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zpizza, A Laguna Beach, CA Chain With Several Locations In The DC Area - Whole Pizzas, Or By The Slice


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I didn't have a traditional slice, but last night I had one of the better "New York Style" pizzas I've had in this area at Zpizza on Rt. 7 between Leesburg and Ashburn (they also have locations in Falls Church and Springfield). Although it is brand new, it isn't much to look at - a counter, a hot pizza oven and about 10 tables. But with the pizzas rolling out of that oven, I didn't care.

We had a pepperoni and what they call a "Tuscan Mushroom". Both came out of the oven nicely crispy but still tender and chewy and foldable, while holding its shape - why can't more places do this right?

The pepperoni had a properly greasy sheen, but without pooling and dripping when you take a bite. The mushroom had a slightly sweet roasted garlic sauce, carmelized onions, mozzarella and feta and actual musrooms other than the plain button variety with a bit of truffle oil. Hearty, sweet and a bit tangy - it put most tired, harshly garlic white pizzas to shame.

Keep in mind - this isn't a Two Amy's or Pizzeria Paradiso, traditional "government certified Italian" style pizza. But it far surpasses anything else that I've had from any of those Italian / Greek places in every strip mall in Loudoun County, turning out soggy pizzas with too much sauce, two pounds of bad cheese and flavorless toppings.

And the slices at the counter looked awfully good too.

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I didn't have a traditional slice, but last night I had one of the better "New York Style" pizzas I've had in this area at Zpizza on Rt. 7 between Leesburg and Ashburn (they also have locations in Falls Church and Springfield).  Although it is brand new, it isn't much to look at - a counter, a hot pizza oven and about 10 tables.  But with the pizzas rolling out of that oven, I didn't care.

Thanks for the info. The Springfield location is very close to me and I will have to check it out.

Here is some interesting info about them from their web site.

-- "zpizza is a rapidly growing chain of gourmet, health conscious pizza stores operating in high-profile lifestyle centers and metropolitan retail centers."

-- "We combine select ingredients using award-winning skim mozzarella from Wisconsin, certified organic tomato sauce, MSG-free pepperoni, additive-free sausage, and fresh produce."

edited to add some info...

Edited by mdt
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It's opening in Clarendon, right off of Metro. Mike, the owner (of local franchise) is a good guy; friend of a friend. Ironically, I was introduced at Sette Bella eating pizza not too long ago.

I've never eaten the z pizza, though.

Edited by Meaghan
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Leesburg, Springfield: "High-profile lifestyle centers." You heard it here first.

http://www.zpizza.com/zpizza.php?page=menu_pizza&mID=12

Hmm.....1840 calories with 104 grams of fat for the more healthy wheat dough pizza. A savings of close to 80 calories over the traditional!!! Still....the fat content on the "healthy" is the same as on the "regular."

In truth I have not tried this yet. But to claim that a medium size pie with almost 2000 calories and over 100 grams of fat should be in the column labelled "healthy," well . . . . Of course they try to circumvent this by noting that it is a "small slice." Who is going to eat ONE "small" slice of pizza? I could understand four small slices which might be half; but this is still 920 calories and 52 grams of fat. Hardly what I think would be classified as "healthy." (By comparison I'm guessing that ONE regular slice of, say, Costco pizza is 750 calories and 40 grams of fat by itself!)

If the pizza is really good then the fat, the calories won't matter. Perhaps Burger King has a "healthy" double whopper with cheese on a wholewheat bun...

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http://www.zpizza.com/zpizza.php?page=menu_pizza&mID=12

Hmm.....1840 calories with 104 grams of fat for the more healthy wheat dough pizza.  A savings of close to 80 calories over the traditional!!!  Still....the fat content on the "healthy" is the same as on the "regular."

Fine. Yes.

2000 calories is much better when distributed throughout 3 hours, 14 courses and plenty of good wine.

Mini blowout style.

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http://www.zpizza.com/zpizza.php?page=menu_pizza&mID=12

Hmm.....1840 calories with 104 grams of fat for the more healthy wheat dough pizza.  A savings of close to 80 calories over the traditional!!!  Still....the fat content on the "healthy" is the same as on the "regular."

In truth I have not tried this yet.  But to claim that a medium size pie with almost 2000 calories and over 100 grams of fat should be in the column labelled "healthy," well . . . .  Of course they try to circumvent this by noting that it is a "small slice."  Who is going to eat ONE "small" slice of pizza?  I could understand four small slices which might be half; but this is still 920 calories and 52 grams of fat.  Hardly what I think would be classified as "healthy."  (By comparison I'm guessing that ONE regular slice of, say, Costco pizza is 750 calories and 40 grams of fat by itself!)

If the pizza is really good then the fat, the calories won't matter.  Perhaps Burger King has a "healthy" double whopper with cheese on a wholewheat bun...

I have been to the one in Springfield, don't waste your time or calories.

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I have been to the one in Springfield, don't waste your time or calories.

I've been to the Falls Church location of zpizza a couple of times for slices on-the-run. I kind of enjoy it although it's nothing special of course (Pie-tanza is better pizza in this general area). The good news is that if you take a bite and decide against it, Kasha's Kitchen is next door - one of the healthiest and most underrated lunch counters around (in the back of Kennedy's Natural Foods, and definitely worth a try for lunch if you're around Route 7 and the W&OD Trail).

Cheers,

Rocks

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Let's be real about this. If you want healthy pizza get a Lean Cuisine frozen piece of cardboard. I don't get the outrage here.

I'll still stand by my initial evaluation of the slices at the ZPizza in Leesburg. I wouldn't drive more than the 10 minutes it takes me to get there, but I think it is good for what it is.

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Let's be real about this.  If you want healthy pizza get a Lean Cuisine frozen piece of cardboard.  I don't get the outrage here.

I'll still stand by my initial evaluation of the slices at the ZPizza in Leesburg.  I wouldn't drive more than the 10 minutes it takes me to get there, but I think it is good for what it is.

I guess that is what I was implying with my post. If you are close, sure it is not horrible, but don't go out of your way for it.

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Healthy pizza is an oxymoron (if enough effort is made to make the pizza healthful, then likely it no longer resembles pizza).

How about a pizza with some sauce, fresh mushrooms, ricotta, and just a bit of mozz. Sounds pretty damn good and healthy to me. You can probably come up with a huge list of white pizzas that are pretty healthy.

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Beth and I have really grown addicted to the Silver Spring location due to the fact that they deliver. Of course many better pizzas can be had around town but not without requiring me to actually put on shoes. Their salads are pretty tasty as well. I usually consider our meals healthy for what they are, fast food. I would look at a lot of other factors than just calories and fat content when deciding if something is "healthy dining". Absence of preservatives or chemical additives, lower sodium, higher fiber, vitamin and mineral content etc. etc. And I think for a delivery pizza, they do pretty well. Our favorite order is a spinach salad, california salad and a medium pizza with tomato sauce, skim mozz, chicken sausage, spinach and roasted red peppers on wheat crust (I like the taste better!). But we have always been very happy with our other choices also.

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I had the opportunity to try this for the first time recently. It's edible, sauce was a little bland, crust was pretty good, cheese was standard, nothing to write home about but a couple steps above DOmino's.

I'll keep on making my own.

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My 3 godsons and their parents came over last night and I didn't feel like cooking, so I ordered up 4 14" pizzas from zPizza in Rockville. Pretty pricey at $62, but I thought it was well worth it. They use good quality ingredients, the crust held up well, and they tasted great. The Tuscan mushroom had 4 kinds of shrooms and carmelized onions and the Mediterranean had long mandoline-cut slices of fresh zucchini with sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives. Normally I find chicken to be an abomination on pizza, but their Santa Fe with fresh corn, serrano chilies, and chicken sausage was very good. I even enjoyed the plain ol' cheese pizza. I think they produce damn good stuff. My usual take out pizza is Mama Lucia's, but I don't think their crust is as good. It becomes tough once it cools down a bit. I think I'll spend the extra couple of bucks for z's from now on.

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I am a big fan of ZPizza. I definitely think you are better off if you get a fresh-made pizza over the slices, but the slices can be good, too. I always enjoy their salads (though if you don't ask for dressing on the side you will likely end up with an overdressed mess of greens). Of course, if I could conveniently get to Luciano I would choose their pizza any day, but Z is good with me and I appreciate the slightly healthier nutrition stats.

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... I ordered up 4 14" pizzas from zPizza in Rockville. Pretty pricey at $62, ... My usual take out pizza is Mama Lucia's, but I don't think their crust is as good. ... I think I'll spend the extra couple of bucks for z's from now on.

I had exactly the opposite decision - zPizza to me wasn't as good as Mama Lucia's (or Giuseppi's, by the Regal), so I don't go there any more.

But I have to check - you are comparing to the ML location at Federal Plaza, right? The other ML locations are orders of magnitude worse, and aren't worth going to. You do have to make sure to ask for well-done pizzas, especially on Tuesday, when they have the buy-one-get-one-for-$1 take-out special. Since that's normally when we get pizza, zPizza is not just more expensive than ML, but twice as expensive.

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We've been enjoying getting delivery from zPizza in Arlington lately. Yes, I know, we live within sight of the Italian Store, but on a day like today, it's simply TOO MUCH to stand in the rain, waiting to cross the intersection of death, to fight the crowds. Even when you call ahead, as we always do, you still have to stand in the ridiculously long check-out lines. At any rate, zPizza delivers, and we've enjoyed their food. We have yet to try the pizzas -- though we will be having the Mexican and the Tuscan Mushroom tonight (the half-and-half deal), but Tripewriter really enjoys their tuna sandwiches, and on occasions such as today, I'm hooked on their calzones -- I get the wheat crust with sausage and pepperoni. I love their tomato dipping sauce, too, and I've also enjoyed their apple pie pizza -- it hasn't been overly sweet or cloying, but with nice big pieces of apple on a thin crust, it's a pretty decent dessert!

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I went there two weeks ago with my fiancee. We shared an order of the Tuscan Mushroom and the pear and gorgonozola salad. They have this cute system where they put little plastic animals on your table so the server knows which pizza to serve you. Anyway we had to wait about 20 minutes for the pizza which was kind of slow for the fast-casual model that the place is trying to aspire to (ala potbelly/chipoltle, etc) but the food was great so it works out.

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After I broke my leg, I was ordering from zPizza many times a week -- I think I'm addicted! I love their Mexican pizza. It's served with with fresh salsa instead of sauce, grilled lime chicken, onions, and avocado. I get it without cheese, on a whole wheat crust, and today I added sweet corn to the mix. Definitely a good decision. They also bake their cookies in their pizza oven, I believe, so they have that wonderful caramelly edge that I love. We also like their arugula salad, though we get the onions on the side, as Tripewriter loves them, and I prefer without. All in all, a very satisfying and delicious meal that's not too terribly "bad" for you and that -- apparently, no matter how many times you have it -- leaves you planning your return.

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After I broke my leg, I was ordering from zPizza many times a week -- I think I'm addicted! I love their Mexican pizza. It's served with with fresh salsa instead of sauce, grilled lime chicken, onions, and avocado. I get it without cheese, on a whole wheat crust, and today I added sweet corn to the mix. Definitely a good decision. They also bake their cookies in their pizza oven, I believe, so they have that wonderful caramelly edge that I love. We also like their arugula salad, though we get the onions on the side, as Tripewriter loves them, and I prefer without. All in all, a very satisfying and delicious meal that's not too terribly "bad" for you and that -- apparently, no matter how many times you have it -- leaves you planning your return.

I think that zPizza may be suffering some of the issues that Five Guys is with locations warying wildly. I will not order from the zPizza closest to my house, off of Lee Highway in Fairfax, it is just horrendous all the way around, but I do enjoy their pizza from other locations from time to time.

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I think that zPizza may be suffering some of the issues that Five Guys is with locations warying wildly. I will not order from the zPizza closest to my house, off of Lee Highway in Fairfax, it is just horrendous all the way around, but I do enjoy their pizza from other locations from time to time.
Indeed, the zPizza in SS sucks pucks.
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zPizza has been consistently good in Rockville. It's the best delivery option I've had around here by a long shot.

[crap. i've become a suburbanite. zPizza, FiveGuys... what's next? Olive Garden?]

I've been there twice, and can't agree. More expensive and not as good as Giuseppi's or Mama Lucia's.

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Ewwwww Yucky - Took the girls there once when I got a coupon in the door and it was really yucky. Wouldn't go back.

zPizza has been consistently good in Rockville. It's the best delivery option I've had around here by a long shot.

[crap. i've become a suburbanite. zPizza, FiveGuys... what's next? Olive Garden?]

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Some light is shed:

http://www.fooddrink-magazine.com/content/view/360/

"Fresh Ingredients

To put an end to the perception that healthy food lacks flavor, Z Pizza created more than 17 unique flavor options for its specialty pizzas, Bright explains. Menu options range from Thai- and Mexican-inspired pies to signature pizzas such as the Tuscan mushroom, topped with three different types of mushrooms, drizzled with truffle oil and sprinkled with fresh thyme.

Z Pizza's natural ingredients include organic tomato sauce, Montana winter wheat, fresh produce, additive-free meats, and low-fat mozzarella and soy cheeses. The pizza chain also sells fresh, artisan salads made of sweet mixed greens and uses high-quality ingredients.

The company purchases products from boutique manufacturers who specialize in choice ingredients from California and Wisconsin. Dealing with small manufacturers required the company to connect with food distributor Sysco Corp. to form a national distribution network that ships products to its national franchisees. Bright said by doing so, each franchise can provide the same quality and natural ingredients of the flagship location."

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I have never been to zPizza (is that the opposite of Apizza?) and honestly, I don't plan on ever going. So, it is unfair for me to judge their product. However, I have read their menu, and I have read a Sysco catalog. The grilled lime chicken is a dead giveaway. I wasn't judging, just jumping to conclusions. Apparently I was right.

*EDIT* I couldn't sleep because I started to wonder what the heck an artisan salad is...

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Nonetheless, when I broke my leg, I ordered from the location in Arlington on many, many days, and I was never disappointed in the food or found it to be inconsistent -- the pizza was never overcooked, undercooked, soggy, burned, overtopped, undertopped, cold, late, or what have you. They have a good selection of items, including sandwiches, salads, calzones, cookies, and -- of course -- a large pizza selection. I'm not claiming it's Fine Dining -- and neither are they -- but it is by far the best delivery pizza I have had.

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I regret to report that a friend informed me last evening that the Z Pizza franchise in Merrifield, VA is no more. Apparently the site has been taken by the county as part of the "town centering" of Merrifield.

She also told me that she called the Falls Church store as a back up, and had to finally ask for someone who spoke English after 10 minutes of trying to place her order, whereupon she got hung up on. She called back, spoke to the manager, and got her 'za.

I've had some interesting run-ins with that Falls Church store myself in the recent past. The evening of the 2 hour delivery was one of those times. :lol:

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What the hell are they doing over there!? The zpizza there is in the same strip that Dad's Backyard Burgers was in, that strip is probably not more than a year or so old. Why the hell would they allow them to build a brand new strip and then tell everyone to get the hell out!?

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What the hell are they doing over there!? The zpizza there is in the same strip that Dad's Backyard Burgers was in, that strip is probably not more than a year or so old. Why the hell would they allow them to build a brand new strip and then tell everyone to get the hell out!?

I've always wondered that myself, I don't know if anything is left in that strip, I think there was a Thai place too. It's practically impossible to make a left turn into if you're heading north on Gallows, you'd have to be heading South and forget it during rush hour. Must have been a cheap lease.

I'm sure all that stuff will be going away in the near future: Johnston's Auto Body and Gnome Display, etc.

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What the hell are they doing over there!? The zpizza there is in the same strip that Dad's Backyard Burgers was in, that strip is probably not more than a year or so old. Why the hell would they allow them to build a brand new strip and then tell everyone to get the hell out!?

That strip is at least three or four years old. Older than that, really, as the strip storefronts themselves were repurposed from whatever building it was that had already been there for years. (I've driven by there several times a week for the last eight years, but damned if I can remember what it used to be. Vacant, perhaps.) Anyway, about four years ago a Dad's Backyard Burgers sign on a post went up near the building. That sat there for about a year with nothing seeming to occur other than the divvying up of the building into storefronts. Then permanent signs appeared above each of four storefronts, for Pilin Thai, zpizza, Carvel/Cinnabon and Dad's Backyard Burgers. Eventually the zpizza and Carvel actually opened for business, and maybe a year after that the Dad's Backyard Burgers finally opened - only to apparently close just a few months later. (It looked like the staff had cleaned up one night, put the chairs up on the tables, swept the place down, and then just disappeared from the planet instead of coming to open up the next morning.) Meanwhile, zpizza and Carvel were still up and running, and for a while a Caribou Coffee was carved out from part of the Pilin Thai storefront and was also doing business. Now they're all gone, along with any evidence that they ever were there. Except for Dad's Backyard Burgers, which still sits there looking like the morning crew overslept and didn't make it in to open up. Very weird.

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Except for Dad's Backyard Burgers, which still sits there looking like the morning crew overslept and didn't make it in to open up. Very weird.

Exactly the sequence I've witnessed. They have returned to their home planet. Those who partook of their burgers will carry their lineage, a la "Alien".

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Now that Pizzaiolo has stopped delivery to my neighborhood, I had to find some decent delivery pizza. I like Don Alberto's but my wife thinks that it is too greasy, so I have to leave that for when she is not at home. The only other options are national chains and frankly I would rather go hungry than to subject myself to DominoesPizzaHutPappaJohnVocelli et al. So we decided to give zPizza a try, and were surprisingly delighted with the results.

Our order was a small Italian (pesto, artichoke hearts, and olives), and a medium with Peporoni and Sausage. I did not try the Italian, but my wife really enjoyed everything about it sans the olives which she found too over-powering, and we both agreed that the regular pizza was miles ahead of any other delivery options that we have in the area (though I still would choose the greasy goodness of the aforementioned Don Alberto's).

Others have mentioned that the cost of the pizza is much higher than other options, this is true, but when compared to other non-pizza delivery options such as Chinese it is inline with what it would cost for both of us to have a far less appealing meal of overly Americanized Asian food.

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I am also a big fan of zpizza. We discovered them last month when they sent us a coupon. We use the one in Arlington. Their toppings are very fresh and where else can you get Kalamata olives!!! I also like that they use low-fat mozzarella so I don't feel so guilty about all the saturated fat I am ingesting. One tip though--I once ordered a custom pizza which was great just to realize it was the same as the American Classic which would be cheaper. Next time, I ordered the American Classic and it was not very good. I think they make those in advance and they don't taste as fresh as a custom pizza. So I went back to ordering the custom pizza and paying the extra couple of $$.

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I ordered a classic sausage and pepperoni pizza as well as a Mediterranean Rusitca pie from the Arlington store several weeks ago and was very disappointed:

1) Difficult to place order (person who answered the phone spoke terrible English)

2) Pies arrived in about 35 minutes but were barely lukewarm (had to reheat in oven)

3) But worst of all, the overall taste was bland, saltless, and fatless!

I don't see what the big deal is about with this chain -- If what I had is typical, then their food is a pile!

There are much better pies all over town and, in Arlington, the Italian Store, Sette Bello, Faccia Luna and Lost Dog Cafe quickly come to mind.

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I ordered a classic sausage and pepperoni pizza as well as a Mediterranean Rusitca pie from the Arlington store several weeks ago and was very disappointed:

1) Difficult to place order (person who answered the phone spoke terrible English)

2) Pies arrived in about 35 minutes but were barely lukewarm (had to reheat in oven)

3) But worst of all, the overall taste was bland, saltless, and fatless!

I don't see what the big deal is about with this chain -- If what I had is typical, then their food is a pile!

There are much better pies all over town and, in Arlington, the Italian Store, Sette Bello, Faccia Luna and Lost Dog Cafe quickly come to mind.

When I was living in their delivery radius, we used to always use the online system. It was pretty easy and allowed you to do some customization that I think would have gotten lost if dealing with someone on the phone. I never thought their pizza was out of this world but it was much better than any other delivery places and I really like their salad options. I never considered their competition to be Comet or 2amys or even Mama Lucia (carryout only) it was more like Domino's and Papa John's, places where I didn't have to leave the couch.
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A month or so ago there was a deal on ZPizza from Groupon, so I figured it would be worth trying with a $20 gift certificate for $10. Finally made it to the Arlington location last night. This location is obviously designed for delivery or carry out since there's only enough tables/chairs to seat maybe 8-10 people, but it worked out fine for us.

The +1 and I split a small California Salad (mixed greens, avocado, red onion, cukes, and tomatoes, minus black olives) with balsamic dressing to start. We only ordered one salad, but they were nice enough to serve it to us on two plates and we each had a very generous serving. I really enjoyed the addition of avocado to what would be normally a pretty traditional side salad.

For dinner we each got a small pizza and shared a bit. He had the ZBQ (BBQ sauce, mozz, BBQ chicken, roasted peppers, red onions, tomatoes, cilantro and sweet corn). We both wished there had been a bit more of the BBQ sauce, but overall the pizza had a very good taste, and the cilantro really brightened the whole thing up. However, my Tuscan (roasted garlic sauce, mozz, cremini, shitake and button mushrooms, caramelized onions, feta, truffle oil and thyme) was definitely the winner. The mushrooms and thyme made a great woodsy taste and smell that was perfect for the winter. The garlic flavor wasn't overwhelming, but melded well with the rest of the flavors. I would 100% order this one again. I also got it with the whole wheat crust and liked that a lot.

No, it's not the cheapest pizza in the area, and probably not the best, but I like the different topping options (really want to try the Santa Fe) and the fact that they deliver. I'm certainly looking forward to going back before too long.

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Sitting here eating my free lunch (big pharma FTW) from zpizza, and somehow I still feel ripped off (big pharma FTL). A slice of the ZBQ was way too freaking sweet, and had none of the smokiness of spiciness I'd hope for in a barbecue chicken pie. Actually, it barely had any barbecue-ness (suck it, Mssrs. Merriam and Webster) to it at all. I didn't realize it was a barbecue chicken pizza until I just looked it up.

The Thai is no better, with the bean sprouts looking like they've been out a bit too long and the carrot shaved so thinly that it had no chance of holding up in the oven.

Oh, and the crusts both suck. Hard. The not-really barbecue has a crust that's probably closer to a cracker than anything else, and while the Thai has a decently textured crust, there's absolutely no flavor whatsoever. I do not exaggerate when I say I've had better from the big delivery chains.

I realize that pizza that's been delivered isn't as good as getting it at the location, but plenty of these problems don't stem from the fact that this pizza took its time getting to me. Unless there's some sort of weird crust-flavor-zapping process which takes place in the box, of course. I'm going to assume that's not the case.

This isn't my first time eating from zpizza, and it's not the first time I've been completely disappointed, either. Unless I'm getting it for free again, I don't see myself making this same mistake anytime soon.

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