ReviewAL: Pizza Hut’s Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust

pizza

Earlier this month Pizza Hut release it’s newest variation of their stuffed crust pizza, the “grilled cheese stuffed crust”. But what is the actual difference between this new variation and the classic stuffed crust? You also may be wandering, hasn’t Pizza Hut tried gimmicks like this before? Is it even worth my money to stray from the original?

The History

Pizza Hut has always been the best in fast food pizza to me. Founded in 1958 in my hometown of Wichita, KS; I’ve always been partial to Pizza Hut over Dominos, Papa John’s, Godfather’s, Ken’s Pizza, CiCi’s, Little Caesars, Pizza Inn, Pizza Village, even Mazzio’s. This loyalty to Pizza Hut may have been started with a program that targeted young students call “Book It” which gave incentives for reading a certain number of books. Getting a personal pan pizza was always worth reading a stack of books. Therein, my addiction began.

Pizza Hut has always been there for me. All their crusts are delicious, from their Thin N’ Crispy to their Deep Dish, and their marinara is especially addictive. My favorite of their crusts has always been the stuffed crust, introduced in 1995. The crust becomes a delightful cheese breadstick appetizer in and of itself, genius! Fun fact, Donald Trump was one of the first to promote Pizza Hut’s stuffed crust in this TV commercial.

Not only is there genius in the concept of the stuffed crust, but Pizza Hut has also attempted to add novelty and variety to their stuffed crust pizza a number of times. The image below tracks the history of the stuffed crust.

pizza-hut-stuffed-crust-chart

It’s just bonkers to me that the grilled cheese stuffed crust is actually the third iteration of the stuffed crust this year alone! What an age we live in. But I digest…

The Review

Last night, Jennifer ordered for us the grilled cheese stuffed crust while I was at the gym attempting to justify the calories I was about to consume. I went and picked it up and immediately noticed a difference in the smell. The original stuffed crust is pure mozzarella while this new variation features some mozzarella but mostly is stuffed with cheddar. This seems slightly ironic as I imagine most everyone remembers making grilled cheeses with slices of American cheese, but I’m a fan of cheddar so whatevs. The cheese was delicious but was far from the only change.

The crust itself is cooked with a butter and breadcrumb blend on top. Sounds like a small change but actually gives the crust a pleasant crunchiness the original does not have. It actually did make me think of the crispness of the butter cooked on the bread of a grilled cheese sandwich.

This iteration of the stuffed crust is the ultimate in pizza comfort food. I still refuse to eat the crust first, but I’m very happy to have tried it. I rate the Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust 9 out of 10 slices. I don’t suspect it’ll be around for a terribly long time given the track record on these variations of the original stuffed crust, so try it soon and let me know what you think! Do you agree with my rating? What is your favorite variation of the stuffed crust pizza?

Thanks for reading pizza pals!

 

P.S. Some of you may remember that Mad TV poked fun at Pizza Hut and did a sketch some time ago. Still pretty hilarious!

Advertisements

SpirituAL: The “Balanced” Life

balance

Before I came to be a Youth Minister, I worked as a bank teller. I handled the deposits and withdrawals of thousands of accounts within my 4 year stint working for the bank. During this time, it was incredible to see how people would interact with a stranger who could see their savings, their loans, their written checks, their entire transaction history. People would sometimes be very uncomfortable. Other times people were embarrassed and would overshare to attempt to justify why they couldn’t maintain balance in their accounts. Their balance had a very real influence on how they measured their self worth.

The most frequent request from the typical bank customer was, “Would you check my balance, please?” I always wanted to respond to this question by looking them straight in the eye, walk around my teller station, stand uncomfortably close to them, and then give them a good push. Once they looked up at me from the ground I would say, “It’s not very good…” But I digress…

I’ve never been a particularly well-balanced person. This isn’t a commentary on my mental health or my athleticism. I’m merely stating that I don’t consider myself to live a perfectly balanced life. I procrastinate more than I should, I let daily disciplines slide… well, daily, and my diet is about 70% pizza. I’ve always perceived the balanced life as the embodiment of what the most successful version of my life would look like. People read all kinds of books and articles on what the 7 secrets of successful people are to live a balanced life. They too chase after this well balanced, successful version of themselves. And why shouldn’t we?

It’s been ingrained in us that to be truly successful, one needs to somehow find balance. You should find balance in your family and your career, your financial and your spiritual, your physical health and your social life. The whole process of finding balance seems even more maddening when the variable that is life comes into play. Take care of your physical body, get injured in a car accident. Work to the top of your company, and it declares bankruptcy. Keep your bank account healthy, both family vehicles break down. I’m usually not a cynic but the reality is that life does happen. I’m sure Job in the Old Testament felt pretty well-balanced and certainly successful before his life was a series of unfortunate events that would make Lemony Snicket blush.

Now I want to be understood, I’m not advocating for a life formed around Chaos Theory (Dr. Malcolm) or even Murphy’s Law. I’m certainly not saying that living a balanced life has no value, because it does. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 reminds us that there is balance to life. There are many Proverbs that speak to the importance of finding balance so that it may go well with you. The Bible is very much in favor of God’s people finding balance and being successful. The problem is our perspective on what success looks like.

It’s no secret that the world’s definition of success would contrast greatly with God’s definition of success. What would you say is God’s definition of success? I like reading Bible questions at GotQuestions.org and they address this question with Biblical soundness.

“Picture two hands. In the right hand there are the offer of true contentment, the ability to handle life’s problems without being overcome by them, amazing peace that sees us through all circumstances, wisdom to know what to do, knowledge and constant direction for life, love for others, acceptance of ourselves, joy no matter what, and at the end of life, an eternity with the God who freely gives all these gifts. The other hand holds all the money and power and success the world has to offer, without any of what the right hand holds. Which would you choose? The Bible says, “Where your treasure is, there also is your heart” (Matthew 6:21). That which is in the right hand is the biblical definition of success.”

In Proverbs 11:1 we read that “A false balance is an abomination to the Lord,
    but a just weight is his delight.” (ESV) 

While I agree wholeheartedly that the Lord wishes us to have balance in our life, I think it’s important to remember who’s scales we are using to judge that balance. Certainly we shouldn’t buy in to the world’s definition of balance and we shouldn’t trust even our own scales that are rife with agendas, egos, and skewed perspectives. Trusting God’s scales, his definition of the balanced life we are to pursue is the only way to truly live and fulfill our purpose.

I’ll end with with this. At my teller station at that bank, I wrote down a verse that I always kept where I could read it everyday. The verse is Matthew 6:24 which I thought was clever or something because the verse talks about how you can’t serve two masters and it cites God and money as examples of two masters you have to choose between. However, I also now have an understanding of how unbalanced our lives should be. No matter what falls on our scale, no matter what weight life can throw our way, God will always outweigh it. As Christians, we are called to make God our one and only King. Christ came preaching a life of imbalance. An eye for an eye? How about turn the other cheek. Curse those who curse you? How about pray for your enemies. Want to be first? Want to be great? Make yourself last and serve others. Seek the life that is Biblically balanced.