Last night was a special night out with the family and our neighbor Dan, who just got laid off from his job too. Horrible Corporate politics in play here and unfortunate for him and his family. So, we invited Dan and his son, Alex (our son, Matthew's best friend) to join us for dinner. Unfortunately, Jan, Dan's wife and my friend, was not feeling very well and so she stayed home and rested. But, we made sure to take her a goody box - and it was a goody too.
heard that there was a new item on the menu - Lasagna, and we wanted to
give it a try. Actually, it isn't on the menu yet, but will be
shortly. (I have a little bluebird that visits me on occasion and
tells me these things). So, we thought that since the weather was nice
and we hadn't been to Pizza Hut in a long, long time, we would scurry on
down to the one at 2111 Roosevelt Blvd. in Monroe, NC.
We had never been there and had heard that it is one of the nicest
Pizza Huts in the area. I had never seen a PH Italian Bistro before,
so being able to fly the coop for an evening out with my family was
exciting. I really need to get out more.
I was pleasantly surprised. This was a really nice family restaurant. And clean. Very clean. Impressively clean. If you want to know just how nice this restaurant is to take your family, know that everything including the mall parking lot where this PH is located was empty except for the Pizza Hut parking lot. There must have been 5 sheriff's car's in the parking lot as well as lots of cars and trucks (we live in the south, folks, there are gonna be trucks). Fortunately, as we discovered when we went in, the cops were there to eat - and not arresting anyone or beating off the local yocals with a stick. (That was a relief).
What I found amazing was that this Pizza Hut was 23 years old. It looked brand new to me!
Hmmm, let's see, what to order. We were definitely going to try the
new Lasagna, but I could tell that Big Bear had his eye on the wings.
Wow, do they have a selection of wings on the menu or what?
Did I mention this restaurant was very clean? It is. Very. Clean.
We're hungry. We're happy. We're hungry. We're happy. I need
blinders now that Sarah has had her braces removed. Yep, they came off
yesterday, so I guess you could say that this was a celebratory dinner
for Sarah's sparkling, straight, white smile.
I need blinders. Two-and-a-half years and $5000 dollars later, Sarah will be smiling even when she doesn't feel like it. "Can I stop smiling now Mom? Take the dang picture already!" "Okay, but you have to hold that smile the rest of the night."
This is Tiffany. She wears braces. She has worked at this Pizza Hut for over 4 years and is working her way through college. I thought she was cute. We all did.
We took turns at the salad bar, and I should tell you that it
was delicious. Small, but good. I am always weary of salad bars,
especially since all kinds of nasty things can grow if it is not kept
at a certain temperature and kept clean. Assistant Manager, Kristine
Daniels, who has worked at this Pizza Hut for 18 years, assured me that
they monitor the temperature several times a day and keep the salad bar
fresh and clean. They're on top of it and it was a good feeling. Good salad by the way.
I was impressed - especially since they had no idea this camera toting lady and her family were going to be dining there last night.
By the way, I learned that the manager, Mike LanVardt, has been
manager of this Pizza Hut for 21 years. Does this tell you something
about this organization? When everyone else is losing their job, Pizza
Hut is holding onto their employees like glue. Can I send Big Bear
over for a job application?
Ahhh, dinner. I was starving. The new family size Lasagna dinner comes with 5
hot, soft, and tasty breadsticks. No, this is not a commercial for
Pizza Hut. Yes, this was our dinner last night - Out & About town.
And it was definitely worth writing about. The Lasagna, this new Lasagna, wasn't heavy. The sauce was sweet and tasty too.
My favorite - Pan Cheese Pizza. I've had so many pizza's (I think we all have) from Dominos to Mario's, and I still think Pizza Hut makes the best.
So, are you all ready for the Super Bowl this Sunday? Well, how
would you like to have something delicious from Pizza Hut to share with
family and friends?
To celebrate my daughter's beautiful new smile, I am offering not 1, not 2, but 3 $20 e-gift cards to Pizza Hut to 3 lucky readers who answer this question in the comments:
What do you like best about spending time with your family?
And maybe, this Sunday, you can gather with your family and your friends, enjoy the Super Bowl, and share some Lasagna and pizza with a smile and a hug.
Because it took me forever to get this post finished (I was watching
a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie with my family and my computer kept
locking up on me) - This contest will end
at 7pm EST, Saturday evening (January 31st), and I will announce the 3
winners 2 hours later, at 9pm Saturday evening - just in time for you
to add some great Lasagna to your Sunday Super Bowl Plans. Deal?
Now, tell me all about what you like best about spending time with your family and enjoy the Super Bowl!
CONGRATULATIONS! WE HAVE OUR WINNERS! 3 Lucky Readers will have the opportunity to enjoy some time with family at their local Pizza Hut with three $20 gift cards and some delicious new Lasagna on the menu!
I asked you all to tell me what you like best about spending time with family and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading your answers. Hopefully tomorrow (Sunday) you will be able to spend quality time with your family and maybe even some friends cheering for your favorite football team. It is Super Bowl Sunday after all.
I printed off the comment list, trimmed it up by the individual comments, and put them in a bowl. Here are the winning selections:
And the winners are:
"I think the best times spent with family members are the ones that are not expected, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, but the ones when they call and tell you they've got the night off from work and can they come over for dinner and to hang out. Then we know for sure that they really want to be there! It's questionable sometimes when they reach a certain age how much they want to be at your house when they could be doing something waaay more important - like hang with their friends... So, those are good moments for me, unforced, relaxed, non-holiday, just wanting to be together." I really liked your answer, Paul. I agree with you that the best times with family - just enjoying the everyday moments. As you say: "unforced, relaxed, non-holiday, just wanting to be together." and, the second winner is: Karen. Karen wrote:
"I think the best times spent with family members are the ones that are not expected, like Thanksgiving or Christmas, but the ones when they call and tell you they've got the night off from work and can they come over for dinner and to hang out. Then we know for sure that they really want to be there! It's questionable sometimes when they reach a certain age how much they want to be at your house when they could be doing something waaay more important - like hang with their friends... So, those are good moments for me, unforced, relaxed, non-holiday, just wanting to be together."
I really liked your answer, Paul. I agree with you that the best times with family - just enjoying the everyday moments. As you say: "unforced, relaxed, non-holiday, just wanting to be together."
and, the second winner is:
"The thing I like best about spending time with my family is that we all get along! Really! :) There are no arguments, and no fights. We laugh a lot, too about anything and everything and we always have inside jokes that last for years and years.
We have a very nice Pizza Hut here in Havre and because there aren't too many restaurants, I'd have to say it's one of my favorites. They have a great lunchtime buffet with salads, pizza and pasta.
Sarah looks beautiful with her nice, straight teeth!
Thanks for the giveaway, Susan!"
Sounds like you and your family all have a fun time together, Karen. And I completely understand the "inside jokes" remark. Sometimes I wonder if our friends "get" our wacky sense of humor. When I and my brothers are together, we tear up the room with comic relief and I often wonder if we're the only ones who get the joke. That's a laugh in and of itself.
Oh, and "You're welcome Karen - for the giveaway. Hee hee.
and, the third winner is:
"I might be colombian but I like my pizza, especially at Pizza Hut, and after reading this blog, I can't wait to visit this neat place with a few of my friends this Super Bowl weekend. Thanks for the info."
Well, Marcela, it looks as though you and your family will have the chance to enjoy some delicious Pizza Hut Lasagna, Pizza, or other favorite from the menu this weekend!
CONGRATULATIONS! By the way, I spoke to my sponsor and it looks as though I might be able to have another contest just like this one again soon. I want my readers to have every opportunity to enjoy these great sponsored prizes. It sure does make me happy knowing that I have made you happy in some way.
TO OUR WINNERS: Email me at Susan@raisin-toast.com to claim your prize. All I need is your email address and my sponsor will do the rest.
Everyone have a great weekend with your family. Reflect on the simple pleasures, the precious memories, the joy of just being together. Life is fleeting. Time with family is a gift - the greatest gift of all. As always, thank you for sharing your stories with me. It is your stories that bring me the greatest pleasure here on Raisin Toast. Thank you for being a part of my life and for sharing in my journey.
*************************Note: I don't know anyone at PIzza Hut. I just love their pizza. This contest, however, was sponsored by Pizza Hut - well sorta. You see, while I was there, I finagled these giftcards for my readers. So, I suppose that I, aka SusieQ, sponsored this giveaway - and Pizza hut too.