Sonoran hot dogs at El Guero Canelo in Tucson

A couple years ago on one of my other blogs, I wrote about my first experience eating Sonoran hot dogs in Phoenix. I had first read about Sonoran hot dogs in an in-flight magazine on US Airways, but the article was about Tucson, not Phoenix. Since then, I’ve been looking forward to an authentic Sonoran hot dog in Tucson. The time arrived on a recent weekend trip.

Sonoran hot dogs at El Guero Canelo
Sonoran hot dogs at El Guero Canelo. The closer one has jalapeño salsa. The other one does not.

Before we left Phoenix, Kathryn asked several of her friends who’ve lived in Tucson where we should go to get the best Sonoran hot dog. They all had the same answer: El Guero Canelo.

El Guero Canelo has three locations. We went to the North Tucson location at 2480 N. Oracle Rd., just north of Grant Rd. We were a little surprised that it was not a cart like we had expected. At one point, they did operate out of a cart, and the cart was parked outside. However, this location was a shiny, modern building with an air-conditioned interior. Which wasn’t an awful thing, given how hot it can be in Tucson in August.

Curt, with a Mexican Coca-Cola and a smile
Me, with a Mexican Coca-Cola and a smile.

For those of you not acquainted with the Sonoran hot dog, let me give you a taste. It starts with a standard frank, not unlike any other. The frank is wrapped in bacon and fried. The fried, bacon-wrapped frank is put into a soft, split roll which has been filled with beans. Then it’s topped with diced tomatoes and onions, mayonnaise and mustard, and a drizzle of jalapeño salsa. There’s a bar where you can top it off with some other fixings like shredded cheese.

In short, it’s a little piece of heaven in your mouth.

Kathryn and I each ordered a standard Sonoran hot dog. She got hers without jalapeño salsa, which is too bad, because it’s quite mild. I also ordered a Mexican Coca-Cola. The only time I drink non-diet soda is when I’m sick or eating a Mexican hot dog. You can draw your own conclusions from that fact.

El Guero Canelo also offers something called a Sammy dog, which is essentially the same thing as the standard Sonoran hot dog, but with two franks instead of one. Next time we’re there, we’re going to order Sammy dogs. One frank just wasn’t quite enough. We each ordered another Sonoran hot dog.

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