The greatest trick Pizza Hut ever pulled was convincing the world it had more than one kind of good stuffed-crust pizza. The Hut has found a way to cram, bowl and thread cheese into the crust in confounding ways over the years, and the newest version is the Cheesy Bites Pizza. It's a tie-in to Michael Bay's CGI-bloated Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles reboot.
What this one is: the strangest looking pizza you've ever seen, with a crust that's made of 28 Invasion of the Body Snatcher-like pods filled with the cheese. Each pizza slice has 3-4 tearable-crust things, and it comes with a big cup of tomato sauce for dipping.
It was my first time to try a pizza with a non-linear crust, and it was also my first time to order at an actual, physical Pizza Hut location. After ordering, my name went up on the monitor like I was on pizza standby, which made me hope I'd get bumped up to pizza first class.
An episode of E! network's Botched was on the waiting room TV. This episode was about a woman whose boob implants got turned upside down in her boob. The nice Pizza Hut employee gave me the remote, in case the image of upside-down, mangled boobs didn't bolster my appetite for cheesy bites. As a weird parting gift, the same employee crammed maybe 400,000 packages of Parmesan and red pepper into the box.
The first thing you sense when you order the cheesy bites pizza is the buttery garlic smell. It's a punch in the face. When you open the box, you're hit with this wave of visual confusion because the pizza looks like something from Dark Crystal. The Lady Friend exclaimed, "Is this a slice of pizza? What the hell is happening here?"
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It's OK. There's a wild boat rope of cheese filled crustles!
There's good news-bad news with the Cheesy Bites pizza. The bad news first: A lot of the cheese pooled out of stuffed pods onto the box. The good news is: Those little cheese pools got crisped up into cheese discs that were mostly awesome when you dip them into the tomato sauce. I ordered it with sausage, which was $11.99.
For the Ninja Turtle tie-in: I think the Hut should up the ante. Is it too much to ask for my pizza to come with breadsteak nunchucks? Or come with a wearable Shredder's helmet made of mozzarella?
The pizza has potential -- if only it could keep the cheese inside those tiny crust bombs. The real issue with new versions stuffed crust pizza is: Once you've had one stuffed=crust pizza, you can closely approximate what every other pizza after that will taste like. You're better off just sticking with the original stuffed crust, which we'll call Splinter. Don't disrespect Splinter. Also, the original stuffed crust will soak up pretty much any cocktail you've had that night without confounding you as to what the hell you're eating.