Meanwhile, Vishnu's in the kitchen making pizza...
November 6, 2007 6:08 PM   Subscribe

Today's Indian Pizza Hut Special:  
Buy one large tikka masala pizza, get one Bollywood-style dance routine free. Yay!

According to Wikipedia:
Pizza Hut came to India in 1996 with a dine-in restaurant in Bangalore, that had special vegetarian pizzas. In addition to traditional toppings, it incorporates Indian favorite foods such as Chicken tikkas, Lamb korma and other dishes, in its list of innovative toppings. However, one would be hard pressed to find beef toppings since the cow is considered a sacred animal. No beef on the menu is to comply with the Hindu majority. Along with pizzas, the menu features appetizers such as garlic bread and soups, fresh salads, oven-baked pastas and choice of ice-cream sundaes. They have some American and Italian foods other than just Indian foods. They have pepperoni pizzas as well as cheese and the like. They have different types of meal orders such as the Four Course Menu. In the Four Course Menu you can get garlic bread (with or without cheese), a small bowl of soup (mushroom or tomato basil), a small personal pan and a dessert of mango ice cream.

Oh, and if you don't get the lame joke in my headline, here's why it's funny:  this is Vishnu. See... he's got a lot of arms! So he can make pizzas fast & they have a lot of free time to dance. Get it? Ha ha ha!
posted by miss lynnster (41 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Actually, this sort of thing goes on at all Pizza Huts, worldwide, which is why your pizza is often cold.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:16 PM on November 6, 2007

I read a comment once, I think on metafilter, about a guy who got seriously ill eating Domino's Pizza in India.
posted by delmoi at 6:16 PM on November 6, 2007

Why would anyone eat Pizza Hut in India, when you could have Indian food? The mind boggles.
posted by doctor_negative at 6:17 PM on November 6, 2007

Yeah, I remember seeing that Pizza Hut. And I remember there's a KFC right across from the sphinx, too. They're all over Egypt. Pizza Huts were actually in Egypt long before McDonald's was.

Funny enough, I found these clips because I'm redoing my website portfolio and I was hired to try redesigning the Pizza Hut logo a few years ago (they were thinking of becoming an"italian bistro" instead of a fast food joint, but changed their minds). I was looking for a link to their old logo... but next thing I knew I became sidetracked with watching clip after clip of these guys dancing.
posted by miss lynnster at 6:19 PM on November 6, 2007

Huh... and I thought I was the only one who makes pizza with (Patak curry paste) curry/tikka masala.

I wonder if they put cheese on theirs, too?
posted by porpoise at 6:24 PM on November 6, 2007

Some friends and I once were split on what to order for dinner. Half chose pizza and half chose Indian.

Halfway through the meal, someone had the bright idea of putting the vindaloo on the cheese pizza. It was amazing, and is now a regular occurrance in my home.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:26 PM on November 6, 2007

Why would anyone eat Pizza Hut in India, when you could have Indian food? The mind boggles.

Well, for example, let's say you've been a visitor in India for several months, eating curry and saag every day. You just might find yourself wanting , say, a pizza, might you not? And let's not forget Indians, who, just like anyone else in the world, might just like a little variety, no? One notes, for example, that Americans do not consume only hamburgers and steaks, but on occasion like to have a nice bowl of phở.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:31 PM on November 6, 2007

Damn. I now want a tikka masala pizza.
posted by flaterik at 6:33 PM on November 6, 2007

Tikka Masala Sauce
Thin Crust
Green Chillies

Some of the best pizza I've ever had. I am shocked that it comes from a mass production house like Pizza Pizza.
posted by Popular Ethics at 7:01 PM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

Obligatory mention of Zante's Indian Pizza in San Francisco.
posted by vacapinta at 7:07 PM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

The dancers made me smile.
More professions should do this, do you remember when some American companies started pushing the workers to do morning calasthenics because the Japanese were doing it?
This would be way cooler.
posted by Iron Rat at 7:14 PM on November 6, 2007

Surely Vancouver has an Indian pizza place, somewhere in Surrey perhaps. C'mon, help an Indian pizza wanting brother out.
posted by Keith Talent at 7:41 PM on November 6, 2007

Obligatory mention of Zante's Indian Pizza in San Francisco.

Thank you, vacapinta! We got Indian pizza a couple of weeks ago (it's a regular thing for us) and yup, still delicious!
posted by rtha at 7:57 PM on November 6, 2007

They have a Chicken Tandori slice at CPU downtown where I'm at.

I'll also be in India in a couple months so I'll have to try the za and report back here. I sure as well won't be eating Pizza Hut though.

Speaking of foreign fast food, what does kick ass in Kentucky Fried Chicken in Tianjin, China. For like $5 I got this bucket full of chicken food accessories (wings/fingers/drumsticks) etc as well as pop, biscuits, potatoes, and it fed four people. It was spicier and less greasy.
posted by ageispolis at 8:00 PM on November 6, 2007

might just like a little variety, no

Yeah, but Pizza Hut is crap.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:35 PM on November 6, 2007

If I have gotten one thing from making this post, it is that I am temporarily going off of my diet tomorrow and going to Zante's for pizza. Period.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:52 PM on November 6, 2007

Vishnu in today's Daily Mail [may be disturbing for some].
posted by tellurian at 9:00 PM on November 6, 2007

I ate at Pizza Hut many times in India, I have to admit. Keep in mind, for Indians who live in India, every meal is not the succulent, rich, restaurant-style Indian you get over here. In the household where I was a paying guest it generally consisted of sabsi, roti-- vegetable, flat wheat bread. Sometimes daal, sometimes raita, but mostly just a lot of oily bread and okra or peas and potatoes, in a little sauce. No rice even, because I was in the "wheat belt" of India.

After months of Indian food every day, you start to want something else. Pizza was one of the things I craved terribly. And Pizza Hut was the closest approximation to American pizza available-- and it was an approximation still, because the recipe is not quite the same. Really, going to Pizza Hut was sort of an all-purpose homesickness cure. Their restaurants have that manufactured, hygenic polish to them that I find sickening here in the US but desperately missed on the subcontinent, where it is rarer than rare outside of a few major, modernized cities. I felt like a douche, but I wanted to eat my lunch off of a certified-sparkly-clean table every once in a blue moon.

The restaurant is also a lot posher than in the US. It's ridiculously expensive compared to what most Indian people spend on meals. Sometimes I felt too underdressed and scruffy to eat there; everybody else in the restaurant would be in suits and ties. I know from talking to the waitstaff that a bachelor's degree is required to work there.

But I never did see any dancing waitstaff... I feel slighted now.
posted by bookish at 9:17 PM on November 6, 2007

Alright, someone has to know where to get Tikka Masala pizza in Toronto. I know that Pizza Pizza has the sauce on their menu, but don't make me go there. Please.
posted by maudlin at 9:29 PM on November 6, 2007

Oh, Indian-flavoured American-style-pizza is entirely different from "international" American-style-pizza. Lots more spices innit. Although, must mention here that the sole Indian Pizza Hut I've been to in Bombay had the dancers dancing to some rock (ie, non-Indian) songs; can't remember what it was.

Btw, did anyone else notice that four of the seven videos here were from the same Pizza Hut outlet in Agra? In fact, two of the videos even have the same dancers!
posted by the cydonian at 9:43 PM on November 6, 2007

Two true stories from Connaught Place in Delhi, ca. 1999:

1) When the new McDonald's opened on Connaught - one of the first in India - they employed a very well-educated young man to stand near where the line as it formed at the counter to explain how the place worked to the upper-class Indian families who'd come as an exotic treat. In particular, the idea of shlepping your own food - especially at such posh prices - was freakish and borderline offensive to your average upper-class Indian.

2) One night, after a long long long day spent unsuccessfully trying to extend a visa, mrs. gompa and I retired to our underheated divey Connaught Place guesthouse (gets frickin' chilly in Delhi in November, and nothing's insulated, so our room was, if anything, colder than the outside temp). We were just aching for something comforting. I went and got Domino's takeout and we ate it out on the patio and washed it down with way too many Kingfishers from the guesthouse's cooler. The whole damn staff gathered round shooting me these oh-you'll-be-getting-some-tonight-sir looks the whole time.

Neither of these stories involve Pizza Hut, but both, to my mind, address the notion of why 1) Indians and 2) Westerners eat there sometimes. Also, the best food in India is in people's houses, and when urbane Indians go out, they want something they can't get at home. (There exists, for example, an entire mongrel cuisine called "Indian-style Chinese.")
posted by gompa at 9:46 PM on November 6, 2007

We should have a meetup at Zante's.
posted by rajbot at 10:05 PM on November 6, 2007

Obligatory mention of Zante's Indian Pizza in San Francisco.
posted by vacapinta at 7:07 PM on November 6

Well, I know what I'll be doing for dinner Friday night!

On preview: that sounds like a great idea. Might even coax me into attending an SF meetup for a change ;)
posted by kosher_jenny at 10:42 PM on November 6, 2007

The "Indian style Chinese" food we get in Toronto is often called Hakka, and usually has some Caribbean influence as well. My Guyanese in-laws once removed ikeep talking about it, so I may have to schlep to Scarborough to try it out.
posted by maudlin at 10:43 PM on November 6, 2007 [1 favorite]

"Indian-style Chinese."

I had chinese-style indian in beijing, and while it was pretty tasty, the rice was ALL wrong.
posted by flaterik at 12:49 AM on November 7, 2007

(There exists, for example, an entire mongrel cuisine called "Indian-style Chinese.")

Oh man. I once met this guy who slopped sambaar over noodles and called it 'Indochinese'.

He also had purple hair from a decade of eating pepsidaalchawal.
Yeah. That's right. Pepsi. As Daal. Mixed with rice. Eaten by hand.

posted by sushiwiththejury at 12:57 AM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

I work in a very fancy NYC starchict's office, and we often leap up from our autocad drawings and models to do a Bollywood number or two.

Also, Greenwhich Village in the 70s-80s had a combo Mexican-Indian cafe, which was not only delicious, but the spiciest motherfucking food on the planet, and I've been to both Mexico and Indian. Definitely a symbiotic effect on the chili peppers.
posted by DenOfSizer at 4:22 AM on November 7, 2007

I was just having a conversation about this with an American friend of mine, of how popular restaurants like Pizza Hut, Subway, McDonald’s and KFC are over here, both with Indians and Foreigners, and I think it has a lot to do with what bookish said upthread.
posted by hadjiboy at 4:51 AM on November 7, 2007

You know what they call Indian food in India?


I'll be here all week, folks! Don't try the veal because there isn't any here!
posted by tommasz at 5:32 AM on November 7, 2007

"Robin Cook announced chicken tikka masala as the new national dish of Great Britain. Food critics immediately responded by condemning it as a British invention. Chicken tikka masala, they sneered, was not a shining example of British multiculturalism but a demonstration of the British facility for reducing all foreign foods to their most unappetizing and inedible forms. Rathar than the inspired invention of an enterprising Indian chef, this offensive dish was dismissed as the result of an ignorant customer's complaint that his chicken tikka was too dry. When the chef whipped together a can of Campbell's tomato soup, some cream, and a few spices to provide a gravy for the offending chicken, he produced a mongrel dish of which, to their shame, Britons now eat at least 18 tons a week."

Chicken Tikka Masala Pizza is just one further step in that process.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:02 AM on November 7, 2007

he's got a lot of arms! So he can make pizzas fast & they have a lot of free time to dance. Get it? Ha ha ha!

<Apu>Please do not offer my god a peanut.</Apu>
posted by GuyZero at 7:52 AM on November 7, 2007

Actually the Pizza Hut I had in Delhi that my pregnant wife requested was the best chain pizza I ever had. It had tons of fresh vegetables ,I'm guessing that they were local, and the random selection of veggies was suprising too. Who knew sweet corn would be so good?
posted by abelincolnjr at 8:45 AM on November 7, 2007

I was in Bangalore in '96. After several months of traveling, it was really bizarre to see US chain restaurants. I didn't go to Pizza Hut, but every day I went to Baskin Robbins and spent more money on ice cream than I did on my hotel room.

With all the money flowing in from outsourcing, it must be teeming with chain restaurants now.
posted by rouftop at 9:42 AM on November 7, 2007

"Surely Vancouver has an Indian pizza place, somewhere in Surrey perhaps. C'mon, help an Indian pizza wanting brother out."

Yeah, where's Mock? He took my girlfriend and I to an amazing pizza joint that tossed a bunch of aloo gobi and random curry bites on a pizza and it's about the best goddamned thing ever. That was in Vancouver, in that quasi-scuzzy Asian neighborhood near downtown (but well south of Chinatown).
posted by klangklangston at 1:40 PM on November 7, 2007

I love Indian Pizza, and I am on record several times commanding people to go the Golden Gate Pizza in the Outer Sunset for the best!
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 2:25 PM on November 7, 2007

theres this place down in milpitas called 'milan' that serves 'regular' gujurathi food and also what they call 'manchu' or 'manchurian' indian food.

they gots the nut cutlet and other 'sizzlers' that are brought out on one of those iron skillets sitting on a wood platter. pretty tasty, and spicy in a sweet and sour kind of way.

somewhere else down here in the valley there's a punjabi guy with a pizza store but i cant remember the name or location. pretty good indian-style toppings. i'll have to ask my co-workers.
posted by joeblough at 3:14 PM on November 7, 2007

pizza places in surrey tend to have butter chicken pizzas (same as tikka masala chicken, btw) - just say no when they say "apna style" or you'll end up with coriander seeds and cilantro leaves on the pizza (which I'm not a huge fan of).

If you guys really want to know, MeFiMail me and I'll rummage through the flyers around the house and send some scans around.
posted by heeeraldo at 10:12 PM on November 7, 2007 [1 favorite]

This is so awesome.

My only question is, what the fuck kind of training materials does Pizza Hut have on choreographed dancing?
posted by baphomet at 7:11 AM on November 8, 2007

It's just in all the movies so lots of people just pick them up.

I lived there for the summer working at a software company in Chennai. I remember my first pizza 3-month in to my stay there, and bringing the leftovers home on the back of my bicycle in the middle of traffic.
posted by sirsteven at 10:00 AM on November 8, 2007

Yeah, pet the dog with one hand and screw in a lightbulb with the other - what's so hard about that?
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 10:36 AM on November 8, 2007

Maudin: What you want to do is go out to Brampton. There's one or two Indian-style pizza places in this shopping center -- er, I mean centre -- on The Gore Road.

I'm sure there's probably places closer to central Toronto, but crikey, mate, I live in Baltimore and only know of the Brampton place(s) because I've a friend who lives there. You can't expect me to be an authority on the GTA's Indian diaspora . . .
posted by CommonSense at 5:26 PM on November 10, 2007

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