Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sonoran Hot Dogs

Today, the Sonoran hot dog can be found in Tucson, Arizona. Everywhere to taco stands/trucks/carts to popular places like El Guero Canelo. But it originally comes from Tucson's neighboring state, Sonora, Mexico. "Tex Mex" food made its way across the border in the 1940s when that style of cuisine was popping up in bordering cities. From there, the Sonoran hot dog took form.

Obviously, hot dogs are made differently in large cities across the US. The prepartion of the hot dog symbolizes and characterizes a town. Chicago-style dogs, piled high with relish, sport peppers, sliced tomato, Coney Dogs in Detroit, featuring bean-less, meat-filled chili with onions and yellow mustard. In Arizona, the Sonoran dog reigns supreme.

Perhaps you have seen food television shows like Man vs. Food and Food Wars that have showcased the hot dog. The Sonoran looked so good I had to try it. Hopefully, one day I can make it to the streets of Tucson to try one.

A common trait for all Sonoran hot dogs is the bacon. Bacon is wrapped around the dog and sauted until crispy and crunchy.

They use mesquite-smoked bacon in Arizona but any type will do if mesquite-smoked bacon is not available.

The variations come from the types of condiments. The Sonoran packs a lot of condiments into the bun but all work well together and complete the Tex-Mex profile.
Condiments include:
  • Pinto beans
  • chopped tomatoes
  • chopped onion
  • shredded cheese
  • yellow mustard
  • mayo
  • jalapeno/green chile sauce
  • bolillo bun
Make an insert into the bolillo bun and scrape out some of the bread.. It should look like a canoe. Layer the ingredients in this order:
  • bacon-wrapped hot dog
  • beans
  • tomatoes
  • onions
  • cheese
  • stripes of mustard, chile sauce, mayo
Wow, what a hot dog. So many flavors all working amazing together. Fresh ingredients from the tomatoes and onions make it seem healthy while the mustard-mayo-chile sauce work with the cheese to create a creamy top. Then you make it down to the smoky, salty crunch of the bacon....oh, it all just comes together.

It is a somewhat messy hot dog with toppings falling off but come on, its a hot dog. Get messy and don't wipe your face until you are done. This hot dog needs a full delivery to your face. Ha!

Next time I will look for a more quality bolillo bun. This particular bun was not as fresh as I would liked. It was a little on the hard side. A more fresh, pillowy bolillo would have taken this hot dog to new levels.

I love me some Chicago-style dogs but this dog is tough to top.


  1. Nice looking dog. I'm going to make that soon. Agreed that it is hard to find good bolillos in the states.

  2. You know me, I don't care too much for beans, but come on over and cook some sonorans for me.

  3. Now this is what I call a hot dog! Wonderful!

  4. El Guero Canelo in Tucson has delicious sonoran dogs, but our favorite is from BK Tacos!