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What I Learned This Week – 10/2/16

This week I learned that Lena’s Italian Restaurant in Blissfield, Michigan still has the best pizza I have ever eaten.

I was told by my asbestos friend, whose opinion on pizza I highly respect, that Pizza Junction in Huntington, Indiana was the best pizza ever. (She is the one who introduced me to Lena’s, afterall*.) She knew of it because she had attended Huntington College back in the day.

She has mentioned several times that Pizza Junction was the best pizza ever. I really wanted to test that theory, but I knew I would never go all that way without her. And when she made the pilgrimage, it was always a family affair.

I looked up Pizza Junction on Facebook, only to discover that it is named that because it located in an old train depot that still has railroad tracks next to it that used to be part of the Wabash line. There were even videos of a classic steam engine roaring by at high speed. Now, if you have stopped by this page very much at all, you will realize that my family is a little crazy about trains. Last year I redid my son’s room to look like a train station. M flipped when he saw the Pizza Junction videos.

My asbestos friend’s husband was out of town. So I snuck into her car and put in a cassette tape with hidden subliminal messages for her to take me to Pizza Junction.

What, you don’t believe me? She totally has a cassette player in her car.

Actually, I just sent her a suggestive text or two about how lovely it would be to go. So when the opportunity presented itself to us the very next day to accompany my asbestos friend and her brood to Indiana, we took her up on it.

The road trip was awesome, even being squeezed six into a car. We saw two Norfolk Southern trains go by as we ate in the station, and they were flying. The bruschetta was excellent. The pizza was great, but not quite as good as Lena’s, in my humble opinion. We explored a place called the Sunken Gardens, photos from which you will see below.

Sidenote: Last weekend a memorial was erected in our local cemetery to honor the long-ignored Italian immigrant victims of the 1901 Wabash crash just north of Seneca in Lenawee County, MI. Then my family went about figuring out about where the crash might have occurred. That track is now run by  Norfolk Southern.

Some people were very happy to arrive at Sunken Gardens

Some people were very happy to arrive at Sunken Gardens

I could have stayed her for a very long time...until it started to get cold.

I could have stayed here for a very long time…until it started to get cold.

FYI: The journey of 252 miles starts by back tracking to home.

FYI: The journey of 252 miles starts by back tracking to home.

If we could have traveled by train, we may have gotten to Pizza Junction quicker.

And consuming orange juice is like drinking sunshine.

*Expressing “afterall” as one word is a conscious, stylistic decision made by the blogger.


Follow the romantic entanglements of The Riley Sisters in my books:
Be Careful What You Wish ForAVAILABLE NOW!
The Wind Could Blow a BugWHERE IT ALL BEGAN!

What I Learned This Week – 11/11/2012

This week I learned that General Mills, owner of both Totino’s and Jeno’s frozen pizzas, has started making Jeno’s pizzas smaller.


Note the difference in box size and weight. Blasphemes. (Note: While it looks as thought the boxes aren’t lined up, I assure you that they were and this is an illusion of the camera.)

Totino’s and Jeno’s used to be the same size and pretty similar in taste. I always preferred Jeno, maybe just because the parent company treated him like Totino’s less popular little brother. That, and I used to be able to buy Jeno with Canadian Bacon topping. But then grocer’s in my area stopped stocking it.

But this has gone WAY TOO FAR!

I haven’t drafted my complaint letter to General Mills yet, but it is on my to-do list. I don’t know how they will respond, but I can guess some reasons why they would have shrunk my Jeno’s pizza.

1. Now Jeno’s and Totino’s have brand differentiation at a glance.

2. This solves the sticky issue of high trans fat and sodium. Just make the portion smaller!

I am guessing the old Jeno’s pizza (using cheese as the sample pizza) was probably close to the 9.8oz weight that Totino’s still is sporting. The new Jeno’s pizza is 5 oz. That is almost 50% less than it used to be. Totino’s still claims to be 2 servings. Now Jeno’s claims it is “Pizza for One”. (I’m sorry, but I always ate the old Jeno’s frozen pizza as one serving.)

Totino’s Nutrition Facts (from box)

Serving Size: 1/2 pizza

Servings Per Container: 2

Total Fat: 25%*

Saturated Fat: 25%

Sodium: 25%

* All % Daily Value based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

Jeno’s Nutrition Facts (Unavailable*)

*Unavailable because I ate the sample pizza (sorry) and the General Mills website only lists nutrition facts for a cheese pizza at 6.9oz size (Man, how long have they been downsizing their pizza’s on me AND raising the price?)

General Mills, shame on you for denying me my Jeno that I have been faithful to for all these years. He was my stand-by dinner on a non-payday Friday night when I was too exhausted to do anything but stay awake for 18 minutes and then eat. (Pay-day Fridays? Why, fast food, of course!)

What is this world coming to, when a girl can’t count on her frozen pizza to remain unchanged?

On a more serious note, THANK YOU to all the veterans who have served our country on this Veterans Day, including my dad.

Random Fact: Jeno Paulucci, who created the Jeno’s brand and pizza rolls, died with a $100 million estate.  There is a lot of money to be made in frozen pizza.

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