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What's for seconds?
Member Name: star500
Date: 26/10/00, updated on 06/12/02 (440 review reads)
Advantages: Eat and drink all you want at the buffet
Disadvantages: Buffet not available at the weekend
Pizza Hut is regarded as one of the best known pizza restaurants in the country. Serving a wide range of pizza and pasta, there is usually at least one in every major town and city.
I have to admit that until about two years ago, despite loving pizza, I had never actually ventured into a Pizza Hut before as I had always regarded them as being quite expensive. This is probably because a few years back there were a few "Pizza Land" restaurants around that were quite cheap and had offers such as "buy one pizza get another for a penny" and offered a 50% student discount on specific days. When these closed down and Pizza Hut took over, I avoided them as their prices seemed to be much higher and they didn't have a 50% student discount (this has changed now as they do currently have deals for students which can vary depending when and where you go).
However, I was tempted back into the "pizza restaurant" experience by my friends who are fans of their Unlimited Lunchtime Buffet where you can pretty much eat as much as you like for £5.49. It sounded okay and I decided to test it out (several times!) in the interests of writing this review.
~ What do you do?
If you are wanting the buffet you have to visit between 12noon and 2:30pm Monday to Friday (excluding Bank Holidays). Basically when you go in you will be greeted by a waiter/ess who will show you to your table (smoking or non-smoking). You then grab a plate and make your way to the buffet bar. Here you can fill it with the wide selection of pizza and pasta on offer. You can also visit the salad bar and don't forget to wash it all down with unlimited soft drinks for £1.35.
~ Does unlimited mean just two trips to the buffet?
No, unlimited means, unlimited. I had the misfortune of visiting it with several very lovely but extremely hungry friends who went up about three or four times, piling their plates high each time
. How they managed to eat it all I have no idea but nobody batted an eyelid or stopped anyone from going back up. Incidentally I could only manage two platefuls before feeling full.
~ Is the food of inferior quality because it is so cheap?
No, it definitely isn't. Granted, you don't have the same variety as on the regular menu but there are usually at least four or five different pizzas ranging from traditional cheese & tomato to vegetarian specials. There are also two kinds of pasta - a creamy bacon and cheese one and a tomato and herb vegetarian choice. There is also unlimited lettuce, sweetcorn, potato salad and other such things at the salad bar. The varieties of pizza and pasta vary in each restaurant but they always ensure that there is a vegetarian choice.
~ What about the free drinks?
You buy a glass of cola, lemonade or whatever you like and when it is finished the waiter or waitress will fill it back up for you. When I visited, several of my companions happened to be very thirsty as well as being hungry and had three glasses of a well known cola without being questioned about it. Some did spend the rest of the afternoon running to the toilet though...
~ What are the staff and restaurants like?
I have always found the service to be great and the tables to be clean - these are what I find important when I eat out. With the unlimited drinks, the staff regularly come to your table to ask if you want a refill or if they can get you anything else. Obviously the staff and thus the service differs between each branch, but I have always found the staff in the branches I have visited to be polite and friendly.
My only complaint would be that some of the tables are quite close together so if you were wanting to have a private conversation then you may want to go elsewhere. However the seats are comfy enough, the decor is not too bright and the background music (usually th
e latest chart hits) is played at an acceptable level. The toilets are also clean and well-lit but don't always have any more than two cubicles which is not a big problem as there usually isn't a big queue, even at busy times.
~ What else can you get to eat?
If you do not want to have the buffet, there are a wide range of pizza and pasta dishes available and I can recommend their garlic bread which is delicious. Well known pizzas include the "Stuffed Crust" (crust contains a cheesy filling) and "The Edge" (where toppings completely cover the whole pizza to the edge of the crust).
Their desserts are quite nice too especially the very large Fruits of the Forest sundaes and their chocolate cake. Some branches have the Ice Cream Machine which is basically "unlimited ice cream" - you are given a bowl and access to an ice cream machine and various toppings, smarties and jelly tots. Prices vary but are usually around the £2.99 mark for a dessert.
Hmmm, think I may need to test it out this week just in case I need to re-write this review (again!!)