Fast Bites Chili Cheese Hot Dog (Dollar Tree)

The packaging to Fast Bites Chili Cheese Hot Dog, from Dollar Tree
No one deserves this punishment.

Even when purchased in packs, through more “legitimate” means, hot dogs are terrifying products.  Now, to be clear, I like them every once in a while.  But the whole common knowledge of them being more or less a bunch of spare parts ground together to form a meat-flavored log just isn’t the most enticing of ideas.  So then, dear reader, please explain to me why Fast Bites Chili Cheese Hot Dog caught my eye amongst the other pathetic-looking frozen burgers and sandwiches in Dollar Tree’s freezer section.

But it not only caught my eye, but seemed like a good idea at the time.  Even though we had just gone grocery shopping and had plenty of decent stuff at home.  But for a dollar, I reasoned with myself, you couldn’t even get a fast-food or gas station hot dog, so the value seemed to be there. 

I was a little disappointed after heating it up in the microwave (for only 90 seconds) that there really wasn’t much chili or cheese on top, and it was all right in the middle.  I mean, you could basically buy these ingredients separately, and make your own for far less than a dollar, so how couldn’t a company that mass-produces all these ingredients not be able to do that?  Nevertheless, it’s not always about what isn’t there, but what is; I figured if the chili or cheese was good, then I’d just have to do my best to savor them.

The problem is, this whole thing is trash.  The bun gets hard and chewy after sitting for just five minutes, yet is eerily sticky when warm out of the microwave.  The chili is way worse than I was expecting, tasting nothing like even the worst chili I’ve ever had, while the cheese doesn’t really shine through in the flavor, instead tossing itself in the accompanying plastic boat that it’s served in to remind you that it was even there in the first place.  Even the hot dog tastes underwhelming…a hot dog, for goodness sakes.  We’re talking a meat product where the line between good and bad is thinner than most, and this somehow manages to be worse than that.

I was hungry, and did manage to finish it, so it gets some extra points for that.  But even at $1, there’s not much value to be had.  I usually strive for all beef hot dogs, but you can still get eight of those for around $2.50, making them around $.32 each, and then dress them up in cheese and chili yourself for the same price, if not even cheaper.  Either way, it would taste a whole helluva lot better.

I get that these, and all Fast Bites products, are produced solely out of convenience, and sometimes you just can’t toss a homemade chili cheese dog into your lunch, or take one with you wherever you go.  But even by the standards of convenience (or laziness) Fast Bites Chili Cheese Dog just doesn’t come anywhere close to resembling much of an edible hot dog.  Stick to their breakfast sandwiches, which are decent-sized and with a good taste to boot, if you really need to grab something on the go.

Overall: 3/10.  I don’t know how you can screw up a hot dog, itself a parody and the world’s creepiest meat, but those good folks at Fast Bites have somehow managed to do it.  The poor-tasting hot dog is topped with a serious lack of poor-tasting chili and barely-existent cheese, enclosed in a bun that’s eerily sticky when warm, and that becomes a hardened, chewy mess within five minutes.  For some reason, I had fairly high hopes for this, but they were completely dashed after the first bite.  Stay away from this junk.