Are those new Burger King hot dogs any good? I went and got a sneak preview to find out.
The hot dogs come in two varieties. There're "grilled dogs" for $1.99 and "chili-cheese dogs" for $2.39. (That compares to $3.99 for the Whopper).
They both came "split" as if cooked over a backyard barbecue, sporting blackened grill marks. They sit snugly in their fluffy and firm buns, already dressed with condiments. That's a helix of ketchup and mustard on the grilled dog, with a bed of relish and chopped onion tucked in on one side of the bun. The chili-cheese dog had, natch, chili, of the bean variety, beneath a heavy sprinkling of uniformly grated cheddar.
There was a satisfying snap as I bit into each dog in turn. They had a decently strong and savory beef flavor. The meat fibers had that nice grill pop. And the condiments and bun texture all mingled well. In the case of the chili-cheese dog, the smoky chili and cheddar bite were louder and more on the same level with the dog itself.
Then I took a few bites out of the hamburger.
And I'm sorry Whopper, but you might have to cede the throne. I preferred the dog's spicy snap to the familiar flame-broiled burger taste.
Another customer, a regular named Randall, ate his hot dog in two chomps and gave a thumbs up when I asked him how it tasted.
If there's enough people like him out there, it will help Burger King take a bite out of the nearly $2.5 billion Americans spend on hot dogs at supermarkets alone. And because Burger King's parent company also owns Heinz and Oscar Meyer, who are supplying the condiments and dogs, the move should fatten all of their bottom lines while adding few additional costs.
There's just one drawback: I found that eating just one of the hot dogs wasn't very filling. You'll need to order at least two to make it a meal. And that's math Burger King is counting on to keep its recent sales surge on the upswing.