| ||June 6, 2007 |
Big City Reds Gains a Following as Tuscon's Mexican Style Hot Dog
By Charles Leroux
Tribune senior writer
Published June 6, 2007
TUCSON, Ariz. – Chicagoans know there is no greater hot dog than the Chicago-style dog, but that doesn't mean we aren't interested in variations. Most of us have heard of—even dared to try—regional versions involving sauerkraut or chili or American cheese or spaghetti sauce or brown mustard.
But there's a new dog in America. The Sonoran Hot Dog is a fairly recent immigrant from the Mexican state of Sonora south of Arizona. In Tucson, the past few years have seen restaurants and food carts and even a James Beard Award-winning chef embrace this regional pup.
Though there may be some changes place to place, the Sonoran dog is basically a beef frank wrapped in bacon and grilled to allow the bacon fat to flavor the frank. It is nestled into a pocket cut in a soft, locally made roll, then covered in chopped tomatoes and onions, pinto beans, mustard, mayonnaise and jalapeno sauce. Add-ons include canned mushrooms, shredded cheese, grilled jalapenos. They go for about $2 at food stands.
The Sonoran dogs have been available for a while on Tucson's mainly Mexican south side, but two local favorite servers, El Guero Canelo on 12th Avenue and BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs across the street, recently opened locations in mostly Anglo north side neighborhoods.
"I first became aware of them about four years ago," said Janos Wilder, who was named best chef in the Southwest by the James Beard Foundation in 2000. "I thought they were just great, a fun thing. So I did my own version at J Bar." J Bar is the more casual of Wilder's two restaurants at the Westin La Paloma Resort & Spa.
Wilder didn't change a thing about the buns, larger and softer than we are used to, calling them, "the best you ever had." But from there, he got creative.
"We use a bigger frank, Big City Reds from Chicago," he said. "They've got great snap and flavor. I didn't want to hide that flavor in bacon, but to get in a little pork taste, I put on some chorizo in black beans. I traded the mayo for a smoky poblano crema. I use a whole-grain mustard instead of yellow mustard, and I sprinkle chopped nopalitos [cactus paddles] over the top."
Wilder's upscale Sonoran dog is $2.75, comes with a cone of fries and is available only at happy hour, from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
"It's tremendously requested," he said. "I'd encourage Chicagoans to come down and try one. It's worth a trip."
Copyright © 2007, Chicago Tribune
| ||December 27th, 2006 |
Big City Reds a Huge Success at Copper Mountain Resorts
Big City Reds hotdogs and Skylark Bratwurst have been selected as the exclusive brands served at Copper Mountain ski resort’s Copper Red Hots restaurant. The restaurant is at the base of Copper Mountain near one of the busiest ski lifts and also has a mobile hot dog cart that moves around the property. Copper Mountain was looking for a popular product they could serve quickly to large numbers of people. Our premium Big City Reds fit that need perfectly. Customers are offered a wide choice of toppings and the product has been a big success.
“Big City Reds hot dogs have been served at Copper Mountain for two years. This ski season they selected our products to be the exclusive hot dogs, polish dogs and bratwurst served,” says John Croissant, American Foods Group’s National Food Service Account Sales. “Copper Red Hots also placed several of our point-of-sale neon signs, table umbrellas and posters to promote the products. The staff of Copper Red Hots frequently ski down the mountain in hot dog suits to promote the products. American Foods Group also provides Copper Mountain resorts with our specially made bun that suits the flavor profile of Big City Reds hot dogs. We provide a variety of different sizes of hot dogs including footlongs and a children’s sized dog.”
Copper Mountain has been one of Colorado’s most popular ski resorts for over 30 years and has grown to 2,433 acres. The north face of Copper Mountain offers all skill levels for snowboarders and skiers and it is one of Colorado’s most popular year-round destination resorts. In 1997, the resort was purchased by Intrawest - a worldwide leader in resort operations and development. www.coppercolorado.com