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Rosati's Combines Hot Dogs, Pizza With New Menu Item

CHICAGO (CBS) -- One local franchise chain is just about ready to release this summer a unique collaborative taste-treat.

As WBBM Newsradio's Dave Berner reports, the idea is to combine two classic Chicago comfort foods – hot dogs and pizza. The result is a new Chili Cheese Dog Pizza.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio's Dave Berner reports


"We use very little pizza sauce, and mostly chili, so it's got that nice, tangy flavor," said Marla Topliff, president of Rosati's Pizza, which is teaming up with Vienna Beef to create the new menu item. "Really, it's like eating a hot dog that's just flat as opposed to on a bun."

The Chili Cheese Dog Pizza is being tested in six different markets, including the Rosati's location at 125 S. Western Ave. in northwest suburban Carpentersville.

"We'll roll the whole product out in July to celebrate National Hot Dog Month," Topliff said.

It is made with mozzarella and cheddar cheeses, onions, diced tomatoes, chili, and slices of what published reports have described as a "smoked, spicy sausage" that is not exactly the same as a Vienna beef hot dog.

Now, you might have some doubts about how Chicagoan this new concoction really is. After all, since when do we eat chili dogs in Chicago? They like their chili-slathered Coney Island dogs in Detroit, but in these parts, we stick with our garden on a bun – sport peppers, celery salt and all.

It turns out that Rosati's thought of that. Published reports say they considered producing a Chicago hot dog-style pizza, but scotched that idea after the relish wouldn't cook right.

And as to the criticism that the Chili Cheese Dog Pizza is a cholesterol and calorie nightmare, Topliff says: "People just love it; I mean, people eat chili dogs. People eat pizza."

This is actually the second high-profile effort to combine hot dogs and pizza this year, although to experience the first, you would have to fly across the Atlantic Ocean.

In April, Pizza Hut restaurants in the U.K. began offering a pizza with a "succulent hot dog-stuffed crust" and a mustard drizzle. <a href="" target="_blank"But pizza Hut does not plan to offer the item in the U.S.

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