In a dining pinch--with four toddlers, four adults and fifteen minutes lead time--we recently turned to Papa Murphy's Take 'N' Bake Pizza for a just-in-time meal. With about a dozen stores in the Nashville area, Papa Murphy's works like a Subway, but with pizza. You pick your fresh toppings as you move down the counter--or you order from among the signature combinations--then you take your ready-to-bake pie home and cook it yourself.
Given that my job was simply to preheat the oven and answer the doorbell when our guests arrived with dinner, I must say it was a splendidly easy affair. The pizzas took about 12 minutes, which meant we could cook them as we gauged the group's appetite, or we could save the uncooked pizzas for another night.
We stuck with cheese, pepperoni and a couple of bountiful combinations including veggies and bacon. The standard-issue pepperoni and cheese varieties--with slightly puffy crusts--met with kid approval. Meanwhile the thin-crust version loaded with green peppers, pink onions, bacon and a scant layer of cheese made a relatively fresh and light meal for the grown-ups.
That's not to say anything about Papa Murphy's stood out in the realm of pizza. Neither the sauce nor the dough set a new standard for the Italian staple, but the meal ranked high in terms of convenience, and the thin-crust option was a welcome alternative to so many overly bready recipes.
Papa Murphy's is located in Nashville at 2105 Murfreesboro Pike and 8120 Highway 100. Pizzas range from $7 to $16. Online coupons are available here.