Sonoran Hot Dogs in Tucson

Sonoran Hot Dogs. Clockwise starting upper left: Barrio Brewing Company, BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs, El Guero Canelo.

We have heard of Sonoran Hot Dogs, but never tried one. So when our neighbors at Gilbert Ray Campground started raving about them, we decided that we needed to head into Tucson and give them a try. So what is a Sonoran Hot Dog? It's a bacon-wrapped hot dog which is grilled, put inside a bolillo (traditional Mexican roll) and layered with pinto beans, diced tomatoes, mayonnaise, mustard, ketchup, jalapeño sauce, and onions with a grilled yellow pepper on the side.

Our first stop was BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs on 12th Ave. It had the appearance of a fast food restaurant. Besides the hot dog, Rob't ordered a pollo taco (grilled chicken). All the food was prepared in the kitchen with the exception of the hot dogs which were cooked outdoors on a very large grill. Our first experience with a Sonoran Hot Dog was a tad disappointing. Although we enjoyed it, we felt it lacked the bacon flavor we were expecting. It turns out that this bolillo was the largest of the three we sampled although it wasn’t filled with as much fixings as the others. It was well past dark, so we decided to head back to the campground.

So for lunch the next day we decided to go to El Guero Canelo and sample another Sonoran Hot Dog (they created the original Sonoran Hot Dog). We chose to go to their south location which was also on 12th Ave. right down from BK’s. The overall appearance of the place was that it once was a small stand, but now has an attached large room with glass walls. The place had a kind of basic setup, but with a comfortable feel. When we got our hot dogs, the bolillo was a tad smaller than BK’s, but overall with more fillings, so it felt much heavier. They were very flavorful and we weren't disappointed. At this point, we thought that we found a clear winner.

So off to Costco we went to stock up on supplies. Our planned stop after shopping was Barrio Brewing Company. Who doesn’t need a good beer after shopping? Looking at their menu, we discover that they also have a Sonoran Hot Dog. Oh, we just had to go for another hot dog along with their “Fire Starter” burger. We split both between us. This hot dog was also loaded and very good, but didn’t surpass the one from El Guero Canelo because their bolillo was not quite as good.

Will we go out and sample more Sonoran Hot Dogs? Don’t think so, but you never know.

Barrio Brewing Company 800 E 16th St, Tucson, AZ
BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs 5118 S. 12th, Tucson. AZ
El Guero Canelo 5201 S. 12th, Tucson. AZ

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