It’s Friday and you know what that means – it’s time for another fast-food review. This time around, I take Pizza Hut’s new Crown Crust Pizza for a spin.
The recently launched product features your standard pizza, but the outside crust has meatballs and cheese baked into it, in alternating slices. Here’s the amusing commercial:
The pizza’s arrival in Canada is somewhat unusual, given that it’s not yet available in the United States. That’s something of a reversal of fortunes, given that parent Yum Brands has so far opted not to sell Doritos tacos – available through Taco Bell, another of its chains – in Canada. The original Crown Crust pizzas, with cheeseburgers and chicken filets, were first introduced in the Middle East.
Ordering the pizza wasn’t entirely smooth. The wife and I tried to do it online, but with her being a vegetarian and me being a meat-atarian, we were concerned about the meatball-cheeseball distribution. Pizza Hut’s website sticks to the alternating slice format and doesn’t let you group them together onto one side of the pizza, which would have made it a little awkward for us to eat.
We called in instead and the guy on the phone had no problem taking our request for meatballs only on the meat side, cheese only on the veggie side.
When the pizza arrived, I was pretty shocked at how small it was. We ordered a large, but the box it came in dwarfed it. I don’t usually order from Pizza Hut so I’m not sure if they messed up the size, or if the pizzas are generally that small. In any event, we dug in.
I have to take a time out here to explain that, for my money, Chicago has the best pizza. After a trip there a few years ago where I engorged myself on some of the best deep-dish sausage pies I’d ever had, I tried desperately to find something in Toronto that approximated it. Believe it or not, I found Pizza Hut to be the closest. That’s not to say Pizza Hut has the best pizza in Toronto (far from it), but I did find it to be most reminiscent of the style used in Chicago. Maybe it was the sauce or the cheese? I’m not sure.
Anyhow, Pizza Hut’s pizza is edible enough, so the main part of our order was perfectly acceptable. It’s when we got to the main attraction – the crust itself – that things went downhill.
On my end, I found the meatballs to be dry and dull. There just wasn’t much taste to them; it felt like I was chewing on something as interesting as paper. The wife wasn’t very thrilled with her side either – the cheese is actually cream cheese, which she said tasted like XXXX.
While many people (the wife included) tend to normally throw out their crusty end bits, I actually quite like them. With the Crown Crust, however, I came to actually dread them by the time I got to the last few slices. Indeed, on the very last piece, I chucked the meatball entirely and just ate the crust.
In my books, this one’s a dud. It makes me wish I had tried the hot-dog-stuffed crust when it was around. While it also sounded horrible to refined eaters, I bet it was infinitely tastier.