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Drive-thru review: Pizza Hut climbs aboard the flatbread bandwagon

By: Ken Hoffman King Features Syndicate
July 8, 2013
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"Style" is the scariest word in the drive-thru. "Style" usually means sort of, kind of like, squint your eyes and you can't tell the difference. But you always can.

Pizza Hut takes style an extra step on the confusion chart with Firebaked Style Flatbread Pizza.

I'm not even sure what the Hut is shooting for with "Firebaked." Does it mean "wood-fired?" "Open-flame?" "Over hot coals?" "A campfire?"

Whatever - here's Pizza Hut climbing aboard the flatbread express, roping in health-conscious, figure-minded customers looking to shave a few calories off their guilty pleasure.

Here's the blueprint: six individual rectangles of pizza prepared on ultra-thin crust. Customers can pick up to three different toppings, three different ways. That means you can have pepperoni, green peppers and onions on two slices; sausage, beef and mushrooms on two other slices; and bacon, olives and jalapenos on the last two slices. Or just pepperoni. Or plain cheese.

So many choices.

For this review, my first dip in the Pizza Hut Flatbread pool, I went for straight pepperoni - the people's choice.

The retail price of $11.99 is pretty heavy for a Pizza Hut pie, especially with the Hut running its "Any Pizza for $10" special. But the six flatbread pieces - if stuck together - would be 14 percent bigger than a large Pizza Hut pie.

Six of one ... more than eight of another.

Here's why I liked the Firebaked Style Flatbread Pizza. One, I like choice. I tend to eat an entire pizza by myself, over time, and with the Flatbread's three-way options, I get two pieces each of three different pizzas.

Two, the crust is super thin and crispy. It's practically a cracker - thinner and crustier than Pizza Hut's regular thin crust.

You can either enjoy your calories and fat grams via toppings (yay!) or blow them on crust (dumb).

Top that!

With six rectangular pieces, you get extra edge square footage. While the Firebaked Style Flatbread Pizzas aren't baked in a local joint's brick oven or coal-fired oven, the edges are still crispy and crunchy.

The flavor of these pizzas is as close to a mom-and-pop pizzeria as a national delivery chain has gotten.

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