Tacos may very well be the perfect food, but let’s face it, the standard Meximerican fare can get a bit stale after a while. Taco the Town is here to highlight some of the more unusual Mexican finds in the valley. This week: Sonoran Hot Dogs, food truck eats served up by Nogales Hot Dogs.
¿Como se dice?: The Great Bacon Craze of ’09-’10 seems to (thankfully) be coming to an end, after Americans realized that the smoky breakfast treat may not go well with absolutely everything. (We have some bacon flavored lip balm to serve as a daily reminder of our meaty hubris–kind of like rubbing your lips with used bacon grease.)
But if there’s one place where bacon still reigns supreme, it’s lovingly wrapped around a Sonoran-style hot dog. One dog encased in mesquite-smoked bacon and layered with so many toppings you may need a knife and fork to take care of this business.
La Comida: The hotdogueros (these dogs are so good they coined a new word) at Nogales Hot Dogs serve up Sonoran-style dogs aplenty. It’s not a sit down restaurant though, so keep an eye out for a food truck parked in a lot at the corner of 20th Street and Indian School. They set up at around 6 pm daily and serve their Mexi-fied version of chili dogs late into the evening for you night owls.
Make sure to wash down your dogs (let’s be honest, you’ll have more than one) with a Mexican coke in a bottle, made with real sugar. Or try a piping hot cup of champurrado, similar to the Mexican hot chocolate we featured last week, but thickened with masa to give it a rich, silky texture.
El Sabor: A good Sonoran hot dog is the sum of all its parts, from the bacon down to the bun. Mesquite-smoked bacon elevates the humble dog to mouth-watering status and adds an indisputable smoky Southwest flavor. The best buns are fresh bolillos that have been cut down the middle with the ends still intact, creating a boat for all the tempting toppings.
Traditionally, and this is where people start to draw battle lines, Sonoran-style dogs are topped with beans, tomatoes, onions and a mayonnaise spread. At Nogales Hot Dogs, a salsa bar also offers up shredded cheddar, powdery cojita cheese, tomatillo salsa, a thin avocado sauce, canned mushrooms and verduras en escabeche (pickled veggies like carrots, onions, and jalapenos).
If the idea of eating hot dogs on the street seems a bit off to you, don’t fret. Everything is cooked prior to being delivered to the location and is simply reheated on site. Health code rules. So horff down your Sonoran dog with impunity, and when the man asks you if you’re ready for a second dog, just nod between gluttonous mouthfuls.
Bring a bit of México to your kitchen: If you would prefer to grill up a bevy of Sonoran hot dogs to amaze your friends and family, observe the basic rules outlined above. Look for mesquite-smoked bacon and whatever you do, don’t use standard hot dog buns. Bolillos are the only way to go, so swing by your Food City or Ranch Market bakery and snag a bag of fresh buns. Choose your toppings wisely and grill up a batch of Sonoran hot dogs.