I was excited when Pizza Hut introduced a gluten-free crust in the UK, and had been meaning to risk cross-contamination and try it. Homemade crust is great when you have the time and energy, and I’m glad to have good access to decent frozen pizzas to embellish, and GF pitas or naans to use as a base–but, I’ve really missed just being able to order a pizza! It’s taken a while to try, since the nearest dine-in location is not so convenient with me gimpy from the celiac complications, and our not having a car. Which is pretty frustrating, in itself, since that’s less than a mile and a half away, and I used to walk or cycle to the Homebase and Pets At Home there pretty often. There used to be another location in Romford town centre, but it closed for some reason several years back.
They started out launching the GF crust only in dine-in locations, but I see now that it is apparently now also available from delivery-only ones from a couple of weeks ago, which is handy!
But, we needed to go by the vet’s in Pets At Home over the weekend to pick up some more Advocate for the cats (it’s never not flea season, in this climate!), and Mr. Sweden suggested popping in Pizza Hut for a late lunch.
He can eat the regular crust, but we ended up splitting a Cajun Sizzler and a Best Ever Supreme (*hollow laughter*). Not surprisingly, the selection in UK restaurants is different from what I’m used to in the US, and it’s been better than five years since I was in a Pizza Hut at all, so I had a hard time deciding what to get. Here’s the official menu, BTW. The GF crust only comes in a 9″ square, to easily distinguish it from any of the wheat crusts, and the size was about right for one person.
Well, the crust had a pretty good texture and flavor. It got a little dry mouthfeel as it cooled down, but overall I was impressed. They did well with the crust recipe.
But, I won’t be going back to that location for more pizza, because they were so stingy with the toppings, including sauce, that I ended up having to add some caesar dressing and pickled jalapeño rings from the salad bar for lubrication! The regular pizzas on other tables looked the same with that, so I think it’s just a subpar Pizza Hut location.
Most of what I could taste with the Cajun Sizzler was the crust and chile rings. I was remembering it as a Cajun Chicken Sizzler, because the one we got didn’t have any pepperoni at all–but it was apparently supposed to, looking at the menu now. They were even skinchy with the onions. There wasn’t much chicken, either, but that did have a pleasant seasoning.
The “Supreme” had a little more flavor from mostly the pepperoni, but yeah. I would be embarrassed to serve something like that, for (I think) £8.95. Mr. Sweden paid, and I wasn’t paying much attention to the price. It isn’t clear on the online menu, but I think they are charging “regular” size price for the smaller GF crust version. (Fair enough.)
I didn’t want to complain too much at the time, since the hub was thoughtful in suggesting it and then sharing pizzas when I couldn’t decide what to get, but yeah. Overall, it was a disappointing experience, but I am chalking it up to a not-so-great individual restaurant location. And, now that I know it’s available now, I look forward to trying some more from the delivery-only location just down the road. If I weren’t already cooking some red beans for tonight, I might call it Pizza Night.
That was Sunday, and today (Tuesday) I am still not noticing any ill effects. So, maybe the round of restaurant roulette was OK from a cross-contamination standpoint. *crosses fingers* I seem to be less sensitive to traces than some, though, in terms of violent symptoms, so YMMV even at that restaurant location. (It probably doesn’t do much for nutrient absorption, anyway, and I’ve been trying to be more careful lately.)
Still to try: the Dominos version. Even though I have some problems with the parent company’s political activity in the US, and how they treat their workers: I’ll take extra cheese, olives, no homophobia (the two things are not unconnected, AFAICT). At least the corporate Operation Rescue ties are false, according to Snopes, though I am not pleased with the personal contributions there. Desperate celiac pizza lover here, though.
Also, I see that there is a nearby Zizzi location, serving GF pastas besides risottos, which I am totally going to have to try, even if they don’t have GF pizzas or calzones.