Review: Hot Dog from Target

I’ve eaten in a lot of strange places, but never in such a familiar strange place, if that makes any sense.  As a native Minnesotan, Target is as familiar to me as Starbucks is to a Seattlean… Seattleite… Seattleonian… a person that lives in Seattle.  Even though I fancy myself an adventure eater, the thought of eating in the same place I buy socks, had me a little queasy.  I walked into the designated “dining” area, delineated by a half wall which seems to separate those here to shop with those here for one of three purposes: killing time while your wife shops for shoes, thwarting an absolute meltdown of your 4-year-old by stuffing a soft pretzel in their mouth, or just being creepy.  I felt like I was doing the latter. Putting this uncomfortableness aside, I took a look at the menu.

It was a lot like the ballpark menu at the Twins’ old home, the Metrodome.  In fact, humpty dump’s current, deflated state made for the perfect metaphor of my appetite which was anything but inflated by the choices.  In the end, my order really had more to do with choosing something which would get me out of this bizzaro world fastest; something which could be prepared and eaten in under 5 minutes.  I went with the old American standby: the hot dog.

I half expected the person behind the counter to break into an “Apu” voice and say:  “Oh no, Mr. Homer, you cannot eat those, they are only for display.”  It came in a “combo” with a soft drink (that’s a “pop” to me) for the price of $2.50.  It was well below ballpark prices, but given the atmosphere, I still felt like I was overpaying.

Note: Sorry for the overuse of the “air quotes”, but there were a lot of things in this “restaurant” for which they seemed apropos.  After thanking my less than enthusiastic hot dog vendor, I set my combo down on one of the lonely guy tables that have two chairs, but not enough table space for two people to eat and found my way to the condiment rack.  Wow!  This was the most well organized condiment rack I’d ever seen.  Some employee must have been bored to tears one day and decided to stand all of the condiment packs on end and stack them up like cordwood (either that or Rainman dropped by after realizing Target doesn’t suck as bad as Kmart). I kind of felt bad for disturbing them, but I figured eating this hot dog without all three of the requisite hot dog condiment colors (red, yellow, and green) would be difficult.

After decorating my hot dog, I took the first brave bite.  The bun was a bit dry, but not stale.  The all beef, Vienna hot dog was pretty much what you would expect from a sock, I mean, hot dog vendor.  Two packets each of ketchup, mustard, and relish were enough to turn the tolerable, into tolerable for a thirty-something dude eating lunch at Target by himself. I finished in record time.  As anyone who’s ever eaten with me will tell you, that’s probably still not very fast, but I really did wolf this thing down because I just wanted to get out of here before I saw somebody I knew.  The redeeming item of the afternoon was the fact that the fountain pop selection included both Coke and Pepsi products; something which I had never seen before.  They probably know that couples really don’t need anything more to fight about while shopping.  So, whipped husbands, desperate moms and assorted sketchy people take note.  The Target hot dog is indeed edible.

Pros: Hot Dog was tolerable, condiments neatly stacked, choice of Coke or Pepsi.

Cons: Uncomfortable atmosphere, a bit pricy for lips and #$%&*'s.

Taste: 6.00/10
Value: 4.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 9.00/10 (I would recommend eating in your vehicle)
Price: 2.50 for combo w/med. drink

Overall GrubGrade: 5.00 (Mediocre)

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 380
Fat - 23g
Sat. Fat - 9g
Cholesterol - 50mg
Sodium - 1090mg
Total Carbs - 27g
Protein - 17g

21 comments on “Review: Hot Dog from Target

  1. Jay says:

    They’re Vienna Beef dogs, which are delicious, but they clearly cooked yours too long, that probably should have been thrown out an hour ago.

    It isn’t that they are bored and decided to do the condiments that way, they make them do that!

    I used to work for Target and I remember this combo being $1, then $1.50. I used to eat two of them at that price. $2.50 is steep, especially when you could buy a pack of buns and dogs in the store for around the same price.

  2. Michael says:

    I worked at Target several years ago, and have to agree, the hot dogs aren’t that bad. I haven’t eaten at a Target in quite some time, save for the occasional pretzel, but I would often get food from Food Avenue (that’s what it was called then, not sure if it still is) when I worked there. They used to serve a burger that was actually pretty good, and the toppings for it were usually pretty fresh too. Breakfast wasn’t that bad either, and in fact was far less greasy than a breakfast from Denny’s. While dining at Target may not be an ideal place to eat a meal, if one is in a hurry and just looking for a quick bite to eat, it’ll do.

  3. skippymom says:

    It does look a wee overcooked but still I’d bite. 🙂

    If there are huge checkout lines we will send the kids over to sit down and have a snack or a coke as a treat – their popcorn was really good, but I haven’t had it in a while. I don’t know if they still sell it.

  4. IBeAnonymous says:

    You should have taken a picture of the menu board so we could marvel at all the other things that were available! Actually, you should do that for all the places you try!

  5. Adam says:

    I only do hot dogs one way – grilled. I like Sahlens hot dogs from Buffalo, NY. They cook them over a char-grill at a local chain called Ted’s and slather them with “Red hots” I like to go for the all-beef, and I love how they get blistery and black over the coals.

  6. Ike says:

    I very rarely eat hot dogs out but the ones at Costco are great. I don’t think id ever buy food from Target. Oh an before I go never put ketchup on a hot dog.

  7. Scott says:


    Your description of your experience kept me riveted and entertained. I have not seen your postings before, but hat’s off to ya.

  8. Chefprotoss or dan says:

    Nice review and great choice of subject matter as well. Something we walk past everyday but know nothing about.

    I do have to ask though, am I retarded(which is very possible), or are you a new writter for the site?

    • Murray says:

      Based on this statement alone, it does not appear that you are slow. I am a new contibutor to the site. However, since you say that it is “very possible”, I’ll reserve judgement.

      At some point I may add a little bio to the site, but for now, you’ll have to get to know me through my reviews.

  9. James says:

    Costco has some good dogs too, and you don’t need a membership to eat there.

  10. Natalie says:

    @James Costco dogs are the best! And a dollar cheaper than Target’s it looks like. Costco pizza is good too.

  11. Tracy says:

    My mom use to take herself to Target every Friday to get People magazine and get herself a hot dog. To her that was something to look forward to, go figure. One of our local Targets must pump the smell out to the front doors because it’s an overwhelming hot dog smell when you walk to the front door. It was worse when they made popcorn because the kids working tended to burn the popcorn more often than not. Walking in the store, being hit in the face by the smell of burnt popcorn, was not a nice experience.

    I laughed at the lining up of mustard/ketchup packets. I was standing in line at Chick-fil-a recently and an employee was behind me lining up all the packets in their condiments holders. I asked if she was bored or something and she said no, they are required to keep the packets looking like that. Really? What a waste of time!

  12. HolyFruits! says:

    I’m probably the only one to leave this comment, but I actually like these Dogs. I normally get the Kid’s menu Hot Dog, which is pretty much the same hot dog except I can get two for two bucks (I don’t get drinks, or any of that fancy stuff off of the kids menu) Frankly, I like it better when it’s cooked more, as I’ve had instances where it is extremely undercooked. But It’s a good dog overall.

  13. AO says:

    I’ve only eaten at Target exactly once, but I have good memories of it. I was probably 7 or 8 and for some reason my mother decided to let me have the grilled ham and cheese sandwich. Perfectly grilled, creamy, with a pickle on top. (Who knows if it would seem far worse now, though.)

  14. JP says:

    I got the popcorn/drink combo a couple of weeks ago, and I thought for $1.50 it was a great deal. BIGGGGGG bag of popcorn.

  15. Murray says:

    Thanks welcoming me to the site with all the freindly comments. I had no idea people would take such an interest in such a mundane food. Writing for this site should be easy.

  16. somesteve says:

    looks pretty good. gotta love department store stuff. i remember the hot dogs they USED to serve at out old kmart back in CT…one of the best hot dogs ever. good stuff

  17. Anon says:

    I love me some hot dogs. I agree that the Costco hot dogs are better than the Target ones, but both beat the standard 7-11 dogs.

  18. coke OR pepsi?? awesome. clearly the best part of the experience.

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