A few weeks ago, we told you about Pizza Patrón's latest pizza, a spicy number topped with nearly 100 slices of jalapeño-stuffed pepperoni and then, just to drive things home, finished off with a little diced jalapeño. This pizza was badass, according to its creators. This pizza was La Chingona.
It's that name that got Pizza Patrón in some trouble with the radio stations it planned to advertise with. While Chingona translates roughly to badass, it can also translate more offensively. Radio stations pulled the ad, which of course caused a media blitz that was probably more effective than the ads would have been anyway.
But while everyone focused on matters of linguistics, nobody discussed the pizza itself. Sure, we have a pie capable of causing broadcast media turmoil, but how does it taste?
I found out earlier this week when I dropped in on the Pizza Patrón on Ross Avenue in East Dallas, held up one finger and confidently ordered La Chingona. The nice guy looked at me as if I weren't serious, not because the pizza in question is dangerous, but because my pronunciation is terrible.
"La Chingona?" he clarified in mellifluous Spanish. I know seven Spanish words, five of which I learned from Taco Bell menu boards. I decided to just nod.
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Ten minutes later I was skipping up Ross Avenue with a thin cardboard box, making my way toward Ships and my unsuspecting victim. If you want to tell someone they're special, ask them to meet you at Ships for a couple of cans of PBR and a pizza that costs $7.99. It makes for a really, really great date.
La Chingona, it turns out, is a pretty badass pizza, though not entirely in a good way. The spicy sauce and pepperoni turned out to be a pretty good foil for a cold crisp lager, but so would potato chips or beef jerky. As best I can tell the cheese is the same type heaped on rounds by most commodity pizzerias, and anything that melts is at least halfway delicious, but the crust has some issues. It's the worst I've encountered in any pizza in some time. It has no structure -- a slice must be supported stem to stern or it falls apart leaving a trail of stringing cheese and dripping sauce. It also has an off-putting, almost plastic-like or artificial flavor. It was not good.
Not that you should expect much from a place that charges so little for a pizza, but the storefront was clean and accommodating, the employees worked carefully and were very nice -- you've got to think with a crust upgrade this place could dominate Texas' value-pizza market.
Or maybe they should hand out PBR with every pie. Anyone who spends enough time at Ships before hitting Pizza Patrón will certainly find some satisfaction in every slice. But you have to laugh at the fact that everyone was all worked up about a name that a small percentage of Spanish speakers might take issue with, when all along it was the pizza that was offensive.