When summing up the new Hot Dog Bites Pizza, Pizza Hut says, “Part hot dog. Part pizza. Total game-changer.” This idea seems to have been a test market item for the rest of the world outside of the United States for years. Finally America gets something wacky to grub on. I just sampled the goods… time to review.
Nothing against pizza and nothing against hot dogs, but does the combination actually work? Also, is the addition of French’s Classic Yellow Mustard just nice business move for French’s and nothing else? These questions need answers.
Does the pizza/hot dog combo work? I say the individual parts are just fine, yet the overall product itself is disjointed and a little confusing. There are 28 hot dog bites within the pizza crust and traditionally you’ve got 8 slices to a pizza. That gives you an average of 3.5 hot dog bites per slice, so instead of 3.5 hot dog bites for each slice you’re left with some slices that are bigger than others. There were 4 bigger pizza slices with 4 hot dog bites each and 4 smaller pizza slices with just 3 hot dog bites each. The crust is kind of like pigs in a blanket, but not like a flaky croissant dough and not like typical pizza crust either. It’s got a bagel dog vibe to it and that’s a great thing. Think of the crust as a bread shell with a smooth outer coat and soft, chewy center. The hot dog bites were pretty easy to pull apart from the pizza yet secure enough to provide a sturdy end crust so it’s not as odd to eat as you’d think. The problem I found personally was with the flavors. I liked the pizza and I liked the hot dog bites… just not together. The hot dog bites are meaty enough to stand out as a nice side item but as a pizza crust, it’s pure novelty. I loved the novelty.
So, how’s the mustard? I guess the appropriate thing to consider here is whether or not you like yellow mustard on your hot dog. For me, I like this flavor combination on a standard hot dog in a hot dog bun and since these hot dog bites are too reminiscent of pigs in a blanket, I don’t really feel mustard helps improve the meal in any way. The mini hot dogs work just fine on their own without the need of a dipping sauce, but you’ve got plenty of choices besides yellow mustard on the Pizza Hut menu. The French’s Classic Yellow Mustard product tie-in is nice from a marketing perspective only and I doubt it would be a popular dipping sauce choice (a better promo would be mini mustard bottles instead of just a dipping sauce container). This knock is more against yellow mustard anywhere near pizza rather than yellow mustard on a hot dog. I couldn’t help but be turned off by a bite including marinara sauce and pepperoni followed by a bite with mustard. When I tried the same sequence without mustard, the marinara/pepperoni/hot dog wasn’t as jarring, but cohesion of complementing flavors was lacking.
For the promo price of $11.99 you get a large one-topping Hot Dog Bites Pizza and this is about the average price for a large LTO pizza from a major pizza chain. The hot dog bites add to the weight and provide a meatier meal overall which helps the value out. Yeah it’s part hot dog and part pizza, but total game changer? Not so much really. More like part hot dog, part pizza, total gimmick. It’s still got strong fun factor and it was a nice change of pace from just a new topping or another cheese stuffed crust so it gets some valuable points there.
Pros: Big novelty points. Loved the hot dog bites crust.
Cons: Flavors work better when they're separated. I have yellow mustard in my fridge so something original would have been nice.
Taste: 6.25/10 Value: 7.25/10 Price: $11.99 for large with one-topping