In the world of novelty food mash-ups, there are soaring highs and crushing lows. Nothing irks me more than a genius concept poorly executed, but nothing brings me more joy than when some evil junk food genius knocks it out of the park.
Luckily, Pizza Hut's new Grilled Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza is a triumph. Not only is it a distillation of drunken garbage-person dreams, but it is perhaps my favorite novelty pizza of all time. (To be fair, I am the exact demographic for this product and am writing this review pants-less, wearing a Pizza Hut–branded shirt that they sent me some time ago.)
The pizza arrived at 10:40 a.m. on a particularly bleary Monday morning. I wasn't expecting the pizza until noon, so I had to collect it in my unwashed, feral state. The delivery woman didn't seemed fazed, probably because I looked like the exact type of human that would start her day with an unholy mash-up of pepperoni pizza and grilled cheese sandwiches.
I brought the box back into my apartment and opened it to reveal the gloriously greasy pie within. It was so hauntingly and disturbingly beautiful, I took 77 photos of it with my DSLR.
Before I go on to describe this magnificent beast further, let's talk expectations. At the end of the day, this is a Pizza Hut pizza, and if you are not a fan of that particular chain, you probably won't be a fan of this. The non-crust portion of this pie is exactly what you would expect. It's got that whole floppy crust, sugary-sweet sauce, super-salty pepperoni thing going on, which I find delightful, but some do not. (This is all very obvious, but it has to be said, because this is the internet.)
Anyway, we're not really here to talk about the known factors; we're here to discuss the new, exciting features, a.k.a. this freaking grilled cheese crust situation. This crust is stuffed with not only mozzarella, but gooey, stretchy cheddar, and topped with melted butter, bread crumbs, and even more cheddar, which is browned and delightfully crispy. It is salty, greasy, crunchy nonsense that is indeed evocative of its namesake sandwich, and it is good. (It also reheats in the oven really well.)
It is, however, a bit of a challenge, both physically and mentally. (OK. Mostly physically.) To quote Liv Tyler's dad: Now there's not even breathing room between pleasure and pain. So, like, drink a lot of water or something. Maybe eat a carrot after. (I drank Diet Coke and did not eat a carrot, but I am not one to model one's life after.)
In terms of occasion, this is not an "anytime," casual, business-lunch pizza. I'm not saying you have to be in a chemically altered state to enjoy this particular pizza, but being either drunk or high does add to the experience. Being 12 would also help, but that's not something we have control over. (Let the record show that I am not suggesting 12-year-olds get drunk or high to eat this pizza. They don't need it. They have intestinal fortitude and childlike wonder on their side.)
Even I had to bring in some (stoned) backup, and we only managed about two pieces each. "This already hurts," my fellow taste-tester said, merely having gazed upon the pie. Later, after soldiering through his share, he pronounced it "a bad idea, but what you'd want to have around if you're stoned and playing video games all day."
In addition to being excellent Xbox fuel, this thing is a good friend to have after a particularly boozy evening, as confirmed around 12:30 Tuesday morning, after five cocktails and a sake flight. (It's been a rough week.)
Long story short: This is stunt food done correctly. It's greasy, salty, tasty, and slightly painful, and I would eat it again.