The Seahawks have cut ties with Papa John’s Pizza. We have some suggestions to replace it on your menu, and at CenturyLink Field.
The Seattle Seahawks announced they won’t be partners with Papa John’s Pizza any longer. Company founder Papa John Schnatter recently admitted to using a racial slur in a conference call in May. He didn’t use just any racial slur either. Schnatter went all in and used the n-word. As a result of the furor, he’s resigned as the company chairman, and Papa John’s is removing him from all of its marketing.
The Seahawks, along with the Mariners, have had enough of the company in general and dumped the pizza company like last week’s leftover slice crammed in the back of the fridge. The NFL had already replaced the brand in February with Pizza Hut due in large part to Schnatter blaming poor sales of his pizza brand on the protests by some NFL players. Analysts, and even the company’s own marketing chief, disagreed with Schnatter. The real problem was that the pizza is too pricey.
Personally, I’m less inclined to buy from a company still in the hands of a person like Schnatter. He still sits on the board, and still owns almost 30 percent of the company’s shares. Whether this whole brouhaha matters to you personally, it doesn’t seem you’ll be getting Papa John’s at CenturyLink Field this season. We have some suggestions for better pizza, wherever you may be eating your slice.
More from 12th Man Rising
Could one of these be the Seahawks new pizzeria?
I started with the Seattle Times online vote for best pizza in 2016. Sorry, I’m not going to list 32 pizzerias, so we start with the elite eight. The vote was done as a bracket, as you’ll clearly see in the link. We’ve listed them in order of total votes, so the pies that were eliminated first are listed first. A couple of real heavyweights were paired off in the semifinals, so we ignored the pairings and went with total votes.
Big Mario’s New York Style Pizza, 250 votes. 17 reviews on tripadvisor.com, 71 percent excellent or very good, none worse than average. Served on the classic paper plates so thin they break if you wave them in the air. The Lombardi, with sausage, rosemary potatoes, feta and sriracha – yes, you read that right, potatoes – makes me sad it’s only available at the Queen Anne location.
Serious Pie, 338 votes. 1,658 reviews on tripadvisor.com, 87 percent excellent or very good. Two locations, one of which is Serious Pie and Biscuit. Many reviewers say to stick with the original location on Virginia Street. I’ll opt for the Penn Cove clams, pancetta tesa and lemon thyme pie, thank you.
Tutta Bella Neopolitan Pizzeria, 362 votes. 231 reviews on tripadvisor.com, 88 percent excellent or very good. I have to go with the Roberto here – extra virgin olive oil, pistachio puree, italian sausage, fresh mozzarella, smoked buffalo mozzarella, and basil. Pistachio pizza – you’re killing me, guys!
Flying Squirrel Pizza Company, 412 votes. 57 reviews on tripadvisor.com, 88 percent excellent or very good. I’m going with the Number 5 here. It features braised pulled pork, cilantro, red onion, Cotija cheese, and fresh lime. I think I need a bib.
The next round goes to the semifinalists and runner-up
Veraci Pizza, 331 votes (over Big Marios), 1,105 votes in semifinals. 43 reviews on tripadvisor.com, 88 percent excellent or very good. There are two bad reviews, but they’re from 2010. I imagine Veraci has had time to correct the issues, if there were any. The Green Dahlia features roma tomatoes, fresh mozzarella, and red onion on a pesto base. I need pizza, now!
Pagliacci, 514 votes (over Serious Pie), 3,256 votes in semifinals. 93 reviews on tripadvisor.com, 78 percent excellent or very good. With 26 locations throughout the area, you won’t have to go far to feed your pizza need. The choice here has to be the 12th Man Primo, with pepperoni, salami, chicken, Mama Lil’s peppers, olives, and mozzarella on red sauce. It just needs a sprig of basil for a little Action Green action.
Windy City Pie, 391 votes (over Tutta Bella), 4,408 votes (over Pagliacci), 1,772 votes (over Pizzeria Credo). 16 reviews on tripadvisor.com, 82 percent excellent or very good. This is Chicago style, in case the name didn’t tip you off. I’ll go with the Meatza here, with mozzarella, pepperoni, house sausage and candied bacon with red sauce.
The winner, but not likely the official Seahawks pizza
Pizzeria Credo, 482 votes (over Flying Squirrel), 1,219 votes in semifinals (over Veraci), 1,666 votes in the final. 131 reviews on tripadvisor.com, 95 percent excellent or very good. In the bracket in the Times, Windy City won by 106 votes. So why did I give the nod to Pizzeria Credo instead?
Take a look at the Trip Advisor scores again. Windy City earned ratings of 51 percent excellent and 31 percent very good. Pizzeria Credo earned 89 percent excellent ratings, with another six percent very good. That’s a phenomenal difference. Credo is also the top-rated pizza in Seattle on Trip Advisor. You won’t find Windy City until page two. Looking at Yelp, Windy City is the top pizza, but Pizzeria Credo is ranked second.
Finally, I know a lot of people that just don’t consider deep dish “real” pizza. So Pizzeria Credo wins in my book. For what it’s worth, Credo is also rated the number one restaurant in Seattle in any category on Trip Advisor. If it’s good enough to beat 3,283 other restaurants, who am I to argue?
Time to talk pizza now. I have to go with the Alla Sasa here, a pizza/calzone hybrid. It’s a Margherita pizza (fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce and basil) on crust stuffed with more fresh mozzarella, ricotta and sausage. Did I mention I’m really hungry now?
The odds of any of these eight excellent establishments getting the contract at CenturyLInk Field are slim. Pizza Hut is the official pizza of the NFL now. And you’d definitely have to ramp up production from one restaurant, or even several, to fill the tummies of 68,000 ravenous 12s. So 12s, I know we missed dozens of places. What’s your go-to for a slice of heaven?