Guilty Pleasures

The Sinaloa Is the Sonoran Dog's Cheesy, Crunchy Cousin

The Guilty Pleasure: The Sinaloa Dog
Where to Get It: La Pasadita Hot Dogs
Price: $3.29
What it Really Costs: The cost of a three-day juice cleanse, to flush the remnants of nacho cheese out of your system. 

Bacon-wrapped hot dogs have been a street food staple in Hermosillo, Sonora for decades, where they are playfully called dogos. Sonorans Dogs, as they're called north of the border, have been proudly adopted in Tucson and Phoenix as the signature hot dog of the desert. 

By now you're probably intimately familiar with the basic anatomy of a classic Sonoran Dog: the bacon-wrapped frank stuffed into a fluffy, split-top roll, the savory medley of pinto beans, chopped tomatoes and onions, and the crowning touch: a zigzag drizzle of mayonnaise. The Sonoran Dog is as goofy as food gets, a bi-cultural culinary achievement that piles ludicrous amounts of porky, salty flavor into a single vessel. 

Every now and then a new iteration of the bacon-wrapped dog pops up. The most eye-catching one being dished out right now in the Valley may be Sinaloa Dog made at La Pasadita Hot Dogs on the west side.  

La Pasadita has been dealing in Sonoran dogs since the 1990s, where owner Rocio Sandez started selling the delicacy from a hot dog stand on 75th Avenue and Indian School. A couple of decades later, the humble hot dog stand has bloomed into a small food truck fleet and two brick-and-mortar locations on Indian School Road (one on 43rd Avenue, and the second a few avenues down on 83rd Avenue). 

The Sinaloa Dog, named after the northwestern Mexican state that borders Sonora to the south, features a bacon-wrapped dog piled with a creamy chopped-tomato-and-mayonnaise blend, a drizzle of thin guacamole and flecks of cooked bacon. Layered on top of that, a generous ladle of bright orange nacho cheese, topped off with a crunchy sprinkling of crushed Ruffles con queso, which are the Mexican equivalent of Ruffles' cheddar & sour cream potato chips. A roasted chile güero is served on the side, in case you're keen to add some spice. 

The cheese-to-dog ratio is what makes this a true guilty pleasure. The Sinaloa Dog comes covered with so much nacho cheese, you will be tempted to poke around the fluorescent orange blob to confirm there's actually a dog under that blanket of buttery, liquid cheese.  

Sure, the Sinaloa Dog may not be especially pretty to look at. But, like it's Sonoran cousin, it's a gooey flavor bomb designed to wrap your taste buds in salty, fatty, deliriously rich flavors. It's an unsophisticated, chemical-laden and thoroughly decadent street snack, suitable for nursing a bad hangover, or possibly devouring on the eve of starting your next juice cleanse.

But no matter when or why you eat The Sinaloa, resist the urge to wonder much about the sodium and fat content in each dog, or to Google search "What is in nacho cheese?" Some things are best left a mystery.  
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Patricia Escárcega was Phoenix New Times' food critic.