McDonald's Pizza? It Exists, and This Guy Found It

Podcast documents Brian Thompson's travels to Ohio to sample the wares
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 5, 2017 12:31 PM CDT
McDonald's Pizza? It Exists, and This Guy Found It
You won't find pizza at most McDonald's drive-thrus, but it's out there.   (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

McDonald's is ubiquitous, but Brian Thompson has been obsessed with one particular location in Ohio—and one menu item that's gone missing from virtually every other McDonald's. That item is pizza, and as Cara Giaimo explains in Atlas Obscura, the journalist got it in his head that he was going to find out why the fast-food chain phased out the pies, a short-lived experiment from 1989 through the early '90s, and put together a podcast dedicated to the subject called, well, Whatever Happened to Pizza at McDonald's? The reasons for the pizza fizzling out soon emerged—from boxes that were too big to slide through drive-thru windows to an overall lack of interest in pizza from a hamburger joint—as did the two places that still serve it: a Mickey D's in Pomeroy, Ohio, and another in West Virginia.

As Thompson explains in the Kickstarter he set up in December to pay for a trip to Pomeroy, he was determined to offer an "invaluable firsthand perspective" by chowing down on a long-awaited slice of the elusive edible. Giaimo's piece looks at the quirky quest that morphed into 34 podcasts, which included interviews with other journalists, private detectives, and even dial-a-prayer hotlines. Then, of course, there was the Season 1 finale that aired March 1, in which Thompson finally tries a sample. But just because he's now come to the ostensible end of his chase, the podcast isn't over. "As existing mysteries deepen, new ones crop up, too," Giaimo writes, meaning there's going to be a Season 2—and an even deeper dive into fast-food novelties. More on his pursuit of the McDonald's pie here. (McDonald's may bring back another lost menu item thanks to a cartoon character.)

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