Last week, Pizza Hut announced that they would (finally) be unleashing the Hot Dog Bites Pizza in the United States, and reactions ranged from extremely delighted to exceptionally horrified. I fell somewhere in between, more intrigued than anything, and made it my mission to taste test this most polarizing of pizza pies, which makes its nationwide debut on June 18.
This is your basic Pizza Hut pie, with a thin, delightfully floppy crust, sweet, tangy sauce, and salty — somewhat chewy — cheese. In short, it’s exactly what you would expect from Pizza Hut: lots of sugar, fat, and salt, and it tastes pretty good.
The hot dogs
There are two kinds of Hot Dog Bites: “regular” and “pretzel,” but apart from the rock salt there isn’t much of a difference between the two. Made to be ripped from the pizza slice and eaten separately, these little guys are more like pigs in a blanket than hot dogs.
When eaten as a whole, the little Hot Dog Bites are quite enjoyable. The sweet crust plays well with the super salty franks and the combination is reminiscent of the Pillsbury-wrapped cocktail sausages one might find at a church supper or company potluck.
Remove the dog from its house though, and things get weird. The crust is still enjoyable, but the sausage begins to veer dangerously towards Vienna. No longer shielded by its doughy exterior, the hot dog’s lack of snap becomes glaringly obvious, causing one to regret ever taking the pig out of the blanket.
I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed “interacting” with this pizza. Going back and forth between two of America’s favorite foods was deliciously fun, though it felt like I was eating two separate dishes — hot dogs (well, pigs in blankets) and pizza -- rather than one cohesive meal. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, the variety keeps your palate from getting oversaturated with one flavor, and while pizza and hot dogs aren’t exactly PB&J, they don’t cause any dissonance.
If you really need to cleanse your palate, there’s always that giant tub of mustard. I love yellow mustard, but I don’t know that we need quite that much. Mustard is perfect on a hot dog, but a bit odd on pizza. I’m not suggesting Pizza Hut abandon French’s, but I think providing a variety of sauces would go a long way. Since you can’t pretend to have too much dignity while consuming such a creation, why not go all the way and offer a spicy cheese sauce, or perhaps a cup of ranch dressing (which goes great on everything)?
The only real problem I have with replacing the crust with a ring of hot dogs is logistical: once all the Hot Dog Bites have been consumed, there is no longer an easy way to grab ahold of your tasty pizza slice. This is not great tragedy, but it is a little messy.
Would I order it again?
Yes, but only with a support system in place. One should never attempt to conquer such a beast without backup; to do so would be folly. This is a party food and is best paired with hungry, likely drunk friends.
At the end of the day, Pizza Hut’s Hot Dog Bites Pizza is a novelty food, meant to be consumed with a sense of humor and lots of water. It’s salty, it’s greasy, it’s a bit too much, but none of that means that it isn’t tasty. I wouldn’t make it part of my daily, or even weekly diet.
If you’re a junk food connoisseur with an appetite for the extreme, you owe it to yourself to get your mouth on Pizza Hut’s Hot Dog Bites Pizza. But if you’re the type of person who would honestly rather eat an apple than a bag of Doritos, then you should probably steer clear. (I’m not totally sure why you’d click on this anyway.)