Is Little Caesars Stromboli Really Only Available in Flint? An Investigation
For years, I've been baffled by the recurring mention of stromboli from Little Caesars Pizza among Flint's signature food items like Flint coneys or Big John Steak & Onion. Is stromboli really just a Flint Little Caesars thing? I doubt it, but I'm going to find out.
Let's get this out of the way right up front -- contrary to what many tweets imply, stromboli is not a Flint secret. It's a well-known food item outside of Flint. Guy Fieri even has a recipe for it, so you can put those "no one outside of Flint has ever heard of stromboli" assertions to bed. It didn't originate here, and we're not known for it. It's not one of Flint's signature dishes. End of story.
The question we will be trying to answer today is whether or not Little Caesars Pizza serves stromboli at locations outside of the Flint area. If you look to social media -- the answer is a resounding no.
That's exactly why I started this journey, Kobe. What is the real rundown on stromboli in Flint? His tweet is in reference to the minor local uproar caused when stromboli was removed from the official menu in the Flint area, as is @_ManAyE's tweet above. More on that later.
My first goal was to find out if non-Flint Little Caesars locations even know what stromboli is, if they sell it, or if they used to at some point. You may be asking "how, Tree?" Well, that's easy. I just called a bunch of Little Caesars locations and asked. Here were the results:
Apparently, there is something to this. While there are non-Flint locations that have stromboli, it would appear that they are few and far between. So the short answer to the question posed in the title of this article is no, but I still needed more answers. My next step was to see which Flint area Little Caesars sell stromboli, so I called all 15 of them that pop up when you search "Flint" on their website's store locator. Here are the results:
So Flint isn't the only market that serves stromboli, but boy do they have the strongest contingent of stores that do. While Ann Arbor did have one store that sold stromboli, apparently the others there do not. There are reportedly some locations in Lansing that serve stromboli as well, but none that we called did.
So why just the Flint area? I reached out to Little Caesars media relations and got no response before publishing this article, but over the course of the dozens of Little Caesars calls I made today, I learned a lot. I was told that Little Caesars corporate made it so every store uses the same streamlined menu a couple of years ago to ensure product consistency. That's why stromboli disappeared from Flint menus in 2016. However, some of the older stores (all of ours have been around for a minute) were allowed to continue serving stromboli, but had to be approved to do so by corporate. They were "grandfathered in," as they say, but new stores are not allowed to serve stromboli for quality reasons. At least that's what the word on the streets is.
So there you have it. Other Little Caesars do have stromboli, but it looks like Flint town might be the only market that serves it across the board at multiple locations. I'm also told that's largely due to the owner of all the Genesee County locations, who is reportedly adamant about continuing to serve the item.
That being said, there are a bare minimum of six area restaurants that have stromboli on their menu. I agree that LC's is pretty good, convenient, affordable, and I prefer it over their pizza, but it's not the greatest stromboli of all time. I don't know if I would consider it as one of "Flint's signature foods," but that's really more for others to decide. No matter where it public opinion falls on that matter, stromboli is not a Flint exclusive, but Little Caesars' stromboli is... sort of.
Editor's Note: This story was updated to include the information about the owner of Genesee County Little Caesars location which I did not personally confirm. It didn't really change the story or the answers to our questions in any way. I just added it so people would stop telling me about it in the comments.