Pizza Hut to me and my family is something of a staple. They've been in operation over 50 years now, and I've been a patron for 30 of those years. Forget Zwieback Teething Toast, I cut my teeth on Pizza Hut pizza crust. For about 10 years straight, Friday nights in my house were Pizza Hut night complete with a large pepperoni and extra cheese crust.
For a while, I'll admit - I strayed. My body's needs changed and I desired a lighter, thinner crust. For those times, another famous pizza chain fit the bill. For a long while, I cleaned up my eating habits and saw pizza as the enemy and accordingly I stayed away. Since having married however, I have been drawn back in by a husband who is as married to Pizza Hut pizza as I once was.
Pizza Hut is probably best well-known for their pan pizza - named so because it is baked in a deep-dish pan. Its crust is thick, golden brown, crispy and glazed with a light coating of oil which, although perhaps not the best choice for healthy cholesterol, is irresistible in its crispy crackly texture.
Recently, I've reignited a love affair I once had with the salad bar that is available in most full-service Pizza Hut restaurants. I've always been a healthy consumer of vegetables thanks to constant offerings at the dinner table while I was growing up, but in recent years as I've uncovered all the health benefits of consuming fresh foods from nature, I've become somewhat obsessed and now crave vegetables as much as I sometimes crave chocolate.
Now, one of my favorite things to do with my husband is have dinner at our local Pizza Hut. He fills up on pizza and bread sticks. I gorge myself on lettuce, carrots, broccoli, bell peppers, cheese and a drizzle of dressing. Then I enjoy a slice or two of pepperoni pizza. That way I get the best of everything - fresh vegetable great for my health, cheesy irresistible pizza and a fully satisfied belly.
Pizza Hut's most recent transformation has been a highly publicized offering of pastas. Am I crazy, or does anyone else remember that Pizza Hut has always had spaghetti and ziti on the menu? OK, I understand - they're offering NEW pastas, and they want to make sure we know about it. Point taken.
Among the new pasta offerings are a rotini in a marina meat sauce, a chicken Alfredo, and a mac and cheese with bacon.
In my humble opinion, they are all delicious although I have to say the Alfredo chicken with its smooth, subtle cheese flavor is probably my favorite. The meaty marina has a somewhat spicy kick which is exciting on the taste buds, and the mac and cheese is creamy with a rich mouth-feel.
All of the pastas are baked, and come to the table with a lovely crust of golden baked cheesy deliciousness.
When delivered, an aluminum tin nestled inside a cardboard box keeps them hot and tasty until they reach your door. If you're a regular consumer of take-out, pasta delivered to your door is a great alternative to having pizza delivered.
Pizza Hut has come a long way from the dark wood paneling of 20 years ago. They are emerging with a new image to meet the demands of a new generation, and if they keep turning out great pizza, fresh salad and terrific pasta, I pledge that future generations of my family will also get the chance to cut their teeth on a nice, thick pizza crust (and maybe a piece of broccoli for a well-balanced nosh).