Pizza hut reinventing itself. Is this necessary?

pzahtOur old favorite pizza place is about to change everything.   Pizza hut has experienced 8 consecutive quarters of low sales.  Personally, I find it hard to understand.

After all, Pizza Hut makes the best pizza.  It seems that today’s kids are caught up in the games that other places have and don’t mind eating the nasty plain pizza that those places serve.  Of course kids are all about the pepperoni only pizza.  They don’t have the palate to appreciate really good pizza anyway.

I’ve tried plenty of pizzas but when I want an especially good pizza, I always go to Pizza Hut.  Ask for extra sauce and jalapenos on the stuffed crust supreme and there’s no need to go anywhere else.   Ever!

Of course I have noticed that business has been slow at Pizza Hut.  Usually my mom and I are the only ones there.  They obviously have to do SOMETHING to get the business back.  Included in their plan are 11 specialty pizza recipes, 10 crust flavors, 6 sauces, 5 toppings and 4 drizzle flavors.

If done correctly The Hut may be able to bring in some new business for a while.  Maybe it will be their chance to introduce themselves to a whole new generation of customers.

I might try a few of their new options but I’m sure I’ll always go back to the original supreme.  It just doesn’t get any better.  They better keep it on the menu!!

Quick Restaurant Review – Casa Rio in San Antonio

csrioIf you find yourself in San Antonio and want to eat quality Mexican food on the Riverwalk then go directly to Casa Rio.  This restaurant has been here since 1946 and serves flavorful Mexican dishes that you will not give you diner’s remorse except if you eat too much.

With meals priced at $7 to $10 and a table right on the river you can’t go wrong.  I’ve eaten at plenty of Mexican restaurants around San Antonio and for a city that has more Mexican restaurants than Mexico, you would be surprised at how many just aren’t very good.  For being in a tourist location, the prices and food are well within the enjoyable range. My favorite dish is the Casa Rio Deluxe Dinner.  It has some of everything.

There is a small parking lot at street level that charges a $7.00 flat fee.  You can park here, eat and walk the river.

Quick Fast Food Review – Little Caesar’s Pretzel Crust Pizza

Pretzel Crust PizzaNothing in the kitchen sounded good today so I decided to go out and pick up a Little Caesar’s Hot and Ready Pretzel Crust Pizza costing me $7.54 (or something.)

It smelled good in the car.  I got it home and tried my first piece and was surprised to find something completely different from what I expected.

This pizza replaces your regular tomato-based pizza sauce with nacho cheese much like you would see on concession stand nachos.  I’m pretty sure it is the same thing.  It is interesting because it gives the pizza a creamy consistency.

The crust is brown and chewy like a soft pretzel but not as puffy as their pictures seem to advertise.

But then no product looks as advertised so nothing new here.

The crust under the toppings is pretty much your standard thin-crust style.  The pretzel outside ring was very salty.   Almost too salty.

But then if you are trying to be a pretzel then salty is expected.

Personally I would have preferred the regular tomato sauce but it was nice to try something different even though I had no idea what I was getting into.  I didn’t read the description.

It looks like Little Caesars also has a few new kinds of crust like Stuffed Crust and something else I can’t remember.  Their website is not responding right now so I can’t look it up.

thLittle Caesar’s Pretzel Crust pizza was an interesting experience but I don’t think I would buy another one in the future.

Still.  Thumbs up to Little Caesar’s for finally trying new things after decades of cardboard flavored pizza.  I look forward to trying some of their other pizzas.

Now they can at least compete with Dominoe’s new style.

Quick Restaruant Review – Jersey Mike’s Subs

jmikeThe other day I came home from work to find an advertisement hanging on my front door.  It was a coupon and invitation to visit a new sandwich shop that opened up in the old Hollywood Video shopping center.

I am a big fan of sub sandwiches and visit Subway at least once a week.  I have been getting a little tired of Subway lately.  Not because of any dissatisfaction but just because I go so often.  My other favorite alternative sub shop, Quiznos, seems to have gone out of business leaving me sad.  See my story on the closing of Quiznos.

Today I took my coupon and headed to Jersey Mike’s.  I had been looking forward to it for a few days.  The store was new and the employees still learning but the experience was good.  They have fewer choices of bread and veggies than Subway but that’s not always a bad thing.  Sometime you just want a sandwich and don’t want to have to think too much.

Getting your Jersey Sub, “Mikes’s Way” makes it even more brainless.  They put on shredded lettuce, tomatoes and douse it with red wine vinegar, olive oil and oregano. (I think).  I don’t know who Mike is but he has good taste.  Want it even better?  Add jalapenos, banana peppers and their red pepper salsa-looking mix.   Even without a coupon, at $5.45 for a sub, it’s a fair deal.  Add chips and a drink for $2.25 more.  Still a fair deal and comparable with Subway in price.

It was a very good sandwich.  I enjoyed every bite.  I will be putting Jersey Mike’s on my Visit Often list.  Hooray!

 

R.I.P. Quiznos

qznsIt is most unfortunate that one of my favorite restaurants is slowly passing away.  Quiznos sub shops are slowly going out of business due to bad corporate management and lack of advertising not to mention a reputation problem.

I eat at Subway at least once a week.  There are four of them to choose from within a few miles of my house and my work.  They have great tasting sandwiches for a fair price.  You can’t beat picking up a 6 inch sub on the way home for around $3.00.

Subway is great but it gets old after a while and I like to go to Quiznos when it is convenient.  Unfortunately, even when they were all open, finding one meant a long drive.  If I was in that particular area I would stop in and get one of the new sandwiches.

For a long time I avoided Quiznos because their prices were just too high.   It was like that for a long time and acquired a reputation for being more expensive than Subway with fewer choices.  Sure the food was a little better but price rules.  After their first financial breakdown they revamped their lineup adding the Torpedo and the Bullet.  Great priced sandwiches that brought me back. I totally enjoyed the torpedoes.

Eventually they dropped the Torpedo and Bullet for a new lineup of breads.  I was disappointed but quickly became a fan of the focaccia bread which soon disappeared leaving me unhappy again.  Still one of the other breads sufficed for the occasional visit.  I liked being able to add my own jalapenos and banana peppers from the bar.   It was still a good sandwich and the new prices were fair.  You could even design your own just like Subway.

Slowly the stores around me started going out of business.  Surprising me with locked doors when I was in the mood for one of their subs.  It turns out part of the corporate business model was to charge too much for the supplies so the franchises couldn’t compete.  They had no choice but to give it up.  It was possibly the last desperate gasp from a dying corporate entity to try to raise their income at the cost of destroying their source.

According to Google Maps, there are eight Quiznos shops left in San Antonio assuming that they are not already closed.  All the stores on my side of town are gone and I will not be driving 14 miles for a sandwich with the possibility of finding locked doors.

What could they have done?  From a consumer’s point of view, they should have kept prices low, quality high and advertize, advertize, advertize.  Ads must be on TV and radio.  Nobody reads newspapers any more. That’s so last century. A good internet campaign could have been very effective to reach today’s Attention Deficit Eater.

Success is something that takes time.  Making a change and immediately seeing results is not realistic in the restaurant business.  Word of mouth is extremely important and takes a long time to disseminate through the population.  It can take many years to change your image.  Look at McDonald’s.  Nothing they can ever do will change their image from being crappy fast food for screaming children.  Their only choice would be to open a whole new franchise with a different name and menu.

I will miss Quiznos and will possibly stop in if I happen to be somewhere unusual around lunchtime and see a rogue store with its lights still on.  If you are a fan, now would be a good time to go get a sandwich and spread the word before it is too late.

 

KFC – Not as good as I remember

spkfcAfter watching an episode of South Park the other night, I got a hankerin’ for some KFC.

It has been many years since I have partaken of the Colonel’s secret recipe.  After watching Cartman scarf down tons of it I recalled the early days gone by when it was known as Kentucky Fried Chicken.  Kids these days don’t even know what KFC stands for.  Some old white guy with a weird tie.  Must be his initials.

It is funny how things are better when you remember them.  I don’t know if the eleven herbs and spices have changed over the years or it is just the fact that they are no longer using hydrogenated oils for health reasons, but it really didn’t rock my world like it used to.  It wasn’t bad.  Just not special.

Oh well.  Fried chicken is bad for you anyway so it is probably for the best that I don’t get hooked on it.

 

Quick Restaurant Review – Fuddruckers

fdrkrsbrgr

Fuddruckers is a burger place located in most of the US states.  I haven’t been to one in at least ten years because I felt it was overpriced back then.  Today I was out getting some sand for my new pool filter and as I was leaving the parking lot I smelled the food cooking at Fuddruckers.

I decided to go ahead and give it another go.  The burger was relatively good but it costs $12.00 for a burger, fries and drink.  There wasn’t even any gold lief on the wrapping and the napkins are a roll of paper towel on the table.  I don’t know about you but $12.00 is far too much for something I can get at half the price somewhere else.

I can easily say that it will probably be at least another ten years before I eat at Fuddruckers again.  Just not worth it.  Sorry guys.  I just don’t get it.