Tuesday, October 12, 2010

#52 !!! Celebrate!

Welcome to the fifty-second issue of Eat and Critique! Yes fans, that’s right, we’ve published a blog per week, almost without exception, for an entire year.
First and foremost I’d like to thank all you fans, especially those that have shared or forwarded the link to others. Second I’d like to thank Angel and Adam, without whom there would be no comedy in these things. I mean that as a compliment.

How does one celebrate a year of restaurant reviews?
I gave this a lot of thought. We could go to a favorite place, Trattoria Giuseppe (TG) or Bandanas, or Kim’s Café, or we could find a new place to kick off a new year. By Saturday, I was still drawing a blank. Adam had planted the notion of pizza earlier in the week. Pretty easy I first thought, TG serves pizza. I looked them up on the interwebs and discovered that they only serve pizza two nights per week, both during the week. Disappointed!
Next I looked for pizza buffets. Nada.
The problem with pizza joints is that you go in and order a pizza or two, and you get pizza, not much for sides except for those that taste just like pizza. And if you order a pizza or two, all your taste buds get is a pizza or two. It's like getting a burger with a side order of burger. Some Pizza Huts have lunch buffets, but not any nearby.
By Saturday afternoon, I still had no idea. To make matters worse, I wasn’t feeling very well. Angel and Adam had travelled to Springfield during the week and brought back some wontons and eggrolls, and also a disease. Angel’s niece Witney has a flock of lovely babies, and was apparently the source of this disease. Severe congestion, body aches, swollen, raspy throat, and a complete zapping of energy. Angel succumbed on Thursday and as usual I tried with all my might to avoid contact with her. Somehow though I caught it as well and by Saturday afternoon I was reviewing my will. I napped, which only made me more tired. Thanks a bunch Witney.
By the time she got home from a dog event around three, Adam was just getting up from his nap and they inquired as to our evening’s plans.
“I don’t feel well.” I answered.
“Oh no, you’ve got it too?” She asked, pretending to be concerned.
“Much worse, ten times worse than your trivial little bout of sniffles.”
“I told you” Adam whispered to his mother.
“Told you what?” I delicately inquired.
“Adam said he hoped you didn’t catch this thing because you always exaggerate how bad it is and then lie around and whine about it.” She answered. Adam chuckled.
“So you don’t feel like going out?” She asked.
“I wouldn’t want to make a scene by dropping dead on you in a public place.”
“That’s very sweet of you, how about I just order a couple of pizzas?”
“Sweet!” Adam cheered.
“Sure, whatever, what a glorious last meal.” I whined.

The Place:
Pizza Hut, DeSoto MO.
Of all the pizzas, of all the places, Pizza Hut is our default. Located in DeSoto, just ten or fifteen minutes from the house, it looks and feels exactly like the billion other Pizza Huts in the world. PH is a part of the Louisville Ky. based ‘Yum! Brands’ which also owns KFC, Taco Bell, A&W and Long John Silver. In addition Yum! owns ‘Dong Fang Ji Bai’ in China, which serves, believe it or not, Chinese food.
As a mega-chain Pizza Hut is rather generic. Unlike local or regional pizza places, the recipes at PH are pretty tame and homogenized. PH is to pizza what Taco Bell is to Mexican food. Hardly 'authentic' of anything, it’s pretty good, and it’s consistent.
We’ve never dined inside this PH, we just call in our order and go pick it up. That way we can have sides as we please and eat at our own pace. Angel called in the predictable order, Adam mounted up and headed out to pick it up. Angel then left me alone to suffer while she tended to the dogs. I lay moaning and suffering, watching Mythbuster reruns until she was out of sight, then switched back to the Lingerie Football League game on MTV2. I was suffering, sure, but these ladies play full contact football in their underpants!

The Food:
We ordered two large pizzas, a thin crust with everything, and a hand-tossed with pepperoni and black olives. We have to order two because Angel and I like lots of toppings, Adam does not. We get the thin crust for ours since Angel does the ordering and doesn’t really care about my preference, which is hand-tossed. She also ordered some bread sticks which seemed redundant, and an order of hot wings. I don’t care for hot wings, anybody’s. I find hot wings to be a gastronomic abomination. It’s just a small boney piece of chicken slathered in hot sauce. There’s typically so much hot sauce that the food item holding it is actually irrelevant. It's a one note tune and that note is loud and shrill.
Our pizza order is lopsided. Angel and I are to share the thin-everything, Adam gets the thicker, blandly topped one. I usually compromise/cheat and have equal portions of each, Adam’s for the crust cravings and ours for the toppings.
This night, feeling as bad as I did, I held back. I just had one slice of each along with a redundant, yet satisfying bread stick.
I heard Angel heading back up the steps just as the game was ending and Adam pulled into the driveway. I switched back to Mythbusters just in case the post-game show played highlights. (I usually enjoy the highlights since it usually involves the players adjusting their equipment.)
Angel and Adam lapped up some hot wings and piled their plates with pizza, I chowed down on my measly portions and read a book. I had made tea, so that was excellent. What can I say, I like Pizza Hut pizza. I like other pizza as well, but PH is simple, good, and consistent. Nothing fancy, nothing wild, just simply predictable and good.

Summary:
The price is reasonable, the food is quite good, but it lacks variety. The breadsticks were essentially pizza dough without sauce or toppings. If you order their pasta, you’ll notice that the red sauce tastes a LOT like their pizza sauce. PH is like Taco Bell in another way, it’s basically a fixed set of ingredients with various combinations of those same ingredients used to imitate a variety of selections.
I wasn’t very hungry so I didn’t eat much. By the end of dinner there was about half of each pizza leftover, perfect for a Sunday morning breakfast.

So that's how we celebrated a full year of Eat and Critique. Again, we appreciate your taking time to read and hopefully enjoy the effort, and we promise to keep digging, keep exploring. We'll keep eating out so you don't have to.

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