Monday, November 11, 2013

Bowie Restaurant Project: (75) Pizza Hut (Superior Ln) & (76) Pizza Hut/Starbucks (Target) & (77) Pizza Hut (Pointer Ridge)

For an explanation of the Bowie Restaurant Project, look here.

For a list of all the Bowie Restaurant Project reviews, look here.

I am once again consolidating the reviews of several chain restaurants into one post.

Pizza Hut, 3319 Superior Ln
Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 9/26/2012
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 1
Pre-Foursquare Visits: Yes
Rating: 1.5 out of 5 stars

"We're out of dough." "What?" "We're out of dough."

That's not an auspicious way to start a visit to a restaurant that has "pizza" in its name. I soon clarified that they were out of the personal pan pizza dough, but that they had the dough to make the other pizzas. I declined an offer to pay more money for a larger pizza and decided to return the next day, after they got a delivery.

They didn't get the delivery, but the next time the woman behind the counter offered to make me a personal pan pizza with non-regulation dough, and I took her up on it. It was an adequate pizza.

I seem to recall that they had table service (or at least a lunch buffet) in the 1990s, when I last ate there. Now it's ordering at a counter.

Pizza Hut/Starbucks, 4600 Mitchellville Road
Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 9/12/2012
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 1
Pre-Foursquare Visits: No
Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

I'm not sure why the Starbucks and Pizza Hut inside Target are considered part of the same restaurant. The Starbucks part doesn't really contribute to the restaurant-ness, though, so I ignored it.

They didn't have any pizza ready to go when I visited around 1pm, so I had to wait, which was kind of weird. They were really nice about bringing my pizza to me in the little seating area. The pizza was below Pizza Hut standards, but edible. I would compare this place to the 1-star Uno Express inside BJ's club. You don't have a lot of choices in the Gateway Shopping Center with Monterey closed, but honestly, head to Wendy's or Bob Evans before you head here.

Pizza Hut/Starbucks, 1290 Crain Hwy
Most Recent Foursquare Check-in: 11/3/2013
Total Foursquare Check-ins: 1
Pre-Foursquare Visits: No
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

This Pizza Hut is the only one in Bowie with wait service, and the southernmost restaurant in Bowie.

My rule for restaurants with wait service is that I have to have a dining companion for at least one visit. That way, I don't just get absorbed in reading stuff on my phone and ignore the quality of the service. The Pizza Hut was one of the harder sells from the list, and one of the reasons this review is towards the end of the Project. Nevertheless, I suggested that Ben and I stop by here on the way to the Redskins game last weekend for a pre-game meal.

He and I were debating partners in high school, and it was our tradition to find a different Pizza Hut after each debate tournament. I doubt we ever made it to this one. Sadly, Pizza Hut no longer carries birch beer, a staple of our 1980s visits.

Stuffed Pizza Rollers!
The wait service was really friendly. The focus clearly isn't on the dine-in experience, though. If you go to the web site to look at the menu, your two options are carryout and delivery. The pizza and appetizers were pretty good, and we got a lot of food (and sodas) for two people for around $20.

So I'm going to give this a surprisingly high 2-and-half star rating. Here's my reasoning. You can get a personal pan pizza there for $3.25. That's a cheap date. In other words, this Pizza Hut may be the cheapest place in Bowie to go and be waited on. For teenagers, that's important, since it introduces them to the art of dinner conversation with someone other than their family. So for an inexpensive place to go eat with your friends, and one of the few places in South Bowie, it gets 2-and-a-half stars. For the rest of us, go to Uno, or for takeout, Cetrone's, instead.

Five reviews to go! (Plus new restaurants as they open.)

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