Earlier this week, I found myself back in Tucson.
Ahh, wait. Before I go much further, I have to make a confession. I’ve been to Tucson six times now, all for work-related issues. Every time I go, the friendly folks who I visit ensure I am well fed, and take me out to restaurants of top notch quality (someday, I’ll have to relate the tale of being at a place where they prepare bucket-size amounts of salsa at table side, whilst a mariachi band plays La Bamba five feet away).
What I haven’t done when down there is search out places of my own, mostly because my hosts had taken it upon themselves to feed me. So imagine my surprise in finding out that Tucson has a dish/meal for which they are famous – The Sonoran Hot Dog! I felt I had let myself down, not knowing this fact. At that moment, I vowed the next I was in Tucson, I would have to see what the hubbub was about.
The next time I visited Tucson, I was pared with a vegetarian.
Okay, so the NEXT time I visited Tucson, I vowed to have me some hot dogs.
The result? Sonoran Hot Dogs are now my favorite type. Here’s why – The Hot Dog is wrapped in smoked- bacon, and then cooked on a large grill right in front of you (at least it was at the two places I visited). The dog is then put on a bun, where spicy pinto beans are added, as well as cooked onions, fresh onions, and diced tomatoes. It is then topped with a “healthy” amount of mayonnaise. And as an accoutrement/garnish? A freshly charred chili pepper whose aroma permeates the air full of carbon and capsaicin. Enjoying these dogs with a glass of horchata was a must, as the rice milk tempered the spice of the beans and pepper perfectly.
I could come up with flowery prose going into detail on what the experience entails, and how the various flavors intermingled upon my tongue as I consumed this lovely beast. But such an approach in describing these dogs seems a bit…a bit overdone. So let me get directly to the point.
Sonoran Hot Dogs are delicious. Full stop. Yes, it likely depends upon where you get them and who makes them, but the samples I’ve had made me want to have them again, almost immediately. Even now as I write this, I am trying to figure out how to make them at home with a partner who is currently avoiding meat.
Or to put it plainly, Sonoran Hot Dogs and I had a moment. Quite possibly that is the only thing you really need to know.