Friday, June 19, 2015

Pizza Hut's "Hot Dog Bites" Pizza Isn't as Bad as You'd Think -- If You're a Second Grader

Posted By on Fri, Jun 19, 2015 at 7:00 AM

The "Hot Dog Bites" pizza: So much existential angst, so few actual pizzas being delivered. - PHOTO BY DANNY WICENTOWSKI
  • Photo by Danny Wicentowski
  • The "Hot Dog Bites" pizza: So much existential angst, so few actual pizzas being delivered.

For the last month or so, America has been fulminating about the latest offering from Pizza Hut -- a pie whose crust is composed entirely of the sort of mini pigs-in-a-blanket you're normally served at a bad Super Bowl party. It's called "Hot Dog Bites," and it's inspired enough wailing and gnashing of teeth to keep a dozen food blogs busy from dusk to dawn. The Daily Beast claimed that "picking up a slice with [the hot dogs] intact feels horrifyingly reminiscent of taking the hand of the elderly or infirm." Jon Stewart said it looked "like a group of uncircumcised Italian men jerking off onto a... pizza." (Yes, we too could have done without that image.)

Yesterday, the Hot Dog Bites Pizza was finally available for purchase. Naturally, we ordered one -- a large pepperoni, please don't hold the weiners.

And you know what? It wasn't terrible.

That's not to say it was good. The Pizza Hut pizza tasted almost exactly like the Pizza Hut pizza of our memories -- salty and fairly sauceless. The only difference is that it came ringed with a cluster of wee hot dogs, rolled into a bread-like product that seemed suspiciously like challah bread. Or maybe a Pillsbury crescent roll?

Hot Dog Bites: The extreme close-up. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • Photo by Sarah Fenske
  • Hot Dog Bites: The extreme close-up.

The dogs, of course, are completely gratuitous -- no pizza needs halo of pigs-in-a-blanket to top it off. And some of our taste-testers were totally dismissive.

"I can almost taste the century of animal cruelty that went into this," quoth one RFT staffer.

"These hot dogs are like a war crime, pretty much," was another conclusion.

And yet ...

"I think the hot dog improves it," one open-minded sort reported. "Instead of just getting the taste of salt, you get that warm after-burp taste of hot dogs."

So, there's that.

The strangest thing is that, while no one urged any of us to take seconds, partake we all did. And by the end, it became clear just who the target audience is for these pies.

Yes, from a certain angle, the hot dog crust really looks like toes. "If you have a foot fetish, this is a very romantic pizza," said one writer. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • Photo by Sarah Fenske
  • Yes, from a certain angle, the hot dog crust really looks like toes. "If you have a foot fetish, this is a very romantic pizza," said one writer.
Remove the hot dogs, and a slice makes a handy finger puppet. - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • Photo by Sarah Fenske
  • Remove the hot dogs, and a slice makes a handy finger puppet.
Oh, the places this could go! - PHOTO BY SARAH FENSKE
  • Photo by Sarah Fenske
  • Oh, the places this could go!

Second graders, clearly. Really immature second graders.

We ate the whole thing.

Gut Check is always hungry for tips and feedback. E-mail the author at sarah.fenske@riverfronttimes.com


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