I used to think LaRosa’s was THE pizza to have in Cincinnati, that is no longer a true statement my friends. There isn’t new competition in town, but an old friend that has come to the market with a new addition to their menu – Donatos Hand Tossed Pizza. Donatos is a 46 year old company that got started by a 19 year old, Jim Grote, in Columbus, OH that borrowed money from his dad to pay for a small pizza shop. Funny enough, at the time Mr. Grote (the dad)thought that pizza was a fad and was reluctant to hand over the “dough,” get it! Lucky for us, Donatos traveled south and was opened in the Cincinnati market back in 1993 with their signature thin crust pepporoni pizzas.
How did we get to Hand Tossed pizzas? It has actually been 3 years in the making to ensure that it was done right. Not only is the crust different but Donatos hand tossed pizzas have all new zesty flavor ingredients as well. New sauce, new pepporonis and whole milk mozzarrella cheese (delish).
I’m sure you want to know more about each Hand Tossed pizza we tried with the Cincinnati TasteCasting team and believe me I’ll get there, but I want to make sure to let you know about the amazing staff from Donatos. The Tastecasting team was lucky enough to taste at the Donatos in Becket Ridge (West Chester), Ohio with their caring and fun team. Not only was the marketing team an excellent source of information, but they really cared about their brand and wanted to make sure that we were having fun and enjoying the pizzas as much as they do. Tom Santora and his staff even allowed myself and a fellow tastcasting member, Ken, enter the kitchen to make our own!
Now to the good stuff, what we tasted at Donatos:
For the Starters we tried Chicken Breast Strips, these were actually baked (they don’t have fryers) in a light breading. Not typical of chicken strips that would make you feel really full but an actual great light starter for a meal. We also tasted the Chicken Harvest Salad that came with its own Apple Vinaigrette dressing made just for Donatos. The Chicken Harvest salad was full of craisens, pecans, bacon, flavorful chicken and of course lettuce.
The first three hand tossed pizzas I tried were:
Hand Tossed Pepperoni Pizza — made with new zesty pepperoni (not what you will find on the signature pepperoni pizza at Donatos)
Hand Tossed Fresh Mozzarella Trio Pizza — made with fresh mozzarella (of course), pepperoni, mushrooms, and sausage
Hand Tossed Serious Cheese Pizza — they weren’t kidding with the “serious” cheese because it was mounted on there!
And for my favorite……drum roll please…..TIMPANO’s
The Cinnamon Timpano was the most amazingly crunchy and sweet gloriousness in my mouth! There were two flavors of timpanos that we tried, the cinnamon and the apple. George loved the apple timpano and if you go to his website you will be sure to find a picture of it there (do it, it is mouth-watering).
The tasting at Donatos was an absolute A++++++ (that’s right, 6 plus signs). Please be sure to try the new Hand Tossed pizzas and don’t forget there is a special, $10.99 for a one-topping hand tossed!
Other pictures of the delicious Hand Tossed creations by Donatos
(or you can check out other pictures on my Facebook page here)