PIzza Hut’s New Pizza Melt Leaves Us With More Questions Than Answers | Dallas Observer

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Pizza Hut’s New Pizza Melt Leaves Us With More Questions Than Answers

Pizza Hut now sells pre-folded pizza, answering a question that no one really asked.
Pizza Hut now sells pre-folded pizza, answering a question that no one really asked. Chris Wolfgang
Never one to leave well enough alone, Pizza Hut has a new take on its venerable pizza. It's known as the Pizza Melt. If the initial marketing is to be trusted, the company would prefer that you not talk about it at all, like some kind of pizza-based Fight Club.

When the Melts launched late last year, Pizza Hut offered the first customers cold hard cash not to talk about the food. Specifically, the first customers could win themselves $100 if they didn’t share any pictures of the item on their social media, because, so sayeth the chain, Pizza Hut Melts aren’t for sharing.

In a press release, Pizza Hut claims, “We like to say – pizza is for WE, Melts are for ME because sometimes you want the delicious taste of pizza all for yourself without having to order and share an entire pie.”

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Pizza Hut liberally sprinkles some herbed Parmesan mixture on its Melts, which bumps up the flavor.
Chris Wolfgang
So, this is us thumbing our noses at Pizza Hut. We are going to talk about Melts, because hard-hitting food journalism like this can’t be bought and sold on the whims of some faceless corporation (at least that's what our bosses told us to say).

Our esteemed food editor wasn’t persuaded by the bribe to say silent either, but judging by her repeated emails and texts over the past few weeks that seem to drop tangental references to Melts with reckless abandon, we started to think she might have been on the Pizza Hut payroll. She claimed the Melts were delicious, so on a solo Sunday night at home, we ordered two of them to judge for ourselves.

Don’t get us wrong. We see the appeal, both of a Pizza Hut order for one, and Pizza Hut as a whole. Sure, there are better pizza options all around North Texas. But while your local pizza joint may do just one style of pizza, Pizza Hut offers a range of crust options and a variety of toppings that go beyond the traditional, such as barbecue chicken or stuffed crusts. Plus, Pizza Hut is going to be the same wherever you are, from Fort Worth to Forney, Cedar Hill to Celina.

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Where's the beef? Pepperoni Lover Melt is a lover scorned.
Chris Wolfgang
And on its face, a $6.99 Pizza Hut Melt is a good option for the solo diner, assuming you don’t want pizza for leftovers the next morning. But ordering for delivery, like any other restaurant experience, comes with extra costs. Add a $4.99 delivery fee, tax and a couple of bucks for your driver, and you’re over $20 for two melts.

Also, unless your cravings for Pizza Hut fit in one of the four proffered varieties (Pepperoni Lovers, Meat Lovers, Bacon Chicken Parmesan or Buffalo Chicken), you’re out of luck; there’s no current method to build a custom melt. Each melt comes with a dipping sauce: ranch for the Buffalo chicken or chicken bacon parm, and marinara for pepperoni or meat lovers. There are no sauce substitutions either. Apparently doling out all that hush money early on means Pizza Hut sets the rules in stone.

Our Pepperoni Lover and Chicken Bacon Melts arrived fairly quickly, courtesy of a delivery driver who reeked of cigarette smoke and looked like he’d been on a three-day bender. Maybe he was just tired of delivering Melts. We threw a fiver onto the bill out of pure guilt, not knowing that more shame was yet to come.

A Melt is essentially two slices of Pizza Hut’s Thin-n-Crispy pizza, pre-folded along the seam like a New Yorker might do, then baked. There’s some kind of herbed Parmesan seasoning sprinkled on the crust, which steps up the flavor. And the whole thing is pleasantly crispy, even after delivery, almost like a pizza quesadilla.

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The Chicken Bacon Parmesan Melt is, dare we say it, not bad.
Chris Wolfgang
The Pepperoni Lover is a lover scorned when it comes to pepperoni; we peeled back one half to find just three thin slices inside our Melt. And Pizza Hut’s marinara is loaded with sugar, which hides most of the tomato flavor. The better option was the Chicken and Bacon. Not only was it visibly thicker with cubes of chicken breast and chunks of bacon, but it tastes better too. Naturally, we dipped our Melt with abandon into the included ranch dressing cup, if only because we imagined Jay Jerrier twitching in agony with every bite.

In the interest of restraint, we won’t go into the intestinal duress one might experience after eating two Pizza Hut Melts, but let’s just say the probability of such duress is higher than normal, especially if Pizza Hut isn't in your regular dietary rotation. Also high is our sense of shame in eating both melts in a hangry moment of weakness disguised as story research.

We also think we overpaid, and here’s why. Two Melts (let’s be honest, no one is ordering a solo Melt) is effectively eight slices of pizza, pre-folded for the unforgivingly lazy; it rings up at $13.98. Meanwhile, a large three-topping Thin-n-Crispy is $12.99, and is also eight slices. Are we really outsourcing the folding of our pizza slices for us because we can’t be troubled to do so on our own? In this economy?

For Pizza Hut, the answer seems to be a resounding yes. Will we order it again? That answer is less clear, but if we do, hopefully we'll be responsible enough to order just one.
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Chris Wolfgang started writing about barbecue for the Dallas Observer in 2015, and became the Observer’s restaurant critic in October 2021. In his free time, he’s a dog owner, plays a mediocre guitar and is likely recovering from his latest rec-league sports injury.
Contact: Chris Wolfgang

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