Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fast Food Review: Wienerschnitzel Angus Chipotle Chili Dog

I love chipotles. At this point chipotles are so ubiquitous that I'm sure everone knows that they are smoked jalapenos. But there was a time when hardly anyone knew what a chipotle was. I remember being a teenager and making onion rings (the first thing I ever made that was more complex than a grilled cheese sandwich) and wanting to make chipotle mayonnaise. I had to go to three different stores to find a can of chipotles. I would often make food for family and friends using chipotles, and most people did not know what a chipotle was. I would announce with a not-small amount of cockiness: "oh, I use chipotles whenever I can."

Then people started to catch on to how good chipotles are. I don't know what the tipping point was. Every dish Bobby Flay made on Food Network contained chipotles. (I exaggerate... slightly.) Tabasco came out with a chipotle-flavored hot sauce, which I used to douse liberally on pizza, although my friends all preferred the original Tabasco. Jack in the Box came out with a chipotle chicken sandwich. (They took it off the menu for years, and I wrote them an elegant letter asking them to bring it back. It came back about a month later. I'm sure I had nothing to do with it, but I like to pretend that I did. That is certainly what I tell women I meet in bars, although that line has yet to work.)

Today, cans of chipotle peppers can be purchased in 7-11, and chipotle items litter the fast food landscape. Taco Bell came out with a chipotle grilled burrito. Wendy's came out with a southwest chipotle sauce. Carl's Jr. experimented with a chipotle chicken salad. Even McDonald's added a chipotle chicken snack wrap to their menu.

So it wasn't surprising to see Wienerschnitzel come out with an Angus chipotle chili dog. I still had to try it. I have always liked Wienerschnitzel, although I have only eaten there a handful of times. I had their chili once; it was pretty bland. But their mini corn dogs have always been a favorite of mine. So I ordered a chipotle dog and an order of mini corn dogs.

The hot dog was really high quality. I was impressed. The chili was spicy, but... I couldn't taste any chipotle. They could have just thrown chili powder on the dog for all I knew. Very disappointing. The mini corn dogs were good, as if frying a mini hot dog in batter wouldn't be. But I had come to taste some chipotle chili, and this hot dog didn't deliver.

I'm sure another chipotle fast food item will come out soon. And I will try it, too. Hopefully it will have more flavore than this hot dog.

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