The RAU's Favorite Frozen Pizza

Pizza parlors are extremely popular in the area of Ohio where I live. It's not an exaggeration to say that there are more pizza joints per square mile in this town and surrounding suburbs than any other place I've been to in my life. An estimation off the top of my head concludes that I've eaten at no less than ten different kinds from both local parlors and national franchises.

Pizza and an Xbox: My nerd cred increases by 2!

And yet frozen pizzas still remain a hot commodity in grocery stores as most of them have an entire aisle adorned with pizzas of all varying sizes, flavors, and quality. Not least amongst them is one brand that claims right on its bright red square box to be America's best-selling frozen pizza - Totino's Party Pizza. Though I suspect that has more to do with its low price than its quality.

Totino's - The pizza that the entire Final Fantasy universe is willing to wage war over. (Photoshop by Ragey.)

Back when I was less health-conscious I used to buy Totino's Party Pizzas practically once a week as part of our weekly grocery routine. After all, they only cost a little over a dollar, and sometimes you could even get them for $1 during store sales. Who can resist pizza for a buck?

Being unable to eat pork due to an allergy that causes me to break out in all kinds of acne-related nastiness, I was left with only three choices when it comes to the Totino's brand: Plain Cheese, Hamburger, or Mexican. The Mexican was my favorite, but unfortunately, they discontinued it long ago. One advantage to the Plain Cheese variety is that you can put your own toppings on it (I'd sometimes buy Pennsylvania Dutch mushrooms for this purpose), but for today's review, I went with the Hamburger kind.

As you can see, right on the box it says "Do Not Microwave". However, I wrongfully assumed that frozen pizza would be microwaveable when I bought it (Totino's Pizza Rolls are), and gave no second thought to the fact that due to an ongoing home repair situation, my oven is temporarily out of commission and I don't own a toaster oven. Nevertheless, in the interest of getting this information out to the public, I forged on ahead with the microwave anyway. So, my crust won't be crispy. I can live with that.

Yeah, I never took the sticker off my microwave, so you can see exactly what type I have.

With no microwave instructions, I guessed about 5 minutes at 800 watts would be good enough.

Soon enough, I had a cheesy, melty mess on my hands. As I suspected, the crust didn't get crispy, but at least the cheese was nice and melted and the beef had been cooked. I suppose that eating it this way might be considered blasphemous because the box touts its "original crisp crust", but sometimes in life, you've gotta take a risk.

And it still cuts quite easily with my pizza roller.

Despite the fact that the crust was soft and chewy, the flavor was about the same as I had remembered it from years ago. The sauce has a weird tangy taste, and although they're not as good as the large, juicy beef chunks you would get from actual parlor pizza, the hamburger bits at least add a little extra to the flavor and "filling factor". The cheese is fairly standard: it's not bad, but not special either </Greg Kasavin>, and it's a little gooey (although part of that is because I microwaved it).

Overall, it's not completely terrible for a pizza that only costs about a dollar, but it's definitely on the lower end of store-bought brands. It's nowhere near on the divine level of the California Kitchen Barbecue Chicken Pizza, which is more costly, but I'd gladly purchase whenever I have a coupon for it. I've heard worse about the Totino's Pepperoni kind, but I can't verify that for myself because of my allergies.


One thing I have to dock some points for is the fact that the Hamburger type is essentially the same as the Mexican type, only without all the Mexican-style cheese and green peppers that overall gave that variety bigger bang for your hard-earned buck. Another issue is that I did have slight indigestion for awhile after eating the Hamburger pizza. In fact, it kind of lasted on until the following day, so I'm not exactly on the edge of my seat to get another one anytime soon.

Just to show that I didn't have a completely unhealthy dinner, here's my half-eaten party pizza alongside my half-eaten salad (and both were eventually consumed in their entirety).

Bonus Bear!

Our little teddy bear tabby, Pepper, couldn't resist the smell of the Totino's Party Pizza in the air! So, we offered her a bit of the hamburger. Would she accept?


Totino's Party Pizza: Prince-Approved!

Picture by Sweetbee. Check out his Metal Gear Solid fan art for more Totino's Party Pizza madness!

===== FINAL SCORE: 2.5/5 =====

Comments from the RAU Gallery:
Jack: I hope the next time the Overlord is asked to review a pizza she shares some with us.
Chance: Well, you could always buy your own. They're only a dollar and you wouldn't have to share it. Or just go get some pizza from the commissary.
Jack: The commissary's out, ever since Mandor Globber took over.
Chance: Mandor...what? Since when has he been running it?
Jack: Since you went on vacation a week ago.
Chance: ...Why is it every time I turn my back for one minute, all hell breaks loose around here? Well, I dunno. He's not very well-liked, but maybe that's a good place for him. He came from a refrigerator, so he could know a thing or two about food.
Jack: Maybe. If he actually made normal pizzas. But instead, all his pizzas are based on annoying video game and movie trends.
Mandor: How dare you insult my supreme pizza-making skills, you ignorant cur! I work hard at creating them! I deserve instant gratification!
Jack: You can work hard at making crap. It's still crap.
Mandor: My pizzas are works of art and anyone who says otherwise is a troll!
Chance: Uh, Mandor, what types of pizzas are we talking about here? How do you base pizza on games and movies?
Mandor: I'm glad you asked. I'm sure a man of your stature and intelligence can truly appreciate these pearls before swine:

First on the menu, is Brown and Grey Pizza!

Next we have Bloom Pizza!

Pizza Moving So Fast You Can't See It!

Shovelware Pizza! You can download thousands of them for only a few dollars each!

Last Minute Revelation Pizza! It turns into a fruitcake at the final slice!

Watercress Pizza!

And finally...

Pizza Made Entirely From a 56,000 Word Game Review!

Jack: Yeah, Wordbarf Pizza. That's definitely what I want on my dinner plate.
Mandor: You are a David Jaffe-calibre nuisance! Since there is absolutely no way anyone could find flaw with my perfect creations, your hatred of them could only be one thing - a conspiracy the likes of which Robert Ludlum could only devise!
Jack: Sooo...Not liking your pizza makes me the late author of 21 spy thriller novels. That makes sense.
Chance: You know, Mandor, it may not be a bad idea in situations like this to listen to a little bit of criticism. It's not doing you any good to keep coming here believing people should be ready and willing to swallow the ludicrous things you expect of them, and then act all upset when they don't. But if you actually tried making something good...
Mandor: Shows how much you and birdbrain know. My pizzas are selling just fine without you.
Jack: Somehow, I don't think so. The FOUM MOUN isn't allowed in here.
Mandor: Not the FOUM MOUN, you FOOL! In fact, here comes my best customer now!
Nucleo: Hey there, Mandor! Jack, Chance... Say, are all those pizzas for me??
Mandor: Why, of course they are, you customer of mine! Have at 'em!
Nucleo: Thank you! .... Well, that was delicious. Your best batch ever, I might conclude.
Mandor: There's more in the kitchen if you so desire it, my blasphemous eat beast.
Nucleo: Smashing! I will skip on down and hope to catch you there.
Chance: ....
Jack: ....
Mandor: You see how idiotic you were being! Proof positive that my work is the very model of a conversation-starter!
Jack: ...I thought you hated 'Cleo? Doesn't it upset you to make him happy?
Mandor: Nonsense! It is all part of my master plan to conquer him and all of Grimmora! He will want my pizzas so much that he will never think of making me leave this place. And just when he least suspects it...I will unleash my next mountaindevil-busting invention on him!

So long for now, worthless peons, I must attend to my oven for the greater goal of internet dominance.

Chance: ....Uhhhhhh.....Should we be concerned?
Jack: Nah. It just means the floors will get vacuumed again.
Chance: Yeah. You're probably right.

Woke up this mornin' feelin' fine. There's somethin' special on my mind. Last night I met a new girl in the neighborhood, whoa yeah. Somethin' tells me I'm into something good!




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