I don't know if it's due to flagging sales or if it's just a way to get people talking about their restaurants again, but Pizza Hut Canada seems to be fully committed to the gimmick pizza game. They only recently introduced the Crown Pizza, which featured cheese and meatballs baked into the crust; clearly someone at Pizza Hut HQ realized that this wasn't quite ridiculous enough. They can do better. It was with that in mind, I'm sure, that Pizza Hut released their latest wave of gimmick pizzas, including Creamy Butter Chicken, Asian BBQ, and most ridiculously, Cheesy Beef Poutine. Yes, poutine on a pizza. I am inexplicably drawn to terrible novelty items from fast food chains (which almost never ends well for me), so I obviously had to try this.
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[Photograph: Adam Kuban] Aww, hell. I was all ready to write a damn "Reality Check" review of this thing, and was indeed about three-quarters through it, when I went to look up something on the box. Ugh. In the fine print, right below the admonition to "Cook before serving" (duh), is the warning, "Pizza must be baked in a regular oven. Never use a toaster oven or portable oven. Failure to follow all instructions on package may cause smoke, and rare cases, fire."...
The folks from Red Baron parachuted in last week with an assortment of new products that should be appearing in your local freezer section soon. Perhaps the one that interested me the most was their By the Slice microwaveable pizza. I mean, look at the box. It says "By the SLICE" on it, with the emphasis on SLICE, as if they were trying to get my attention. It's billed as "the first microwaveable slice of pizza that provides unbelievable pizza taste from the microwave." "Unbelievable," huh? That sounds like a challenge, so I figured I'd put the stuff through its paces in a Reality Check.
According to Pizza Hut's chief marketing officer, Brian Niccol, "The arrival of Stuffed Crust Pan Pizza is the biggest news to hit our Pan Pizza in nearly three decades... I didn't think it was possible to make our Pan Pizza any better, but with the addition of a ring of melted cheese stuffed deep into the crust, we've created a pizza that hits the jackpot." Jackpot, eh?