Chow Bella

El Exquisito Hot Dogs in Phoenix: Tire Shop by Day, Hot Dog Stand by Night

It's always a good time for a hot dog. Especially if it's wrapped in bacon, topped with freshly grilled onions and more. Some call them Sonoran dogs, some call them street hot dogs. Either way, we love it when we happen upon a hot dog stand and it turns out to be an immediate favorite.

On the northwest corner of 27th Avenue and Camelback, behind the PLS Check Cashers, there's a yellow tent in a tire shop parking lot that says "El Exquisito Hot Dogs." By day it's simply a tent where cars get parked, but at night it's much different.

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The setting is basic, with three fold-out tables, each with a roll of paper towels and an assortment of hot sauces.

No menu is hung or displayed anywhere -- hot dogs are the one offering, along with Mexican Coca-Cola and other sodas.

The owner's English is a little rusty, but he'll understand what you ask or. After you tell him how many hot dogs you want, he'll ask you in Spanish, "Con todo?" Just say yes -- he's asking if you want it with everything, and really there's no other way to eat this dog.

While you're waiting, listen to the onions crackle and sizzle on the grill.

Once served, we noticed that this was the most colorful dog we've ever had. Bright red ketchup, mustard and mayo topped it, and with more inspection, we found a weenie wrapped in bacon, accompanied by pinto beans, grilled onions and green salsa. We've had our share of hot dogs from a cart, but salsa was a new condiment for us.

There really was no need for other hot sauces. The bread was soft and light, and all the ingredients went together seamlessly. Bacon added the right amount of crispiness, and the salsa put the hot dog on another level for us. It was a little spicy, enough to leave a tingly sensation on the lips, but nothing too hot, thanks to the mustard and mayo balancing it out.

The stand is up and running each night at about 7 p.m. Each hot dog is $3, so don't be shy to go crazy and order more than one. We know, they're hard to resist.

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