TASTE-OFF: Fourth Avenue Sonoran dogfight

BY DAVID MENDEZ

aztecpress@pima.edu

Like so many others who crawl along Fourth Avenue on weekends, I’m in need of some good food by night’s end. Sonoran hot dog carts line the avenue, making it difficult to choose which is best for the money. In the interest of public service, here are my reactions to two popular carts.

Trolley Dogs:

I can’t lie. This is honestly the most disappointment I’ve experienced when eating a Sonoran hot dog.

Trolley Dogs consist of the usual toppings (beans, tomatoes, onions, bacon, mustard, mayonnaise and jalapeño salsa) as well as shredded cheese.

This is a mistake – the shredded cheese blend is too sharp, and overpowers the rest of the flavors. Of course, this wouldn’t be an issue if the rest of the ingredients weren’t so poor.

Not only were the toppings skimped upon (I’m not convinced there were any pinto beans), but they were all served at the same temperature. That ruined the juxtaposition of textures you get with a good Sonoran dog.

The $3 you would spend here can be better used elsewhere.

 

Sammy Zermeno fires up the grill at Baja Dogs on Fourth Avenue. Photo by David Mendez.

 

Baja Dogs:

Baja Dogs appear to be everything Trolley Dogs aren’t.

The ingredients are piled high, the jalapeño salsa is spicy, the diced tomatoes are cool and fresh and the onions are grilled to perfection.

There’s no cheese, but that’s a good thing in this case.

The bacon presentation is another unique touch. It is cooked and crumbled on, rather than wrapped around the frank as with so many other Sonoran dogs.

This allows the bacon to maintain its own unique flavor, rather than marinate with the hot dog.

My only complaint lies in the buns.

Instead of splitting a bolillo roll like BK and El Guero Canelo, Baja Dogs uses a simple hot dog bun. This makes for messy eating, as it can’t contain the ingredients well.

Final verdict:

When searching for late-night Sonoran dogs on Fourth Avenue, skip the Trolley. Baja Dogs are the best your $3 can buy.

Details

Baja Dogs

Location: On the northwest corner of Fourth Avenue and Seventh Street.

Hours: Thursday– Saturday, 9 p.m.–2:30 a.m.

Website: None.

 

Trolley Dogs

Location: 500 N. Fourth Ave., between Bumsted’s on 4th and the Bank of America ATM.

Hours: Unknown.

Website: None.

 

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