Welcome to Inside The Stoves by Jason Kessler. Each week Kessler will look deep within the soul of food media and come out with fake excerpts from fake books that are absolutely, positively not real. Basically, it's foodie fan fiction.
The Best New Papa John’s’ in the Contiguous United States
10. Papa John’s #3943 Oswego, NY
Known to most as “That Buffalo Bills’ Papa John’s,” the Oswego location is notorious for its support of the NFL team. The inside is decorated with pennants, posters, and plaques all celebrating the glory that is the Buffalo Bills. Owner Jeff Schickelman entices new customers with his Bills’ Superbowl promotion: if the Bills make the Superbowl in the next five years, the entire town of Oswego will get free pizza for a year. Luckily for Schickelman, the insurance on such a proposition is extremely low considering the current state of the team. Ex-Bill great Thurman Thomas is currently the Associate Store Manager.
9. Papa John’s #4111 Manahawkin, NJ
Home of the Triple Decker. For just $20, you can get any three pizzas stacked on top of each other. Specialty pizzas are included in the deal. If anyone finishes the Triple Decker by themselves in under thirty minutes, they get the pizza for free and a complimentary ride to the hospital, as long as it’s on the way to a delivery.
[Photo: Flickr/ Eudaemonius]
8. Papa John’s #3815 Sylacauga, AL
Mass-produced pizza meets fine dining. Owners Janet and Ted Frank had always dreamed of opening their own restaurant. In March, they combined their dream with their love of Papa John’s pizza to create the nation’s first Papa John’s Bistro, a full-service restaurant dedicated to the nuances of the Papa John’s menu. While the kitchen meets all Papa John’s franchise requirements, the front of the house is all high-end. The servers wear tuxedos, the plates are handcrafted stoneware imported from Italy, and each table is adorned with white tablecloths. The only downside is that pizzas start at $30 to make up for the expensive décor.
7. Papa John’s #4271 Elmhurst, IL
DIY Papa John’s is the most fun location we visited. In lieu of a staff, customers sign a liability waiver before entering the kitchen to make their own pizzas. The kitchen becomes a community block party as there are no restrictions on alcohol consumption or what you can put on the conveyor belt. On Friday nights, the line is out the door with people anxious to become a pizzaiola for a night. Just be careful: when we visited, somebody baked leftover Chinese food onto the top of their pizza and the stench was still there when we returned the next day.
6. Papa John’s #3992 San Anselmo, CA
This Papa John’s caters to its conscientious clientele by using only small-batch, organic ingredients from local farms and suppliers. Every pizza is delivered with a list describing where all ingredients were sourced from as well as their “grow journey.” Apple Computer founder Steve Jobs is known to order at least three times a week. His favorite specialty pizza is the “Understanding Papa” with local dandelion greens, horchata cream sauce, and elk sausage.
5. Papa John’s #3808 Trexlertown, PA
If you find yourself in Trexlertown, definitely go to the Papa John’s. Owner Rick Hofflund is a notorious local gambler and offers Double-or-Nothing pizza deals every Monday. Customers can coin-flip their way into free pizzas if they’re lucky. In June, Hofflund offered his now-famous “MoneyPie” where customers found real U.S. currency baked right into the pizza. One lucky man won $50, while several local children wound up in the hospital after swallowing dimes.
4. Papa John’s #4219 Framingham, MA
This Papa John’s is inside a submarine. Nobody knows how the submarine got to Framingham, but everyone agrees that the pizza tastes better than other locations.
3. Papa John’s #4067 Woodbridge, CT
Pavel Luchosky is a former immigrant from the Ukraine who opened his first Papa John’s in 1994, shortly after he emigrated to the United States. His seventh location is a tribute to his Communist past. Comrade John’s serves one type of pizza (cheese and black olive) and its availability is unpredictable. People wait outside for hours for the chance to enter the small pizzeria and purchase the pizza for the remarkably low price of $2. While waiting in line, customers are treated to an endless loop of Communist work songs. No delivery at this location.
2. Papa John’s #3994 Carthage, MO
We have no idea if this is officially sanctioned by Papa John’s Headquarters, but the Carthage Papa John’s is a combination pizzeria/prenatal care facility. In addition to offering the traditional menu, this location also provides classes on breathing techniques, water births, and getting your house baby-ready. They really put the Papa in Papa John’s.
1. Papa John’s #4136 Fernandina Beach, FL
The best new Papa John’s in 2011 has a lot going for it, but the most appealing aspect is the fact that this Papa John’s is owned and operated by Chris Bianco of Phoenix’s Pizzeria Bianco and Nancy Silverton of Pizzeria Mozza in LA. While the menu adheres to all franchising standards, Bianco and Silverton make each pizza together by hand which means they taste incredible. Try the Hawaiian BBQ Chicken. You won’t be sorry.
·All Inside The Stoves Coverage [~ELA~]
— Jason Kessler