By Charles Matranga and Wes Brown
Contributors to Hottytoddy.com
$14, large pizza
Most of our food reviews are pretty cut and dry. We eat in front of the staff, judging their food on categories they have never heard of before. This review was different. When we asked to order pizza, the employee said, “Uhhh hold on” and ran into the kitchen. Here’s a pro-tip for all restaurants out there: don’t run away when someone orders the only item on your menu.
Shortly after ordering, we received our usual order of half cheese/half pepperoni. The cheese was rich, creamy, and had a very subtle sweetness to it. There was also a ton of it. At the moment, the amount of grease on the pizza was appreciated, as it helped get the perfect spin on the ball. But the helpfulness ended when we left. The combination of pizza grease and a truckload of cheese hit us like a 20-pound gutterball later in the day.
The pepperoni had all the basic flavors and an appreciable amount of crisp, but overall it lacked our preferred size and thickness. As far as constitution goes, this pizza was easy to hold together, but the moment we took a bite, cheese would slide off leaving only a lackluster industrial slab of dough with thick tomato paste spread on top.
The dough was uninspired at best. It was almost completely flavorless, and served only as a vehicle to transport other pizza ingredients to your mouth. We at SharkBite are big fans of oven spring. Surprisingly, Premier Lanes gave us the best oven spring of any pizza we have eaten so far.
We were at Premier Lanes for about two hours and were the only customers the whole time. If you’re looking for some privacy on a Wednesday afternoon, maybe check out the bowling alley. We could never in good conscience recommend getting pizza at a place where you have to wear squishy clown shoes, but if you’re hungry and also trapped at the bowling alley, you probably won’t be disappointed.
Price: $11, 10-inch pizza
Coming straight out of the oven, this pizza radiated heat like a steam engine. Having the self-control of 5-year-olds, we immediately picked up a slice. The molten cheese slid right off the dough like an iceberg breaking off the arctic shelf. To avoid docking constitution points and a trip to the E.R., we wisely decided to wait a few minutes to actually perform our review.
The dough received the lowest score on this review. Having more fluff than a high school book report, it was a bit too chewy for our liking. This type of dough is fine for garlic cheese bread (their No. 2 best seller), but it was more of a distraction from other good qualities of this pizza. The cheese was top tier. It was light and creamy, with strings of mozzarella stretching from our slice down to the rest of the pizza like rays of sunshine piercing through the clouds. The sauce brought a welcomed hint of herbs and spices but most of it was absorbed by the dough. The pepperoni was crisp, abundant and flavorful. We honestly would have been content with a pepperoni platter as an appetizer.
Like the DMV or the urologist’s office, comfort is not Dodo’s concern. They don’t even mess around with seating – they just make pizza. If you don’t believe us, check for yourself. Dodo’s website offers a 24/7 live feed of their kitchen. So if your DirectTV package doesn’t include Food Network, you’re in luck.
The employee who showed us around slapped the oven and said, “This is where the magic happens.” The only time a pizza is considered “magic” is when it’s eaten drunk, but that is Dodo’s specialty. Luckily, their East Jackson location would be a perfect Uber pitstop.
We received advice that this pizza loses points if it’s saved for leftovers. Honestly, if you’re not able to eat a whole pizza in one sitting like a grown-up that’s on you. If a cold slice of leftover pizza for breakfast is usually the highlight of your day, Dodo’s short half-life will probably leave you disappointed. Fortunately, this aspect was not a rating factor in our review.
Although Dodo’s is a global chain, the Oxford location has wrapped its arms around the community. In the summer of 2019, Dodo’s Oxford offered free pizza to all immigrants. When the government shut down, Dodo’s Oxford offered free pizza to government employees. They prioritize giving back to the community. Regardless of our pizza preferences, that is a business model of which we at Shark Bite approve.