An Open Letter to Papa John’s

Dear Papa John’s,

For years, I’ve sporadically heard positive things about your accidentally vegan garlic sauce. About how your pizza was a lifesaver in lands [then] without pseudo-melting vegan cheese options. Being a cilantro hater, I seriously respect diverse taste buds, but after sampling said sauce, and thankfully, not ordering it on my pizza, I confidently assume that I heard strictly from crazy people. Something is not quite right.  No one should be putting this melted down, obscenely flavored, pathetic margarine into their mouths!

A couple of weeks ago, I was at a resort where I could not successfully talk my way into a vegan option. Trust me, I know the ways this can work. Perhaps, if I had journeyed into kitchens, pulled out my polite bitch card and explained myself with a couple of cookbooks, I could have walked away with some roasted vegetables. I swear, I emailed in advance to no reply, spoke with 2 concierges – 1 of whom first recommended I travel 30 minutes+ off site for a meal, and later, returned from a meeting where she broached the topic of vegan options with kitchen management. The result? “Pasta….with oil, and salad…with fish”. Instead of overpaying for an attempt at buffet sides, my friends and I picked up pizza from Papa John’s.

Besides basic nourishment after a long day, I don’t think there was anything decent about this pizza. The olives, okay, but the pineapple was thinly sliced and soggy, the so-called ‘portobello’ was actually over-roasted, sliced creminis, the sauce was forgettable, and the dough was tasteless and flat. As in, did 16 year olds who’ve never been in a kitchen before try and make pizza dough? Quite possibly. Fine, it was decently priced – but worth it? No way. Afterwards,  I felt dirty, as if I’d accidentally been in a Domino’s.

To think, after my first bites, I thought the garlic sauce would come to the rescue. To think, I almost ordered it ON MY PIZZA.

Please increase your quality. You can do better! Stop insulting pizza, and furthermore, precious garlic.


Jess Scone

Papa John's

Papa John's