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On 5/4/2012 at 3:48 PM, hopsing said:

That is pretty good and I thought I might order a deep dish pie for dinner sometime. I don't remember the pizza being buttery at all.

veering way off topic...Naw, I don't remember it being buttery either - that's just the running joke of how the whole place seemed - that plopping wads of butter might be an option. The worst pizza, to me, is Pizza Hut, where I think the crust tastes like a big sponge dipped in butter. I really don't know how people eat through it - and as you might tell from my posts around this site, my food standards for what's acceptable are REALLY low.

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OK, I'm off topic now too. The worst pizza I've had recently was trying this new place called Paisano's in the strip mall at Bailey's Crosswords, near the Ruby Tuesdays. Absolutely awful and, yes, incredibly salty!!!

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veering way off topic...Naw, I don't remember it being buttery either - that's just the running joke of how the whole place seemed - that plopping wads of butter might be an option. The worst pizza, to me, is Pizza Hut, where I think the crust tastes like a big sponge dipped in butter. I really don't know how people eat through it - and as you might tell from my posts around this site, my food standards for what's acceptable are REALLY low.

ooh, new topic time! Worst pizza in the DC area might be Potomac Pizza (though I've never been to CiCi's so am not sure).

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ooh, new topic time! Worst pizza in the DC area might be Potomac Pizza (though I've never been to CiCi's so am not sure).

CiCi's is waaaaay worse than Potomac Pizza. Because of school parties I am occasionally forced to Potomac Pizza (which is still better than Papa John's, Dominos, Pizza Hut etc.) but CiCis is the absolute bottom of the barrel, which is why their all-you-can-eat is so cheap.

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[Can't say I'm thrilled with this topic, but I don't know where else to put these posts.]

Is there anything truly worse than gray-colored pizza (be it a jumbo slice, convenience store, etc.)? Elementary school cafeteria and bowling alley pizza is genuinely bad as well, bowling alleys may be the worst of all.

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I have to nominate Zio's on Shady Grove Road in Gaithersburg. We got carryout pizza from there a few years ago when we were living nearby in King Farm. By far, the WORST pizza ever! This was the first time we ever threw pizza out, and that includes numerous visits to Pizza Hut when the kids were little.

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Armand's has gotta be in the list.

I agree on Armand's because it's guilty of calling its stuff Chicago pizza and concocting a fable that they figured out the ingredients of Chicago style by dumpster diving (and if they did, they must have dived into the wrong dumpsters!). Armand's doesn't come close to the good stuff in Chicago.

Uno's goes with Armand's into the docket charged with defaming Chicago pan pizza because the Boston corporation that bought Uno's from Ike Sewell's widow ruined it (what a genius move .... pay big bucks for a recipe they wrecked). The only exceptions are the original Uno and Due in Chicago, which they allowed to keep making them following the original methods.

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When I was in high school I had a good friend who went to A. U. He and I and several others would go to Maggie's on Wisconsin Avenue. This was in the mid '60's, a number of years before Armand's opened (eventually) next door. Pizza was fifty cents a pie. Not a slice. But a pie. We would order a mug of beer and when the waittress tried to take it away, ask her to leave it on the table. The idea was to build up a wall of mugs to surround the pizza when it was served.

We also thought that as beer drinking Men (OK, I was the youngest at 17) girls coming in would be impressed at our virility and would want to sit next to us. Also (in our innebriated stupor) even go out with us.

Maggie's had terrible pizza. It tasted like it cost: fifty cents. But all of the beer we drank and all of the mugs we piled up on our table made it taste better.

To this day I never had a date with a girl who walked in while we were drinking. Almost a half century later (!) it was lousy pizza. So were our efforts at meeting women...

Must be why I drink wine today.

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[Can't say I'm thrilled with this topic, but I don't know where else to put these posts.]

Is there anything truly worse than gray-colored pizza (be it a jumbo slice, convenience store, etc.)? Elementary school cafeteria and bowling alley pizza is genuinely bad as well, bowling alleys may be the worst of all.

A) I didnt intend a new thread, but sometimes knowing what to avoid is as important as knowing which way to turn.

B ) Growing up I'd occasionally go see my uncle play in bowling leagues in alleys in north Jersey. Of course there's now way to confirm this now, 35 years later, but the pizza seemed ok. But I think bad pizza is against the law in those parts.

C) that dried, grey slice in the 7-11 glass case is probably rock bottom. But sometimes rock bottom is where one finds oneself.

D) Maggie's served something other than beer? :)

E) chuck e cheese holds a special place, simply because the setting is so painful. I like amusement parks, kids, arcade games and all that but just can't hang with the chuckster

F) concur with DanielK. Potomac pizza may have actually improved recently, and still isn't very good, but seems better than Cicis.

G) Zios, back in the day, used to be sort of cutting edge in pizza for those parts. I'd never heard of pineapple or white pizza before Zios. They'd pack the place on weekends and it was a special exotic treat for me and my siblings. I don't know where/how they went wrong.

H) Grotto's in Dewey, DE gets an honorable mention simply because I don't think I've ever actually fully digested it - it always found its way back up.

I did the math last weekend and have 10 places selling pizza within 1 mile of my house. Some are good, none are great.

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A) I didnt intend a new thread, but sometimes knowing what to avoid is as important as knowing which way to turn.

B ) Growing up I'd occasionally go see my uncle play in bowling leagues in alleys in north Jersey. Of course there's now way to confirm this now, 35 years later, but the pizza seemed ok. But I think bad pizza is against the law in those parts.

C) that dried, grey slice in the 7-11 glass case is probably rock bottom. But sometimes rock bottom is where one finds oneself.

D) Maggie's served something other than beer? :)

E) chuck e cheese holds a special place, simply because the setting is so painful. I like amusement parks, kids, arcade games and all that but just can't hang with the chuckster

F) concur with DanielK. Potomac pizza may have actually improved recently, and still isn't very good, but seems better than Cicis.

G) Zios, back in the day, used to be sort of cutting edge in pizza for those parts. I'd never heard of pineapple or white pizza before Zios. They'd pack the place on weekends and it was a special exotic treat for me and my siblings. I don't know where/how they went wrong.

H) Grotto's in Dewey, DE gets an honorable mention simply because I don't think I've ever actually fully digested it - it always found its way back up.

I did the math last weekend and have 10 places selling pizza within 1 mile of my house. Some are good, none are great.

Perhaps it's time to begin a conversation about best pizzas.

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Perhaps it's time to begin a conversation about best pizzas.

There are several topics about Pizzas here in Restaurants and Dining, and here in Shopping and Cooking.

The plain-titled topics "Pizzas," "Hamburgers," "Chili Crabs," all imply "Best Of" without actually saying so (this is the only topic that is highlighting the worst of something, and I don't really want to start a trend and become known as a "mean website" - it just goes against my grain, same reason I don't short stocks.) So go to those indices, and do a repeat-Find on "pizza" and you'll be aided in your quest for the best pizza thread of your choice. How about chiming in with some opinions?

Cheers,

Rocks

(And if someone wants to take over for the dearly departed leleboo, and volunteer to keep our indices up to date, please come forth!) There's lots of repetitive, grunt work to be done here (which is why I'm usually up at all hours of the night).

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Is it bad that even though I know it was probably awful, I have fond memories of pizza in high school? And sort of a craving to have it again?

I think it's due to the little cubes of pepperoni that were scattered on top...I'd get a slice of pepperoni and a slice of sausage, with smooshy flat grey more like hamburger sausage on top...put 'em together and wash them down with my milk (which I'd end up with two of, as my friend thought he was Italian (ends up his last name was Spanish) and would trade his milk for my grape juice so he could pretend it was wine)...

Now he's the guy who has quotes like "Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels" and claims he went to "Anthony Robbins Mastery University" on his Facebook page, so I don't really talk to him anymore...

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Is it bad that even though I know it was probably awful, I have fond memories of pizza in high school? And sort of a craving to have it again?

That's funny. I worked as a bank teller in college and the local cafeteria ladies would deposit cash with us. Once, I mentioned that I missed the rectangular pizza with the pepperoni bits and the large chocolate chip cookies. The sweet lunch lady actually brought some for me on the next pizza day. It wasn't as good as I remembered but it was a nice trip down memory lane.

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Is it bad that even though I know it was probably awful, I have fond memories of pizza in high school? And sort of a craving to have it again?

I think it's due to the little cubes of pepperoni that were scattered on top...I'd get a slice of pepperoni and a slice of sausage, with smooshy flat grey more like hamburger sausage on top...put 'em together and wash them down with my milk (which I'd end up with two of, as my friend thought he was Italian (ends up his last name was Spanish) and would trade his milk for my grape juice so he could pretend it was wine)...

Now he's the guy who has quotes like "Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels" and claims he went to "Anthony Robbins Mastery University" on his Facebook page, so I don't really talk to him anymore...

The funny thing about this post to me is that I can picture *exactly* the "smoothy, flat, gray, more-like hamburger sausage" - it's a thin wafer, almost shiny, the diameter of perhaps a half-dollar, and usually cut into quarters. Lots of fennel, if I recall.

My son informs me, by the way, that "Chef's Choice" is generally the worst food day of the month in Fairfax County Public schools, and the safest thing to get there, at least when he was in elementary and middle school, is Hummus Biteables.

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Of the higher end "gourmet" pizza crowd...Graffiato. Their pizza is not good. The crust is flaccid and flavorless. If Isabella was slinging this pizza in New Jersey he would be laughed out of the state.

I've had several pizzas at Graffiato, and none was as you describe. I prefer "New York" style pizza -- thin, slightly crisp crust, destined to be folded -- to the Neapolitan style that is de riguer. Graffiato's version is a little thicker that typical NY pizza, but I've liked the one's I've had there. Certainly none were "flaccid and flavorless" or anything I'd put in a thread titled "worst pizza." If you want to understand bad pizza, go to 7-11 right now and order a slice of plain cheese. If they offer to make a fresh one for you, say "no, I'll have the one in the case." That deserves the title "worst pizza." Graffiato's is just pizza you didn't happen to like, made in a restaurant owned by someone it's fashionable (in certain circles) to make fun of.

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There was nothing "slightly crisp" nor "New York-style" about the Graffito pizza Friday night.

It's been a couple months since I've been in, but the 3 or 4 pizzas I've had at Graffiato were, as I (perhaps clumsily) tried to note, a bit thicker than the NY style I prefer. But the ones I've gotten did have some char and a slightly crisp bottom, so it sounds like you may have gotten a bad one. Regardless, was it really the "worst pizza" you've had? When I see that title, I think of the pizza I once had at the Chuck E. Cheese in Frederick, Maryland, while humoring a large pack of 7 year olds. That was some bad pizza. Ketchup on toasted Wonder with semi-melted string cheese would have been an improvement.

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It's been a couple months since I've been in, but the 3 or 4 pizzas I've had at Graffiato were, as I (perhaps clumsily) tried to note, a bit thicker than the NY style I prefer. But the ones I've gotten did have some char and a slightly crisp bottom, so it sounds like you may have gotten a bad one. Regardless, was it really the "worst pizza" you've had? When I see that title, I think of the pizza I once had at the Chuck E. Cheese in Frederick, Maryland, while humoring a large pack of 7 year olds. That was some bad pizza. Ketchup on toasted Wonder with semi-melted string cheese would have been an improvement.

Yeah, I deleted my own post for this very reason. My pizza at Graffiato was bad (one of two pizzas that I can remember not finishing or taking home in the past year; the other being Kavanagh's Pizza Pub), but ... it wasn't that bad where it should discussed next to Chuck E. Cheese, not even close.

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There is a reason why the statement is qualified with "Of the higher end "gourmet" pizza crowd..." ;)

I've been to Graffiato twice, once within a couple weeks of them opening and this past weekend, and I didn't notice much difference between the two experiences. I would say that the toppings at Graffiato are fine, can be good. The pizza dough/crust is flat out bad.

If we are going to talk worst pizza I've ever had...it is no doubt the pizza I had in Singapore...why I was eating pizza in Singapore, well, don't ask!

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If we are going to talk worst pizza I've ever had...it is no doubt the pizza I had in Singapore...why I was eating pizza in Singapore, well, don't ask!

Hope it wasn't the mayonnaise!

(Says the fan of unusual pizza varities in Asian countries...)

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Del Ray Pizzeria "Shroomin" pizza. Reconstitued mushrooms do not belong on pizza. Mmmm cardboard.

You know, there's a certain combination with reconstituted mushrooms and a flat style (not crumbly style) of sausage that really works pretty well, enough so that I'm sort of craving one right now. Where I've had it, I can't say, exactly.

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You know, there's a certain combination with reconstituted mushrooms and a flat style (not crumbly style) of sausage that really works pretty well, enough so that I'm sort of craving one right now. Where I've had it, I can't say, exactly.

In your case I am sure they were brought back to life properly, In my case, the past couple times tasted like they were trying to jump start a bull frog with a lightning bolt.

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Another vote for Cici's -- exhibit #1 for "you get what you pay for." But closely behind are the "pizzas" they serve at some Subway locations.

the Boston corporation that bought Uno's from Ike Sewell's widow ruined it (what a genius move .... pay big bucks for a recipe they wrecked). The only exceptions are the original Uno and Due in Chicago, which they allowed to keep making them following the original methods.

I've actually heard a different story -- that the Boston company hired consultants (Monitor? Bain?) who advised them that all the value was in the brand, not the recipe, so they saved money by not purchasing the rights to the methods and recipes, instead making up their own. I think this took place a decade or so before Ike Sewell died, which is when the original locations were sold to the same company.

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I'm not a good enough writer to adequately express just how bad it [Chuck E. Cheese] is.

Well I am!

Picture how disgusting and greasy the video game control sticks are. And how slippery the bathroom doorknobs are because of all the grease on them.

Now, think where all that grease comes from. Eeeeww-whee!

As for Subway, I can identify the restaurants by smell alone from almost a block away, 100% of the time. There's no other smell on this earth quite like it (although I think it's the bread baking, not the pizza). Does anyone else know what I'm taking about here? I have a keen sense of smell, but it's not *that* sensitive.

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The funny thing about this post to me is that I can picture *exactly* the "smoothy, flat, gray, more-like hamburger sausage" - it's a thin wafer, almost shiny, the diameter of perhaps a half-dollar, and usually cut into quarters. Lots of fennel, if I recall.

Not where I came from (Roanoke) - it was crumbled, more like dried up hamburger...

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I recently had a slice where I continued to chew the cheese long after the other ingredients were swallowed.

Remember those novelty candy store wax teeth and wax bottles with the tiny but of sugar water? How you'd chew them until you had nothing but a wad of tasteless, hardening wax in your mouth?

That's what happened with this pizza. The cheese just wouldn't give in, finally I was left with a tasteless but resilient wad of cheese in my mouth with no hope of getting it down. It was as if I'd been served some chemical mistake, or that I'd somehow forgotten how to eat a pizza and was "doing it wrong".

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Johnny's Pizza Restaurant in Vienna. I've gotten two pies from here. Both times they were horriffic. I can only pray that it goes out of business and I won't be stuck seeing tis "Open" sign from my dining room window every evening.

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Johnny's Pizza Restaurant in Vienna. I've gotten two pies from here. Both times they were horriffic. I can only pray that it goes out of business and I won't be stuck seeing tis "Open" sign from my dining room window every evening.

Sorry, Johnny's has been satisfying hungry little leaguers for at least 30 years. It isn't going anywhere. (not saying that I like the pizza, just that it is almost as much an instution in Vienna as the Inn or the Virginian).

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I lived in northern New Jersey for 25 years. Worked in New York for some of those years. Consequently, I have strong views on how pizza should be. When I heard David Brenner say: "Sex is like pizza - when it's good, it's good - when it's bad, it's still good.", I smiled. How true it seemed.

When I moved to northern Virginia, I realized that humor could be geographic. The joke no longer resonated. By Jersey standards, it seemed almost impossible to find barely acceptable pizza. Eventually, one gives up trying a new place on the off-chance that a fresh pie might be good.

In some locations, for some cuisines, recommendations are a must.

-Patrick

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Hope it wasn't the mayonnaise!

(Says the fan of unusual pizza varities in Asian countries...)

The sauce on the hand-held pizza thing we had in Thailand actually was ketchup, and it was topped by a similar waxy, vaguely cheese-like substance as jayandstacey describes above, along with some really stringy onions. Most horrifying bite ever, even before the beach sand (though that was our own fault) was factored in.

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Forgot about Old Chicago Pizza in Huntington. I remember thinking that the name might be the literal truth...

Another contender: Delta Airlines serves (or used to serve) a rectangular piece of cardboard described as a "pizza" as the snack/lunch on westbound flights from Europe to the U.S. Utterly inedible.

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Goopy Chuck E Cheese pizza may win the title for worst I've had, but the most memorable bad pizza I ate was in Edinburgh, Scotland, when I was 20 and traveling with my college best friend. We stopped at a fish & chips shop for dinner were all set to order the expected f&c. But some wave of homesickness must have come over us when we saw pizza on the menu board, and we ordered that. We watched in stunned silence as the cook picked up two frozen disks with a smattering of grated cheese product on top and tossed them in the deep fryer. We ate them because we were poor students and couldn't waste money on a second dinner. Over the years, when I'd relate this story, I began to doubt my memory of the pizzas being flung into the oil. Recently, though, I discovered that fried pizza is a recognized menu item in some Scottish chip shops.

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A seafood pizza in a coastal town, Porto something or other, in Southern Coastal Tuscany that was highly suspect going down {we were hungry and in a tourist trap of an old centro of a town} and resulted in my regretting not learning how to use the hole in the ground toilets when that was all that was available in Tarquinia's Etruscan burial grounds. Kay really considered leaving me behind in one of the tombs. I would have welcomed cremation at that point, but I think there were air pollution laws against lighting fires.

The memory of that fateful day has been thankfully repressed until my looking at this topic.

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...We watched in stunned silence as the cook picked up two frozen disks with a smattering of grated cheese product on top and tossed them in the deep fryer. We ate them because we were poor students and couldn't waste money on a second dinner. Over the years, when I'd relate this story, I began to doubt my memory of the pizzas being flung into the oil. Recently, though, I discovered that fried pizza is a recognized menu item in some Scottish chip shops.

I thought fried pizzas are well known in Europe? (Different styles too.)

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I've had Potomac Pizza. It was dreadful. I've had CiCi's. One bite was all it took. Armand's. Blech. I have eaten my share of bad pizza.

Nothing but nothing compares to Glen Echo Pizza. In this food desert over here by the shores of the Rio Potowmack, you sometimes get a little desperate (witness the lines outside Wild Tomato; you would think it was Little Serow giving away free dinners). So the nearest pizza place is a tiny joint called Glen Echo Pizza. You think it may be bad, but it's really close and it's gotta be better than the frozen cardboard in the supermarket. Wrong. The place is disgusting. It reeks. It was so filthy and smelly that I almost turned around without picking up the pizza I had ordered, but I didn't want to cheat the guys. I took it home, peeked inside the box. Threw it right into the trash. Plus, it appeared that the pizza was being baked on one of those conveyor belt things...

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wisehands, on 05 May 2012 - 07:57 PM, said: the Boston corporation that bought Uno's from Ike Sewell's widow ruined it (what a genius move .... pay big bucks for a recipe they wrecked). The only exceptions are the original Uno and Due in Chicago, which they allowed to keep making them following the original methods.

I've actually heard a different story -- that the Boston company hired consultants (Monitor? Bain?) who advised them that all the value was in the brand, not the recipe, so they saved money by not purchasing the rights to the methods and recipes, instead making up their own. I think this took place a decade or so before Ike Sewell died, which is when the original locations were sold to the same company.

To expand the story a bit beyond two lines, the takeover took place in two parts. Part 1: A guy named Aaron Spencer, who owned a string of KFCs in New England, made an offer to buy franchise rights for Pizzeria Uno in 1975, but was rejected initially, as all other franchise offers had been. Spencer finally convinced Ike Sewell to let him open a test unit in Boston. It did good business, so in 1979 Sewell sold Spencer the right to franchise Uno. However, Sewell maintained control of the Chicago pizzerias, never taking an active part in the management of the newly formed Uno chain. Part 2: After Sewell passed away in 1990, the Uno Restaurant Corp. acquired the original Pizzeria Uno and Due in Chicago.

Sidenote: Uno went into bankruptcy for around 6 months in 2010.

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I went to the original Uno's in Chicago as a teenager and still remember it as one of the 5 best pizzas I've ever had. it's really a shame what that Boston group has done to that name, I went to the one in Georgetown a couple years ago and can't imagine enjoying a pizza less.

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Although everyone always kills Mario's on Wilson Blvd. in Arlington, their meat pizza along with the same pie at Trio pizza in Adams Morgan were great hang-over, so-bad-it's good-pizza for a younger, drunker version of me.

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Now you're talking! When I landed in the DC area 35 years ago by way of Brooklyn and Connecticut, I was fascinated by Mario's pizza and its BBQ topping. You see, this was the first time I had ever had BBQ pork and it was delicious, even on top of pizza. I remember eating BBQ pizza for 7 days in a row once I discovered it. However, I haven't tried it in decades.

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7-11 pizza. Hey...I've never been asked if I want fresh slices? Do they actually exist? I would imagine the executive chef at 7-11 central advises all franchise operators that pizza is done best if well aged.

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