Don’t get us wrong—we love hotdogs. But some days, the plain wiener just doesn’t cut it. Enter cheesedogs, hotdogs stuffed with processed cheese. (It’s also defined as hotdogs served with cheese, but locally, we’re more familiar with the former definition.) When eaten hot, it oozes with melted cheese at every bite; its hint of saltiness cutting through the sweet (-ish, compared to the Western version) Filipino wiener. We got 10 local brands from the supermarket (we didn’t know there were that many, too); how do they compare?
Note: This taste test only includes “cheesedogs” and “cheese-filled hotdogs.” (No “chicken cheesedogs” here!) We tasted them as just boiled and boiled, then fried.
CDO Bibbo Cheesedog
CDO’s Bibbo Cheesedog is plump “like a beauty pageant queen,” and comes in a pale red (almost pink) hue. It has a a flower-like arrangement of cheese that gives it a good 50:50 hotdog to cheese ratio. The wiener tastes your like typical Filipino hotdog—”kulang nalang marshmallow” (“it just needs marshmallow”)—though there was a tasty meatiness to it. The cheese was creamy, but wasn’t as salty as we hoped.
CDO Idol Cheesedog
Another entry from CDO, the Idol Cheesedog has visible black pepper-like specks around its pink hotdogs. It’s so sweet that we can liken it to candied hotdogs; and the texture is so mushy that it doesn’t resist your teeth at all. While we appreciate that the cheese is on the saltier side, we hope they could’ve given us more than just one dot.
Frabelle Foods Bossing Cheesedog
Frabelle Foods’ Bossing Cheesedog comes out small, thin, and red. “It looks [like] it’s trying to be [a real hotdog],” and the same’s to say in regard to its flavor. It tastes like your classic wiener “if you dropped it in water, then decided to eat it anyway.” Some parts were oddly fatty, and the cheese was generally inconsistent.
Holiday’s Cheesedog looked harmless with their pale brown hue and medium size. However, it’s so tightly packed that the texture becomes depressing. Plus, you can’t really distinguish the hotdog and the cheese apart. Instead, you’re left with a strange over-all mayo-like flavor.
New Yorker Cheese-filled Hotdog
Also produced by Virginia, New Yorker’s Cheese-Filled Hotdog comes in long, brown wieners. It’s the most expensive of the bunch, but you get your money’s worth with its American hotdog taste profile, ample cheesiness, and snappy skin. “This is the kind of hotdog that you buy in a place that sells individual hotdogs [like a legit, ballpark hotdog stand].”
Mekeni Picnic Cheesy HoTdog
Mekeni’s Picnic Cheesy Hotdog is a slippery, (sad) brown dog. It was the easiest to slip off of its casing, but frankly, we’d rather it stayed in. It gave off strange, sweet pork notes that we’ve never tasted in any hotdog. And the cheese was barely there. A member of the team perfectly encapsulates our impression: “Nu-uh.”
Purefoods Tender Juicy Cheesedog
Purefoods’ Cheesedog turned out the same pinkish hue as CDO, but didn’t appear as round. We had high hopes for this Tender Juicy off-shoot. But, to our disappointment, it “tasted like the plastic [casing] that it came in.” The texture was more luncheon meat than hotdog, and there was little to no cheese.
Star’s Cheesedog lost the least color after cooking, ending in a deeper shade of red than the rest. It’s a “normal”-tasting hotdog that’s not too salty and not too sweet. Though a tad mushy, the outside had a snap to it. Don’t let the bright-colored, wildly artificial-looking cheese fool you. It’s actually pretty tasty; and at least you get it at every bite.
Swift Mighty Meaty Cheesedog
Swift’s Mighty Meaty Cheesedog looked eerily fake—as in, TV commercial fake—but at the same time “mukhang one week nang naiwan sa convenience store” (“seemed as if it had spent one week on display at a convenience store”). Despite that, the red hotdog had a deep, smokey flavor that should be a standard for all hotdogs. (Tender Juicy, we’re looking at you.) Sadly, it went all out on the hotdog that it forgot about the cheese. It was spread unevenly, so you had some bites that had cheese, and some that didn’t.
Virginia’s red Cheesedog tasted the most different from the group—but not in a terrible way. “Actually, it tastes… real.” But it had a sharp sweetness to it, almost like honey-bacon. That said, it was rounded and firm, so crowned as having the best texture out of all the red hotdogs. It also had the most noticeable cheese in that you can actually taste it as you finish the wiener.
Verdict: New Yorker
New Yorker’s good-sized, American-style hotdogs and generously distributed cheese makes it our top (cheese)dog. CDO and Virginia’s flavorful, cheesy wieners are also great options, especially if you’re looking for the classic sweet Filipino hotdog taste to go with that mild salty cheese.