Tucson's El Guero Canelo captures James Beard Award - Tucson News Now

Tucson's El Guero Canelo captures James Beard Award

(Source: El Guero Canelo / Facebook) (Source: El Guero Canelo / Facebook)
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

A Tucson classic in now officially an American Classic.

El Guero Canelo, with its signature Sonoran Dog, on Thursday, Jan. 18, because one of only five restaurants in the country to take home a James Beard Award in the American Classics category.

The other winners were Dong Phuong Bakery in New Orleans, Galleria Umberto in Boston, Sun Wah in Chicago and Los Hernandez.

Daniel Contreras opened his first stand in the Old Pueblo in 1993 and it quickly became a staple for many.

Contreras now operates three El Guero Canelo restaurants, a meat market and bakery and tortilla factory in Magdalena (he had to be sure the quality was just right).

Below is what the James Beard Foundation had to say about El Guero Canelo and the Sonoran Dog.

The Sonoran hot dog evinces the flow of culinary and cultural influences from the U.S. to Mexico and back.

Decades ago, elaborately dressed hot dogs began to appear as novelty imports on the streets of Hermosillo, the Sonoran capital.

Today, Tucson is the American epicenter, and Daniel Contreras is the leading hotdoguero.

A Sonoran native, Contreras was 33 in 1993 when he opened El Guero Canelo.

The original stand is now a destination restaurant, outfitted with picnic tables and serviced by a walk-up order window. Fans converge for bacon-wrapped franks, stuffed into stubby bollilos, smothered with beans, onion, mustard, jalapeno sauce, and a squiggle of mayonnaise.

Contreras operates three branches in Tucson, one in Phoenix, and a bakery to supply the split-top buns.

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