Review: Papa John’s Pepperoni Rolls (New)

In the year that we have been doing Fewd Snobs, we have never reviewed anything from Papa John’s.

This makes us very sad.

Full disclosure…we are fans of Papa John’s. It is Denny’s favorite pizza chain by far, and Herman likes it too.  So, when we saw the new Pepperoni Rolls, we finally had an excuse to write about the place.

Now, don’t think that we give positive reviews just because we like a place. We may be drunk, but we’re not stupid. Well…not really anyway. We know good from bad. If you have been reading any of our reviews, you know we will trash stuff that sucks regardless of where it comes from.

Enough. You get the idea. Somebody get us a beer!

We saw an ad for these things a short time ago. We don’t remember how long ago. Our memories are shot. Either way, they probably haven’t been out that long. They are new to us. Good enough.

Papa John’s describes the new Pepperoni Rolls as, “Filled with pepperoni and 3 cheeses: fontina, asiago, and provolone, with ranch sauce all rolled in fresh dough and baked to golden brown.”

Right off the bat, that sounds good to us. Cheese, ranch, dough, and pepperoni. We’re game.

Papa John’s is selling these suckers in orders of 6. The regular price is $6. Right now, Papa John’s is running a deal bringing the price down to $5.

We ordered online. When ordering, the sauce defaults to ranch for these. Interesting. We opted for the pizza sauce, since some of the promo pictures show a red sauce in the background. And, ranch is supposedly built in. Interesting. If you don’t find it interesting, drink more!

We drove over to Papa John’s and picked them up…


They come in a cute little box that you can see in the image at the top. Yes, we said cute. What about it?!

Notice right away that each roll is a little different. We don’t know if these are made in the store, or shipped. But they at least look like they are handmade. Good enough for Fewd Snobs!

And amazingly, they look bigger than they do in the promo pictures. What’s up with that? Cue music from SNL…

IMG_20160510_133036311Herman expertly pulled apart a roll. This way you can see all the fillings. You have your pepperoni and cheese. Notice the crust is golden and flaky.

IMG_20160510_133239703Here is a shot of the bottom of one of the rolls. You can see the cheese is caramelized nicely. And there is quite a bit of cheese all over the bottom. Caramelized cheese on pizza edges is one of our favorite things, so we were happy with the look of this.

IMG_20160510_133630478Above, you can see some of the ranch sauce squirting (HO HO!) out of the roll (HO HO!). We are so immature.

We’re just gonna get right down to it. These are good. Really good. Maybe great.

The dough is very similar to Papa John’s crust. Probably because it is the same dough! We can’t verify, but we think it is the same. It is cooked to a nice golden color. Some of the edges may look overdone, but they are not. They were cooked perfectly. We like a good brown to our pizzas though, so that may be part of it. The dough is flaky and light, yet filling at the same time. Very good consistency.

The pepperoni is awesome. Denny thinks that Papa John’s has the best pepperoni, and it is here in all its glory. There is plenty of pepperoni in these. The flavor is there; it does not get lost in the cheese or dough. Which is great.

The cheese is plentiful, and has a great flavor. We can’t pick out each of the types of cheese, but that stands to reason since they are mixed together. All we know is that the blend creates a great taste. The cheese is cooked nicely. It pulls apart and is melty and stringy. It isn’t dried out at all. The cheese is good stuff, people.

The ranch sauce is interesting. There isn’t a ton of it, but it is there. And you can definitely taste it. It is just enough to be there and add something without having the ranch flavor take over. It gives the rolls a little zip. Since the ranch is cooked into the roll, it is warm. This is a nice contrast to always dipping stuff in ranch after it is cooked. More than anything, we like the ranch because it is different. No marinara here. It is pretty unique to put ranch in the rolls. We would have never thought of it. Even though we’re pretty smart. Or something.

As we mentioned, each roll is a little different in size and shape. There is a slight variance to each one. But that is a good thing. These aren’t cookie-cutter.

There is some grease here, but that is to be expected with pepperoni and cheese. The grease is good. Quit complaining!

The bottom line is that all the flavors mix perfectly together. There is just enough of each ingredient for each flavor to be there without any one flavor dominating. Winning.

Also worth mentioning is that these were clearly baked when we ordered them. You can just tell by the way they look and taste. These aren’t microwaved, you people. Finally, a side at a pizza chain that is truly fresh and good!

We ordered the package of 6 to test, but we didn’t order anything else. Neither one of us, amazingly, was in the mood for pizza. We weren’t even that hungry. By the time we got done testing these, we both had a taste for another order and a Papa John’s pizza. That should be an indication of how good these rolls are. Nice.

In terms of value, we are a little on the fence. Why? Because we are cheap, broke bastards! At the $5 promo price, we think the price is reasonable. $6 is pushing it. But, Papa John’s costs more money because it is better. And the quality is certainly here. The ingredients clearly are a high quality. And you get what you pay for. If you aren’t broke like us, you will have no problem shelling out the cash. We will continue to search our couches for change so we can buy more. Overall, the price is fair for what you get.

You have a winner here, Papa John’s. There is no indication that the Pepperoni Rolls are a limited time only item. We can only hope.