Fast and cheap and simple, that’s the model that most fast food joints adhere to, and it seems to be the name of the game at Planet Pizza as well.
Planet Pizza feels like a high-class fast food joint, an oxymoron if I ever heard one. It’s a step above the legitimate fast food pizza places (Dominos, Pizza Hut, etc), but only a step, and the calzone I got there was no different; it felt about a step up from the Pizzone, which is little more than a glorified Hot Pocket.
Now, as a business model, fast, cheap and simple seems to work; all of the national companies use that model as gospel and even on the local level, it seems to work as well, because of the places I’ve reviewed so far, the ones that are the least concerned with quality all seem to have the most customers, which I find to be more than a little odd.
If fast, cheap and simple is what you’re going for; Planet Pizza seems to be your best bet, because it was definitely fast (around eight minutes), definitely cheap (around eight dollars for the ‘zone and a drink), and definitely simple.
The dough didn’t connect at the top like it’s supposed to and the ingredients seemed more or less crammed in. I’m fairly certain there was some ricotta cheese in there somewhere, I’m just not sure where. My guess is that it was hidden in the mounds of pepperoni that made the calzone hard to keep together and eat properly.
Though that wasn’t the only reason it was hard to eat, the other reason is the oven. It’s apparently set to Wicked High, which cooks it faster, but also causes the bottom of the calzone to harden to the point where it could double as one of the heat-resistant panels on the underside of the Space Shuttle, and the simple process of trying to cut through it and eat it twisted my plastic fork into a tangled mess.
That’s not to say that the calzone was bad, it wasn’t, but it wasn’t terribly great either. It was small and utterly lacking in flair or a distinctive flavor, but it was cheap, really cheap, and that can be a significant virtue in its own right. Ramen noodles have 10 cents worth of flavor, but you’re secure in the knowledge that you only paid around 10 cents for it, and that makes the entire thing taste better.
So if you’re looking for something fast and cheap, this is the place to go. Me, I’ll be spending a little more money and a little more time and get a far better calzone somewhere else.