Cafe Reviews

Nogales Hot Dogs #2: 10 Things to Know About This Top Dog of Food Trucks

There's a hot new ride tearin' up the streets of America, and it's called the food truck. Thanks to shows like The Great Food Truck Race, in addition to new chow wagons popping up all over the Valley, folks can pig out in the open air of a parking lot.

Old news for Pablo Perez. He and wife Monica, owners of Nogales Hot Dogs #2, have been slinging real-deal Sonoran-style dogs (crazy-good hot dogs wrapped in bacon with mayo, pinto beans, tomatoes, onions, and a choice of toppings) outta their rig at 20th Street and Indian School for the past nine years. Here's Perez on 10 things you might not know about his dogs:

1. Guy Fieri didn't want the mayo: "He asked for no mayo, but that's one of the flavors that make the hot dog taste so good. He also thought my salsa verde was really spicy — it's not that spicy."

2. His previous job also involved wheels: "I used to fix tires before I started selling hot dogs, but I still ate hot dogs when I fixed tires. I like hot dogs."

3. He married into it: "My brother-in-law started the first one on 35th Avenue and McDowell, and after I married Monica, we started number two."

4. On a good night, they go through 250 dogs: "We used to do a lot more, but with the economy and SB 1070, we've seen a drop in business."

5. The champurrado (Mexican hot chocolate) is homemade: "I roast my own flour and it takes about an hour to make." (Note to reader: You must order this.)

6. They're all-meat, not all-beef: "Some people want to know why we don't serve all-beef hot dogs, but it's the all-meat dogs that taste so good."

7. The tasty buns are custom-made: "They're baked for us daily by a Mexican bakery."

8. He still eats the dogs: "After nine years, I still have about one a week. I like mine with salsa verde, cheddar cheese, and cotija cheese. I also like a side dish of spicy mushrooms topped with cotija cheese."

9. He ain't sellin': "I've been asked, but Nogales isn't for sale. I like this corner. And since the guitar store went out of business, I'm the veteran now. I've thought about opening a restaurant, but people enjoy us like this."

10. The Sonoran dog is a Mexican spin on an American classic: "Hey, we're from Mexico, we like Mexican flavors. We like beans."

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Laura Hahnefeld
Contact: Laura Hahnefeld