Tooling around somewhere in East J@@@@, or maybe it was Bumf####, Kansas late one night, I pulled into the local burg in search of the local pizza. No such luck. But man, it’s DINNER TIME. Oh, who am I kidding, I don’t eat by the clock! Wait, it could have been Eastern Colorado, I had been food-deprived for a couple hours, so my confusion is understandable. In any case, all to be found was a Pizza Hut, so I decided to try the “Big Italy”, which they have been spending money promoting lately. The “Big Italy” is almost ‘two feet’ of pizza, 18 slices, and promises “Italian spices baked right into Pizza Hut’s signature ‘hand-tossed’ crust.
I am starting to notice that both the Hut and KFC are taking a lesson from sister company Taco Bell’s playbook: take 5 or 6 core ingredients, make them into a different shape, call them something else, and charge a different price point. The appearance of a wide variety menu with no R &D costs.
And that’s what appears has created the “Big Italy”, which is awfully reminiscent of the “Bigfoot” pie from several years ago. The Hut rolls out and drops new products willy-nilly, since there are no development costs involved, being as they all use the same ingredients.
OK, so here’s where it gets ugly. This store was filthy. The two-handled knife used to slice the pie had encrusted bits of sauce and meat on it. If I objected, I am sure the guy would have said, “oh, that adds to the depth of the flavor.” My wardrobe wasn’t safe either, as the sauce from the pie somehow managed to make a nice splatter design on my favorite burger shirt, previously pure white, but now looking like it had dots of ketchup as part of its design.
It was quite a struggle for the dude to get the pie in its bag. The Hut hasn’t built special packaging for this pie, it sits on a length of cardboard and gets shoved (literally) into a brown kraft paper sack, adored with a small round Pizza Hut sticker. Those little “doll house tables” pizzerias used to keep the packaging off the pie were no help here, they collapsed as the pie was pushed into the bag. This should have been a two-man operation, clearly.
The toppings and sauce were standard Hut ingredients. I have a pie from the Hut on occasion, but it’s always the thin crust. This original “hand-tossed” was floury, and almost tasted like matzoh. It was crisp around the edges, and even with only two toppings (you can have three for the $12 price), the middle of the pizza was thin and soggy. The outer edge was crisp, but the farther in you went, the integrity of the crust deteriorated.
Trying to navigate the middle, all I could think of is how many kid’s shirts and blouses this pie was destined to ruin. That’s if they can actually get the piece to their mouth without loosing all the toppings en route, because that is pre-ordained.
The Big Italy is a sloppy mess of a pizza, with a poor tasting crust, and standard Pizza Hut toppings. I am fairly confident one day I will be able to go in a Hut, and just order by shape, like I do at Taco Bell: “give me the pentagon……the tube thing……that square dealy-thingie.”
Is there good news? It’s a helluva value at $12, considerably less than two mediums, and more square footage, as well.