Sunday, August 16, 2009

Croquer: El Guero Canelo

Known as the best place to get a Sonoran hot dog outside of Mexico, El Guero Canelo's cult status came about as a bit of a Tucson Cinderella story. Opened as a 6x8 taco stand in 1993 by the Contreras family following a trip to Mexico, Guero Canelo El Segundo Restaurant‎ now fills a massive 20,000 square foot lot on Oracle at Grant. The original cart sits out front in the parking lot as a 'modest' reminder of their success.Inside the warehouse-like space, diners voices and order numbers being called echo off of the corrugated aluminum roof, green/white/red piñatas and metal-topped picnic tables with Mexican flag painted benches. An ordering counter lines the east wall, the rest of the space wide open seating, divided only by a massive condiment counter that is more like a salad bar buffet of Mexican delectables. Freshly grilled whole jalapeños, onions and mushrooms sit beside several varieties of salsa, pico de gallo, cilantro, cabbage, cucumbers, radishes, pickled jalapeños, cheese, and mesquite-smoked green onions.I stuck with the staple and ordered a Sonoran Hot Dog (only $2.29), an unsplit soft baguette-like bun stuffed with a bacon-wrapped frank, pinto beans, tomatoes, jalapeños, shredded cheese, salsa, ketchup, mustard and a staggering amount of mayonnaise. I sliced up a grilled jalapeño to add on top and bit into the drippy goodness. By bite three I was full, but still enjoyed every last bit.Compared to an LA street dog, Guero Canelo's franks are smaller and less succulent, but the giant stuffed bun, pinto beans, and topping options weigh heavily in its favor. Next time I would opt for the Sammy Dog (2 franks), but then my friend's giant carne asada burrito on fresh tortilla looked incredible, and by his satisfied grunts and thumbs up, I sense he thoroughly enjoyed it.Guero Canelo also has a hefty array of Mexican beverages including all your favorite aguas frescas and Mexican glass-bottled sodas.2480 N Oracle Rd Tucson, AZ 85705-4322; 520.882.8977
5201 S 12th Ave Tucson, AZ 85706-2339; 520.295.9005
elguerocanelo.com

1 comment:

  1. My soccer coach used to take us down the "Guero's" after we played our soccer games at Golf Links Park. Their original location (I think) is on the far south side. For years I told Nate about these amazing hot dogs that Coach Javi took me to get. I even tried to find them by memory once and that didn't end well! When I heard that El Guero Canelo segundo opened I was so excited! Anyway, sorry for the long story! I am passionate about these hot dogs but I must say, the Carne Asada is just as good. The way to order there is to get a Sonoran dog and a Jr. Carne Asada Burro. It will cost like $5 and you get the best of both worlds! You leave feeling horribly full but it is well worth it!

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