Today on This Week In Pizza: New World Pizza Champs; Pizzaburger Debuts in Canada; and NBA Star Fattens Up on Pizza
Manhattan Pizzerias 'Under Siege'?
Is the 99-cent slice killing the classic New York pizza experience? Price wars in the Big Apple are putting operators and customers alike in a quandary, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Some industry observers believe that the recent proliferation of pizza shops offering 99-cent slices, most of them located in Manhattan, could pose a threat to the mid-priced slice. While some older pizzerias are slashing their own prices in response, others have held firm. And Scott Wiener, who runs Scott's Pizza Tours in New York, laments that cheap slices will condition customers to think of pizza as fast food. "It's like a butterfly going back into the cocoon and becoming a caterpillar again," he told the WSJ. "It's going backwards."
Like Americans, the good folks of Canada love their hamburgers almost as much as they love their pizzas. Now Ontario-based Boston Pizza has unveiled a product that aims to satisfy both cravings: the Pizzaburger.
Boston Pizza, Canada's largest pizzeria chain, unveiled two varieties of the pizza/burger fusion. The Pepperoni and Bacon is a half-pound prime rib burger dressed with pizza sauce, pepperoni, bacon and mozzarella cheese. The Five Cheese option comes loaded with mozzarella, cheddar, feta, asiago and Parmesan cheeses. Both are baked in pizza dough, and there's no bun in sight. A nationwide advertising campaign will call on Canadians to eat a pizzaburger in honor of historical figures who never had the chance to try one.
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NBA Star Putting On Pounds with Pizza
The NBA's Anthony Davis, a rookie with the New Orleans Hornets, has a problem that many of us can only dream about: He needs to put on a few pounds.
So what's his food of choice? In a city famous for its gumbo, beignets and po-boys, Davis can't get enough of the pizza at Reginelli's Pizzeria, a Big Easy chain. According to Yahoo Sports, Hornets coach Monty Williams is pleased with the quality of Davis' performance on the court, but he thinks the youngster will be even better with more muscle. That's why Davis, between workout sessions in the team gym, has been loading up on large, protein-packed pizzas with double pepperoni and double sausage at Reginelli's. "This dude has this fascination with pizza," Williams told Yahoo Sports. "It's unreal."
As if the competition isn't tough enough for pizzeria operators, national restaurant chain Chili's has gotten into the pizza business, and flatbreads are next on the company's agenda.
As Nation's Restaurant News (NRN) reports, the new pizzas are being promoted heavily in Chili's "$6 Lunch Break Combo" and "$20 Dinner for 2" television ads. Specialty pies include the Taco (pictured) and the Southwestern pizzas, among others. Meanwhile, due to "extremely positive" consumer response in test locations, the chain has decided to accelerate the rollout of its new flatbread platform, which will debut in May. "In tests, the flatbreads appealed more to females than the pizza and will probably see preference shift from appetizers," Chris O'Cull, a restaurant analyst, told NRN.
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