I feel like pizza is the most argued-over cuisine in the United States. I’m racking my brain to think of a food people pick fights over nearly as much and I can’t think of anything. Seriously, the fighting never stops. Simmer down, children. Eat This, Not That says that the new Detroit-style pizza from Pizza Hut might be the most disliked pizza in all of America right now. Ever since we shared the news of this menu innovation, people started grumbling that this was sure to be an affront to pizza everywhere (or at least everywhere in Motor City).
I can attest that from what I saw after I wrote my review of the Detroit Double Pepperoni, a lot of people got up in arms over Pizza Hut’s latest creation, everyone from career pizzamakers in my industry circles, to people in Detroit declaring that this was not “Detroit-style pizza” in any sense.
For what it’s worth, the pizza above wasn’t executed properly; the one I got was done with the cheese all the way to the edges, no naked crust, with a thin layer of caramelization around the rim. The one above isn’t representative of what I received. (Just look at the photo at the top of this article for proof.)
A Detroit native had a mixed review. The Washington Post interviewed D.C. restaurant owner Chris Powers of Ivy and Coney, a bar that serves food inspired by both Chicago and Detroit. It’s got Detroit-style pizza on the menu, and Powers grew up just north of Detroit. Says the Post:
His quibbles: The crust wasn’t nearly crisp enough; the cheese on his pizzas didn’t extend to the edges, as promised, and besides which, it wasn’t the classic Wisconsin brick, whose low moisture gives it the feeling of cheese curds, he says, and the sauce’s sweetness marred the whole.
I have to agree that the sauce was the weakest aspect of the one I ate, too. But Eat This, Not That also heard from a representative at Pizza Hut, who had an interesting detail to add: the Detroit-style pizza is apparently a hot seller.
“Pizza Hut’s Detroit-Style pizza has been incredibly popular and is exceeding forecasts. In fact, customer demand was so high we had to pull Detroit-Style advertising nearly two weeks early because we are selling out of it even earlier than expected,” the statement read, adding the demand has been higher than the national average in the Detroit area.
Either everyone from Detroit is hate-eating the Pizza Hut version or it’s genuinely striking some kind of chord over in Michigan, because money seems to be doing the talking right now. Folks, the Pizza Hut version is fine. I much prefer my pizza from a place that doesn’t have to cater to broad national tastes, but if you’re looking for a novelty it’s definitely okay for at least one try. Ordering from Pizza Hut means you already know what you’re getting into, so if you’re huffy about it, remember that you’re the one who ordered it.