Saturday, April 25, 2009

Domino's BreadBowl Pasta

A few months ago I heard about Domino's coming out with some sort of pasta dish to compete with Pizza Hut's Toscani Pastas, which are delicious btw, and testing it in a few markets first. It sounded interesting, and I was hoping it would do well in the test markets so that I could try it for myself. Finally it was released nationally this week, oddly enough right after the booger incident, with emails, ads online, and commericals everywhere informing everyone about the NEW BreadBowl Pastas. I do admit that their slogan, "Pasta so good, you'll devour the bowl" is pretty clever.

My mom heard about it on Friday as well, so there was no doubt about what would be for dinner tonight. Now I've already raved about the Domino's online ordering experience twice before, but I still think it's far better than all of the other delivery places and deserves a spot of attention yet again. That entry from January of last year surprisingly brought in a lot of traffic since the Pizza Tracker was new back then. Although not as exciting the 23423945th time, it's still pretty darn cool to know the progress of your pizza in realtime (within 60 sec.).

There are five different types of pasta: Three Cheese Mac-N-Cheese, Chicken Carbonara, Italian Sausage Marinara, Pasta Primavera, and Chicken Alfredo, with the choice of it being in the breadbowl or not. This evening I ordered the Italian Sausage Marinara for my mom and the Chicken Alfredo for myself with a Coke (I'm an addict) and timed it so that it would arrive around the time my mom got home (the same exact time, surprisingly!). Ever since the 30-Minutes-or-Less campaign started last year, Domino's has been extremely punctual about their delivery speeds.

5:07PM - Order placed
5:07PM - Order prepared
5:08PM - Order put in oven
5:16PM - Order packaged and put in HeatWave bag
5:25PM - Delivery expert left store with order
5:32PM - Order arrives at my doorstep

25 minutes from 'Place Order' to my doorstep? Amazing. There is new packaging for the BreadBowls, a thicker, squarish, box a little smaller than that of a small-sized pizza. The BreadBowls do look delicious upon first look.

Sure it may look delicious, but we all know that appearance isn't everything. First impression is that its like a bowl of pasta with breadsticks built in. As for taste, Chicken Alfredo is Chicken Alfredo. The chicken was flavorless and barely apparent. It was decent; there's was nothing really special about this one, but it was saucier than Pizza Hut's. I'm not too fond of pastas made with just plain marinara sauce (especially if it's bland like Domino's pizza sauce, Papa Johns' sauce is better), so the Italian Sausage Marinara was a turnoff from the get go. It tasted like what I expected, pasta with pizza sauce and pizza sausage bits. Again, nothing special about the pasta.

The novelty of the whole thing is that it's in an edible bowl. Sure it's just regular pizza crust, but it's softer and topped with butter and garlicky seasonings. The seasonings are also sprinkled over the Chicken Alfredo pasta as well. The 'bowl' isn't very deep, so I often got my fork stuck in the bottom of the bowl when trying to pick up pasta, which was a bit of an annoyance at first. The best part was the bottom of the bowl with the soft,doughy bread covered in Alfredo sauce. The only major downside is that when its prepared everything is just dumped on top in order, so the bottom is a little doughy for those of you that don't like doughy-ness, and its a bit of work to thouroughly distribute the sauce through the pasta. A cool thing is that there are a few ways to eat it. You can eat the pasta and break off pieces of the crust as you go along like I did, you can eat pasta and bread in the same bite, you can eat all of the pasta first and save the crust for last, or you can cut it and eat it like pizza.

Here's what it looks like after stirring and devouring. I could only eat half. The combination of bread and pasta is quite filling. This also can't be the least bit healthy at all. I tried some after leaving it out for a few (since the true test of food is really how it holds up when it's cold) and the pasta does taste a little better, but the crust isn't as good as it was when it was fresh. It'll probably taste better tomorrow when I reheat the leftovers in the oven.

Overall I'd give it a 6/10 for taste (the sauces could've been a lot better), 10/10 for concept, and 8/10 for the overall package. I'd definitely reccomend it if you want to try something interesting and I will probably order it again. Maybe I'll try the Three Cheese Mac-N-Cheese next time.

Compared to Pizza Hut's pasta, the value is about the same, as you get a serving for 4 (and that's generous) and five breadsticks for $12.99, and with Domino's each BreadBowl is $6.99 ($5.99 special now if you order online and $4.99 if you get it without the BreadBowl). A single BreadBowl could easily feed two people if you're not starving. I still think the Pizza Hut pastas taste better overall though. The Domino's BreadBowls are a cool little novelty.

My mom stopped at Target on the way home and brought back two of my favorite goodies. Yay!


pyro said...

A few comments - my pizza the other day took an hour to get here! Any kind of deliveries in my neighborhood suck! (Including mail). What is garlicky? Also, thanks for the review. I probably won't be eating it unless someone else orders and buys. But I do love pasta. You should be a food critic in your spare time. Or rather, a critic of all sorts. :)

Noelle said...

garlicky = garlic. I just said garlicky because it had some other stuff in it too, but the main flavor was garlic

Fortunately in my area everything arrives pretty fast except Pizza Hut, they're always slow! But I'm within 1-2 miles of Domino's, Pizza Hut, Papa Johns, several Chinese places, and a few Italian places so I guess Plantation/Sunrise is just convenient.

and I do love critiquing things and writing reviews of almost everything except for movies and books

domi.blurbs said...

newwwww posttttttttttt
but this post makes me hungry :-/

Anonymous said...

I read about it some days ago in another blog and the main things that you mention here are very similar