Dining With Denise Neil

Eagle reporters taste test Pizza Hut’s new Hot Dog Bites pizza

Pizza Hut’s new Hot Dog Bites pizza is odd but oddly tasty.
Pizza Hut’s new Hot Dog Bites pizza is odd but oddly tasty. The Wichita Eagle

Reporters like to eat, and lately, there’s been chatter around the Wichita Eagle newsroom about Pizza Hut’s new Hot Dog Bites pizza.

Perhaps you’ve seen the chain’s latest whack-o invention in commercials. The Hot Dog Bites pizza is like a regular Pizza Hut pepperoni pizza, only in place of the crust, each slice has three to four conjoined pigs in a blanket – or in this case, pigs in a pizza crust. Customers can choose between plain and pretzel crust.

It’s a weird idea but one that does not surprise me coming from the inventors of stuffed crust, P’Zones, Dippin’ Strips, curry-flavored crust, cheesy bites, twisted crust, pizza sliders and square pizza dinner boxes.

We were intrigued.

I brought two pies to work and offered to let my hungry co-workers have a slice in return for their on-camera testimony.

None were repulsed by the pizza, which comes with a healthy side of French’s yellow mustard for hot dog dipping, But some noted design flaws. A central question: If you eat the dogs first, how are you supposed to hold the pizza? Another taste tester wondered if the hot dogs really added enough flavor to justify the calories – 460 a slice.

Most of my testers agreed that the pizza would be a hit with kids and would be an ideal main dish at a slumber party for teens.

I love both pizza and pigs in a blanket. But more than either one of those, I love pizza crust. I’m the person who waits patiently for all the non-crust eaters to finish and then gobbles the crust down before it hits the trash. I enjoyed the Hot Dog Bites pizza for the novelty of it, and it certainly didn’t taste bad, but I’d take old fashioned crust over it any day.

Watch my attached video of Eagle reporters discovering the joys of Hot Dog Bites pizza. My little movie includes cameos by news reporters Suzanne Perez Tobias, Kelsey Ryan, Oliver Morrison and Gabriella Dunn, gardening writer Annie Calovich and editor Jean Hays.

I had so much fun with these couch potatoes, we’re thinking about starting an occasional video series in which we review weird foods from the comfort of our newsroom couch. Oliver is ready to dive into Spangles peanut butter, jelly, bacon and jalapeno burger the second it opens its doors on Friday.

Stay tuned...