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El Guero Canelo: The Sonoran Dog

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It's called a Sonoran Dog, and the staff at El Guero Canelo has perfected it. This hot dog-gone-crazy is a Tucson favorite, and keeps the locals coming back for more.

The restaurant has two locations, at 2480 North Oracle Road and 5201 South 12th Avenue. I visited the Oracle location.

According to its website, El Guero Canelo was started by the Contreras family in 1993.

"The goal was to provide the best authentic Mexican cuisine available within the Tucson area," the "About Us" section says. "Thus began the legendary El Guero Canelo 6-foot by 8-foot Taco Stand. That taco stand grew to be what El Guero Canelo is today."

Eva Navarro, who travels all the way from Rio Rico, Ariz., says she's a frequent visitor of the restaurant.

"I get the Sonoran Dog every time I come. But not today because I'm on a diet," Navarro said, laughing. "And I usually get everything on it."

Navarro is one of the brave souls who can handle everything on the Sonoran Dog.

When ordering, you can omit certain things from the eight original ingredients that come on the dog. The originals include bacon, beans, grilled onions, fresh onions, tomatoes, mayo, mustard and jalapeno sauce.  And you can add as many extra ingredients as you like from their large selection of fresh toppings.

I wasn't brave enough and passed on four of the main ingredients, but I still claim I got the full flavor because it was one of the greatest things I've ever tasted.

 Many of the people I found at El Guero Canelo were repeat customers who had the same great things to say about the food and atmosphere.

I brought a couple of friends with me who had never had a Sonoran Dog, because I wanted opinions from people who had never been.

"Best plan you've ever had, Joce," Traci Fleiss, a University of Arizona senior said. "I want to come back and try more. I mean, if it's this busy at 3 p.m. on a Saturday, the rest of the food's gotta be amazing."

Fleiss braved the Sonoran Dog and got the full list of ingredients.

   She loved it.

"The lady was so nice to me!" Fleiss said. "I told her it was my first time trying the hot dog and she told me to just go for it, and I'm pretty glad I did."

Lindsey Lerman, also a UA senior, tried her first Sonoran Dog and was pleasantly surprised.

"I have to admit I was a little afraid," she said. "I thought it'd be really gross because it was a hot dog wrapped in bacon. But wow."

Lerman, like me, also skipped out on some of the ingredients just to be safe.

Filiberto Arvizu has been working at El Guero Canelo since October of last year. He said his favorite thing to eat at the restaurant is the hot dog.

So why choose El Guero Canelo over the countless other Mexican restaurants in Tucson?

"The food's good and the salsas are great," he said. "Try it out! It's awesome."

El Guero Canelo was also featured on Travel Channel's Man v. Food. Adam's trip to Tucson brought him to his first Sonoran Dog.


Here's where you can find El Guero Canelo's two locations:

El Guero Canelo 2480 North Oracle Road, Tucson, AZ 85705

El Guero Canelo 5201 South 12th Avenue, Tucson AZ 85706 

CommunityWalk Map - El Guero Canelo

Written by Jocelyn Bresnick You are reading El Guero Canelo: The Sonoran Dog articles

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