Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

In memori-yum

I had my first Round Table Pizza pizza in 1971 when my sibs and I came out to California to visit my father after the divorce. It was fantastic. Then, over the years, I always asked to go to Round Table when I visited Dad, and what a pleasure it was when I finally moved to the Bay Area back in ’92 and could hit RTP whenever I wanted – even if there were superior pizzas available.

Well, that’s all over with now. A few weeks back, Round Table was acquired by some corporate franchise group (owners of, among other things, Hot Dog On A Stick), and now they’re peddling mediocrity in Small, Medium, and Extra Large.

Friends, capitalism sucks.

We had our first Round Table Pizza pizza after the acquisition the other night, and it’s clear that the new management has taken the easy/sleazy route and degraded the product. This was nothing like the RTP pizza I’ve known and loved for 46 years! The crust was like a sheet of butcher paper. The sauce was painted on like a layer of varnish and tasted like – well, there was so little of it that I couldn’t detect it at all. The tomato sauce on the Round Tables of yore used to dazzle the buds of taste. So much so we always asked for extra.

Until now, I’d gotten into the habit of asking for Round Table Pizza pizza (specifically the Guinevere’s Garden Delight) for my birthday meals.


I’m crushed.

I’ve seen it again and again in my life, and I don’t imagine it will change. When a conglomerate takes over a beloved brand, that brand turns to shit. The corporation sucks everything good out of the product and replaces it with plastic flavor buds and mass-produced blandness. It deprives you, the devoted customer, of all the nostalgic value in the product, all your fond memories, which are now chopped into small particles and mixed into the company’s brand of dog food. Synergy. Nothing is wasted. They add high fructose corn syrup to your tears and call it soda.

Capitalism says, The fools won’t notice. They’re so attached to the thing that they’ll buy it just to retain a speck of their ridiculous youth. Just because they’ve always bought it. And they’ll pay more for it too.

If I’d known that my prior Round Table Pizza pizza was to be my last, I’d have frozen a slice for future reference, and near the end of me I’d have asked my caretakers to thaw it out and heat it for ten minutes in a 350 degree oven, and to feed it to me slowly and tenderly, so that I could experience one more time what quality used to taste like.

Farewell, Round Table, “The Last Honest Pizza.” Born 1959/died 2017.

And screw you, capitalism – turning good things into generic poo for five hundred years.

[Image via https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Round_Table_Pizza_-_Hillsboro,_Oregon.JPG.]

5 comments on “In memori-yum

  1. kingmidget
    October 2, 2017

    I’d say Round Table Pizza has been going downhill for some time now.

    It’s also not just corporate takeovers, somethings small mom and pop businesses do it to themselves. Sacramento has a legendary burger place called the Squeeze Inn. For years, they were housed in a tiny little place in a run down part of town. But they were popular, with lines out the door all the time. Burgers were hand-formed, buns were quality made, and they put enough cheese on to create a cheese skirt around the burger. Then somebody sued them for ADA access issues, even though there was an accessible seating area out back, and they changed locations and also expanded. Instead of the one, classic, historic location, they now have four or five in the Sacramento area and their burger is just like every other mass-produced burger out there.

    • Kevin Brennan
      October 2, 2017

      I’m just trying to wrap my head around the idea of a “cheese skirt.” 🤔

      • kingmidget
        October 2, 2017

        It is actually a thing of beauty.

  2. Priscilla
    October 2, 2017

    “They add high fructose corn syrup to your tears and call it soda.” Said like only a writer could. RIP RTP.

    • Kevin Brennan
      October 2, 2017

      Heh heh. Thanks, Priscilla. Now I need to start the search for a new birthday pizza.

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