When I was a child I would grab pizza crusts and pretend I was one of those boss villains chomping on a cigar yelling things like “Get them boys and showâ€™em what it means ta dubbahcross me” or “Those guys will never know what hit them!” I got in trouble once because I lit the end of a crust and attempted to smoke it. That was the earliest of many disappointments and shame I have brought to my honorable family. Damn you, tiger mom.
Well, forget about play cigars, I cannot do that with these P’Zolos for two sad reasons.
One, they are too big.
Two, they are really greasy.
The P’Zolo resembles a limp stromboli. It is less dense than a calzone but has more filling inside than a Hot Pocket, albeit not as fun. Pizza Hut is trying out some new concepts on their menu but Iâ€™m not sure what the thinking is behind these tubes of cheese and meat. I do know that, like Hot Pockets, you need to eat these quick because when they cool offâ€¦they become a congealed rubber cement of cheese and meatstuffs.
Speaking of meat, vegetarians are, unfortunately, screwed in the broccoli because the three varieties contain meat, which is fitting with the phallic nature of these P’Zolos. I guess you could order one without animal carcass, but I won’t. Because at my neighborhood Pizza Hut, I donâ€™t want to be “one of those” who gets the eye roll, which is normally reserved for those who shop at Whole Foods.
Each P’Zolo has a nice aroma. The yeasty scent combined with Asiago cheese is rustic and welcoming, that is, until you open the box. Not one of my P’Zolo resembled the pictures advertising them, instead they were ill formed and looked shrinkled (my word for shrunken and wrinkled).
The other problem (besides this product giving me anxiety over penis size) was that each P’Zolo was scored, allowing the cheese and meat to ooze out, which contributing to its greasiness. All of the advertised pictures show them intact with the cheese and meats encased. This probably keeps the cheese melted longer as mine started to solidify into a glop.
Yes, they weren’t pretty, but if we didnâ€™t put ugly things in our mouths, no one would eat a raw oysters or French kiss my stupid grad school ex. Anyhow, I had to get all three flavors because they were so cheap. Each one comes with your choice of ranch dressing (which is prepackaged like one would find in a convenience store salad) or fresh marinara sauce in a small Styrofoam cup.
The Buffalo Chicken P’Zolo intrigued me as buffalo chicken is quickly becoming a throwaway flavor and can range from tasty to overpowering vinegar tang that makes my balls shrivel (or shrinkel). The crust had a nice chewy give and the nutty taste of Asiago complimented the dough. After biting into the P’Zolo, my skepticism faded. The buffalo sauce drenched chunks of chicken were tangy and mildly hot, which was awesome. The bits of grilled chicken were shredded and uneven indicating that this is the real stuff and not processed chicken slurry from a can. I liked that quite a bit, however the best part was the spicy tingle mellowed by the creamy mozzarella. The chicken was mildly smoky and the punch of vinegar from the buffalo sauce added a nice element.
On the other end of the spectrum, I had to use a fork because the grease just poured out and made the crust soggy. If you look at my pictures, it looks like a crowd of Black Friday shoppers who met an enlightened end via an oversized redneck pickup truck careening into Best Buy to pick up $5 Git-R-Done comedy DVDâ€™s.
The ranch dressing added depth and it actually tasted like I was eating a plate of hot wings without the mess of wet fingers. I enjoyed this to some degree but not enough to buy it again. The flavors are solid but I love ripping into crispy fried chicken skin, and thereâ€™s no replacement for that, except a slug of whiskey.
My next P’Zolo, the Meat Trio, was disastrous, and I mean Hellgate: London disastrous (those of you who got suckered into the lifetime subscription, like me, know what I am talking about). This P’Zolo was stuffed with Italian sausage, pepperoni and ham. The oily, translucent Asiago crust was muted, as well as the mozzarella, because of one simple fact: It was Pâ€™zalty!
I can only believe this P’Zolo was seasoned by the tears of thousands of underpaid Pizza Hut employees, which are then reduced over medium heat for fifteen minutes and another generous sprinkling of salt. It does not help the pepperoni is a little salty anyhow.
Speaking of the pepperoni, I love it on top of a pizza but for whatever reason when encased in this cheese pipe, it was gross to me. Donâ€™t get me wrong, I love a good pepperoni calzone but Iâ€™m not sure why this did not work for me. Maybe the acne level oils pulsating from the meat buried in cheese grossed me out. You would think some sauce might help, but dipping it into the marinara sauce is similar to dousing a kitchen fire with oil. I could only take a couple of bites before I tossed it with contempt back into the box, you know the way that bad guy did to that kid in 2008â€™s Rambo.
Not only was this a strong salt lick of a snack, the black pepper from the sausage also overrode the flavors. I love Italian sausage but this tasted more like Jimmy Dean crumbles you add to a harmless breakfast casserole. I think you could use the Meat Trio P’Zolo as a torture device; make someone eat it with only their own saliva to quench their thirst.
Finally, I reached for the Italian Steak P’Zolo. The thick slices of sweet and smoky steak are a great compliment to the mozzarella. The green peppers and onions were plentiful, like a good Steak-Ummms, and the flavors all played nice. The flavor of the Asiago crust blended well with the steak, but the crust was also soggy like a bloated corpse found in those underwater horror films I watch too often.
If you do get this one, I would suggest eating it naked (the P’Zoloâ€¦not you, unless youâ€™re into that) because the sweet tomato flavor from the marinara dipping sauce only lower the intensity of the nice beefy, cheesy and onion combo. There is no alchemy that can bring pleasure like the carnal nature of beef and melted cheese.
Another critique is that the P’Zolo will make you want a hot slice of pizza. Midway through eating one, I was left with an unanswered desire. It is akin to ordering a chicken breast at a steak house, then sitting at a table looking forlorn at everyoneâ€™s aged cuts while you sadly shovel bland shrinkled poultry in your maw.
Sure, I liked the few bites of the P’Zolos I had, but, again, it will not be a repeat purchase. I think the problem is that I want either a pizza or a calzone. The P’Zolo fits somewhere in between and, according the advertisements, maybe it is supposed to replace a submarine sandwich. Itâ€™s like the Back to the Future series, sometimes I want to see the 1985 classic. Other times, I am in the mood for the grimmer second installment (still waiting for a bottle of Pepsi Perfect). But, like the P’Zolo, I donâ€™t have a use for the third one, except for that ZZ Top single.
(Nutritional Facts â€“ Buffalo Chicken P’Zolo – 420 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 1350 mg of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 27 grams of protein. Meat Trio P’Zolo â€“ 550 calories, 28 grams of fat, 11 grams of saturated fat, 1310 mg of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 24 grams of protein. Italian Steak P’Zolo â€“ 400 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 1130 mg of sodium, 35 grams of carbohydrates, 21 grams of protein)
Item: Pizza Hut P’Zolo (Buffalo Chicken, Meat Trio, and Italian Steak)
Purchased Price: $3.00 each or $5.00 for two
Purchased at: Pizza Hut
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Buffalo Chicken)
Rating: 4 out of 10 (Meat Trio)
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Italian Steak)
Pros: The chewy crust with nutty Asiago adds a nice rustic touch. Affordable. Real chunks of grilled chicken. Pretending pizza crust are cigars. The smoky sweet slices of steak. Crispin Glover in Back to the Future. Heavy handed with the onions. Shrinkled, the word. “Doubleback” by ZZ Top.
Cons: The soggy, depressing oily crust. Meat Trio is not worth the price regardless of how cheap. The scoring of the P’Zolo caused the cheese to congeal into a clunk of rubber. Actually lighting and smoking pizza crusts. Heavy handed with the salt for the Meat Trio. Pretend Crispin Glover in the sequels. Shrinkled, the action. Food that makes you question penis length (stay away foot long Subways).