REVIEW: Pizza Hut Mozzarella Poppers Pizza

Pizza Hut Mozzarella Poppers Pizza

I once had a dream that Pizza Hut here in the U.S. offered a pizza with large crispy mozzarella sticks as the end crust. When I woke up and wiped away the drool from my mouth, which ABSOLUTELY DOES NOT happen all the time, I realized it was all a dream, and the bodily fluids stopped coming out of my mouth and started rolling down from my eyes.

Pizza Hut’s Mozzarella Poppers Pizza is not the pizza of my salty dream. Instead of edges that are entirely made of crispy, breaded cheese sticks, the large pizza has 16 1.5-inch mozzarella-filled squares plopped onto and baked with the regular crust, and spaced out so that there will be two of them on each of the eight slices. The menu item also comes with two containers of marinara sauce for dipping.

Pizza Hut Mozzarella Poppers Pizza Closeup

It doesn’t take much effort to pop off the poppers from the pizza, which doesn’t have the iron grip that’s shown in promotional photos. Their breaded exteriors are seasoned with garlic, onion, parmesan, parsley, basil, and oregano, and they have a subtle crispiness. Thanks to the seasonings, I could eat them without dipping them into the sauce, but they taste better with it.

Pizza Hut Mozzarella Poppers Pizza Popper Closeup

The cheese wasn’t gooey, and it tastes similar to what’s in the chain’s original Stuffed Crust. If you’ve had a mozzarella stick, you know what you’re getting here.

Now, you could eat the poppers and end crust separately, leave them attached and eat them with the rest of the crust, or, if you don’t eat that part of a pizza, remove the cheese-filled squares and let the remaining bread rot forever in the hell where all the other discarded pizza crusts go to burn into charred lumps that’ll never be eaten. Sorry, remembering another dream I had.

If you like to eat crusts, I’d recommend leaving the poppers on to make it a little more tolerable, because the bread directly underneath them gets a little moist, probably due to the heat between them.

I have to admit the dough the poppers are sitting on with my pizza looks a bit undercooked when compared with the golden brown mozzarella poppers, but its texture and taste was fine while eating. Okay, the taste was super dull, but thankfully the two marinara containers have enough for the poppers and most of the remaining end crust. But it would be less boring if the poppers are left on.

As for the non-crust side, I ordered a modified Supreme, and it tasted like a…Pizza Hut Supreme Pizza. SURPRISE!

Overall, Pizza Hut’s Mozzarella Poppers Pizza is a bit ho-hum. The poppers themselves are a nice appetizer when dipped in marinara, but if you do that to all of them, you’re left with a crust that’s more bland than usual.

Of course, that could’ve been avoided if the edges were only mozzarella sticks or if the poppers were a topping. Yes, poppers as a topping was from another dream.

Purchased Price: $21.99* (Supreme)
Size: Large
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 slice – Supreme) 460 calories, 23 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 55 milligrams of cholesterol, 990 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 2 grams of sugar, and 20 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Great Value Dessert Pizzas (Apple Cinnamon, Pineapple, and S’mores)

Great Value Dessert Pizzas

Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening – Walmart has pizza for all the times!

(That fits the tune, right? Did you sing along as you read it? Solid.) ??It’s true, Walmart has decided we, as a species, don’t have enough solutions to our 24-hour pizza needs and has launched both a breakfast and a dessert line of pizzas. I, for one, will always and forever hail the cold-leftover-slice-of-pizza-straight-out-of-the-fridge as one of the most satisfying breakfast foods out there (HOW is it so delicious hot and cold?), so I went out to find the dessert situation it’s created.??I was lucky enough to stumble upon all three flavors of the new Great Value (I’ll be the judge of that) dessert pizzas and immediately knew I had to try them all — Pineapple, Cinnamon Apple, and S’ mores.

Great Value Cinnamon Apple Dessert Pizza Raw

Apple Cinnamon straight out of the box had enormous apple pieces atop the pizza along with blobs splattered of what I assume was supposed to be the icing drizzle. The word “drizzle” in the product description and image on the box is an outright lie.

Great Value Pineapple Dessert Pizza Raw

Pineapple had bright, appetizing pineapple pieces, a visible cinnamon sauce, and like its apple brethren, icing blobs trying their best to meet expectations of a “drizzle” but failing miserably.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Raw

S’ mores appeared to be the closest to the image on the front of the package and had a plethora of marshmallows, chocolate pieces, and graham crumble. ??The prep instructions are straightforward, and the pizzas even come pre-wrapped sitting in an ovenable (real word, I looked it up) tray. So all you had to do was pull off the plastic wrap and pop it straight into the oven!

Great Value Cinnamon Apple Dessert Pizza Baked

With the Apple Cinnamon one, I didn’t realize when I got excited about the giant apple pieces that it takes longer than 18 minutes to heat those pieces of frozen apple. They were thawed but STILL COLD. They also had no added cinnamon/sugar flavor. When I bit into the pizza, I got a mix of decently-toasty sweet crust, lukewarm flavorless sugar goo icing, and a cold mass of apple that filled my mouth with cold liquid when I bit into it and didn’t taste like anything. It. Was. Horrible.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Baked

The s’ mores pizza looked and smelled the most appetizing of the three. I mean, are we surprised? The crust was perfectly baked, solidly crispy on the bottom, but very soft (and thicker than I thought it would be) throughout. Honestly, this tasted like a big open-face chocolate babka with marshmallows, and I wasn’t mad at it. But I do wish the graham crumble and marshmallows had a strong enough flavor to compete with the chocolate. It was definitely the best of the three but didn’t quite live up to the s’ mores hype.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Closeup

Sidebar about the crust – all three dessert pizzas say they’re made on a waffle crust. I tried really hard to believe what I was eating was a waffle base, but it wasn’t. It was still delightful, but more of a sweetened dessert focaccia than a waffle. There weren’t even any square indents.

Great Value Pineapple Dessert Pizza Baked

I realize that when I say this, many of you will roll your eyes so loud that I’ll be able to hear it — I like pineapple and ham pizza.

(Please stay calm)

Once baked, the Great Value Pineapple Dessert Pizza has a flavor that I imagine a pineapple upside-down cake on cinnamon toast would have. The crust was fine. It was sweet and definitely not a waffle. The cinnamon sauce could have had more of the warm spice, and the fruit chunks were delightful. Though, I’d still pick the cake version if forced to choose. For those of you who hate the golden fruit on pizza, this probably isn’t good enough to make a turncoat out of you.

Great Value S mores Dessert Pizza Slices

Overall, there’s a LOT of food for less than $5 with these pizzas, but the s’ mores one is the only one worth buying.

Purchased Price: $4.74 each
Size: 23.95 oz. (Apple Cinnamon), 23.55 oz. (Pineapple), 20.7 oz. (S’mores)
Purchased at: Walmart
Rating: 2 out of 10 (Apple Cinnamon), 5 out of 10 (Pineapple), 6 out of 10 (S’mores)
Nutrition Facts: (1/5 pizza) Cinnamon Apple – 320 calories, 11 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 370 milligrams of sodium, 51 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. Pineapple – 310 calories, 10 grams of fat, 4 grams of saturated fat, 330 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 18 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein. (1/4 pizza) S’mores – 420 calories, 12 grams of fat, 6 grams of saturated fat, 430 milligrams of sodium, 74 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 30 grams of sugar, and 8 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Box

When I learned about Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza, my jaw dropped. My mouth was so agape with astonishment that an entire Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza square could’ve fit into it.

Visually, it’s impressive. It has a Cheez-It cracker crust. It comes in a sweet Cheez-It themed box that I’m going to add to my collection of fast food packaging that my wife will ask me to throw away a month from now. And, the pieces are shaped like GIANT Cheez-It crackers. Pizza Hut did a great job at making them look like the beloved snack, even doing the rigid edges and hole in the middle. And, might I say, they look extra toasty.

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Box Inside

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Shape

Each pizza comes with four pieces that measure around three inches. It’s available with either cheese or pepperoni and cheese, and comes with a marinara dipping sauce. I went with the meat and cheese option.

When I pulled back the lid, a Cheez-It aroma plume rose from the packaging and shot up my nostrils as if I was huffing a box of the crackers. As for the flavor, the cheesy goodness that we all know and love, unless you love Cheese Nips, comes through in the crust. However, that Cheez-It taste is more prevalent along the edges, but much less so towards the middle. The edges also provide the most crunch. It’s not as mouth vibrating as the actual crackers, but it’s a pleasing chomp.

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Filling

The cheese and pepperoni filling isn’t bold enough to take away the spotlight from the Cheez-It crust. To be honest, I’m not sure it enhances the flavor in any way. Plus, its texture was not what I was expecting. I thought the cheese would ooze out somewhat. The filling is so dense that there’s no oozing or stringy cheese; it’s a congealed combination of cheese and pepperoni, which is a little weird when looking at a cross section of it. It looks like fatty raw meat.

Pizza Hut Stuffed Cheez It Pizza Sauce

At first, I questioned the addition of marinara because I didn’t think the cracker’s flavor would come through with the sauce. Thankfully, it still does, and it surprisingly tastes okay with the crust’s flavor, but it’s not tasty enough that I’m going start replacing spaghetti noodles with Cheez-It crackers.

Pizza Hut’s Stuffed Cheez-It Pizza is something I’m happy I tried, but I wouldn’t purchase it again. Pizza is in its name, but to me, they seem more like super fancy cheesy breadsticks. Also, because the filling is so dense, it got a little too rich for me while in the middle of eating a second piece. But, if you love Cheez-It crackers, it’s something you should get one time because it’ll be neat to experience the snack in an unusual form.

Purchased Price: $7.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1 square) 240 calories, 15 grams of fat, 8 grams of saturated fat, 0 gram of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 430 milligrams of sodium, 16 grams of carbohydrates, less than 1 gram of fiber, 1 gram of sugar, and 9 grams of protein.

*Because I live on a rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, things are a bit pricier here. You’ll probably pay less than I did.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza (2019)

Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza  2019

It was a surprise to me when I heard Pizza Hut was “repairing” its Pan Pizza recipe, changing the type of cheese and, more important, utilizing a new baking method meant to “enhance” the crust’s flavor. I really didn’t know people even had a problem with it.

Recently, I went to the neighborhood Pizza Hut down the street from my house and ordered, for myself, a Personal Pan Pizza, making sure from the pizza-barista that they utilize this new process at about a fourth the size, just like they do their full-size. Confirmed and comfortable, I ordered one with pepperoni. The smell of the baking pizza floated about the small building, enticing me in a way the Hut never had before.

Brought to my table — that was fully emblazoned with Wing Street logos, natch — I opened up the adorable miniature pizza box and, after snapping a couple of pictures, gently pulled a small slice from the somewhat larger pie, the new cheese stringing across the box like it was being filmed for a recent commercial campaign.

Pizza Hut Original Pan Pizza  2019 Slice

Full steam ahead, I bit into the pan pizza; the cheese was notably different right from the start — a bit more heavy than usual and with somewhat more of a fuller bite — it was definitely an improvement on the old recipe. Using a part-skim mozzarella cheese, there seems to be far more of it, making it a wonderfully cheesy mess. The tomato sauce, additionally, melded very well to the cheese, pairing together like some well-worn partners in pizza-esque crime.

But, and this was what made it for me, the crust tasted absolutely new and improved. The buttery richness of the baked dough made me want a loaf of this as a crispy bread, with maybe the aforementioned melted cheese as a cruel dipping sauce of sorts. Can we get on this idea, Pizza Hut?

While the calorie count, even for a Personal, is quite loaded at 610 calories, it might be worth it on a special cheat day just to desperately try these modern improvements in the pizza-making abilities of Pizza Hut, no matter how long you’ve been away from or how often you likely go to the Hut. Cómpralo ya!

Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: Personal Pan Pizza
Rating: 8 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: 610 calories, 26 grams of fat, 10 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1260 milligrams of sodium, 69 grams of carbohydrates, 5 grams of fiber, 8 grams of sugar, and 25 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut Pepperoni P’Zone (2019)

Pizza Hut Pepperoni P Zone

When it comes to junk food nostalgia most of my flashbacks are of the sweet variety. Dunkaroos, Surge, and WWF’s Hulk Hogan cereal always pull me back to the simpler days, but there are a few savory items that I look back on with glowing glee as well. 3D Doritos tend to be at the top of most older millennial’s junk food wishlists, and I personally loved the Taco Doritos that seemed to vanish sometime in the early 2000s.

But recently, very recently, in fact, I was wondering what the hell happened to Pizza Hut’s P’Zone. For a company aligned with Taco Bell and known for making zany limited time items, I couldn’t understand why the company’s financially friendly twist on the calzone disappeared years ago without a proper farewell.

Suffer no more, the giant Hot Pocket of meat and cheese that I fell in love with as a stoned teenager in smoky basements is back, and it got a bit of a facelift.

Pizza Hut Pepperoni P Zone 2

The most immediate difference is in the appearance of the outer crust. While the 2019 P’Zone has the same shape and general size of the original, it’s covered in a toasted orange Parmesan that immediately evokes an asiago bagel. The original P’Zone was garnished with traditional pizzeria-style parmesan sprinkles and parsley, which sat nicely atop of golden brown dough. The new iteration still looks good, but it’s not the same as the one I fell in love with, and I just have to learn to let go.

The bagel experience doesn’t end with appearance. When I bite in, I wonder if I’m sitting inside of a Noah’s at 8 a.m. or on my couch with remote in hand at 8 p.m. The parmesan’s funky intensity stands out, but almost to a fault as I find it to be a bit distracting. When you pair the distinct sharp cheesiness with the bread’s pretty prominent fluffiness, the 2019 P’Zone does feel a bit more like a bagel than a pizza.

Pizza Hut Pepperoni P Zone Innards

The P’Zone was never as loaded as a true calzone, which tends to be thicker and taller and oftentimes a knife-and-fork situation; whereas Pizza Hut’s take is much more of a finger food with a flatter profile. The toppings inside, although not extremely dense, are good and present enough to bring the pizza pizazz I’m looking for.

Pizza Hut Pepperoni P Zone Dipped

Taken as it is the P’Zone is good but a bit underwhelming. However, when dunked into the generously sized cup of marinara sauce, it’s damn good. The pizza sauce brings some poppin’ acidity and moisture that makes the ‘zone taste much more fresh, engaging, and something I want more bites of.

While it isn’t quite as sensational as I remembered as a stoned teenager, I can’t help but be excited about the return of the budget-friendly and filling option at Pizza Hut. In the scope of chain pizza restaurants Pizza Hut isn’t really on my radar unless I’m craving its stuffed crust, but even then Little Caesars does an admirable job at a lower cost.

That being said, the P’Zone being back, as an apparent permanent addition to the menu, ensures I’ll be back at The Hut before the end of the year, and the buzz of its return is sure to lure many other early 2000s nostalgia hunters through its greasy shop doors in no time.

Purchased Price: $5.99
Size: N/A
Rating: 7 out of 10
Nutrition Facts: (1/2 P’Zone) 460 calories, 16 grams of fat, 7 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 1170 milligrams of sodium, 60 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of fiber, 12 grams of sugar, and 19 grams of protein.

REVIEW: Pizza Hut P’Zolo (Buffalo Chicken, Meat Trio, and Italian Steak)

Pizza Hut P'Zolo

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 show’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 I’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 off…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 don’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 didn’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.

Pizza Hut P'Zolo Buffalo Chicken

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 DVD’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 there’s no replacement for that, except a slug of whiskey.

Pizza Hut P'Zolo Meat Trio

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 P’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. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good pepperoni calzone but I’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 2008’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.

Pizza Hut P'Zolo Italian Steak

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’Zolo…not you, unless you’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 everyone’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. It’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 don’t have a use for the third one, except for that ZZ Top single.

(Nutritional Facts – 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 – 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 – 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
Size: N/A
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).