Sonoran Hot Dog

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The Sonoran-style or Estilo Sonora hot dog, found in Tucson, Metro Phoenix, and in neighboring Sonora, Mexico, is a delicious hot dog wrapped in mesquite-smoked bacon then cooked on a grill or on a griddle or comal, then topped with beans, grilled onions, fresh onions, tomatoes, mayonnaise, cream sauce, mustard and Jalapeno salsa or sauce and served on a Mexican bread and often with a side fresh-roasted chile. It originated in Hermosillo, the capital of Sonora.

When made with care, this border take on the hot dog can be as revelatory as your first Coney dog, NEw York style dog, or Chicago dog.

Talk about tweaking the classics. The hot dog basics are here, starting with the beef frankfurter. But the bun is bigger, denser, swaddling the dog in a doughy embrace.

There’s bacon, and pinto beans and grilled onions, and a fireworks-burst of condiments: chopped fresh onions, chopped fresh tomatoes, jalapeño sauce, mayonnaise, mustard. Add a grilled yellow chile on the side and voilà, the Sonoran Hot Dog―aka the Mexican Hot Dog―which has risen to cult status in the Southwest.

It traces its ancestry to northern Mexico but attains perfection at joints like Tucson’s El Güero Canelo and Phoenix’s Nogales Hot Dogs.

“The idea makes you go, Oh my God,” says Pamela Hamilton, editor and publisher of Edible Phoenix. “But when I took visitors around Phoenix, at the end they begged me to FedEx them sonoran hot dogs in Cape Cod.”

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Recipe Comments

Comments (3)

  1. posted by joanne on December 15, 2014

    OMG, Sonoran Hot Dogs are the absolute best, but they are not easy to find in Chicago, despite it being the hot dog capital of the world and having the second largest Hispanic community in the United States. Any suggestions on where to get a good Sonoran Hot Dog in Chicago?

  2. posted by Sam on December 5, 2014

    I had an amazing Sonoran Hot Dog at a restaurant called Red Star in Chicago a few years ago. When I went to Arizona for Spring Break I tried Sonoran hot dogs everywhere I went, and while they were good, they just weren’t the same as the Red Star dog. To make matters worse, Red Start has taken the Sonoran hot dog off the menu! 🙁

  3. posted by Clemmie on September 7, 2014

    I got a lot of interesting ideas here! It was a real treat to browse through these creative recipes. I’m going to try several on Sunday when we have some friends over to watch the Bears play.


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