On a flight home after a Presidents Day vacation with Kathryn, I read an article in the USAirways in-flight magazine about the Sonoran hot dogs sold by street vendors in Tucson. The description made my mouth water. A Sonoran hot dog is a hot dog wrapped in bacon and fried in bacon grease, served in a bakery roll with mayonnaise, pinto beans, diced tomatoes, onions, and whatever else is available. It sounded delightful. When we arrived, I wondered aloud whether similar hot dogs were also sold on the streets of Phoenix. The next day, Kathryn asked around at the hospital, and one of her co-workers said the only place he knew was at 20th St. and Indian School Rd., and only after 6 p.m. We sort of forgot about it after that.
Fast forward roughly six weeks.
The Arizona Republic ran a story about Sonoran hot dogs here in Phoenix, and sure enough the address of the vendor was at 20th St. and Indian School Rd. We live in the northern part of Phoenix, so most nights we’re not in central Phoenix after 6 p.m. However, we were planning to attend the Palm Sunday Mass at our downtown church on Saturday evening, so an opportunity presented itself, and we decided to try the place after Mass.
The name of the vendor is Nogales Hot Dogs. It’s operated from a pushcart with a tent over it, next to which they set up an open-air dining room of folding tables and chairs, all in the parking lot of a guitar store that has gone out of business, at the intersection of two busy streets. The menu is very short. They serve Sonoran hot dogs, sodas imported from Mexico, and bottled water. The bottled water is domestic, I guess. The proprietor greeted us, wiped down a table for us, and took our order: two Sonoran hot dogs with everything, a Coca-Cola, and a water. A few minutes later, dinner was served, and it looked great. Kathryn added some cheese to her hot dog, while I loaded up on green chili salsa, some sort of jalapeno sauce, and a couple different kinds of cheese. They also served some grilled onions and roasted peppers on the side. Then we dug in. The hot dogs were absolutely wonderful. But then, if you read the description above, how could they not be? The imported Coca-Cola in old-school glass bottles was a nice touch, too.
To sum up the experience, we’ll definitely be back. Heck, we may never go to Mass on Sunday morning again! And, in case you’re wondering, total cost of dinner, including a very generous tip, was $10.