We've had a craving for pizza lately. It is the perfect anti-thesis to my low carb diet. Every time I hit a milestone, I find myself celebrating with BBQ chicken. Of the pizza kind.
So, based on months and months of "research," let me give you the the highlights on the franchises we've visited in our quest for the perfect BBQ chicken pizza. (in random order)
Pat & Oscars (Southern California) - We discovered this on a visit to Southern California. Now, we make it a point to order a pie when we're in town. We love their crust - just the right thickness, and an almost sweet dough. Our pie had a good amount of chicken versus red onions and cilantro. Nothing overwhelming. You won't feel as though they skimped on the ingredients. When we had the chance to visit the actual restaurant, we were happy to find out that the family style meal we ordered had unlimited breadsticks.
Round Table (everywhere) - The Hunk loves Round table pizza. He believes that the other franchises just don't compete in terms of toppings, etc. I agree with him, and the BBQ from RT did not disappoint. Again, it had a good amount of chicken plus just the right combination of bits of bacon. The RT version differs from others we've tried because of a special creamy sauce they add to the standard BBQ chicken toppings. Because this franchise is everywhere, this is our go-to when we have a bad hankering for pie.
Extreme Pizza (San Ramon, Novato) - Extreme Pizza's version is called "Ragin' Chicken" and a taste of this pie is what started it all for me. A co-worker suggested we have a pie delivered to work, and it's been Ragin' Chicken for me ever since. I love that EP has a wheat crust that blends well with the BBQ combination. Again, just the right amount of chicken (a bit less compared to RT and P&O), and this pie has the most BBQ flavor.
Papa Murphy's (everywhere) - When guilt strikes me, and I need a lighter version of the BBQ chicken pizza, I go to my local Papa Murphy's and order a Chicken BBQ de-lite take and bake pizza. OK, so the chicken is not as bountiful as the others, and I tend to add a bit more cheese, but the flavor is there. This is my "go-to" lite version.
California Pizza Kitchen (Emeryville) - Dubbed as the place where it all began (as far as BBQ chicken is concerned), I was disappointed in the pie we were served. The chicken was sparse, and the overall taste was just ... not there. The restaurant version was not far from its frozen sister at the local grocery.
BJs Brewery (Novato, Fairfield) - If you prefer a thicker (almost pan pizza style crust) then the BJs version is for you. Don't get me wrong, the pie itself is good, and there are days when we just crave the crust, but when you are looking for a "lighter" pie, this is not the one for you. BJ's version is flavorful and more tomatoey than the others with just a hint of the BBQ flavor. Again, there are days when I just need that flaky crust....