Food & Drink

Everybody vs. Pizza Hut: 'Detroit style' misfire provokes a new social media pile-on

March 04, 2021, 4:28 PM by  Alan Stamm

(Photo: Facebook/Sef Gonzalez)

A fresh round of ridicule is aimed at what Pizza Hut calls Detroit style pizza.

"Looks closer to high school cafeteria pizza," says one rip on a national food blogger's Twitter thread. "That’s offensive," comments a Facebook follower of the same Miami writer, Sef Gonzalez.

A rival chain, Jet's, joins the fray. "What a sad-looking pie," a social manager tweets Thursday before responding to another critic:

The outcry catches Pizza Hut's attention 16 hours after it began. "This isn't the quality we expect," the chain replies Thursday afternoon to Gonzalez. "Mind sending us a DM with your contact information and the address of the store you ordered from?"

Earlier, the 2021 national menu addition got a lukewarm review at The Washington Post. Food writer Emily Heil described it as "a pie to be enjoyed by people who don’t know better yet." A taster she recuited because of his local roots said: "Anyone who grew up in Detroit would probably be offended."

Gonzalez, an author and freelance journalist who has blogged about comfort food since 2008 as "The Burger Beast," sparks the new pile-on with this tweet and an identical Facebook post:

These are among reactions, starting locally:

  • "Violence manifested in pizza form. ... This is not Detroit-style pizza. This is proof that there is no just or loving God in this universe." -- Erin Marquis, Detroit (2 posts)
  • "I feel like you have to actually try to get it this wrong." -- Kayla Ruble, Detroit
  • "That genuinely looks like a pan of breadsticks with a couple handfuls of cheese and some sauce drizzled over it." -- Ty Schalter, Lansing
  • "That's not what Detroit Pizza looks like, we promise." -- Detroit Free Press
  • "It looks like when you puke really hard and then just spit blood on top of the vom-pile." -- Zachary Anderson
  • "WTF is that thing?" -- Danny Lozano, Miami
  • "I've been to Jet's Pizza down here [South Florida] and I've been to the original Detroit Pizza place in Detroit. It's Pizza Hut, what do you want?" -- Tony Prieto
  • "I tried it last week and was only able to eat one slice. It was more like cheese bread. Sides were not crispy and the little sauce on top is not enough to compensate for no sauce under the cheese. ... I'll never order again." -- Jessica Michnewicz
  • "That’s a crime against pizza." -- Jess 
  • "Do people from Detroit just constantly walk around with pizza sauce all over their face?" -- Aaron Wilson, Rock Island, Ill.
  • "I had one a few weeks ago, awful shit." -- Ricardo Blankenship
  • "This is the machine-learning equivalent of pizza creation. It's an abomination." -- David Schenet, Alexandria, Va.
  • "An atrocity." -- Steve Svekis, Davie, Fla.

Neil Walter of Nebraska can have the last words as he rises in Pizza Hut's defense, though not resoundingly: "It's fine. Not great, not awful, it's fine. And it definitely passes for pizza. Stop being a snob."

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