Delivery Pizza - Is there a way to get my pizza "firm"?

Does this fall into the category of First World Problems? I never had a soggy pizza in Guatemala. At the Day of the Dead kite fest above Guatemala City (with 10-meter kites soaring) little kids delivered crisp pizza and cold beer. At the Domino’s opposite the southwest corner of the Plaza in Antigua Guatemala (featuring a fountain of squirty-titted nymphs) Mayans in indigenous dress chawed their maize-corn-crust pizzas on the stone steps. Every pizza that came to our lodging in Panajachel was perfect-o. If you want something done right, hire a Guatemalan.

Now, for humor.

Q: How does a banjo player make his car go faster?
A: He takes the pizza delivery sign off the roof.

Q: What’s the difference between a Mel Gibson movie and a pizza?
A: Pizzas are good.

Q: What do a gynecologist and a pizza boy have in common?
A: They can smell it but they cant eat it.

Q: What’s the difference between an Uber driver and a large pepperoni pizza?
A: The pizza can feed a family of four.

A man wakes to find himself alone in a hospital room with no memory of how he got there. While pondering, his bedside phone rings. A doctor identifies himself and tells the man: “I have really bad news. You’re very sick. After your collapse yesterday, we ordered several tests, and got the results back this morning. I’m afraid you have Avain flu, Ebola, and you’re positive for HIV and hepatitis.” Stunned, the man asks “Well, what’s next!? What are you going to do?” The doc replies: “Well, for starters, we’re putting you on a strict diet of only pizza.” The patient asks: “Will that really help me, doctor?” “No”, the doc responds. “But it’s all we can fit under the door.”

I hate when my pizza arrives and it’s sloppy on top. I like the cheese browned. So I always order it - well done on top.

You like burnt cheese?

Oh, hell yeah. “Browned” cheese is not even close to burnt. Detroit-style places like Buddy’s get it almost black on the edges (but, still, without the burnt flavor.) Or, better yet, see Chicago’s Pequod’s pizza. Damn thing looks burnt, but I guarantee it ain’t. It is deliciously crispy cheese.

No, I don’t like BURNT cheese. I like the top of my pizza a nice golden brown. I hate when the top is sloppy, mucky and you can’t even see the slice marks. When I call in my order, if I get the owner of the restaurant and I say I’d like my pizza well-done but not burned. He says, “You want a nice golden top, right?”. He is correct!

I order pizza “well done” pretty regularly and most places will do it.

BUT there’s no real standard for what “well done” means so you need to be pretty tolerant of what you might end up with. Sometimes you’ll get a very, very dark pizza and you have to be ok with it.

In general I’ve had more successes than failures

Problem is it’s delivered. It doesn’t start out soggy but gets that way during delivery. Bake your own. Bonus: you can design your own topping. My fave (which I have never, ever seen in a restaurant) is pesto sauce, goat cheese strong olives, and walnuts, plus grated parmesan.

Some takeout places will even parbake it for you if you ask, so you can finish it in the oven. That said, I’ve never quite gotten it to taste quite as good as eating it baked fully at the pizzeria with their ovens. Perhaps it’s an atmosphere thing, but those deck ovens seem to cook up differently than mine (and, yes, I have a pizza stone, or, rather, unglazed quarry tile on the bottom – it does make great pizza, but it’s still not quite the same.) And forget it if you’re trying to recreate wood-fired or coal-fired at home (unless you happen to be set up for that.)

I have picked up many floppy pizzas in my lifetime, fresh out of the oven.