Every time I go out to try some new monstrosity for a Gastronomicon feast, I carry a bit of optimism with me. Between the hyperbole of the ads and the disappointing truth of the meal itself, there’s the unspoken hope that somehow this product of our corporate food hell will actually have some innovation behind it, something that isn’t just a scam to flash something shiny and rob me while I’m distracted.
Of course, when I saw the ads for the Hot Dog Bites pizza from Pizza Hut, I threw those hopes right out the window and saddled up for a mandatory gut bruising in the name of getting angry at bad food. This couldn’t possibly impress any fully grown human being, right?
It’s worth remembering that there is real innovation in food, like merging croissants and donuts, or folding up traditional Taco Bell garbage into the Crunchwrap Supreme. But what could we learn from this, a regular pizza with a crust made of Pigs-in-a-Blanket style hot dogs wrapped in crust? That’s it. That’s all there is. Trash pizza with knuckles of trash dogs. And it comes with a suspiciously unlabeled bucket of French’s mustard, for Chrissakes.
Let’s get one thing clear right now: Nobody’s gonna be ordering this thing a month or two from now. You buy this to laugh at it, and then you eat it because you just spent the money you need to buy a real pizza. And if I’m wrong about this and it becomes some sort of menu staple, then I’ll have some more convincing evidence to show people when they ask why I have an interest in apocalyptic doom cults.
All of that vitriol aside, is the pizza actually enjoyable? Without shame, I say yes.
For the normal pizza bit in the center, you more or less know what to expect if you’ve had a Pizza Hut pie in the last year or so. The crust is thin, the sauce is light, the cheese is thick and chewy and there’s neon grease everywhere. You can get whatever topping you like—I opted for the holy pepperoni, and I was not disappointed by the abundance of slices placed on the pie.
As for the hot dogs, there’s really not much reason for their presence aside from novelty. The dogs are cheap (perhaps the same dogs they put on the abominable Most American Burger at Carls Jr.), but the baking process brings a nice texture and taste to the overly salty chunks. The crust is close to the taste and texture of a giant pretzel that you’d pick up at a kids’ baseball game. Fittingly, there’s also a pretzel crust variant of the pie.
You can tear off the knobs of dogs and pass them to friends if you like, and you might as well start by doing that. It’s not practical to try and grip the crust when it can pull off so easily, and when I tried to eat both pizza and dog in the same moment, the flavors crashed into each other in unpleasant ways. That’s truly the most damning part of this creation. There’s no synergy here, and the inclusion of a free tub of mustard is an admittance of that. You’re not dipping the pizza bit in the mustard, and honestly, the stuff is so cheap and offensive that you’re not dipping the dogs in it, either.
But, unlike many other foodstuffs that come through Gastronomicon, I ultimately feel no harm in suggesting that you give this pizza a try. It’s good for a laugh with your friends, and as far as trash pizza goes, you could truly do far worse. It’s endearingly stupid. You can pick up a large one-topping for $11.99.