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December 15, 2008

Delivery pizza on game night

Joe2.jpgLast night my family wanted pizza delivered while the game was going on. A friend had told me that he had gotten a good pizza delivered from Joe Squared, which I'd never tried, so Gailor put the game on pause and gave them a call.

First of all, she was stumped by the pricing: $10 for a 10-inch, $12 for a 12-inch, $15 for a 14-inch and $18 for a 16-inch.

I'm sure there's some rationale behind it, but I kind of agreed with her. Doesn't the large economy size usually cost less per unit? Or is it one of those math things involving numbers squared again? ...

Then when she called and ordered a 14-inch cheese with eggplant, bell peppers and tomatoes and a green salad, she was told the total would be something like $32. Whoa. It turned out when the person who answered put her order into the computer, each vegetable rang up as $2.50 extra.

I pointed out that on the Web site, each veggie for the 14-inch was $2 extra. Meanwhile my husband was in the background gnashing his teeth because the game was on pause and the minutes were ticking away. My daughter was getting antsy, too, and told them just to make it a plain cheese pizza and salad. The total then came to $22.70.

It arrived just when the person had told us it would: one hour later. (Well, it was during the game.) I like that. And I loved the pizza itself: thin, charred crust, not too heavy topping. Of course, it suffered from delivery, but nothing getting stuck in the oven at 300 degrees wouldn't fix. However, I can see this is definitely not a pizza for everyone.

Sorry about the ugly photo. My family attacked the pizza before I could get my camera.

Posted by Elizabeth Large at 7:21 AM | | Comments (40)
Categories: Pizza


I love Joe Squared pizza! I've never had it delivered though being out of the delivery area.

My first experience with them was when I used to volunteer at WYPR and they provided lunch. Their pesto pizza was amazing.

I've eaten there several times since and really love the food and the atmosphere - just not the location.

If all of Joe Squared's pizzas are, in fact, square in shape, then, yes, it would be "one of those math things". For a 10" pizza, 10" x 10" = 100, so $10 works out to $0.10/ For the 12" size, 12" x 12" = 144, so $12 works out to $0.0833/ For the 14" size, 14" x 14" = 196, so $15 works out to $0.0765/ For the 16" size, 16" x 16" = 256, so $18 works out to $0.0703/

I take it Gailor hasn't taken the MBA statistics course yet? ;-)

In her defense, I think she was more worried about the marketing strategy, i.e., the perception, than the reality. EL

Yes, it is a "numbers squared" thing. A 10" pizza is 100sq. in, a 12" is 144. That's 44% larger. Do you think you can calculate the price/sq. in? Thank God you didn't order a round pizza, then I'd have to throw in pi (not like pizza PIE) and, apparently make it impossible for math-disadvantaged humans (90%?) to calculate. Just be satisfied that, based on your listed prices, the larger ones are a bargain. How do you ever figure out how to double or triple (etc.) a recipe? Or maybe you just don't cook.

Love Joe Squared pizza. Next time try the Spaghetti and Meatball pizza. It's amazing and well worth the price. Extra points for having a high reheat factor!

Also, in my experience, the large economy size does not always cost less per unit. Walmart often has higher per-unit prices on larger sized items. Their shelf price stickers either omit unit pricing, or, worse, mix different units for the same product; for example, they may display a unit price per ounce for a small box of detergent, but a unit price per pound for a large box of the same brand. I guess Walmart figures that people either don't shop with calculators or can't do the math in their heads, and will grab the large box under the (mistaken) assumption that it's a better value.

10" = $0.1000 per square inch
12" = $0.0833 per square inch
14" = $0.0765 per square inch
16" = $0.0703 per square inch

I do hope you were kidding about the pricing. Especially with your daughter being at Northwestern.

I also found that left over Joe's pizza reheats very nicely. As you say it may not be for everybody but I love it.

I haven't tried Joe Squared yet. But it's really sad when you can tell strictly by a photo or smell whether or not you'll like the pizza.

I def think I'd like Joe Squared. I picked one up at Cousins Cafe in Perry Hall, and without even opening the box, could tell by the smell in the car I wasn't going to like it. I was right.

Yep, it's math. Square or round, a 16 inch pizza is 2.56 times the size of a 10-incher.

The Ravens got hosed.

The Ravens got hosed.

On another bad call...

Gailor is right. From a marketing aspect square pizzas are the devil. I have almost been tempted to put conversions on the menu. Not only for the unit price, which I was getting ready to type in but noticed I'd been beaten to the punch several times already, but also compared to a round pizza. We often get complaints that our small pizza is one to two dollars more than the small pizza at other shops. However, a eight inch round, your typical small pizza at a normal shop, is 50.7 square inches, where our ten inch square is 100. Not bad for a one to two dollar difference.
Sorry about the price confusion, we were short staffed last night and my sister was answering the phone (my brother was the one delivering your pizza), and she was trying to charge you for an extra large not a large.
Thank you all for eating our pizza.

Although it is tough to really see the pizza in the picture, it looks terrible. The pizza looks like the sauce was spray painted on and what little cheese is there is burned.

Light on the toppings makes it sound as if you were at a abakery, not a pizza store.

Joe's example here and the description has enticed me to stay far away for that place.

I didn't say it was light on the toppings. EL

Thank you Bucky,
I figured more than just Baltimoreans would think that.

Hey, if the Ravens do make the playoffs, they would likely play Denver in the first round.

Square pizza is just wrong.

[...ducking and running...]

joe squared pizza is really good, but yeah, they're slow and expensive :-(

didn't you write about their coal fired oven? if not, they're the only coal fired place in the area that I know of. Which also confuses me... if it's coal fired, shouldn't the pizza be done in like 4 minutes?

Yes, but I figure during a game, if you want delivery you wait. All I want to know is how long. EL

Rob - Uh..."likely" overstates it,'s even money the Chargers will win the AFC Worst.

I used to love Joe2's pizza. I was a fairly regular customer back when they first opened, and have seen the changes they've gone though.

That said, I'm really not sold on the new coal fired oven. The last few pizzas I've had suffered from uneven cooking and an ashy taste in places on the crust.

Also, as far as dine-in goes, the service is slow to the point of being seriously annoying.

I want to like it more than I end up actually liking it. It used to be worth it for the amazing pizza, but since the new oven I don't even look forward to that.

So, how many square inches of pizza do you count per person? Do you have to change that calculation if you add toppings? How about kids?

Wow, sleep late and this is what happens.

1) Awesome to see a real Joe on the blog. What a great tool for him. Other restaurant owners and managers should do the same (and identify themselves as such.). It builds rapport.

2) Thank Thor that someone did the math before me. I'm all busy with Laura Lee's (thank you LL) suggestions over at Owl Meat Apocrypha. Let's see if I can find a good pizza poem for today.

3) Price per square inch of pizza isn't statistics, it's just tenth grade geometry. That being said, business stats isn't that difficult. And it is easier to conceptualize things if you do it with pizza.

4) Square pizza is cool. It fits in the oven more efficiently. I guess Hal must be a Democrat, given his clear anti-Business sentiments. 8>)

5) Hey Joe, why don't you put something on your menu like "12 inch pizza 40% more for just a dollar" or "12 inch - 40% bigger for 10% more $". Something like that. You should probably make it super simple since pizza ordering often follows beer drinking.

Well, I'm probably a well-known Joe2 advocate in these parts. We took my sister and brother-in-law there Friday night. They were having problems with plumbing (something to do with a main, I believe - Dionysus had a similar problem on Thursday), but the food and service were great. The pizza, I've found, comes out a lot faster with the coal oven. There are occasionally burnt spots on them, but overall I love the flavor. We ordered the mushroom lovers pizza with andouille sausage (our standard) and our L.A. visitors LOVED it. The large pizza was completely devoured rather quickly. My sister has frequently complained about the quality of pizza on the Left Coast, and she really enjoyed the thin crust. The pizza, by the way, was anything but light on toppings!

Just cut my pizza into four slices...I'm not hungry enough to eat six.

The Broncos have a two game lead with two to play.

I think I'd like Joe Squared's pizza also. But my fiancee loves Gil's pizza.

Rob - I know. It's sad.

"Hey Joe, why don't you put something on your menu like "12 inch pizza 40% more for just a dollar" or "12 inch - 40% bigger for 10% more $". Something like that. You should probably make it super simple since pizza ordering often follows beer drinking."
You know...I think I will. Thank You.

OMG, in my case pizza always follows beer drinking. They have a pretty decent selection too, although if they really wanted my love they'd have Loose Cannon or DogfishHead 60 on tap.

It took some doing, but I found a crazy poem called "A View of Hell from Pizza Hut". I'm not surpised that you can see Hell from there. Mangia!

A View of Hell from Pizza Hut? Cool. Where do you get this stuff? The poetry I see is usually dreadfully dull. Maybe you could point me in the right direction Mr Meat?

Cheer up! You have the Toronto Bills and the Chargers coming up.

Nice view of Hell from Pizza Hut. What about mine Owlie? Too weird?

Bucky, Rob,
Are the Packers still undefeated? I'm afraid to look.

jl - I think the Packers lost one early in the season when Starr was injured.

(Hey! If I called you a cheesehead, it would count as a dining reference.)

Enough silly football crosstalk from the out-of-staters. Where's my muffin? I may be just a little tart, but I could get all bitter on you boys. Okay, no I couldn't. :-)

That does it. Now I know Lemon Girl is Owl.

LG is her own deal. I was actually watching football last night with Kenny G and drinking Loose Cannons like a good American broham. And I haven't seen her be bitter or even tart yet. Plus I don't threaten angst, it just happens. I am suspicious that it might be someone else I know. Or Piano Rob. Or Bucky a.k.a JL.

I am suspicious that it might be someone else I know.

Ah...that narrows it down.

So, let me ask this dumb question... If you were watching the football game and really wanted pizza and you already had a frozen pizza in the freezer - like a DiGiorno - would you cook it up, or still call out for delivery?

I'd always go for fresh, which is why I don't buy frozen pizzas. Living in the city, it's too easy to pick one up or get one delivered. EL

Always delivery pizza. Frozen pizza is best left for days when you are broke and absolutely, absolutely have to have a pizza.

Even though we have the pizza place on speed dial, I still always have a couple DiGiornos in the freezer. The pizza place isn't always open and some nights, I can't sleep.

If you were watching the football game and really wanted pizza and you already had a frozen pizza in the freezer - like a DiGiorno - would you cook it up....

One person, eating a frozen pizza all alone feelas like the saddest definition of alone.

I don't like any of the frozen pizzas I've ever tried. California Pizza Kitchen, I guess is the best of the lot. Still fresh made always trumps frozen in my experience. Second best is homemade with pita bread (or some "fake" crust) and lots of good toppings. Don Pepino sauce is sold at most super markets and tastes pretty close to most pizzaria sauces.

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About this blog
Richard Gorelick was appointed The Baltimore Sun's restaurant critic in September 2010. Before joining the paper staff fulltime, he contributed freelance criticism and features articles about food to area and regional publications. Along the way, he dispatched for short-distance trucking companies, shilled for cultural non-profits, and assisted in cognitive neurology research – never the subject, always the control.

He takes restaurants seriously but not himself, and his favorite restaurant is the one you love, too.

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