Papa knows best

“You’re not going to put my picture in the paper, are you?” the pepperoni asks coyly.

“You’re not going to put my picture in the paper, are you?” the pepperoni asks coyly.

Photo by David Robert

The kitchen and I don’t get along.

Not just my own kitchen, but kitchens in general. The whole species of kitchen. Everything about a kitchen rubs me the wrong way: food I can’t cook, shelves I can’t reach and a potential for dirtiness matched only by the bathroom. Every time I go in there, something bad happens.

So every day when that awful question arises—"What do you want for dinner?"—I usually try to find some way to stay out of it. If my fiancé doesn’t want to make dinner, I’m always on hand with a long list of suitable options: Taco Bell, KFC, Del Taco … But my fiancé, who was raised on organic vegetables and whole-grain breads, usually eschews the fast-food route for something with a bit more substance. So we compromise, and we go to Papa Murphy’s Take ‘N’ Bake.

We discovered Papa Murphy’s when we moved down to south Reno, home of the infamous pink Scolari’s. In fact, the Papa Murphy’s we go to is in the pink Scolari’s shopping center, aka Southwest Pavilion, and there are also stores in Carson City, Sparks and a couple other locations around Reno. Check your phone book or visit for a store locator.

Papa Murphy’s is miles above your standard delivered pizza, which is why I don’t mind too much that I actually have to leave the house to get it. (To be truthful, I usually whine enough that my fiancé goes without me. My capacity for laziness is unparalleled.) The vegetables are all fresh, and the crust is straight from Carbo Heaven.

For vegetarians, this place totally rocks. For months, we were obsessed with the Gourmet Vegetarian, a gorgeous concoction of spinach, zucchini, mushrooms, artichoke hearts, roma tomatoes, mixed onions and an herb and cheese blend. Instead of the standard red sauce, you get a tangy creamy garlic sauce. Lately, we’ve felt a little strung out on the Gourmet Veggie and have been opting for the regular vegetarian instead, which is just as good, if not as fancy. We usually order the Family Size ($8.99-$12.99) so we’ll have tons of leftovers—it’s over 16 inches in diameter.

We also recently tried the vegetarian calzone, which I can’t say I was overly impressed with, but it was still pretty darn good. A little too much spinach for my taste.

Meat eaters will find a lot to love here too, and if I ate pork, I’d start with the Grilled Chicken & Bacon Stuffed Pizza ($11.99-$13.99). I’m a little frightened though, because of this quote from the menu: “Every Family Size Stuffed Pizza has over a pound of cheese and weighs over 5 pounds!” A 5-pound pizza sounds like a great idea, but remember: You have to carry it home, and if that thing spills in your car, it’ll be a mess of monumental proportions.

The only thing that bugs me about the pizza at Papa Murphy’s is that we can’t figure out how to keep the crust crispy, especially after extended fridge-sitting. The toppings are so juicy they soak the bottom of the bread. But then again, the only time I have to go into the kitchen is to reheat a slice, so I guess I shouldn’t complain.