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Restaurant Happenings - January 2005

Pizza Hut
265 South Main Street
Moab UT 84532
(435) 259-6345

Hut, Hut Hut!
Pass the Pizza

by Annabelle Numaguchi

In the uncertain world of change that we currently live in, there is great reassurance in familiarity. A steep red roofed restaurant is a beacon of comfort and cheer to any homegrown American, who immediately recognizes the promise of a thick crust, cheesy pizza. Since 1958, Pizza Hut has become an icon of the American food culture.

As a testament to how enduring and endearing this familiar dining establishment is to American eating, Pizza Hut has existed in Moab longer than most other restaurants. Cathy Johnson, general manager since 1982, remembers starting her career there back when there were “only a couple of other places in town where you could go out to eat.” The Pizza Hut here has existed longer than the tourism boom that revitalized our little desert town, evidenced by the strong local support it still carries.

Obviously, this is a restaurant that also appeals to visitors who are looking for a sound deal and familiar food because few people in this country don’t recognize the gabled red roof and its popular pizza options.
Probably the most indelible images associated with Pizza Hut nowadays are the hot cheese-laden, thick-crusted slices of pizza being pulled out of a cast iron pan pictured in ubiquitous commercials and ads. The Pan Pizza that the restaurant has proudly touted has a baked golden brown crust and has become a signature pie.

The restaurant has continued expanding its options in pizza, focusing generally on the crust. Now, the Stuffed Crust offers melted mozzarella within the crusts’ edge (available only in large). The Thin N’ Crispy is rolled extra thin for a crispy crust and the Hand Tossed is a compromise between thin and thick.

Although an abundant variety of toppings are available for creating your own pizza, another recognizable feature of dining at Pizza Hut is their choice of the Lover’s Pizzas. The Veggie Lover’s offers five vegetables: tomatoes, onions, peppers, mushrooms and olives. The Meat Lover’s has six meats: pepperoni, beef, pork, Italian sausage, ham and bacon bits. The Pepperoni Lover’s is an extravaganza of extra pepperoni ensuring that no bite is without the spicy sausage. And for people who aren’t worried about cholesterol or other troubling nutritional worries, there is the Cheese Lover’s which features 2 toppings “buried between 2 heaping layers of 100% mozzarella cheese,” according to the menu.

If you don’t know what kind of lover you are and can’t decide on toppings, the Super Supreme offers a whopping nine toppings; a cornucopia of all the choices.

Although most people associate the restaurant with its namesake, Pizza Hut’s menu includes sandwiches and pastas. The PastaBakes Meals, which are made fresh daily, are very popular, according to Johnson. They are made up of layers of special sauce, mozzarella, and rotelli noodles and served with breadsticks.
Another big draw for diners at the restaurant is the Salad Bar, which can be chosen as a One Trip ($3.29), All You Can Eat ($4.29) or Carry Out ($3.39). It’s a quick, economical way of filling up and getting your greens. The bar features an abundance of choices, including lettuce, cauliflower, peaches, cottage cheese, crackers and dressings. Johnson takes pride in the freshness of the ingredients, which are replaced often throughout the day.

Along with the salad bar, Pizza Hut offers other quick lunch items, including a 5-Minute Personal Pan Pizza Guarantee. They also offer take-out for diners who don’t want to spend the time eating in the restaurant. People have long associated promptness and affordability with Pizza Hut.

Featuring a variety of economic deals, the restaurant is quite affordable, particularly when feeding an entire family. There are four Meal Deals for set prices according to the combination of pizza, breadsticks and soft drinks purchased. Pizza-eaters can save on their second pie and there are various promotions throughout the year for other deals. Because the Pizza Hut in Moab is independently owned, not all Pizza Hut coupons are valid here and it’s best to ask your server before you order.

Johnson is sensitive to her community needs and incorporates them as much as possible into her managing of the restaurant. She offers a 20% discount to seniors. She’s also promoting a reading program, in which young children up through Sixth Grade receive a booklet to record the number of books they read. For every book a child finishes, he or she receives a pizza.

Pizza Hut is a mainstay of American pop culture, found in most big cities and small towns. Moab is no exception. Many restaurants have come and gone in this desert town, but the local Pizza Hut has enjoyed over twenty years of local and visitor support. Even in our ever-changing microcosm of Moab, it’s comforting to know that some things remain the same.

Pizza Hut is located on 265 South Main Street and can be reached at (435) 259-6345. They are open every day from 11:00 a.m. to 9:00 or 10:00 p.m., depending on customers. Large, One-Topping Pizzas are $12.89, PastaBakes range between $4.99 to $5.99, and Meal Deals start at $15.49, Dinner for Two.

Recipe of the Month

(Because Pizza Hut does not like to disclose their recipes, General Manager Cathy Johnson decided to share one of her own personal favorites that she claims is a life-saver for a busy working mom.)

Chicken Noodle Soup

1 package egg noodles
1 can lite chicken
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can chicken broth

Cook noodles until they are tender. Drain them and set aside. Drain the can of chicken. Add the noodles and chicken to the soup and broth in a pot. Heat to a boil, remove and serve.

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