By JOHN E. BIALAS
It’s new and it’s just OK: The muffuletta pizza at Johnny’s Pizza House, a chain of restaurants in Louisiana, Texas and Mississippi.
I think the nearest Johnny’s to Gulfport, Miss., my hometown, is on the New Orleans Northshore in Covington and that’s where I went on Saturday night, 11-2-19, for a takeout order of the large muffuletta pizza.
I had great expectations after Johnny’s went to Facebook to post a picture of its muffuletta pizza.
I ate a few slices, shaped like cheesy breadsticks, after I got home and they were good, though I was hoping for better. A lot better.
The crust was crispy and I liked that best of all. My problem with the pizza was that the toppings weren’t abundant. I wanted more cheese, more olive salad, more meats and more flavor.
I wanted my pizza to look as delicious as the one I saw on the Johnny’s website.
Here’s what I brought home from Johnny’s.
I took the picture above after I got home and opened the box, and I know the lighting is poor.
The lighting is my fault. It’s my fault that I didn’t eat the pizza at Johnny’s when it was fresh from the oven. It’s my fault I didn’t get a different kind of crust. Johnny’s also offers pizzas made in a deep pan crust.
Maybe the deep pan was the way to go. Maybe I would have been better off getting the Johnny’s Might Meaty Flip. Maybe I should have bought just a pizza-less muffuletta, even though the Johnny’s version comes with mustard.
I’ll never know. I do know that the Johnny’s muffuletta pizza is the most disappointing pizza for me in 2019.
I say that as a Johnny’s fan.
My brother, Mike, and his wife, Carmen, who live in the Denver area, discovered the old Johnny’s in Monroe when they attended Northeast Louisiana University in the mid-1970s. I went with Mike, Carmen, Mom and Dad maybe two or three times to the old one and then the new Monroe location, which opened before Mike and Carmen graduated.
Those were the only times I had been to a Johnny’s until, almost 40 years later, I found out about the Covington restaurant after my CPA daughter, Kristin, and her family moved from Memphis to the Northshore in 2012. Kristin can walk from her office to Johnny’s if she wants.
Patty and I have two grandchildren and their parents are Kristin and Mitch, Kristin’s husband. Wade is an 8-year-old foodie and his sister, Collin Grayce, 4, is the Pepperoni Princess because it is her favorite topping.
One of Wade’s first pizza experiences was at Johnny’s when he was a little guy and I have a picture of the historic moment in my Facebook memories from 2012, when he was a year old.
Johnny’s makes me think of family, but the restaurant’s muffuletta pizza is a memory I won’t keep.