When I was growing up just south of Chicago, there was always a fight in my house about where to go for pizza. I always wanted to go to Pizza Hut because I loved their bread sticks. My dad and brother always wanted to go to Monical’s (a regional chain which I’ve blogged about before). I usually lost.
To this day, I still really like Pizza Hut’s breadsticks. The pizza is alright, but nothing I really crave. J and I have been saying for a year we needed to check out the Pizza Hut Italian Bistro on Cedar Street. The commercials always made the pasta look really good.
A couple weeks ago, I noticed the “Italian Bistro” signs coming down and “WingStreet” signs going up. I do like me some wings, so we finally got around to trying something other than pizza at Pizza Hut.
The Lansing Pizza Hut is on the south side of town on South Cedar across the street from Meijer. It sits in the corner of a strip mall that also has an Applebees and Finlay’s. We decided to hit up Pizza Hut for a Sunday night dinner. It was about 5:30 when we pulled in to the parking lot. That’s important to remember.
When you enter the store, you come in t the carry out counter. There were a few people in front of us picking up pizza and we didn’t want to get lost in the shuffle, so J went right up to the hostess stand and waited. Fortunately, we were noticed right away and taken to a booth. Later in the night, we may have had to wait several minutes until someone noticed us.
The dining room was much nicer than any Pizza Hut either of us remembered. J can only faintly eating at one a long time ago, but what she remembers is that everything was red except for the lights which were green. This dining room had a more intimate setting like….wait for it….an Italian bistro. All kidding aside, the dining room was actually pretty nice and not what I think of when I think of Pizza Hut.
We briefly discussed ordering a pizza while the waitress got our Pepsi, but we both went with something else. I ordered 10 traditional medium wings and a single order of breadsticks. J ordered the Honey BBQ Chicken sandwich and a cup of tomato basil soup.
J’s soup came out first. This should of been a warning as to how the rest of the meal was going to go. The soup is served in a cup on a plate. Nothing unusual there..except the cup is a paper cup. The plate was real, but the cup wasn’t. Other than that, she said the soup was good. There were chunks of red and green peppers and she ate her way to the bottom of that paper cup.
Next up was my breadsticks. The breadsticks came out about five minutes after J was done with the soup. Not with the soup mind you which would have made since. They came out by themselves. The breadsticks were good. Not quite what I remembered, but close enough to still be really delicious. I was gracious enough to give J one since she didn’t think she had ever had them. The breadsticks come with a cup of marinara, but it’s the butter and spices on top that do it for me.
So, we finished the breadsticks and waited again. About ten minutes after I was done with them, my wings came out. Just my wings. J’s sandwich wasn’t ready, but my wings were brought out anyway. I sat there for a minute just kind of looking at her and we both started laughing. Who does that? Really?! The way this meal is going, it could be a SNL Weekend Update Skit with Seth Meyers and Amy Pohler. Seriously? Oh My God! Who Does That? Really? J told me to go ahead and start eating, but I felt bad because I knew if I started eating, I’d be done before she got her sandwich. I ended up eating a few. There was no heat to them at all. J noticed a sticker on the basket that said “Mild” when I ordered “Medium” No wonder there was no heat. Without the heat, there’s really no flavor. The wings were alright. They were cooked really well and really crispy, but I needed a better sauce. The “mild” has absolutely no heat.
Finally, J’s sandwich came out. When the waitress dropped off her sandwich, J put in an order for the Hershey’s Chocolate Dunkers. We figured we’d get those as we were finishing up dinner. You’d think. More in a second.
Anyway, back to J’s sandwich which was a cheddar toasted hoagie bun stuffed with WingStreet honey BBQ bone-out chicken wings, ranch dressing, shredded lettuce, and a cheddar cheese sauce. She really liked the sandwich. Had the service not been awful, we’d probably go back just to get this one again. There was so much chicken on her sandwich, she took a few pieces off and gave them to me….and they were big pieces. Her sandwich came with fries. They were curly fries with a little seasoning. They were ok, but nothing special. Glad I went with breadsticks instead of an order of fries.
OK, back to the Dunkers now. We both sat there after we finished eating with our dirty dishes on the table for almost a half hour. I’m not kidding or exaggerating. It took almost a half hour AFTER we finished our meals to get dessert..and remember, J put the order in when her sandwich was brought out. After waiting…and waiting…..and waiting, the Dunkers finally came out and the waitress rudely informed us that there was only two people in the kitchen. Only two people in the kitchen!! This isn’t some neighborhood place trying to make it. This is a national chain that has been doing this for thirty years. The place was packed and they were doing a pretty good carry out business and they only had one guy cooking and one guy on the “cut table”…..whatever that is.
The Dunkers were ok, but I’d never mistake them for something prepared by a french choclatier as the commercial like to show. The order was too big for two people. We could have used a half an order, but we didn’t want to ask for a box because we didn’t know how long it would take to get one. Instead, when the waitress got close, J asked for a check and had her credit card in her hand when the waitress came back with the bill. We didn’t even look to see what it cost until she came back. We were tired of sitting there and we weren’t the only ones. As the waitress was running our card, another table asked her if she even put their order in. They had probably been sitting there forty minutes and all they had on their table was two glasses of water.
Our bill was right at $30, but as you can probably tell, we weren’t happy at all with the experience. The food was pretty good, but it took over an hour and a half and it was because they were way understaffed. There was only five people working in the whole building and the dining room was full. It’s a pretty safe bet we won’t back. Maybe carry-out, but no more dining in. Too bad. The food was pretty good, but the way were treated is what will be burned into our memory.