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Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Part Deux: Pizza the Hut

In the second part of my pizza exploration we'll take a look at Pizza Hut. To me their claim to fame is the lunch buffet. I've partaken of the buffet many times and must say it's the best way to get mass quantities of pizza for the least amount of dough (all puns intended). The dessert pizza is not bad either. But the buffet stuff is made high speed assembly line style. It's not the same stuff as the normal menu items. Again we try the normal style hand tossed variety with ham. The box says “Gather 'Round the Good Stuff.” We shall see.

The crust seems to be about the same strength as the Papa John's as measured by the deflection at the tip of the slice when held by the edge of the crust. It did appear to be a little thinner though. The difference appears in the consistency – more bagel than biscuit. This is much more pronounced at the crust edge as they are definitely more chewy. The crust edges are thinner than the Papa John's meaning more of the surface area percentage is covered by cheese.

The cheese is significantly less oily than Papa John's. The paper towel test revealed very little oil. In fact, I didn't feel any oil on my fingers when I pressed the paper towel and very little at the base of the palm. Visual inspection of the paper towel confirmed the results. There was some oil in the finger area but not much. The resulting shape looked nothing like a handprint. All is not good on the cheese front however. There were a couple of areas of cheese non-coverage. At the edges where the cheese met the crust there was sauce showing and signs of melted shreds. The ham was on top of the cheese and most of the ham bits had burnt edges.

I know they put sauce on the pizza, but the initial taste test did not find it. When I did find it, it was just kinda there. It did not really add anything. It was very dark, compared to the brighter Papa John's. It's purpose appears to be more of a moistener.

Perhaps they need to add more sauce as the pizza tasted very dry. I think part of the problem is the crust. As I mentioned it was closer to a bagel in consistency. The ham was burnt so that might indicate that the pizza was overcooked which would add to the dryness. Actually I prefer the assembly line buffet stuff to the take home sample.

I'm actually a bit disappointed with Pizza Hut. I like the buffet. Whenever I order off the menu I usually get a pan pizza type. I don't remember getting standard crust. This may be why. I'll still get the pan pizzas from them, but it's not looking good for the standard crust offering. Tomorrows victim: Domino's.


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