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Apr 27, 2008 07:57 PM

Richmond: Santo salchicha Mexicano … or holy hot dog, Mexican-style

St. Cornelius is becoming quite the food destination around the noon Spanish mass. For a while there were a few raspado vendors, a tamale vendor or two and others selling snacks like bags of chicharrons or pink and blue bags of cotton candy.

The hot dog cart caught my eye this morning.

A large griddle was cooking up hot dogs wrapped in bacon. Fresh chopped onions were added to the bacon fat on the grill and nicely browned. The hot dog was topped with the onions, chopped tomatoes, jalapeños, a squirt of catsup and a squiggle of crema … doggy divinity for $2.50.

This was the first decent Mexican hot dog I’ve had since reading tantalizing descriptions of them years ago on chowhound.

The corner was busy. Another woman was whipping up some sort of pink crema. I’m not sure what she was selling though. Close by there were fresh fruit cups and I’m guessing Mexican corn. The churro guy wasn’t there this week, but I haven’t seen him lately.

There were about a dozen vendors closer to the entrance of the church, but I had other plans.

I did put off my plans for brunch at Eccolo though. When the food gods call … one must answer … and when they call outside a church … well … it would have been a sin not to stop.

St Cornelius Catholic Church
205 28th St, Richmond, CA

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  1. "A large griddle was cooking up hot dogs wrapped in bacon. Fresh chopped onions were added to the bacon fat on the grill and nicely browned. The hot dog was topped with the onions, chopped tomatoes, jalapeños, a squirt of catsup and a squiggle of crema … doggy divinity for $2.50."

    I've unsuccessfully tried to retire a few times. First to fly tourists (in a Cessna 182) over Hell's Canyon on the Snake; to lead rock climbing trips in Anfianarantsou, Madagascar; to organize bow hunting of pigs in Sumatra; trout fishing in Bhutan; and food-culture cruising in the Melkong Delta.

    Forget all that--I'm going to do those dogs. But in what US city?

    8 Replies
    1. re: Sam Fujisaka

      Ah, times is tough in the US ... probably no city.

      Over the years I've enjoyed the street vendors that cruise my streets selling corn, raspados, fruit and flats of strawberries. The other day something new happened. A knock on my door didn't result in the usual Jehovah Witnesses (telling them I'm Catholic usually resolves that since they flee from the devil-woman).

      Anyway it was a woman and a small girl selling tamales door to door (haven't tried them yet).

      I suspect that the blossoming of food vendors at the church has to do with a tanking economy. In this neighborhood every tenth house is up for 'sale' ... until it gets foreclosed.

      1. re: rworange

        Food vendors have started showing up outside the Catholic church on Gilman Street, too. Also, a guy pushing an ice cream cart goes past my house most days. That's new.

      2. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Come back to Fresno, Sam! We'll find you a great corner.



        1. re: Sam Fujisaka

          So after reading much about Vancouver's Japadogs... I finally go... only to learn there is only one Japadog... a single cart. Vancouver needs more Japadog carts... and if you throw in the (I like to call it the Parque Alameda Dog because there is more than one Mexican style of dog)... I am sure you will be a rock star... oh yeah you could perform with your old band while serving.... what were you guys called again?

          1. re: Eat_Nopal

            Thanks, Eat, it was "Captain Pissgums and the Gay Cowboys". Vancouver is a great city.

            1. re: Eat_Nopal

              And they have a web site:

              What variety of protein is in the Parque Alameda Dog? Or shouldn't I ask :-\

              1. re: DiveFan

                Its not Xolo's.... just plain pork.... although there is always that mystery of why there are so few cats on Mexico's streets =)

          2. So after reading your tantalizing description of mmmmhotdog*drool*bacon*drool* a few days ago, what should I run into on a rare random night (tonight, around 9:30 pm) in SF but a tiny hot dog cart/grill, manned by two guys, cooking up delicious looking hot dogs, wrapped in bacon, with the onions grilling away in the bacon fat and giant jar of jalapenos nearby. Near the corner of 16th and Mission, nearly right outside the Bart station there. The smell was SO intoxicating that it nearly overpowered my very full and happy tummy (I'd just had my fill of tapas from Ramblas and a two scoop cone from Bi Rite) and I had to pull my dining companions away to grab the BART train before I succumbed to the siren song of the magical bacon-wrapped dog. I think I would have literally exploded if I had attempted to eat one..but damn they smelled good! So, to make a short story long, I guess I'm putting out a headsup of a sighting of said magical hot dogs in the SF area. *gryn*

            2 Replies
            1. re: chocolateninja

              I was lucky enough to catch the bacon dog cart while scooping up a drunk friend at Delirium last Friday (seemed to be a father/son operation-- very charming gentlemen). I've also seen more than one cart out on Saturdays along Valencia in the 20's.

              1. re: spicedish

                That area is one of my regular haunts and that cart is usually there after the bars get out.

            2. From what Omar of Joya de Ceren tells me, the pinkish crema is El Salvadorean Crema, a little spicy. El Salvador rules!

              1 Reply
              1. re: DrBiggles

                Whatever she was making it involved a jar of pickled pork skin.

                Thanks for the tip.

                Thank goodness bacon isn't considered a potentially hazardous food in the Bay Area

                "Doing bacon is illegal" in LA - Drew Carey and the battle of the bacon dogs

              2. Are you sure the squiggle was crema? Certainly a possibility, but mayonnaise is an absolute requirement.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  You are probably right.Those dogs are so loaded some of the tastes get lost in the crowd.

                2. The original comment has been removed