Papa Murphy’s—a fresh new pizza

If you want a tasty pizza jam-packed with fresh, wholesome ingredients, check out the new Papa Murphy’s on Route 173 in Machesney Park.

Papa Murphy’s opened here March 9 and has an unusual concept—they make the pizza, but you bake it. Therefore, part of the quality is dependent on the consumer—if you burn your own pizza, you can’t blame Papa Murphy!

Papa Murphy’s heaps on a lot of tasty, high quality ingredients—all of which are prepped daily—that are fresh and not frozen. There is no freezer in Papa Murphy’s store. As franchise owner Scott Campbell put it, “Freezers leave us cold.”

One delicious component of Papa Murphy’s is they use three different cheeses—mozzarella, cheddar, and provolone—not just mozzarella like most places. I ordered a sausage and mushroom pizza, and it was delicious. I’ve never bought a pizza with so many mushroom slices!

Besides the traditional red pizza sauce, Papa Murphy’s offers a white creamy garlic sauce that is good and, according to Campbell, becomes a fast favorite of many customers. Along with the great cheeses and sauces, the daily-made crust is soft and chewy.

I should warn you…when baking your Papa Murphy’s pizza, shoot for the low end of the recommended baking time. The printed instructions you receive when you buy your pizza say to bake at 425º for 12-18 minutes. I checked mine at 11 minutes and it was perfect, although admittedly my oven may run hot. Be sure to set your oven timer for the short end, then check every couple minutes after that.

I’m very pleased with the high quality of Papa Murphy’s pizzas—ultra-fresh, tasty ingredients and lots of them. For example, the 14-inch large pepperoni pizza has a whopping 60 slices of pepperoni! (The 16-inch family size has 80 slices!) That’s a lot of pepperoni! Papa Murphy’s pizza makers have actually been instructed to count the pepperoni slices as they precisely hand-build your pizza!

Papa Murphy’s is priced reasonably on the spectrum of pizza prices. A large one-ingredient pizza is $7.99, then add only $1 for each topping after that (no matter what size pizza.) (See accompanying coupon worth $2 off any family size pizza at the new Papa Murphy’s.)

Although it’s open, watch for the official grand opening of the new Papa Murphy’s on Route 173. Campbell plans to eventually open three or four more in the Rockford area. Incidentally, all the employees I dealt with at Papa Murphy’s were courteous, professional, helpful and friendly, so give them a call tonight!

Papa Murphy’s prices range from $2.49 for cheesy bread and cookie dough to $13.99 for family-size stuffed pizzas. They also offer gourmet pizzas, deep dish pizzas, calzones, and salads. Papa Murphy’s is at 1558 West Lane Rd., Machesney Park (Route 173 between Alpine and Forest Hills, in the new Gateway shopping center.) They’re open 11 a.m.-8 p.m., Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Friday and Saturday. Call (815) 654-7222.

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