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Pizza business

Sizzle Pie’s heavy metal pizza names

The newly opened Sizzle Pie pizzeria in Portland has what I’m going to say is my all-time favorite list of pizza names. If you’re not in to heavy metal or hardcore punk rock, most of the names will make no sense to you. But for the people who understand the joke behind the meat-stuffed “Girth Crisis” pizza, this menu is comedic gold. Some of my other favorites include the “Napalm Breath” (ref) and the “Rudimentary Penne” (ref).

I can’t believe this is an actual menu and not just a joke on some hardcore message board. The next time I’m in Portland, this will be my first stop, for sure.

It reminds me of a comment thread of Metallica-themed pizza names I had with some friends on Facebook back in August after posting a link to the Pizzallica pizzeria in Detroit:

Add Hoeks Death Metal Pizza to the list, and that makes Sizzle Pie the 3rd heavy metal themed pizzeria I know of. Are there any more?

Gotham City Pizzeria

Gotham_CIty_Pizzeria.jpg

Comics2Film reports that Domino’s is running some “viral” promos for the new Batman film. There’s a website for a Gotham City Pizzeria, which mentions a mysterious “Special Promotion: June 16″.

The idea of marketing that attempts to hook people by not giving them any information always seemed cheesy to me for the most part. I guess it works though, because I’m posting this here, aren’t I?

It also looks like they’ve made some special all-black pizza boxes:

Batman pizza box 1

Batman pizza box 2

Batman pizza box 3

Green pizza

earth_pizza.jpg

Pizza isn’t exactly the first thing that comes to mind when you think about threats to the well-being of planet Earth. Nonetheless, choices about pizza, from the way ingredients are farmed all the way through the boxes they’re delivered in, can affect the environment.

With this in mind, I’m glad to be seeing some smart moves being made in the pizza industry lately. Some are clearly just weak attempts to jump on what seems to be a “green” bandwagon, but others do seem to actually be more than just weak marketing gimmicks.

Most notably is probably a francise called Pizza Fusion, whose motto is “saving the earth, one pizza at a time”. Among other things, they aim to clean up the act of pizza making by using organic ingredients, delivering with hybrid cars, using biodegradable containers, etc. There’s a PBS video about the company on YouTube which gives a good idea of what they do.

Next on the list, Pizza Hut recently announced that they will be offering an all-natural pizza. I’m a little more skeptical about this move, as I don’t exactly think of YUM! Brands as a company that cares too much about the environment. My guess is they’re just flailing around for any kind of business boost during the recent pizza-depression, and they figured the “green” bandwagon might pay off.

In a similar vein, Papa John’s is testing the tree-hugger business waters by offering a whole wheat pizza crust.

This whole idea of earth- and health-conscious pizza as a business move isn’t limited to only big corporate pizza either though. Not too long ago in Boston, TJ’s House of Pizza probably noticed how well their next-door neighbor, Grasshopper, was doing by serving all-vegan Asian fare (their “No-Name” special rules my dreams). For a while TJ’s offered vegan options as an alternative to their otherwise-standard pizza and subs menu. Apparently that went well, and the store eventually had a total transformation, changing their name to TJ Scallywaggle’s, painting their walls green, and switching the menu to all vegan-safe pizza, subs, etc.

Similarly, I was at Vinnie’s Pizzeria in Brooklyn not too long ago when I overheard the following conversation between the guy serving slices (who was presumably also the owner) and a drunken jock…

Jock: Where are all your meat-covered slices? What’s up with all this vegan shit? I want some meat!
Slice guy: Hey man, believe me, I love meat pizza. But the vegan stuff sells. This is a business, so if something sells, we’re gonna take advantage of it.
Jock: Fuck those vegan pussies. They need to man up and eat some meat!
Slice guy: *laughs*

Regardless of whether or not the person offering the greener or healthier pizza really cares about such stuff beyond how much money it can make them, I’m pretty glad to be seeing more of these kinds of things being offered. While I am vegetarian and do care about environmental friendliness I don’t quite have the time to maintain my own pizza garden, so it’s nice to have these kinds of options.

Bella Luna to move; Milky Way to close

How true, how true

I’m a little bummed to hear that Bella Luna, the unofficial representative of Pizza for my neighborhood, is being forced to move from its current, epic location to a spot further out, in the Brewery Complex. To make matters worse, their sister organization, The Milky Way Lounge & Lanes, is expected to close altogether.

I admit that my experiences with Bella Luna’s pizza have varied widely from really good to curiously uneven to just acceptable, but it always bums me out to see an independent pizza maker forced into closing its doors due to monetary reasons.

Bella Luna is also one of those places that really takes pride in their pizza and – as funny as it might sound – their pizza’s role in the community. I can’t tell you how many free slices of Bella Luna I’ve eaten at various fundraisers, art shows, etc.

Bowling for free whilst eating pizza in JP is soon to be no more… bummer.

“Boston” Pizza

Boston Pizza

There’s a Canadian pizza franchise called Boston Pizza that I was interested in for obvious reasons. After a little research, I found out (from their own website, no less) that Boston Pizza really has no ties whatsoever to Beantown. The truth is that they basically just exploited the name to add credibility to their pie: “Boston was a recognizable and established name… it was the ‘Big Leagues’”.

They don’t even have any locations in Massachusetts! I suppose the name Edmonton Pizza wouldn’t have sounded quite as legit.

I also noticed that their slogan – “You’re among friends at Boston Pizza” – is very much reminiscent of the “where everybody knows your name” tagline from Cheers (which actually does have legitimate historical origins in Boston).

Hard times for pizza chains

There’s an article in the New York Times today about how pizza chains are struggling from the rising cost of ingredients and competition from other restaurants.

One thing mentioned which was interesting to me is that one of the sources of competition is from independent pizza. To be honest, I’m not a huge fan of giant pizza chains and would much rather see indy pizza benefit at the cost of bigger chains.

Pizza.com sold for $2.6 million

Some lucky dude who has owned the pizza.com web address since 1994 (he paid $20 + small annual fees) just sold it for $2.6 million.

More info on Wired.

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