I love commercials, and I believe good advertising should be rewarded. I recently bought a case of Old Spice body wash only because I wish the Old Spice guy would be my BFF and/or life coach.
On the flip side, bad commercials infuriate me, like the recent Pizza Hut one called “Your Favorites. Your Pizza.” It features a bunch of Pizza Hut employees describing why THIS isn’t just a pizza. It starts out sensibly and quickly descends into madness:
THIS means more one-on-one time with your daughter.
That’s kind of sweet, and I certainly see how dinner brings the family together.
THIS is the reason folks show up to your budget meeting.
Well, I suppose that could be true, though they usually don’t make budget meetings optional in the first place.
THIS is how you guarantee a second date.
First of all, there is an actual legal definition for the word “guarantee,” and Pizza Hut shouldn’t bandy the word about so casually. I would hate to think that future law students may be required to read about the landmark class-action lawsuit Bunch of Awkward Teenagers v. Pizza Hut.
But even if we’re just informally thinking about this, it’s doubtful anyone has EVER gone to Pizza Hut on the first date and believed that the second date was already in the bag. In fact, I would be more inclined to add that to the list of ways to guarantee you DON’T get a second date. (Note: I can’t imagine anyone actually does keep such a list, but if you do, “mentioning that you keep a list of ways to guarantee you don’t get a second date” should definitely be the first item on it.)
Yet occasionally products that intrigue me can overcome commercials that annoy me, and I continue to eat at Pizza Hut because they keep coming up with new products that I have to try just once, such as The Edge, the Four-in-One, and the P’Zone, to name just a few.
The Cheesy Bites Pizza is the spiritual descendant of the Stuffed Crust Pizza. First introduced in 2006, it has 28 detachable cheese-filled bites in lieu of a regular crust. I had been hoping the bites would be coated with the same parmesan powder found on Pizza Hut’s breadsticks, but the garlic flavoring they use instead is pretty tasty in its own right, and I like that they include a separate container of what is normally breadstick dipping sauce. For the first couple bites — or rather, the first couple bites of the first couple Bites — the cheese was as indulgently gooey as I had hoped, but they quickly cooled and hardened and became far less appetizing. I also noticed that the amount of cheese from Bite to Bite was not very consistent.
After a slice or two of eating the Bites first and being left with awkwardly crust-less pizza, I decided to eat my next slice the normal way. This turned out to be a good decision. While the Bites are easy to pull apart from one another, they were still sturdy enough to support the more conventional pizza-eating tactic.
And speaking of the non-crust part of the pizza, well, I don’t really have much to say, because it wasn’t anything special. It was just a regular thin crust Pizza Hut pizza, although it’s possible it had more pepperoni than normal. In reality, I think there was just less area to put the same number of pepperoni, as the Bites are much thicker than a normal crust. And since they’re thicker but not actually one continuous crust, the pizza is ultimately less filling than a normal large pizza. I suppose that’s my biggest beef with this specialty pie — I was promised a large pizza but it felt more like a medium. I’m not saying I ate the whole thing in one sitting, but I’m not saying I didn’t, either.
(Fine, you got me, I ate the whole thing in one sitting. Are you happy now?)
All together, the Pizza Hut Cheesy Bites pizza was not bad, but certainly not great. If you were going to Pizza Hut anyway…say, on a first date, or, in the event that you didn’t go there on your first date, your second one…go ahead and try the Cheesy Bites pizza. Otherwise, I’m sure your local pizza joint makes more delicious albeit less innovative pies. In fact, I guarantee it!*
*I don’t guarantee it. Please don’t sue me.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 slice – 370 calories, 140 calories from fat, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 40 milligrams of cholesterol, 1000 milligrams of sodium, 40 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of sugar and 16 grams of protein.)
Item: Pizza Hut Cheesy Bites Pizza
Price: $11.99 (14″)
Size: Large/8 slices
Purchased at: Pizza Hut
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Tasty garlic powder. Separate container of dipping sauce. Indulgently gooey cheese. High pepperoni concentration. Eating pizza the normal way. The Old Spice guy. Bunch of Awkward Teenagers v. Pizza Hut.
Cons: Bites much less appetizing when cheese cools. Inconsistent cheesiness. Smaller-than-expected pizzas. Being awkwardly crust-less. First dates at Pizza Hut. False guarantees. Eating entire pizzas in one sitting.