Pizza Hut has wings, but you may just want to stick to the pizza

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By: Michael Tomkomiketomko@outlook.com

Michael Tomko

When it comes to fast food pizza, Pizza Hut is usually the first one that comes to mind. Its red-topped restaurants pepper commercial areas across the USA.

The pizza parlor décor and lunch buffets have been bringing in families for decades and until recently, it was the only fast food place where you could actually order a beer with your meal.

Growing up in northwest Indiana, we had so many local specialized pizza places that we stayed away from the big chains. I didn’t even eat Papa John’s until I got to college.

The only time we would wander into a Pizza Hut was when my brothers and I got our fifth star on the Book-It button and were entitled to a free personal pan pizza. My mother would take all three of us in, where we would fight over who got to play the sit-down Ms Pac-Man arcade game first. I remember waiting so long for the pizza to be ready, but when it came to the table it was so good, as it was fresh out of the pan and we got to have our own pizza to ourselves.

After college while working at my first job, Pizza Hut’s lunch buffets made for some long afternoons. I bet there are many people out there who have been fired from a job while sleeping in the office — after falling victim to pigging out too much at a Pizza Hut lunch buffet.

For my last wing review of 2014, I decided to walk into the Dunlap Pizza Hut and try the wings.

One doesn’t usually think of wings when Pizza Hut is mentioned, so they mask the impression that a pizza place is making wings by calling the wing portion of their menu “WingStreet.”

They offer three types of wings (traditional, breaded and boneless) and nine types of sauces to go with them. I ordered the traditional wings with the Buffalo Burnin’ hot sauce. Unlike most fast food pizza places that bake their wings, Pizza Hut actually fries them up.

They looked pretty appetizing when they got to the table. The freshly fried wings glimmered with the orange buffalo sauce while a flume of steam from the heat evaporated from the chicken. But looks can be deceiving.

The skin was crispy, but the chicken had that odd freezer taste to it. The texture of the chicken was dry — not from overcooking (as these wings certainly not overcooked), but from being old or frozen (or both).

The upside was that the sauce was really good. It has that sharp, vinegary bite and a good heat to it. I would put it at a 3 out of 4 on the heat scale. You also have a plethora of sauces to choose from, as opposed to one or two sauces from other fast food pizza chains.

The size of the wings was very small. These were some of the smallest I’ve seen so far, and at 8 for $7.50, the CPW is at 94 cents. With that high of a CPW for that size of wings, they would be in the rip-off zone even if the wings tasted good.

I can’t recommend these wings to anybody. I even had trouble eating the last three wings — and I only ordered eight of them. It’s like Pizza Hut tried to do it the right thing by preparing the wings properly, having good sauces and making them look good. But the sour-tasting chicken, size and price make me want to distance myself very far from these wings.

Just remember if you go in there: the place is called Pizza Hut — order pizza.

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