by Eric Schmoyer
Lately it seems that the MacArthur Road area surrounding the Lehigh Valley Mall (PA) has become a battle ground for the titans of fast food. In recent months, Boston Market has invaded to give KFC a pummeling, Taco Bell has snuck in and picked at everyone, and Burger King has built a second fortress just a stone's throw to the north of the original. The newest player to the field is Papa John's Pizza, and the pepperoni pistols are pointed right at Pizza Hut.
Indulging in the spoils of war, we gave Papa John's Pizza the once-over and it comes out a winner. The two pizzas we had were generously topped, one with sausage and the other with mushrooms and onions, and came with two peperoncini peppers and a container of garlic butter sauce great for dipping the pizza bones (crusts) in. The cheese was top notch, making the pizza much less greasy than the other guys', and the sauce had a good tomato flavor with a slight accent on the sweet side. Toppings were plentiful -- real pizza toppings, not just pizza decorations, like some other pizzas.
The best gets better when you compare prices and delivery service. The "Hut" has no footsoldiers. Bummer. Papa's does. This is good for those who like to make a phone call and have food just show up. As far as eat-in service, we've actually never been there, but I hear there's a few booths and bar stools.
Two 16-inch pizzas with two toppings each, brought to your door for about $20 (a bit less if you have some coupons) with some extras thrown in... That warrants a definite "give 'em a try" vote.
Locally, Papa John's Pizza is across form Nestor's on MacArthur Blvd. (610) 437-PAPA. They're popping up all over the east coast, though, so keep your eyes open.