The year was 1975 and my family gathered around the kitchen table to feast on a new exotic food that was recently introduced to us when we ate at the home of one of my father’s co-workers. They were called “Tacos” and we all loved them and Mom quickly made them part of the dinner rotation. They weren’t fancy and not very authentic, Safeway ground beef browned with an Old El Paso Taco seasoning packet thrown in. I still love them that way. But it was when I was taking my first bite into my first taco that night, inspiration hit me. The conversation went something like this:
Me: You know what would be a good idea? They should make the taco shells out of Doritos!
My Brother: Shut up. That’s stupid.
Me: YOU shut up.
Dad: Mike, don’t tell your brother to shut up.
Me: Mom, don’t you think that would be a good idea?
Mom: Uh-huh, now eat your taco.
Yes everyone, the “Taco Bell Doritos Taco” was MY idea dammit!, 38 years ago! I was 11 at the time, neither Frito Lay nor Taco Bell headquarters were in Southern Maryland and even if they were, at that age, I was still not allowed to cross Fort Foote Road. So my brilliant idea went dormant for decades until a second person came up with the idea and Taco Bell is making a fortune on my idea.
So, last week I saw a commercial for Pizza Hut Pizza Sliders, the latest in a string of products Pizza Hut has come up with to sell the same mediocre product. But inspiration hit me again.
It cracks me up how lately “sliders” has become a big thing. In the restaurant world, anything that is a small sandwich is suddenly called a slider. The term “slider” was coined as a nickname for White Castle Hamburgers (probably one of the tastiest things in the universe). But those who have eaten at White Castle can tell you: “You don’t buy White Castles, you rent them.” While not a high fiber food, these little burgers have a way of going through you quickly; sliding through you, so to speak, hence the nickname.
So while marveling at these “pizza sliders” and how they are in no way true sliders, it occurred to me… “Would 2 of these pizza sliders not make a really tasty hamburger bun?”
So, late this morning I ventured out to gather the ingredients for my culinary experiment, despite the heart attack warnings from my Facebook friends.
The Pizza Hut Sliders would be easy enough, relatively speaking. My local Pizza Hut is in an odd location. I won’t go into details on the placement of the building, but let me just say that the easiest way to get to this particular Pizza Hut is to be born there.
On my Tolkien-esqe journey to this Pizza Hut was underway, I received a text from my 17 year-old son, Cosmo saying that he and his brother would be returning soon from their weekend youth group get away. I asked if he wanted to have one of my experimental burgers and he was down for it. Then I texted my 11 year-old son Max (who was riding in a different vehicle than Cosmo) and asked him if he wanted to join us. His texted reply: “Um… no, To be honest, that sounds like something that would give me diarrhea.”
For the burger part, I decided to pay a visit to a local and more easily-accessible Wendy’s. My thinking was that since I wasn’t sure of the size of the pizzas or the burgers, the Wendy’s burgers would be easy to cut to fit the pizzas properly.
To my delight, I found upon returning home that the Wendy’s hamburger patty was the same size as a Pizza Hut Pizza Slider.
So, I built my burger. The bottom bun was a Pepperoni and Italian Sausage pizza. I opted for only one hamburger patty, although I had enough to make a double. The top bun was another Pepperoni and Italian Sausage pizza. It was a very beautiful thing to behold.
One cow gave his life for this burger and two pigs gave their lives for the pepperoni and the sausage. I don’t know this for a fact. Maybe the pepperoni and sausage were made from the same pig. And now that I think of it, another cow, or maybe the very same one, was milked for the cheese.
The first bite confirmed my theory. These tiny pizzas do indeed make a good hamburger bun. The crust was not quite the greasy Pizza Hut Pan Pizza consistency, and not the Hand-Tossed variety either. Bread-wise, there was good bite and chew, and it blended well with the toppings and the burger.
The only thing I would change would be that I would add more pizza sauce. I didn’t want to spoil the whole thing by adding ketchup or any other standard burger condiments, so the whole thing needed just a little more moisture.
I encourage you to try this! Pizza Hut allows you to custom top the little pizzas (in groups of three) with up to three toppings at no extra charge. I’m not a mushroom/green pepper person, but if I were, I can see how they would make a great variation on what I’m calling the “Pizza Burger Bomb”.
My mind is racing now… Chick-fil-a makes a damn good chicken sandwich… There may be a “Pizza Chicken Bomb” in the future! Perhaps I can go to my local BBQ joint and make a “Pizza Pork Bomb”… Oooo! a “Pizza Reuben Bomb” or a “Pizza French Dip Bomb”! But I’m drawing the line at the “Pizza Arby’s Bomb” that just sounds deadly.
Deadly, and GOOD!