I remember the first time I went to El Güero Canelo. It was my freshman year of college and my brother was visiting me. He asked me to take him to the most authentic Tucson restaurant I could find. After revisiting this hot dog heaven three years later, I can say it continues to be one of Tucson’s most authentic restaurants.
I visited El Güero Canelo on a busy Saturday at noon. The local Tucson joint was buzzing, just as I hoped it would be.
After ordering the classic Sonoran Dog, I became mesmerized in the vast array of condiments that were at my disposal. Varieties of salsas, fresh toppings, even succulent limes sat before me waiting to top my hot dog.
Picking up my dog, I was delighted by just how jam packed it was with goodies, topped with diced tomatoes, onions, a dash of mustard and a bunch of other hidden treasures.
The first bite was exactly what I expected: messy. Actually, every bite was messy. The mountain of napkins accumulated quickly as I dashed one after another across my embarrassed face to clean up the occasional mustard blotch on my nose.
But the messiness was forgotten with every delicious bite.
There are a lot of scrumptious components within the Sonoran dog. The obvious all-star player has to be the bacon which the Sonoran dog is wrapped in.
“Tessa, you mean to say that the Sonoran dog is a pig, wrapped up in even more pig?”
Yes, my inquisitive reader, that is exactly what I’m saying.
Once I finished the hot dog, all that was left on my plate was an unassuming pepper. The pepper seemed innocent enough.
After one bite, my mouth was filled with a burning sensation that can only be compared to that of a searing fire. Tears filled my eyes and I could feel my ears begin to turn a bright red. I hastily chugged my bottle of Coke and begged the pepper to halt the inferno within my mouth. Thankfully, I have lived to tell the tale.
Some silent minutes passed before I felt that I had finally regained the ability to think clearly. I had to have a sound mind in order to fairly judge the hot dog I had just eaten.
In Let’s Be Frank, I judge hot dogs based on service, presentation, and taste. Therefore:
For service, I have to give El Güero Canelo a 10 out of 10. Their service was both quick and friendly. Even though the restaurant was busy with the lunch rush, it took roughly five minutes to get my hot dog.
Next, there is presentation. The Sonoran dog is a dog with many toppings. If these toppings are simply thrown on in a heap, the result is a train wreck of a hot dog. This does not describe the Sonoran Dog I had at El Güero Canelo. I was given a dog that was nestled in a big bun with various toppings layered with grace and precision. For this level of artistry, I will give an 8 out of 10 for presentation.
Our last, and probably most important category is taste. Overall, I was very impressed with the Sonoran dog. I always appreciate something wrapped in bacon and I thought all of the toppings tasted fresh and delicious. My only complaint had to be that the hot dog itself was a little spicy for my taste. Keeping these factors in mind, I rate the dog a 7 out of 10 for taste.
A mere week has passed since my last encounter with El Güero Canelo, and already I can feel a craving rising that can only be satiated with a Sonoran Dog. I will definitely be returning soon, and I recommend that Edible Baja Arizona readers do too!
El Güero Canelo
2480 N Oracle Rd
Tucson, AZ 85705