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Man vs Tucson

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While in Tucson for the weekend visiting family, we stopped at this great place featured on Man vs Food. El Guero Canelo is like a Mexican, homier version of Stewart’s or your local junk food shack. The owner, “the cinnamon Mexican”, is a jovial red-haired gentleman about to open his 3rd very successful location. He stops at every table to greet you like an old friend, whether you’ve been there for years or am brand new, like we were.

I’ve never been to Tucson or had much “traditional” Mexican. I did notice a pattern of sliced cucumbers, limes, and radishes everywhere we went – a nice set of options to cool down from the assortment of homemade salsas, varying in spice and quality, also at the self-serve bars. El Guero carries a particularly tasty green salsa with just the right amount of char on the pepper.

We mainly went for the specialty dogs – every person got at least one hot dog “Sonoran style,” which we found out later is a style indigenous to Tuscon. I guess that’s like ketchup, mustard, onion, relish to NYC and the no ketchup rule in Chicago. With a slice of bacon wrapped around to provide moisture, not grease, the hot dog is topped with tomatoes, onions, pinto beans, mayo, and jalapeño sauce (along with a couple of things I forgot). Everything is wrapped in a neat little homemade bun that my MIL commented was reminiscent of a croissant; it reminded me of the monkey bread they used to serve in Nordstrom in Short Hills, NJ – light and tender, with a hint of sweetness. My SIL and her BF also sampled steak and chicken tacos, which they thought were excellent. Top everything off with your choice of a glass bottle filled with Mexican Coke, Pepsi, Sprite, or something else and you’ve got a meal to appeal to tourists, families, and construction workers alike.

If you’re ever in the area and want something quick but utterly satisfying, definitely stop here.

El Guero Canelo
5201 South 12th Ave.
Tuscon, AZ 85706

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