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JayPo’s Penalty Boxed Lunch: The Sonoran Hotdog

Yes, it is a sandwich.

Carman column - Taqueria Picoso

Welcome to JayPo’s Penalty Boxed Lunch where we explore food from around the country! This week’s 11th official entry comes from Arizona who don’t have a lot of sandwich options, but fortunately give us the delectable Sonoran Hotdog. Arizona is a great food destination state with awesome pizza (you heard me) and Mexican food (duh).

Food History!

From our pals at Wikipedia:

The Sonoran hot dog is a style of hot dog that originated in Hermosillo, the capital of the Mexican state of Sonora, in the late 1980s.[1][2] It is popular in Tucson,[3][4][5][6] Phoenix,[7] and elsewhere in southern Arizona.[8] It consists of a hot dog that is wrapped in bacon and grilled, served on a bolillo-style hot dog bun, and topped with pinto beans, onions, tomatoes, and a variety of additional condiments, often including mayonnaise, mustard, and jalapeño salsa.[9][10]

How I Made It!

I didn’t go too far off the beaten path with my version of this hotdog sandwich. The most difficult part was replicating a bolillo roll, and mine turned out just “okay”. Was a bit too crumbly and had a tough time holding up to all the fixings. Besides that, I did my best to incorporate a lot of homemade things such as pickled jalapenos, pico de gallo and a zesty mayo (think lots of lime and cilantro).

What Does a Local Think? (thanks to Robyn from Five For Howling!)

Do you think the Sonoran hotdog represents your state accurately?

Honestly, to me, the Sonoran Dog is an absolute staple for Arizona, especially Southern Arizona. It’s one of the first things i introduce to a newbie in the state. What i love about the Sonoran Dog is how different people make it so long as the fundamentals are put in there.

How do you make your sandwich?

To me the perfect Sonoran Dog starts with the Bolillo bun, depending on how I’m feeling i either toast it or steam them. I then top the wonderfully bacon-wrapped dog with:

- Fresh Pinto Beans

- Grilled Onions (the grilled onions are *chefs kiss*)

- diced fresh onions / tomatos

- Mayo

-Jalapeño Salsa (either with relish consistency or creamy)

-optional: mustard

I also serve with a side of a blistered güero pepper. (Alternating hot dog and pepper bites)

How did I do?

Based on the above and looking at the tweet. Your creation is definitely an honorable version of Arizona’s famous dog. Of course, a few things I’d have different:

- keeping the pinto beans rather than refried

- add in the grilled onions (trust me on this)

- picked jalapeños as a topper instead of the salsa is an interesting take and one i might think about myself, (but I’m too much of a fangirl of my Jalapeño Salsa to probably do so)

- and finally the blistered güero pepper (Santa Fe & New Mexico pepper) I’ll givd the same advice for that as i did with the grilled onions. Trust me on it, your tastebuds will thank me later. Haha

All those are personal suggestions, but as I said I’ve had deviations from the above that taste absolutely phenomenal. The fundamentals were still in place and my brain still recognized it as a Sonoran Dog.

Where do you order your favorite Sonoran hotdog?

As a Tucsonan, El Güero Canelo will always be my number one restaurant to go to for a Sonoram Hot Dog. They don’t add the grilled onions I’ve been raving about, but they’re one of the places that popularized the dish.

Number two would be any small hotdog cart spread through the Tucson or Phoenix city streets (cause there’s something special about getting your dog made to order right in front of you).

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