Pizza purveyors vie for pigskin payday

Just in time for football season, the chains have decided to extend the pizza wars, and all the big boys are jumping on the band bus.

Started by Pizza Hut for the 2010 Super Bowl, the $10 large pizza with three toppings has another season. Papa John’s, Domino’s and Blackjack all have some variation on the cheap pizza deal.

Who is the champion? It’s your call.

But be forewarned, if you want your pie delivered, the corporate number-crunchers have figured out a way to pad the bill. Most of them add a delivery charge. Here’s the rundown:

Pizza Hut offers a large pizza with three toppings for $10, and of course you have to pay the tax. The delivery charge is $1.75, so the total on your $10 pizza will be $12.65.

You’ll probably tip the poor delivery guy, right? That brings the $10 pizza to about $15, depending on how generous you’re feeling, and/or whether your team is winning at half-time.

Papa John’s has a similar gig: a large, three-topping pizza for $10. Their delivery charge is slightly less, $1.50, so the total comes to $12.27.

Hey, if “Papa John is in the house,” you shouldn’t have to pick up the pizza yourself. But if you do, it’s $10.77.

Domino’s Pizza mixes it up a little. Their special is two medium pizzas with two toppings each for $5.99 apiece. With delivery charge that comes to $13.90. Ka-ching.

Just undercutting the big boys, Blackjack Pizza sells a more honest $10 pizza. Their large pie with unlimited toppings is $9.90 and is delivered for a total of $10.75.

Having griped about the up-charges, you’ve gotta love the competitive spirit, and the prices are better than they were a year ago.

WHAT ELSE TO DO DURING FOOTBALL SEASON: Old Chicago’s, 120 North Ave., has a make-your-own perfect Bloody Mary bar on Sundays from 10:30 a.m. to about 2:30 p.m., or until the last imbibers peter out and switch to Coke.

Buy a shot of house vodka, Popov, for $4 ($6ish for upgrades) and the Mary bar is free. It’s a very tempting set-up and almost a challenge to see how much you can stuff into your tall glass.

Bloody choices are Clamato, V-8, tomato juice or Major Peter’s. Spices include roasted garlic, fresh horseradish, celery salt, garlic salt and cayenne pepper.

On the sauce aisle there is pickle juice, olive oil, Worchestire and many hot pepper sauces.

The relish tray could be an anti-pasta appetizer: stuffed olives, marinated asparagus, pepperoncini, celery, green beans, lemons and limes.

In my experience, the lemony-flavored Absolut Citron vodka was worth the upgrade.

But free will has its downside. My husband concocted a spicy hot Blood Mary that could have burned a hole in your esophagus.

Well, that was my sodium content for the day.

FOODIEST TOWN EVER (2010): Bon Appetit magazine named Boulder the Foodiest Town of 2010 in its October issue.

Is that something like “truthiness?”

Restaurant editor Andrew Knowlton arrived at his decision after dining at Mateo, Salt, Basta, Sushi Tora, the Kitchen and Frasca.

Too bad I couldn’t afford food when I lived in Boulder.

SHARE OUR STRENGTH: This Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 25–26, McAlister’s Deli, 480 W. Park Drive, will donate proceeds from all cookie sales to Share Our Strength, an organization working to end childhood hunger in America.

When customers buy a cookie, they’ll also receive a card for a free cookie to use on their next visit.

QUOTE: “My wife and I tried to breakfast together, but we had to stop or our marriage would have been wrecked.” — Winston Churchill

Send tips and ideas to tess.furey@


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