Review: Cheesy Bites Pizza from Pizza Hut

I’m going to preface this review by letting you guys know that I’m not a fan of Pizza Hut. Most pizza joints smell the same; like pizza. Not Pizza Hut. Step through the doors and you are greeted with that weird smell that comes from frozen dough being deep fried in an oven. It sure doesn’t scream, “Who wants pizza?”. It’s more of a warning sign letting you know what you are getting yourself into. That would be crappy pizza. Crappy oven deep fried pizza.

Clearly I’m not in their target demo, so why am I reviewing this? Because I have a soft spot for novelty foods. If you love or even remotely somewhat enjoy Pizza Hut, take this review with a grain of salt. If you are curious about novelty foods like me, this is for you. Really, this is for you. We are a team, and I just took one for you guys. With that said, let’s dive head first into the awful mess that is the Cheesy Bites Pizza from Pizza Hut.

If you couldn’t tell by the pictures, this is a regular hand stretched pizza with little cheese stuffed bread tubes as the crust. $11.99 gets you one topping and a marinara dipping cup. Ugh, where to start… The pizza is the same as you’re used to. I found the dough to be greasy, gummy, artificial tasting, and bland. The cheese was void of both flavor, texture and just seemed to occupy space as the ubiquitous “white” part of the pie. The pepperoni, while surprisingly plentiful, also tasted artificial and extremely sub par. The sauce was spiced well, but clearly just tomato paste reconstituted in water with artificial flavorings and preservatives. Add more sugar and vinegar and you’d have ketchup. Seriously. Whoop dee doo. Now on to the novelty aspect: The Cheesy Bites Crust. Imagine a normal stuffed crust where all the cheese cooked out of the gaping holes it isn’t supposed to have, made by someone who hates you, and is just doing it for the paycheck.

Fun novelty food this is not. $11.99 wouldn’t be an awesome deal even if I loved this pizza, so it fails on all fronts. It wasn’t inedible, but there is no reason I can think of to eat this. Maybe staving off death, but I’m not even too sure it could do that.

I don’t hate chain pizza. Papa John’s isn’t half bad, and their cheese sauce rocks. The Brooklyn style crust and wings from Domino’s are fairly tasty. In terms of novelty foods, that’s all Taco Bell serves, and I love Taco Bell. The Doritos Locos taco is equally ludicrous and delicious. In my opinion the Cheesy Bites pizza misses every target. I’m sure some of you will disagree. Please explain to me what you love about Pizza Hut, because I just don’t get it.

Pros: Absolutely nothing... well, it didn't make me sick.

Cons: Taste. Crust. Cheese. Lack of value. Hunt's ketchup as pizza sauce. I got wings and they sucked too. I could have eaten something else, from somewhere else, but I'm a sucker for advertising. Trying to find another word for "artificial", and giving up.

Taste: 3.00/10
Value: 1.50/10
Grubbing on-the-go: N/A
Price: $11.99

Overall GrubGrade: 2.75/10

More Info: PizzaHut.com
Nutrition Facts:
not available

38 comments on “Review: Cheesy Bites Pizza from Pizza Hut

  1. Manavee says:

    I actually tried this the other week. It was the first time I had had Pizza Hut since Little League.

    Your review is right on the money. It was terrible. Soggy and a complete gut bomb in terms of grease. The marinara was cold and bland.

    In terms of chain pizza places, I would rank them:
    1. Papa John’s
    2. Domino’s (a distant second)
    3. Pizza Hut (an even more distant third)
    4. Little Caesar’s: hard to believe, but even worse than Pizza Hut. Completely devoid of any flavor.

    Any half way decent local place is miles above all of the chain places, though, IMO.

  2. Sam Fu says:

    Chef, we could become best of friends. Because you and I, unlike my friends and peer group, understand that Pizza Hut is the worst delivery pizza in the world. I truly, honestly have no idea how in the world this chain is still even open. You nailed it with everything from the crust to the “quality” of the ingredients. I’ve tried Pizza Hut once a year from 2003-2008 believing that “they might have just messed up this time” or “maybe their quality will improve over time”, but stopped trying because I had no more hope in being able to savor something that others claim to be “tasty”. I’m a business major, but you don’t have to have my degree to be able to calculate that $11.99 for a 1 topping “large” with less cheese than regular stuffed crust is financially “valuable”.

    The words that I put in quotes have been used by Pizza Hut’s marketing in the present and past, and after re-reading my post I still feel like none of those words mean $hi#…

    Go Papa Johns/Hungry Howies

  3. M86 says:

    I don’t hate Pizza Hut… But don’t get me wrong, their pizza does kinda suck.

    It’s more of a nostalgia type of thing for me… It’s what I grew up with. I grew up in the middle-of-nowhere in a very small town in the Upper Midwest. The closest pizza was 30 miles away, and consisted of Pizza Hut, Domino’s, and a local pizza joint. My parents would normally get Pizza Hut, even though the local mom-and-pop pizza was fantastic. And we’d be all excited. So, when I eat Pizza Hut (which is maybe a few times a year), it reminds me of childhood.

    • Larry says:

      Should have posted the nutrition info: each slice has 1030mg of sodium! And it tasted like it too.

      I disliked this and just Pizza Hut in general, not so much for their crappy food (still like their thin crust) but for how they have gone downhill over the years. In the early 80′s before everyone was so health conscious they were making some fine pizza. I don’t know if its the making-it-healthy or just cost cutting, but it just isn’t good.

      I thought the like bites on this were not too bad, but the pizza part was shockingly bland. I literally tasted nothing.

  4. Biff McGee says:

    Pizza Hut sucks, KFC sucks, Taco Bell sucks…. All owned by Pepsi Co. Yum Brands. Artificial, cheap and pre-made crap. Frozen pizzas at the grocery store cost less and taste much better!

    • patrick says:

      actually yum brands bought all those from pepsi.. why do you think there are no more restaurants with the pizza hut logo? because when pepsi sold they turned them into papa johns and other crappy pizza places

  5. rob says:

    My initial impression is it looks like one of the critters from Aliens, the ones that jump on your face and won’t let go.

  6. Jeff says:

    Nice pictures. Looks great, I think I’ll order this tonight instead of the overpriced local pizza shop down the road. It’s been a long time since I’ve had Pizza Hut.

    • SPM79 says:

      I am from NJ, home of the mom & pop pizza shops but I also share an affinity for the chains. One thing that the chains finally realized is that selling a stretched out piece of dough with tomato sauce and a cheese blend for $15 wasn’t exactly a great value for families so in an attempt to pick up business they would make prices more competitive. Now with respect to the local mom & pop places around here, some have gotten with the program and offer specials on certain days, yet others have not. In an area like where I live the chains are necessary to keep the mom & pops places in check.

  7. JF says:

    It’s an interesting twist, but I never really liked Pizza Hut. I remember being in Jr. High, having enough money with friends to order Domino’s and thinking it was good pizza.

    I have grown up.

    Living in Colorado now, being born and raised in New York, I think I know a thing or two about great pizza. I have yet to find that (and set my expectations that I won’t) but Anthony’s (also a chain) has the best pizza I have been able to find out here and always my go to place.

    There is another place near by, something like New York Original Pizza, that people seem to rave about. Being that the owners are transplants from NY, but I would take any chain over their pizza.

    I was never impressed with it (and gave it numerous tries). And they hawk the fact they use “Polly-O” cheese. Sorry, any cheese I can get in a local grocer won’t impress me.

    And my worst turn offs with them (NYOP) was I first wanted a few slices and was told their lunch special ended. I didn’t want their lunch special, but a couple of slices. Anywhere in NY, and I’m sure all over the country, aside from chains, you can get a couple of slices.

    Then when I ordered a Sicilian pizza, I was questioned endlessly if I knew what it was and what I really wanted. Sigh.

    While I haven’t tried this pizza and never will, I am sure I would agree.

    Why is it so hard to find a good pizza outside of NY (or Chicago for those folks that like that style, no offense)? I’m sick of the altitude/water excuses. It shouldn’t be that hard… or is it?

    Any Colorado folks looking at this, if you have suggestions, I’m all ears.

    Off topic, still looking for decent (again forgetting about good or great) chinese food in this area. Heaven Dragon in Thorton is good, but still a complete miss from NY Chinese.

    • John says:

      If you’re looking for the thinner crust NY style, it won’t be your thing, but Beau-Jo’s has quite a few locations in CO and I thought it was fantastic.

  8. Raiders757 says:

    Way to take one for the team Chef. No way in hell I would ever have tried this myself. Especially after my most recent Pizza Hut experience, which was a disaster. I felt dirty and greasy for days afterward.

    Got a kick out of the “weird smell” part. Your not kidding about that. The above experience I referred to left me sitting in one for almost an hour. Needless to say I had to change cloths when I got home and put the ones I wore in PH in the wash. They stunk of greasy fried dough so bad, that if I left them in our room, we would have been sleeping with the smell of PH wafting about and had nightmares of greasy spongy dough monsters chasing after us.

    I’m not a big fan of chain pizza at all anymore, but it’s sad to see how far Pizza Hut has fallen over the past two decades. I know it’s said a lot by old farts like me about popular fast food chains, but they’re nothing like they used to be.

  9. Sherm says:

    Nice review, it does look horrible.

    As far as liking Pizza Hut, I can only offer my personal experience. It is definitely not pizza, by any traditional definition, this much is clear. But if you look at it (the original pan crust, at least) as just relatively tasty, greasy food, it definitely fits the bill. I would never dream of ordering a supreme-style pizza from an actual pizza place, but on fried dough with (admittedly inferior) cheese, it’s not half bad. And you have to admit, the “pizza bones” are pretty tasty.

  10. Todd says:

    First off…I really enjoy Pizza Hut. I have eaten at lots of fast food joints and some expensive pizza joints and Pizza Hut is usually wins out. With that said….let me show my ignorance, but the review speaks of oven deep fried pizza? what does that mean????

    • Chefprotoss says:

      The pan pizzas are frozen dough tossed in a pan filled with oil sent through an oven. Thus the smell. =P

      • Jesse says:

        Actually only the personal pan dough starts as frozen. The regular pan dough is actually made every morning.

        But yeah, the pan pizza is essentially deep fried pizza.

        • Todd says:

          OK. Thanks. I never would have known that. I eat…I don’t cook. That explains why the pan pizza is so greasy.

        • SPM79 says:

          I guess I have a different definition of the term “deep fried” which keeps being thrown around on this topic. How is putting dough in a greasy shallow pan “deep frying” it?

  11. Bill says:

    I have to say, Pizza Hut’s thin crust and pan is not bad. The pan has a nice buttery crust and the thin is a nice cracker crust. Dominoes Brooklyn pizza is like eating cardboard to me. Papa Johns is still the best out of chains, good crust and toppings.

  12. @graciHas says:

    i tried this the other night with chicken…it wasn’t bad but as always, pizza hut leaves you expecting more for some reason. i don’t ever order from there anymore (i usually get papa johns or even domino’s) but my girl wanted to try this so we gave it a shot. it was filling and fairly tasty for pizza hut standards, but i wouldn’t order it again. she lucked out though because she took the leftover slice the next morning and somehow managed to barter it for 2 free drinks from the guy at the drive thru at starbucks on her way home

  13. TJ says:

    My favorite chain pizza place is Round Table by far, but it’s pretty expensive unless they have a deal going on. Also, I think they’re only on the West Coast.

    As for Pizza Hut, I love it. I prefer it to Domino’s, although I like their newer pizza fairly well too. I understand why purists would hate it, but as Sherm said it’s pretty tasty, greasy food. I guess it’s just one of those polarizing things, I know other people who love it too, but I’m also not surprised that some hate it.

  14. DerekLutz says:

    Lowest common denominator food. When in doubt, shove more cheese product at the customer base. At least Dominos and PJ’s make some effort to offer a decent meal.

  15. Sandy says:

    Why oh why with so many really good independent mom and pop type pizza places would anyone actually seek out Pizza Hut, Dominoes, Papa Johns or any of the other sucky chains? Unless you live in a really rural area and don’t have any other options, I don’t get it. And, I feel sorry for you.

    • TJ says:

      I think it’s a matter of convenience, price, and marketing. These seem to be the main reasons people eat fast food to begin with. I don’t get why it’s that hard to understand this. I imagine the chains don’t do nearly as much business in big cities with a lot of competition, but it seems odd to compare places like Pizza Hut and McDonald’s with independent restaurants. Just my humble opinion though, continue to trash corporate America all you want. :)

  16. Ray P says:

    I have been reading GrubGrade for quite some time now, but never felt a need to respond until now. This review is the best description of Pizza Hut I have ever read! I agree with just about everything- the crust to me tastes like Styrofoam, the cheese has a strange, powedery texture to it, and the sauce (to me anyway) tastes like plain tomato paste. I can not justify the high purchase price of Pizza Hut products for what we actually receive. Even the pictures of this look nasty!

    As far as chain pizza goes, I’d have to say that Mello Mushroom is my favorite. We ate at the Pigeon Forge location twice on a recent trip there and I found the pizza to be outstanding. It didn’t taste anything like what a chain pizza normally tastes like. Wish there were more of them around!

    Thanks for the great review. It made my morning!

    • Katy says:

      Ray, if you’re local to the Knoxville/PF area, you need to try Willie’s in Seymour. Much better pizza than the chains. We weren’t impressed with Mellow Mushroom, which is a relatively new chain in this area. I Love NY Pizza off Chapman Hwy is also another good local place.

  17. kikurage says:

    I roar with laughter your evaluating comment “it didn’t make me sick.”
    HAHA!

  18. Wyatt says:

    I honestly don’t taste what you guys are tasting, I thought it was pretty good.
    It’s probably because I’m not very picky person.

  19. rondoman says:

    Bunch of food snobs on here, grade it for what it is, chain pizza damn…

    • SPM79 says:

      If some of the people who rant and rave about mom & pop pizza shops had any idea some of the practices these places engage in with respect to ingredients, food safety, etc they would flock to a place like Pizza Hut which at the very least has minimum standards across the board.

      • Chefprotoss says:

        Obviously people that work for minimum wage for a corporation have your best interests in mind. A mom and pop where one bad yelp review could ruin them, couldn’t care less about food safety. Obviously. Why DON’T more people realize this? Hmmm…

        • SPM79 says:

          Go look at the Yelp reviews for DiFara’s pizza in Brooklyn. People wait hours in line for a $5 slice. The place was featured on America’s Test Kitchen for having some of the “best” pizza in America. One more tidbit, the place was shutdown last fall for 67 health violations. I guess more people should realize this. Hmmm…

  20. JF says:

    Chef – thanks for taking one for the team, but can’t believe you actually tried this.

    When I was a kid, Pizza Hut was the only chain around and always looked forward to it. But growing up in NY and even the worst Pizza joints were better then PH. I haven’t eaten them in almost 10 years, even when it’s free / work event / etc. It’s not horrible, but when I want Pizza, I want Pizza. Not their crap.

    Cheesy bites seem intersting, but not worth what it’s all wrapped around.

    I too prefer Papa John’s to PH or Dominos. As for chains, and I’m not sure how national they are, but Blackjack Pizza is above the rest. But again a chain…

  21. ljay says:

    Nice review CP. The Hut was the place to get pizza and beer back in the early 80′s. Haven’t been a fan in many years though.

    Slightly OT – PapaJohns has 50% off any online order through tomorrow night. Online promotional code is race1 ;-)

  22. Joe says:

    Well this will explain why the crust is horrible. Years ago, Pizza Hut stopped making crust in a mixer using flour, lard and water. They started getting the crust pre made. It now comes in boxes in frozen discs like those pilsbury biscuits except flat like a frisbee. They spray food release on a pan and place a disc on it and then put them in the cooler to let the dough rise. The sauce is made from a concentrate and always has been.

    The bites on this pizza are made by placing two rings around the crust that create these little bites.

    Toppings? Nothing fresh about them. All toppings either come in a can or pouch like the pineapples. Vegies come precut like the bagged salad you can buy at Safeway.

    I’ve worked at PH for nearly two decades as a driver and quit eating this garbage around 1995. Business still remains strong just as it was when I started. Quality changed only in regards to the crust now being frozen processed dough.

    • Joe says:

      Me again. After reading the replies, some people are under the impression that only some of the crust types are frozen. That used to be the case in the 90s but in the early 2000s, all the crust started being trucked in as frozen. Breadsticks, personal pan, pan, hand tossed and the stuffed crust which is made from the hand tossed. Even the thin is frozen. The thin comes in sealed packs of about 10 or so and have to be peeled apart when thawed.

      Even Papa Johns don’t make their crust in house. It’s done elsewhere and trucked in. This is the reality of chain pizza joints.