Marion’s slices through the local competition for best pizza

Pizza was invented in Naples, Italy, around the 10th century, but it’s been an American favorite for generations.

And pizza is the No. 1 choice for most parties and get-togethers in America, but with so many different places to order it from, how do you choose?

In a huge sacrifice to try to help our pizza-loving readers, I went to four of the most popular pizza places in the area to check out their pies. To be fair, I ordered pepperoni as the sole topping from each restaurant.

The Criteria

I rated the pizza based on five different categories, cheese, sauce, crust, overall taste, and how well the pizza filled me up. Each category was worth 10 points, so a perfect pizza would earn 50 points or 100 percent.

The pizza was graded on an A-F scale, but my grading curve is a little more generous than my teachers give me:

A = 80-100 percent

B = 70-79 percent

C = 60-69 percent

D = 50-59 percent

F = 49 percent or less

Papa John’s

Papa John’s is one of the most well-known pizza places in America because of its large use of the media. Their commercials have recently featured the extremely popular NFL quarterback Peyton Manning and they have become the official pizza of the NFL. I wondered, however, is Papa John’s really worth all of the hype?

Cheese: 5/10

Papa John’s cheese was much too rubbery for my liking. The only thing that was a plus for the cheese was that there was a good amount of it.

Sauce: 6/10

The sauce has a nice, sweet flavor. Although I’m not a person who likes a lot of sauce on my pizza, Papa John’s used even less than I would have liked.

Crust: 0/10

I’m not sure what exactly Papa John’s was thinking when making my pizza, but I think they used cardboard instead of crust. The “crust” was so dry and tough that I couldn’t even bring myself to eat all of it. I feel insulted that Papa John’s tried to feed me this.

Filling?: 8/10

Well, this is the best thing I could find about Papa John’s. It filled me up pretty quickly, and trust me, I don’t get full very easily. It was probably the cardboard crust that caused me to get full so fast, but even if so, I give them an 8 in this category.

Overall Taste: 5/10

Final Score: 24/50 (48 percent) = F+

As you can probably tell, I’m not a fan of the pizza that I tried at Papa John’s. The was just overall not very good, especially the crust. I am actually a little bit ashamed of the NFL for sponsoring such a pie.

Cousin Vinny’s

Cousin Vinny’s has been a favorite of many Fairmont students, as there have been many “Big Ten’s” delivered during lunch time. I went out to try their pizza to see if I would enjoy it as much as other students do.

Cheese: 7/10

The cheese tasted good and there was a nice amount of it, but it was a little more chewy than I usually like.

Sauce: 9/10

Cousin Vinny’s sauce is very good. They also used the perfect amount of it.

Crust: 4/10

Unfortunately, the crust was a little dry and I got sick of it pretty quickly.

Filling?: 7/10

The pizza filled me up somewhat quickly, but I could still eat at least 3 pieces of it before being full.

Overall Taste: 8/10

Final Score: 35/50 (70 percent) = B-

I enjoyed Cousin Vinny’s pizza. The cheese and the sauce together gave it a great taste, but the crust could have been a lot better.


I’ll admit that I had never had Donatos before this occasion, nor had I ever even thought of them while trying to choose a pizza. Friends tell me they advertise a lot, but I guess I’m always on the wrong station or I’m out in the kitchen getting a snack when their commercials are on. Anyway, I was interested in finding out if Donato’s would become one of my new go-to places or if this would be my only trip.

Cheese: 8/10

The cheese was very good, yet I think the overall taste of the pizza would improve if there was more of it.

Sauce: 6/10

The sauce was good, but there was so little on the pizza that I could barely taste it.

Crust: 8/10

The thin crust that I ordered is Donato’s signature style and is what they are known for. The crispiness of the crust brought the whole pizza together well.

Filling?: 6/10

This pizza did not fill me up very quickly, but taking into consideration that it was a thin- crust pizza, I still went away pretty satisfied.

Overall Taste: 8/10

Final Score: 36/50 (72 percent) = B

This pizza was definitely one of my favorites that I tried on my journey.


Marion’s is one of Kettering’s most popular pizza places because of its close location to Fairmont High School and its usually high reviews. I have had Marion’s many times before, but I went back as a critic to decide what score it actually deserved.

Cheese: 10/10

There is a perfect amount of cheese and the flavor is great. This is by far the best part of the pizza.

Sauce: 8/10

The sauce tasted very good and it had the right amount, which is hard to find with most thin-crust pizzas.

Crust: 9/10

I usually do not order thin-crust, but it is all Marion’s offers. I am perfectly fine with getting it at Marion’s, though, because it is what makes the pizza. It is not too crispy or soft, but it is just right to make the overall taste right.

Filling?: 7/10

The reason I do not usually order thin-crust pizzas is because it does not fill me up quickly. Marion’s does this better than most places, taking into consideration that I can eat a good amount.

Overall Taste: 10/10

Final Score: 44/50 (88 percent) = A
Of all the pizzas I tried, Marion’s is definitely my favorite. Every ingredient goes together very well to make an amazing pizza. I would highly recommend that everyone try Marion’s.