IT’S NOT a spelling mistake on my part. That really is the name of the new abomination to crawl from Pizza Hut’s industrial-strength microwave: The P’Zolo. I have no idea what it’s supposed to mean or whether the errant apostrophe stemmed from a speck of fly shit on the marketing department’s paperwork or a desperate effort to appeal to the urban market. Whatever the genesis of the name is, it’s just another layer of stupidity on top of an already stupid idea. The above pic is a Pizza Hut promotional shot…
…and this is what you actually get when you open the box they come in. Ev picked up two for me on her way home: the Italian Steak and the Buffalo Chicken. They come with a hot pot of marinara sauce and one of ranch dressing, which is supposed to be served cold but is in fact warmer than the marinara.
Once removed from their cardboard box, which a) probably tastes better and b) should be used to bury these in, you can see how they’re glistening with grease. My camera is now covered in oily fingerprints, another reason why I should have videoed this Taste Test. Figuring that it didn’t matter which one I tried first as they’re both basically a shortcut to clogged arteries, I picked up the Italian Steak P’Z’O’lo. Wait, wasn’t P’Zolo the demon who possesses Linda Blair in The Exorcist? No, that was Pazuzu. My bad, but after looking at these I think I can be forgiven for the misunderstanding.
I’m guessing that Pizza Hut must be employing a former Ginster’s Pasties worker as their proud tradition of leaving a good inch between the filling and the crust has made its way to America. It was only after taking a couple of bites that I realised the steak tastes and feels more like sliced mushrooms than actual meat. I think there’s cheese in it but it’s so bland it’s barely making its presence felt except as a slight goopy texture. The “bread” it’s wrapped in is on the tough side and the grease leaking out the sides is not a pleasant sensation. Verdict: Fail.
Here’s the Buffalo Chicken one, which resembles a car crash wrapped in a tramp’s blanket. It’s just as greasy as the Italian steak P’Z’o’lo and the spiciness overwhelms any flavour that processing might have accidentally left in the chicken. Again, it’s just… meh. It’s not crap, it’s not great, it’s just thoroughly average in every way apart from the salt content (I don’t know what that is and I don’t want to). A $3 each they’re cheap and that cheapness shines through in the oily patina and all-round crapness.
Amazingly the P’Z’O’l’o is supposed to be a direct competitor to Subway’s sandwiches. You know, because when you think “healthy eating” the first place that springs to mind is Pizza Hut. The advertising tagline is “See ya subs”, something so silly it’s beyond belief. Subway, for all its faults, offers pretty healthy food at decent prices - probably the only way to get an unhealthy sub is to go for the bacon and melted cheese variety and even then you can stuff it full of fresh vegetables. The idea that greasy, tough dough barely filled with melted cheese, meat that’s probably 60% filler, a bucket of salt and Christ knows what else is going to challenge Subway is ludicrous.