Getting your share of the pizza acres

Friday, May 2, 2003

We love pizza. We have always loved pizza. Case in point. I have had kosher pizza, pizza Margherita (made with tomatoes, olive oil, basil, and garlic), East Coast thin crust, deep dish Chicago style, West Coast Wolfgang Puck's Nuevo pizza (made with just about anything you can think of), ice cream pizza, sushi pizza and the kind where the crust is so thick you eat it almost like a sandwich.

Did you know that Americans eat more than 100 acres of pizza per day, and each American eats an average of 23 pounds of pizza each per year. I'm glad to know I'm doing my part to help.

Pizza is second only to hamburgers as America's favorite food, and pepperoni pizza must be the average American 10-year-old's absolute favorite food. The best part is, pizza is actually a healthy food. Tomato sauce contains vitamin A, there is protein and calcium in mozzarella cheese and complex carbohydrates in dough and oil. It's also a crowd-pleaser. For vegetarians, it poses no threat of meat. For the lactose intolerant, tomato pizza is the way to go. For those that must avoid acidic tomato sauce, white pizza is a favorite, containing only crust, cheese, spices and oils. Pizza topped with vegetables is a great way to avoid tomato sauce and cheese together, and certain varieties of pizza contain only oils and spices.

Now healthy food doesn't mean it's fat free, calorie free or free from the gym, but it can be good for you.

With my love of the round doughy flat bread firmly established, you wouldn't think I would go into a Pizza Hut. It's too corporate -- too much of a national chain. Well, you would be wrong. Let's review. We love pizza, and we loved speaking with Crystal Blackwell. She has been the manager at this Pizza Hut for three years. Crystal is 24, making her one of the youngest Pizza Hut managers. She is very bright, bubbly and loves her job. Because she loves what she does, when you go to Pizza Hut you will enjoy your experience. The restaurant is always having specials either in-house or national. (The add-on $5 deal)

Pizza Hut offers several different pizza crusts, such as the hand-tossed, stuffed crust with cheese, thick crust and thin crust. All the dough is made on-site, meaning it's fresh. Crystal's personal favorite pizza is onions, mushrooms and pork on a thin crust. If you're not a meat lover, they have a good salad bar. All their produce is grown and bought locally, so when you're having your salad you know it hasn't been sitting in a warehouse or out on a truck traveling for days.

For the budget-conscious family they offer kid packs and a kid-priced buffet. This is a good store with good prices.

What's my favorite pizza? A thick crust with marinara sauce, artichoke hearts, basil, garlic and feta cheese. Mmm … only for true lovers of the flat pie.

Bon appetite!

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