20th November 2019

An ode to chicken shop pizzas

Forget Domino’s and Pizza Hut, Josh Sandy takes a look at a slice of the takeaway pizza industry to sing the praises of a true icon – the chicken shop pizza
An ode to chicken shop pizzas
Image: engin akyurt via Pixabay

It is often said, predominantly by people on the internet, that pizza is better than sex. To avoid revealing too much about myself, I’ll refrain from commenting on that opinion, but I can certainly agree with the sentiment that pizza is pretty great.

Pizza is, in essence, the simplest of meals. A perfect holy trinity of bread, tomato sauce and cheese. A true icon in itself, with or without the addition of whatever weird and wonderful toppings your heart desires. Even pineapple, if you are that way inclined.

Although there are plenty of upmarket restaurants promising the greatest pizza outside of Naples, it is a universally known fact that pizza always tastes better at home.

Fortunately, given its speed of preparation and ease of transportation, it sits comfortably atop the tiered pyramid of takeaway options, meaning there are no shortage of options to choose from.

However, the world of takeaway pizza seems to be unfairly dominated by a few vastly overpriced behemoths. The classic choice being between Domino’s, Papa John’s, or ‘The Hut’ (which, like Ross Geller, we’re all too good for).

Despite their exorbitantly priced pizza monopoly though, there is an often-overlooked saviour in the world of takeaway pizza outlets that deserves a place in all pizza lover’s hearts and minds– the humble chicken shop.

Although they are famed for their seemingly endless combination of chips and chicken-based products, they also know how to make a damn fine pizza.

There are many reasons to admire chicken shop pizzas, but perhaps the greatest is their incredible value for money. It is no exaggeration to say that you could quite comfortably buy at least two, if not three, large pizzas for the same price as a single large pizza from a big takeaway chain.

You can also forgo their complex deals too. Why settle for an unnecessary two-litre bottle of Pepsi that you purchase under duress when you could be enjoying a refreshing and reasonably sized can of mango flavoured Rubicon instead?

There is also the particularly bizarre and immensely satisfying parallel universe-esque sense of consistency between totally unrelated chicken shop franchises. Whether you buy your pizza from Oxford Road’s Dixy Chicken or Withington’s Khan’s Kebab House, the range of topping options, boxes and even taste are remarkably similar.

Finally, on the subject of taste. Are they authentic wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas made with the finest ingredients? Of course not, but they are undeniably a solid effort. A slightly chewy base with a crisp crust topped with herby tomato sauce, melted cheese and expansive choice of toppings. Who can complain about that?

Following any good night out there is always an inevitable chicken shop pit stop on the way home, so why not break away from your usual fillet meal tradition by buying a pizza instead? Oh, and for the record, Dixy’s Veggie Volcano is an unbeatable option if you’re ever stuck for choice, but feel free to keep how it compares to your previous sexual experiences to yourself.

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