Ham, maybe? What do you think I am, some kind of radical Bohemian effigy-torching anarchist? No, we're going to go with good old fashioned ground beef, just like Momma used to brown. If it's good enough for soup mix casserole recipes, it's by-God good enough for this weird-ass eye-talian food. What should we have to drink with this, Bud Dry or Bud Ice?" D+

Grated Packet Cheese
I just want to start out by saying that I truly enjoy grated Parmesan, and if the cheese dust they provided with your to-go order resembled grated Parmesan in any way other than hue, I'd like it too. But it doesn't. It tastes like non-dairy cheese-mimicing food product, and it gives your pizza the same texture as you'd get by leaving it on the floor of a junior high woodshop class for a good half-hour. That is, if it were physically possible for pizza to exist in the presence of junior high school students for more than five minutes. D

The best advice on cooking I've ever heard is "Any dish can be improved with the addition of either garlic or chocolate chips." I've tried the chocolate chip pizza and it lacked something, which leaves this. The power of garlic on pizza is such that adding garlic to pizza improves it even if there's already garlic on it. I've tested this theory recursively, adding ever more fresh garlic to my pizza, and I wasn't able to reach the point of diminishing returns before my mere bodily exhalations started setting the pizza box on fire. Damn fine pizza, though. A

The disturbing thing about chicken on pizza is that it usually only shows up when the pizza shop is creating some sort of ill-conceived International Pizza of Mystery. The tomato sauce is replaced by white sauce, Thai peanut sauce, or something equally disturbing. Vegetables you can only get in upscale grocery stores in the flakier portions of California are tossed on top of it, and inevitably the crowning glory is chicken, because there are a lot of lacto-ovo-poultro vegetarians out there who associate chicken with healthy living, even when it's drowned in cheese and bechamel sauce. Now, some of these creations can be pretty good, but that's not the point. The point is that you can only take pizza so far before it ceases to be pizza and instead becomes a member of the hors d'oeuvre family. C+

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