As is ever the case, just because the U.S. and Canada may share chains– be it stores, restaurants, or something else– that does not mean they share anything else. For instance, while KFC has been willing to bring its infamous (but tasty) Double Down to Canada periodically, we’re still waiting for them to introduce more non-fried offerings, such as Kentucky Grilled Chicken. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg regarding differences, but that’s an article for another day; we’re here to talk about Pizza Hut.

While consumers in the States have the company’s new garlic bread pizzas to try out, those of us north of the border who like to putt-putt to the Pizza Hut have something else to try: Signature Singles.

The Signature Singles are a group of four “gourmet” pizzas featuring an Italian-style thin crust and “premium toppings,” each made to serve one person. The four varieties are as follows, according to a press release on Marketwire:

  • Quattro Formaggio: Extra cheese please! Cheese lovers across the country will melt over this pizza’s medley of gooey cheddar, parmesan, pizza and fresh mozzarella.
  • BBQ Chicken: Bold yes! But big on taste! Enjoy both the sweet and savoury flavours of grilled chicken breast, gooey cheddar, pizza mozzarella, crisp green peppers, red onion and a smoky BBQ sauce.
  • White Pizza with Garlic Shrimp: Seafood enthusiasts will enjoy the delectable hybrid of juicy shrimp, zesty lemon sauce, pizza mozzarella, roasted garlic and marinated Roma tomatoes.
  • Heat Lover’s: Feel the heat with a spicy combination of hot peppers, savoury pepperoni, bacon crumble, beef topping, sliced ham and pizza mozzarella, laid over a delicious layer of Old World sauce.

For a look at each, you can find picture’s on Pizza Hut Canada’s Facebook page.

Each are available at the company’s dine-in restaurants across Canada, which Director of Marketing Beverley D’Cruz says is part of their effort to “renovate its dine-in restaurant décor and menu to create a more modern and contemporary casual dining experience for its customers.” And until July 22nd, the Signature Singles are being offered at a special introductory price of $5, “[t]o thank and encourage Canadians to come out and experience the new pizzas.” After that point, the price will go to the regular $9.99 already listed on the menu.

For this review, I decided to partake in the “White Pizza with Garlic Shrimp.” I opted out of the roasted garlic this time, however, as I didn’t care for how grainy it was, and the way it clumped when I had previously tried the pizza (I’m only now reviewing it because the last time I tried, dine-in was not available due to a power outage, and I had to carry the pizza home. Hardly ideal for reviewing).

You can see the promotional image provided for that one at the top of the page. After placing our order at the restaurant this weekend, the following is what we received:

All in all, not too bad, but what’s with those Roma tomatoes? Well, it’s not as bad as one might think; as noted in the description, they have been marinated, soaking in what I was told is a balsamic vinegar. Perhaps these were soaking for longer, making the diameter smaller but the slices thicker. In either case, they were rather tasty– so much that my wife tried one and wound up plucking most of them off (I got some pieces of chicken from her BBQ Chicken pizza in return).

What I did get to have went well with the pizza; however, most of the pizza does not get to partake in that mix with so few tomatoes across it (five per pizza, it would seem). Perhaps if the tomatoes were diced and spread more evenly, it would be different, but as it is, they are good for plucking and eating separately.

The mozzarella was good; if you’ve had Pizza Hut before, then you know this cheese well enough. It did well to complement the peeled white tail-off shrimp, which were small but more abundant than some places which offer it as a pizza topping.

And then there was the “zesty lemon sauce.” I typically prefer my pizzas and pasta with a cream sauce, such as Alfredo, and this tasted very close to the kind they use, but with a fine hint of lemon added. I’m not sure what exactly the sauce is (looking over information on the website, I’m not sure if it is called their “Tropical sauce” by name or not, or what that consists of), but it helped bring everything together quite well.

As noted previously, the pizzas use an Italian-style thin crust, and you can see how thin it is for yourself in the picture above. The result of this is a pizza which really does feel suitable for a single person; I didn’t begin to feel full until after the third of the four slices the dish was cut into, and even then, I could have gone the distance with ease.

Generally speaking, this isn’t a problem, though it may be in another week. At $5, it makes a perfect meal for one; however, if you’ve seen the commercials, you’ll notice that they are serving a family of four, and at the regular price, that brings dinner to $40 before you even factor in drinks, taxes, or tip (these are dine-in only, remember). At that price, it definitely becomes more of a premium item, and if you’re not easily filled, it could leave you wanting more (add in appetizers or desserts).

Of course, that’s only speaking to the situation presented in the commercial. If $10 per person for a family of four is not a problem, or you’re simply dealing with fewer people (or everyone chips in), then it’s a good deal for the price, though it doesn’t strike me as something a lot of people would make their usual at Pizza Hut. But for special occasions, it’s not a bad deal.

With any luck, maybe I can get in one other type of pizza before the price goes up.

In addition, since my wife and I each had a Diet Pepsi, we were given two of these neat contest vouchers. “A guaranteed prize inside,” it boasts on the other side, “but don’t open me. Come back September 4th to October 31st and we’ll unlock your winnings.” Additional disclaimers state “Don’t open me! It’ll be worth the wait!”

It’s certainly an intriguing notion, and a good way to drum up return business. Among the prizes are “dream family vacations,” $500 travel vouchers, “gaming systems,” “home entertainment systems,” and the usual gift cards and food prizes. I’m betting on a food prize, thus ensuring we make a third trip to Pizza Hut.

It also says that “only a Pizza Hut manager” can unlock the prize (re: tear the sides off the paper form). I might have a little fun and ask for identification, as I don’t want just anyone jeopardizing all my hopes and dreams and free pizza; I will only trust in someone with the power vested in them by Pizza Hut Pete and Pizza Head to open my voucher.

(I might make an exception if the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Marty McFly, Darkwing Duck, or Garfield stop by to do the honors. I’ll also be spending a sleepless night wondering if anyone will get what those four have to do with any of this.)

When the time comes and we find out what we’ve won, I’ll see about posting an update. Who knows? Maybe it will be something fun and interesting.