We’re not afraid to say it: We hate Pizza Hut! We don’t like it. Of the big pizza chains they are the worst. Domino’s is okay, we adore Little Caesars, Papa John’s we’ve never had and don’t care to try, but Pizza Hut is just plain garbage. It’s greasy, it’s overpriced, its pizza sauce is so acidic it could burn through steel, it’s SO greasy, we hate it! It’s bad.
Yes, we know we’re weird for putting Little Caesars above Pizza Hut. But Pizza Hut is so baaad though! So please understand that it took something as radical as introducing Detroit-Style Pizza to their menu to get us to eat there again. We love Detroit deep dish. Little Caesars introduced it to us, and it’s everything that we expected deep dish pizza to be: the fluffy, chewy crust, the X-Tra Cheese, the ladlefuls of sauce… Oh it’s the best kind of pizza there is, and so much better than Chicago’s tomato casserole excuse for a pizza.
What choice did we have? If Pizza Hut was going to be the second big pizza place to get into Detroit pizza, we knew it would be the perfect opportunity for seeing where the sublime meets the mundane. Could Pizza Hut hope to pull this regional variation off?
We hadn’t ordered from Pizza Hut in a very long time, so we were surprised that our location had transitioned entirely to curbside pickup. This is a good thing, we think. We like not even having to get out of our car to get a pizza, but we feel bad for the employees. It gets very cold here! There should be a kind of tube you attach to your car window, like an old drive-in theater speaker.
First off, this pizza cost twelve dollars. That’s way more than we are normally comfortable paying for a major chain pizza. We like to get those $5.99 deals, or better yet, shop at a place like $5 Pizza and get a large pie for (you guessed it) five dollars. This is also a small pizza. It’s about three-quarters the size of a regular large pie, though we guess that’s just raw square surface area and the extra thickness of the crust makes up for that. For reference, the deep dish pizza at Little Caesars costs nine dollars. We could get a “Three Meat Treat” deep dish for the same price, where at Pizza Hut you only get pepperoni. We would never, ever get this pie for an everyday supper! I mean, at Little Caesars you can get the $5 lunch combo with four slices of deep dish and a soda!
The pizza is constructed in a different way from the norm. The cheese is directly on the crust, then on goes the pepperoni, then a big old spoonful of tomato sauce is ladled on top. Deep dish is almost always more sauce-forward than the regular kind of pizza. It’s too bad that Pizza Hut’s sauce was invented as a scam to sell more antacids. The pepperoni used in these pizzas is also different: it’s the “cup” kind of pepperoni that’s cut thicker allowing the slices to curl into little crispy bowls of grease. This works great with the sauce-on-top method, because the pepperoni cups collect the sauce and make little bombs of oil and tomato in your mouth.
The thing that makes Detroit style pizza so good is its crust. It’s a thick, chewy crust, baked in a square pan (according to legend it used to be baked in spare oil pans). Pizza Hut delivers on this front. The crust was perfectly crisp on the outside, chewy on the inside, and warm and fluffy throughout. Honestly, we really liked this pizza. It was an acid bomb, but in a good way. Combined directly with the pepperoni grease, the tomato sauce was more flavorful than usual, and the cheese being directly on the bread kept the crust springy and soft.
However, we wouldn’t get this pizza again. Yeah, we liked it a lot, but it’s really not worth that kind of price. We can get pizza just good enough at Little Caesars with half the indigestion. Why bother with Pizza Hut prices for Pizza Hut quality ‘za?
If there’s anything we can say, it’s that we’re really excited that Detroit-style pizza might be hitting the mainstream. We really wish it had been a different chain to be the second to this fad. At least Little Caesars is a real Detroit-based company.