Hot dogs are among the many staples of fare found at tailgate parties. Most of us develop a taste for them as children, and carry it well into adulthood. However as we grow older our palates usually become more diverse, and as a result some move away from the simple ketchup and mustard dog, and towards something more adventurous. We’ve all seen the advertisements for the fast food joints looking to sell you a hot dog with 3 pounds of condiments on them. This is fine, but it can be downright sloppy to eat. However if you changed the flavor of the hot dog itself you could make a huge change on the final product even before topping with your favorite stuff.
This is what Ball Park did with their new line of Park’s Finest dogs. In the Park’s Finest line up are 4 varieties of all beef hot dogs, Signature Seasoned, Cracked Dijon Mustard, Smokehouse Barbeque, and Slow Smoked Hickory. All of which are no preservative, and no nitrate/nitrite offerings. We were recently asked to review these new dogs, and as one of those people I mentioned before that have loved hot dogs since childhood I was happy to give these new styles a try.
Disclaimer: We were given samples of each of the 4 varieties of Park’s Finest Hot Dogs for free. This in no way affected our ability to review the product objectively and fairly.
The first variety I sampled was the Signature Seasoned. This hot dog is, of the 4, the most like your typical hot dog. I felt it was a solid representation of what a beef hot dog should taste like. Next I sampled the Cracked Dijon mustard. These I had on pretzel buns which I found on sale, with some sauerkraut, and they were easily my favorite of the 4. Observed in these were visible spices, which my friend noted was mustard seed. The Smokehouse Barbeque had seasonings like you might find in a BBQ rub, and I detected a subtle element of sweetness along with it. Lastly the Slow Smoked Hickory definitely had a smoked flavor and texture, which I felt made it feel less like a hot dog and more like a sausage. All 4 delivered on their claimed flavors, and did so convincingly. Since it’s relevant to a hot dog discussion, the casing on the Park’s Finest were much like the other Ball Park varieties in that they do not feel like a casing at all. They are not the snappier casings that you might find on a “deli” dog.
Each variety came packaged 7 to a pack and the packages were not resealable. If I had one criticism to make it would be to make it an even 8, so as to be more in line with bun packaging, and add a zipper closure to the pack. These are minor grievances for sure. All in all the Park’s Finest Hot Dogs from Ball Park are solid hot dog offerings, and as such are “Tailgate Approved”. If you plan to try these I would recommend the serving suggestion on the back of the package. As I mentioned before I sample the Cracked Dijon Mustard style on a pretzel bun with kraut, which was listed on the package along with swiss cheese as a serving suggestion, and I felt like it made for a more gourmet experience which is where I think these would really shine. If you’ve felt like you wanted more from a hot dog these are certainly worth a try.
Speaking of trying these, as part of the agreement for reviewing them we were also given 4 coupons to pass along to you all. Now the coupons are good for 1 Ball Park item up to $9.99. Entry will be easy, simple leave a comment on this post and I’ll randomly select 4 winners. Winners will be contacted via email to arrange delivery of the coupons. Contest will be open until Wednesday July 2nd at 11:59 EDT. Good Luck.