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Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Not new, But never gets old

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HotBox Pizza’s slogan says the eatery is “saving the world from pizza mediocrity, one pie at a time.” I can attest that HotBox has saved me from many a mediocre dinner over the years.

I first became familiar with the local pizza chain, which was founded in 2004, when I was a student at Butler University. So why write about HotBox now?

Though the chain has long been a favorite among college students in Indy, West Lafayette and Muncie, locations are starting to pop up in the suburbs, and the restaurant’s website indicates plans to sell franchises throughout the Midwest. So this is a heads up for anyone who’s never tried HotBox. There are so, so many pizza places begging for your business, and I want to be sure you don’t overlook one of the best.

I’ve written before about how important breadsticks and cheese are to me when it comes to choosing a pizza provider. HotBox consistently delivers the absolute best breadsticks and cheese I’ve ever had. The company boasts that its sticks are “so outrageously tasty, that they have to be experienced rather than described!” I agree that it’s difficult to find the right words, and we all know that actions speak louder anyway, so I’ll just share this tidbit: When I was in college, the delivery minimum for HotBox was $10, so two orders of breadsticks and two sides of cheese was the perfect amount of food to get the delivery driver to our door. That’s 10 breadsticks — a lot to eat in one sitting. I’d get my fill and put the bag of sticks to the side until it was time for breakfast. Yes, even first thing in the morning (sometimes afternoon) the room-temperature breadsticks and cooled, coagulated cheese sauce were the most delicious way to start the day. 

Now that I’m a proper adult with proper adult tastes, I try to aim for a more  well-rounded meal plan. HotBox always offers what they call “The Deal,” which is a large one-topping pizza, an order of breadsticks and two drinks for $16.99. It’s my go-to order, with spicy pepperoni for the topping. Other winners I’ve had at HotBox over the years include The Hot Chick, which has grilled chicken, jalapenos, Wisconsin cheddar cheese and Buffalo sauce; Big Al’s Fredo with alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, Roma tomatoes, spinach and banana peppers; and Eve’s Garden with broccoli, fontina, tomatoes and fresh garlic.

After having HotBox, we’re left with more than just our fond memories of a great meal: Each drink comes in a huge plastic cup that you get to keep! They also always tuck some Tootsie Rolls in the pizza box so we’ll have something sweet to finish with.

You won’t break the bank ordering dinner at HotBox, but if you’d like to try it out for free, its annual National Breadstix Day is coming up. On Nov. 9 from 2–5 p.m., free breadsticks will be available at all HotBox locations while supplies last.

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