Desperation Food: A Review of 7-Eleven’s Hot Food Items

Sometimes, we all hit rock bottom. Turns out, based off the things I’ve eaten and documented on this blog, I’ve been at the bottom for a while.

For example:

Let’s say you’re wandering around, drunk, after a night out on the town. All the late-night restaurants have already closed, the streets drained of all signs of life except for the occasional rat scurrying away into the shadows. Even the hardest-working cabbies have gone home to go to bed.

You think about what’s at home to eat, and you realize there’s nothing in your fridge except for a half-empty can of broken dreams and a container of capers that won’t seem to go away. Because you bought them once for a recipe but then never needed capers ever again and that was years ago. But you need to eat, something, anything. Suddenly you remember your name is Dannis Ree, and there’s nobody waiting at home for you and all you know is darkness and death and the deepest kind of loneliness.

And then a nightmarish image blossoms in from the dark corners of your mind: Tubes of meat, glowing in an unholy sheen of oil, rolling perpetually on strange heated rollers for unspecified amounts of time, until some fool comes in and drunkenly buys them in order to lamely stave off an impending hangover.

The light of a 7-Eleven hits your face, and all fades to black.

Big Bite IntroThat was unnecessarily dramatic. But I can’t think of many other circumstances in which you would buy hot food from the 7-Eleven. There’s something hypnotic and hellish about those poor hot dogs spinning eternally on those rollers. When’s the last time you actually saw anybody order one of those things? Without crying, I mean.

I ordered a bunch of food from the neighborhood 7-Eleven today and made up that scenario to justify why I did it. I mean, look at that hot dog casket. Harvey looks like he’s about to start wailing, Mr. Bee is just sitting there with that dopey look on his face, and the Pillsbury Dough Boy is just being creepy in the back.


Let’s start with the appetizers. Taquitos (“little tacos” in Spanish), traditionally known as flautas at most Mexican restaurants, are rolled up tortillas, typically filled with meat, and fried until crisp. They were one of the first Mexican dishes that was developed as a frozen product, presumably because they’re easy to heat back up and re-crisp.

According to Wikipedia, the U.S. government has determined that a taquito must contain at least 15% meat. I like that even the government has an opinion on taquitos. I didn’t know governments could have official opinions on taquitos.

They’re an ideal food to serve at 7-Eleven because they come in a tubular format that fits perfectly on the perpetual grease rollers. Being heated on those rollers ensures that they stay at a barely warm temperature while maintaining a stale soggy texture the entire time. Genius.

Taquitos Autopsy

I asked for one of each — there’s typically a lot of different varieties, but my neighborhood 7-Eleven only had the Buffalo Chicken Rollers (left),  Taco and Cheese Taquito (top), and Monterey Jack and Chicken Taquito (right).

The Buffalo Chicken Roller is actually not a taquito but is a meat product that is shaped like one. Impostor! It’s a formed chicken sawdust tube that has a buffalo wing crust. The crust tastes like Frank’s hot sauce. It’s dry as hell, and the exterior is stale and soggy. This is what you feed your enemies.

The Taco and Cheese Taquito is like one of those taco-kit tacos mixed with nacho cheese. If it were crisp, it would be a fantastic follow-up to a huge bong rip, but it’s not crisp, and therefore it ends up tasting like bachelorhood.

The Monterey Jack and Chicken Taquito is just non-descript cheese and small slices of chicken. I wish I had more to say than that. All of these tubes are just soggy and stale and redolent of desperation.

Chili Cheese Dog Monster

The Chili Cheese Hot Dog Roller is a foot long, and I’m not even sure that’s its real name, because it’s not even on the 7-Eleven website. It’s a very long hot dog that’s been forced into a tortilla. I say “forced” because there’s no other explanation as to why it’s in there.

Chili Cheese Dog Autopsy

The chili cheese taquito roller thing is lined with chili and nacho cheese. It’s hard to see, but it’s there. But the real shame is the hot dog, which has a strong fake smoke flavor. It tastes like a swollen and puffy Slim Jim that has a severe case of gout.

This is my review: No.

Doritos Abominations

Doritos® Loaded came out a while ago, but if you don’t know what they are, they’re basically mozzarella sticks on a bad LSD trip.

Doritos Thing

These triangle-shaped mistakes are wedges of cheese product that have been crusted in crushed Nacho Cheese Doritos. Doritos Thing Autopsy

Imagine Velveeta that’s finger-blasted the bottom of a Doritos bag after a long makeout session and this is pretty much what you get. The cheese is a gel-like consistency with a powerful kick to your teeth of Doritos flavor.

Yes, the bottom of a Doritos bag is usually the best part, but in this case, the flavor keeps hounding you and won’t leave you alone once you had a little taste.

Just like, you know.

Your mother.

711 Pizza

There’s pizza, too. For all intents and purposes, it looks like pizza, and mostly tastes like pizza, but it has a fruit-candy aftertaste that I don’t understand. The dough is gummy and mealy. It’s like a Civil War reenactment of pizza, a semi-accurate depiction that seems great at first but then you realize it’s just a bunch of fat old hairy guys playing with muskets. There’s nothing worse than a bunch of fat old hairy guys playing with muskets. That’s what this pizza is like. Fat guys with muskets.

However, it’s not the worst pizza I’ve ever had. Your mom makes worse. She couldn’t cook her way out of a paper bag.711 Hot Dogs

And now — the standard stars of the 7-Eleven sideshow, the Big Bite® Hot Dogs. There’s a regular hot dog and a quarter-pound hot dog. Normally bigger is better, but in this case, the bigger hot dog ends up being so dessicated that it takes on a strange spongy texture, much like a fish cake but without the moisture. It’s like biting into a dry meat sponge. The smaller one is better, only because you can’t really taste the hot dog.

The good thing about 7-Eleven hot dogs is that they have a topping bar, which you can use to simulate a Chicago-style hot dog. I did a good makeup job on those, didn’t I? Like they say, you can’t polish a turd, but you can top it with all sorts of cool toppings. You’re still eating a turd, though.

Harvey and Mr. Bee are pretending that the cardboard hot dog box is a coffin. They’re suggesting that when you eat this food, you’ll be putting your culinary self-respect to rest forever. Amen.

If you find yourself at 7-Eleven, drunk off your ass, do yourself a favor and buy a frozen pizza instead and fall asleep on the couch, mid-sob while it burns in the oven, like a normal person. That way, when the fire department shows up, you’ll at least have some company.


  38 comments for “Desperation Food: A Review of 7-Eleven’s Hot Food Items

  1. Jim
    February 23, 2015 at 10:12 AM

    I too have eaten the 7-11 Buffalo Chicken Rollers but don’t even have the excuse of drunkenness to mitigate my shame. There’s a 7-11 in the lobby of my office building and sometimes you just don’t want to go outside.

    Mostly these days I just buy a bag of chips and a banana. There will not be a second encounter with that thing. *shudders*

    • Dennis Lee
      February 23, 2015 at 10:15 AM

      Wow. A banana. I’m proud of you. I used to get their chicken salad sandwiches as a midafternoon snack when I was working out like crazy. Now, I look like a marshmallow.

      • Jim
        February 23, 2015 at 10:30 AM

        I can’t front; I’m not a very healthy person, not so much a marshmallow as a poorly stuffed couch cushion with high blood pressure. But they have cheap bananas and one of them will be at least as satisfying as anything off the roller.

        Though the free-to-add chili & nacho cheese next to the roller sometimes call out to me.

        • Dennis Lee
          February 23, 2015 at 10:32 AM

          I smell a chili cheese banana in your future.

          • Todd Rostogi
            January 25, 2017 at 6:00 PM

            I like to sniff bananas with just a hint of fudge on the tip.

  2. Victoria
    November 13, 2015 at 5:43 PM

    I can’t speak for any of the meat products….but your 7/eleven must suck! The cheese pizza at my 7/eleven is quite good…..better than dominos or pizza hut for a similar price

    • Dennis Lee
      November 15, 2015 at 9:48 PM

      Yeah, it’s bad. Real bad.

  3. michael
    December 13, 2015 at 3:28 PM

    im not happy. I had a stay at the hospital they put me on strong pills. I lost my place to live too.

    • Dennis Lee
      December 13, 2015 at 4:22 PM

      I’m sorry, pal. I hope things get better.

  4. Jpodge
    March 7, 2016 at 12:09 PM

    Damn, they stopped selling the chicken rollers at the 7-11’s in my home town but damn they were good. The rollers and Monterey Jack chicken taquitos are both delicious but only if you get them to make them fresh. Never buy anything sitting on the rollers always just ask them to make fresh ones in the oven and you will see how tasty they really are.

    P.S. I like the soggy/soft yet crisp consistency of the shell. But yea the idea of a breaded chicken tube injected with cheese is kinda disgusting- until you let it splooge in your mouth

    • Dennis Lee
      March 7, 2016 at 2:43 PM

      Wait, wait. This is some next level shit. I did not know you could ask them to make them for you FRESH.

      You have changed my world…forever. There’s nothing like chicken splooge in your mouth.

    • Doug
      July 18, 2017 at 8:47 AM

      What setting is used for the taquitos in the oven and is that from frozen or thawed?

  5. Isauro
    May 1, 2016 at 5:28 AM

    Their hot dogs are okay they taste like any street hot dog the only “good” thing about them is that you can get them a 11pm or 5am.
    Their buffalo chicken rollers are very very tough if they been out for hours. I bought them a handful of times. Once i bought them and the chicken was moist and okay but another time i bought them they tastes like dried week old chicken. I mean if you have spare bucks and a bit hungry they always have deals like a Big Gulp with a Hot Dog for 2 bucks.

    • Doug
      July 18, 2017 at 8:43 AM

      There is a maximum time limit. Time to heat up and then I believe 4 hours at a holding temp. Then they are tossed. Especially at corporate locations. Maybe franchisee locations might cut corners and leave food out longer. You could always ask.

  6. Alexander Silva
    May 14, 2016 at 4:42 PM

    Big bites are the shit. Really though, with all the cheese and chili on top with jalapenos, it’s quite good. I’m not saying it’s healthy or good for you in any way, but what is really?

  7. July 18, 2016 at 2:42 AM

    The Smoky Bites were great, but I never see them anymore. Spicy Bites are the only good thing they have now unless you can get the pizza right when it finishes cooking.

    It’s 7-11, not Heaven.

    Lowered Expectations…

    • Dennis Lee
      July 18, 2016 at 1:48 PM

      I don’t think I’ve had those. What is a Spicy Bite?

    • PizzaLuke
      August 25, 2017 at 9:33 AM

      Even if it’s made fresh, the pizza is still not any better than a frozen one. I think they must use some brand of frozen pizza. Not worth my money! I love the pizza at QT though.

  8. Cameron
    July 30, 2016 at 8:14 PM

    Being broke i opted for a 7-11 dinner, i strolled down to my local haunt and picked my self up a big bite, big gulp and some bufallo wings. The bloke said he put in a few extra, i thanked him however i feel he was just trying to offload them as they had probably been sitting in there all day. One hour later im left with a weird grumbling sensation in my stomach and lesson well learnt, never again!

  9. fanspeed
    November 16, 2016 at 5:11 PM

    7-11 pizza priced right, i ask them to double cook it than I go to the condiments bar and put salsa and onions on the pie than bring it home put it in the oven for another 10 min to make it crispy. comes out ok, and with a big bottle of Dr. Pepper all filled up.

  10. December 14, 2016 at 2:15 AM

    Hmm, I’m guilty for making the occasional 7-Eleven trip, especially when I was still working until late midnight several years back. Big Bites are my sin. Love the way you review the foods here, really cracks me up!

  11. Corey
    December 15, 2016 at 11:50 AM

    I think you need to do a follow up review. Theyve added so much crap the menu or atleast my 711 has more options like the mini tacos, chicken strips, chicken wings which is actually decent if theyre made fresh and some more items.

  12. Julie
    January 5, 2017 at 6:55 AM

    I love 7/11 food

  13. Jomamma
    February 3, 2017 at 4:25 PM

    The pretzels here (Philly) are excellent.

  14. Marcus
    February 7, 2017 at 8:46 PM

    The last paragraph sounds familiar, 3 times over. The fire dept. didn’t come over, but the neighbors did. They were not good conversationalists.

  15. Maher
    March 6, 2017 at 12:38 AM

    big bag of Fritos and dump Chili from the hot dog station inside… they normally don’t change extra for the chili.


  16. Kitana
    April 11, 2017 at 12:06 PM

    They are not thinking! All that cooking of food in seven eleven’s is insane! Those locales are not prepared for cooking. They do not have any vents or absorbing bells! People are getting poisoned by the fumes of all that food cooking in there. Figure it out!~

    • Doug
      July 18, 2017 at 8:56 AM

      Most of it is heating, not cooking. We do have a fan above the oven for what escapes like heat and whatever else. Deep fried chicken is done in the kitchen in the back. And then you step outside for a big beach of fresh air Laden with exhaust fumes. Go figure that out. Why are you in a 7-11 in the first place if everything is bad?

  17. Stephen
    April 13, 2017 at 4:36 PM

    I don’t understand why you’d review food !you already know you don’t like. The review ended up being an anecdotal dumpster fire. While funny, “meat sponge” does a worse job of explaining the taste, than Trump does, explaining how a bill gets passed.

    People don’t go in to 7-11 expecting to have a phenomenal meal. Anytime your food is waiting for you, not you waiting for it, and you’re spening 50 cents to a dollar on it, it’s a pretty safe bet it’s not going to be better than expected.

  18. April 14, 2017 at 4:53 AM

    I stumbled across this blog post while doing research for my blog post about eating only Japanese 7-Eleven food for two days straight. This was very helpful for accurately describing the horrors of American convenience store food. In case you have never had the good fortune of having Japanese 7-Eleven food, it’s much, much better than the American counterpart.

    With that said, this blog is hysterical, accurate, and extremely well written.

    Keep it up.

    (My blog post should be up soon)

  19. Help me
    June 24, 2017 at 1:48 PM

    I am now sitting on the toilet reading this after eating a Big Bite 2 hours ago. I’m not drunk and no one earned me beforehand about these hot doggies. I sharted my pants from it.

  20. Help me
    June 24, 2017 at 1:49 PM

    *warned me

  21. Stop.Get help
    August 10, 2017 at 9:47 AM

    Actually the pizza,Taquitos r soo gud idk about u,Ur tastebuds r horrible.

  22. nickyxplicit
    September 20, 2017 at 3:36 PM

    I gag thinking of this crap

  23. Samuel
    October 5, 2017 at 3:29 PM

    It is hard to get cheap eats in Manhattan. 7-Eleven will kill the rumble in your stomach with a Big Bite and a Big Gulp for $2.44. The big bite may not be gourmet, but that is not expected. I just wish that I could bet tea or coffee instead of soda. The big bite is delicious. People are just too demanding. It is the best deal in Manhattan.

  24. Vapequeen
    October 27, 2017 at 7:10 PM

    The 7-11 in my citie are pretty good, the torquitos are amazing, and the fries that have that crust on them are amazing and they make poutine which is better then new york fries

  25. Logan Martinez
    January 2, 2018 at 9:56 PM

    Looked up this blog after eating a cheese burger shaped hot dog and a spicy giant hot dog.. i actually like them..have to say the buffalo chicken rollers are pretty gross though. And the only taquitos I’ll eat are the cream cheese and jalapeno

  26. Jen
    July 19, 2018 at 7:57 PM

    Wow your 7-11 must be the worst one on the planet. quality varies by branch of course, depending on how the owner runs that particular store and the employees making the food.

    The branch near me is great, the staff are friendly and toss me a freebie every so often, just because they have leftovers from the evening, (less than selling quantities)
    their pizza may not be the best in Italian tradition, but it’s not the cardboard-and-chemicals quality that was served in my gradeschool hot lunches in those little red boxes (think Elios but slightly thicker crust), and the taste holds up when oven reheated

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