As a food lover, I enjoy watching food tv shows. Not all of them, but a lot of them. One of my favorites is Man v. Food! If you don't know about this show, Adam Richman (host) travels to different American cities to explore big or unique foods before taking part in a legendary eating challenge at a local restaurant.
One of the first episodes I ever saw was Tucson. In that episode, Adam travels to the Southwest to take part in Lindy's Diner OMG Burger Challenge. Before he got to the challenge he stopped at two Tucson staples: Mi Nidito and EL Guero Canelo. This episode that add fuel to spark a fire that turned into a nearly four year obsession of sorts. It even led me to marry a man from Tucson ( I am TOTALLY kidding!!).
When Berkeley and I first met (2007) he always told me about these bacon wrapped hot dogs with pinto beans, tomatoes, onions, jalapeño sauce, mustard, and mayo stuffed into homemade steamed buns. Hello Sonoran Dog! As time went on I somewhat forgot until I saw the Tucson episode of Man v. Food. When I got to see this little gem of deliciousness I really decided I needed to try one. After more than a dozen trips to Tucson, and roughly four years, Berkeley surprised me the weekend after Thanksgiving and I FINALLY got to try one of these bad boys.
Ladies and Gents, may I present you El Guero Canelo's Sonoran Dog!
I really was not expecting this since we were going from the house Berkeley grew up in, down to the historic house his parents just purchased. I was planning on being in the car most of the day so my hair was a mess and I didn't have a touch of makeup on. Despite that, in the interest of full disclosure, I give you my "real authentic bite for a Mexican hot dog" (hint see 3:42 of the video linked above).
This 7 inch hot dog was a mere $2.49 and packed a punch of flavor. It was everything I expected and more! Some people have said that I just like the style. To be honest, I have had Sonoran style hot dogs at other places, like The Lumberyard here in Flagstaff, So I wasn't going in completely blind. I really just loved this version. It was perfect to me.
The dog itself was better and more flavorful than your standard hot dog frank. Add the bacon and its a real wiener (har har har). The beans weren't too overpowering and did not create a sloppy mushy mess as in other versions and the cold tomatoes, mayo and mustard added a lightness and freshness to the warm proteins. The only disappointment: I wanted at least three more!
As a little side note a lot of reviews on yelp and urbanspoon have users complaining about flies. First, these reviewers seemed to have been visiting in the desert in the middle of summer. Secondly, they went to the South Tucson location. There are at least four different El Guero Canelo locations. The original location in South Tucson was a taco stand that they have since built some covering around but is open air on two sides. Berkeley took me to the North Tucson location which is completely enclosed. That being said Berkeley says he had never had a problem with flies any time he was ever at ANY El Guero Canelo location.
Another one of the complaints on popular review sites was that El Guero Canelo was a fad that was only popular because the Sonoran Dog was featured on the Travel Channel. Along with my Sonoran Dog, Berkeley ordered one of his favorite things. Check back on Wednesday for more about that giant burrito in the photo above!