In most battles, somebody wins. But do they have to?
In a taste test of two bacon stuffed-crust pizzas, our panel of about a dozen Dallas Morning News taste-testers vote "neither." Stuff stuffed into pizza crust isn't better than, y'know, pizza.
Still: It's odd and interesting that Dallas-Fort Worth is the heartland for a bacon-stuffed crust pizza.
Two major pizza brands from Dallas-Fort Worth launched bacon-stuffed crust pizzas at the same time. Which means you, hungry D-FWians, might want to know what's what. Let's compare.
1. Plano-based Pizza Hut launched its new applewood smoked bacon-stuffed crust pizza in early May, with a splashy debut featuring Saturday Night Live funny guy Bobby Moynihan. (The bacon-stuffed crust has actually been available since 2014, but this new crust has a different kind of bacon in it.)
2. Coppell-based Cicis went further: three stuffed crust pizzas, a bacon and cheese variety included. Cicis' debut YouTube video was purposefully lower budget:
Both Dallas-Fort Worth companies have spent years baking up new products we'll call "stuff other than pizza." In 2015, for instance, Cicis went big on stuffed crust, which became the company's "biggest new product rollout in years," says a spokesman. The same year, Pizza Hut debuted a wacky pizza with hot dogs stuffed into the crust, just in time for the Fourth of July. Beyond stuffed crust, both companies sell pasta and even desserts.
Whatever happened to pizza companies focusing on ... pizza? It's certainly intentional, as Cicis new motto is "beyond pizza."
Anyway, we weren't going to let this bacon-stuffed crust trend go untasted. The verdict:
Best taste: Neither company wins
The bacon inside Pizza Hut's bacon-stuffed crust pizza tastes like the bacon on a fast-food salad: chewy. Go for the crust first and you'll get a taste of what Video Game Reporter Britton Peele called a "low-class kolache." Audience Development Editor Amanda Wilkins agreed: "It's like gas station food." Nobody strongly disliked the bacon crust; after all, y'all, it's bacon. On pizza. But it wasn't a game-changer.
Cicis' bacon-cheddar-stuffed crusts were made with fluffier dough that had much better texture. The cheddar cheese, though, was a Garfield orange color: a reminder that, no, this isn't real food.
Many tasters thought the Cicis stuffed crust was superior to Pizza Hut's, but it didn't get enough votes to declare it a clear winner.
Best price: Cicis wins, by a lot
Pizza Hut's bacon-stuffed crust pizzas start at $12.99 each for a large. Add special recipes or lots of extra toppings and the pie can nearly double in price.
At Cicis, the price to dine in and eat an endless buffet is $5.99 for adults, $3.99 for children for most restaurants in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. So for $6, you can try the new stuffed-crust pizzas and everything else on the buffet line. Note that Cicis does not deliver; Pizza Hut does.
The bottom line: Your kids will get a kick out of these stuffed crust pizzas. But if the option is really good pizza or one of these newfangled recipes, stick with plain ol' pizza.
[Editor's note: None of the dozen or so tasters at The Dallas Morning News headquarters are professionally trained to taste food. GuideLive paid for both sets of pizzas.]