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ISO Sonoran Style Hot Dogs in the Bay Area

Shane Greenwood Dec 30, 2009 06:07 AM

I heard this NPR story about Sonoran Hot Dogs (link below). Seems about 20 years ago the hot dog crossed the border and was given a Mexican twist in Hermasillo. Since then the Sonoran Hot Dog crossed the border and is available in Tuscon & Phoenix. Anyone seen these around here? I suspect Redwood City, but have not seen them. I've found enough bacon wrapped hot dogs around here, but would like to find the authentic Sonoran dog if it exists.

From Wikipedia:
"The Sonoran hot dog, found in Tucson, Metro Phoenix, and in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, is a hot dog grilled in a processor or on a griddle, wrapped in Mesquite-smoked bacon, topped with freshly-chopped tomatoes, onions, shredded yellow or cotijo cheese, tomatillo salsa or red chili sauce, pinto beans, mayonnaise, ketchup and/or mustard, and served on bread. Often served with a fresh-roasted chili."


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  1. Melanie Wong RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 30, 2009 10:14 AM

    This thread will get you started.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Melanie Wong
      Shane Greenwood RE: Melanie Wong Dec 30, 2009 05:22 PM

      Thanks Melanie, I tried searching but that thread didn't pop up. Doesn't sound like there is anything like what's described in the article. But if it's out there, Fruitvale would probably be the place.

      1. re: Shane Greenwood
        Melanie Wong RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 31, 2009 01:22 PM

        I have a hunch there are some hot doggeros roaming San Jose, we just haven't heard about them.

    2. t
      tomatoaday RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 30, 2009 10:23 AM

      I got one from the taco truck parked at the Marin dump in San Rafael (can't beat the ambiance - peacocks even!) but the hot dog was disappointing - a so so dog, bacon, mayo, ketchup and mustard on an American hot dog bun. Not recommended.

      3 Replies
      1. re: tomatoaday
        OldTimer RE: tomatoaday Dec 30, 2009 03:42 PM

        What did you expect at the dump? Mayo. mustard and ketchup should be a dead givaway.

        1. re: OldTimer
          tomatoaday RE: OldTimer Dec 31, 2009 07:51 AM

          The location didn't bother me at all - I'm sure I have eaten in much less appealing spots. The thing that made me unhappy was the food, billed as a Mexican hot dog, that when it appeared was much less than what I was expecting. If I had liked the food, the dump would have become a regular spot in the Marin rotation for lunch.

        2. re: tomatoaday
          Shane Greenwood RE: tomatoaday Dec 30, 2009 05:14 PM

          That doesn't sound like a Sonoran hot dog anyway. There are many bacon wrapped dogs but I'm looking for one like what they're making in the article. Thanks for the tip though.

        3. a
          Agent 510 RE: Shane Greenwood Dec 30, 2009 06:17 PM

          As with the torta, the above sounds like it would be really good if half the ingredients are omitted. Not sure I get the appeal of "con todos" (with everything)

          2 Replies
          1. re: Agent 510
            Shane Greenwood RE: Agent 510 Dec 30, 2009 08:53 PM

            Hard to say until I actually try one. The stories about the authentic Sonoran Dog with the cojito, tomatillo salsa, pinto beans, et al definitely have me curious try one in its con todo glory. Might have to make one myself since the Bay Area seems to be coming up short on this one.

            1. re: Agent 510
              Ruth Lafler RE: Agent 510 Dec 31, 2009 11:52 AM

              You and me both, Agent510! Maybe my tastes are overly influenced by the fact that California cuisine is my native cuisine, but I'm really not a fan of the "everything but the kitchen sink" (or perhaps, "everything in the condiment aisle") school of gastonomy.

            2. bbulkow RE: Shane Greenwood Jan 2, 2010 10:38 PM

              I get around a bit in redwood city, and haven't seen anything similar. Will keep my eyes peeled.

              PS. The Al Pastor at Los Gemelos is very, very good.

              1 Reply
              1. re: bbulkow
                Agent 510 RE: bbulkow Feb 16, 2010 05:28 PM

                I actually got to try one of these in Phoenix this weekend, at Nogales Hot Dogs on Indian Spring Rd.

                Not bad. It was definitely the authentic "real deal" (minus ketchup and mustard, the lack of which made it even better). Really hard to eat though, unless you lie down sideways.

                I believe I read that there are regulations as to how these things can be cooked (on-site grilling is illegal, at least in Phoenix) so if the same is true in the Bay Area, I believe hell will freeze over before someone sells these things here.

              2. dlglidden RE: Shane Greenwood Feb 16, 2010 10:02 PM

                Last Fall, for our recent driving trip to Mazatlán last December (passing through Phoenix (going) and Tucson (coming) I Googled the bejusus out of "Sonoran Hotdog" and found some great websites for those dogs in both cities and a few in northern Sonora towns. Most all were "taco truck" places either mobile or permanently installed on a large concrete slab. I'm not going to go to the trouble of tracking down all the links I found, but I can tell you one thing: There are NO comparable Sonoran dogs anywhere in the Bay Area. Some things just don't travel well. If you are really craving one, just get in your car and drive to Tucson; it's not all that far and there are so many things to see, do, and eat in Tucson (and Phoenix and northern Sonora). You could try to make your own, but it's rather difficult if you don't know exactly what they're supposed to taste like.

                1. a
                  Agent 510 RE: Shane Greenwood Apr 29, 2010 07:30 PM

                  By the way, it's not a Sonoran dog, but the spicy coleslaw dog at TrueBurger in Oakland comes close.

                  It's a dog with bacon, a very light and peppery coleslaw, and a mayo-based chipotle sauce served not on a traditional hot dog bun, but one that very closely resembles what I saw used for the "real thing" in Phoenix.

                  146 Grand Ave, Oakland, CA 94612

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