[Editor's Note: This story has been altered to correct the website address of Pelon's Mexican Hot Dogs. The Ind regrets the error.]
|Photo by Robin May|
|Tony Bailey, proprietor of Pelon's|
Let’s get the jokes and accusations out of the way right now and say a hot dog is subjected to the same sanctions as any other food, so freaking out about its innards isn’t necessarily a worry. Besides, Acadiana is famous for stuffing rice and pig organs into a tube — we’re not one to point fingers.
Unlike boudin, hot dogs have evolved. Far from the choice of kosher or Chicago-style, the links have seen a rebirth as of late. From foie gras to Kobe beef to pineapple and Spam, all sorts of non-traditional ingredients have been peeking out of carbohydrate exteriors the past several years, but the country that has really taken to livening up the dog is Mexico.
Mexican cities have lots of hot dog carts and restaurants offering the country’s take, and it goes far beyond guacamole. Pelon’s Mexican Hot Dogs at 1506 Verot School Road was inspired by a trip Pelon, aka Tony Bailey, took with his wife.
With a background in sales and as a manager and co-owner of both Roly Poly locations, opening his own place was a dream of Bailey’s. “This building was originally a Cajun Sno location. I picked it because of its location and it’s fully equipped for what I wanted to do,” says Bailey, who spent years perfecting his recipes. “I worked on recipes for about six years.”
Pelon means bald in Spanish, and Bailey is both chrome-domed and a lover of hot dogs, so the name came easily from his host family in Mexico. While on a church mission trip to San Luis several years ago, Bailey acquired a taste for all Mexican food, including the magnificent way the hot dogs typically come: wrapped in bacon and deep fried.
I’ll pause and let that epic epicurean feat sink in a minute.
Pelon’s takes a hot dog made out of turkey and gives it a cozy blanket of hardwood smoked bacon and a whirl in the deep fryer. Then you’re given a choice to wrap it in a tortilla, to make a tacquito out of it or have it on the traditional bun with which most Americans are familiar. From here you get to choose three toppings from a list of eight, or choose as many as you want for a few pennies more.
There’s probably no way to describe what it sounds like to say to your best friend, “Happy Birthday! I’m taking you to eat Mexican hot dogs!” But if you don’t get the chance, it is a mixture of awe and trepidation. She eats hot dogs twice a year and I never do. Full disclosure? I don’t like hot dogs — the texture freaks me out.
And now? Apparently both of us found the hot dogs we’ll eat often and a reason to go to the Southside. For $3.19 she got the Taco Dog, a tortilla wrapped frank with grilled onions, shredded cheese and house-made guacamole. Also for $3.19 I got the tacquito with chili, grilled onions, guacamole and sour cream. Both were amazing. The hot dog takes on a heartier texture and flavor and the bacon, sliced thin, bolsters the skin and adds an amazing slap of flavor and bite. With the tacquito the corn tortilla is fried with the dog and becomes a snappy stick of meat. The chili, which is also sold as a meal if franks aren’t your thing, is very good. It’s not spicy, but that’s easy enough to make happen to your taste.
As a side, Bailey insisted we try the esquites. “It’s a traditional Mexican dish,” he says. “Corn is roasted and then put into a cup with either butter or Mexican sour cream and spices.” Roasted corn pops into your mouth with a deep sweetness, and when you add butter and soft spices like cumin its depth is unbelievable. After our hot dogs neither of us could finish our cups of corn.
One great bonus is Pelon’s offers Mexican soft drinks on the side. If you’ve never had the pleasure of a “real Coke,” also known as coke made with actual sugar, good lord, it’s worth a dose of diabetes. The sangria soda known as Sangria Senorial was pilfered from me by the birthday girl. It’s alcohol-free but has all the great flavors of an innocent, boozy summer cocktail.
Find Pelon’s Mexican Hot Dogs online at mexicanhotdogs.com or call 446-4466 to find out more. Look for Pelon’s to be mobile with a food cart in the next few months. Open from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday.
Safety Jairus Byrd practiced with the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday for the first time since his signing in March.
Sentencing has been delayed for a businessman who provided key testimony in the corruption case that resulted in the conviction of former New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin.
The spectre of priest sex abuse has returned to haunt the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette following the recent release of an investigative report by Minnesota Public Radio, revealing new allegations of another child predator hiding behind the clerical collar.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Wednesday's Blogs from the Bog!
A ballpark snack topped with BBQ meat can be found cruising town on a food truck
Times Square impersonator crackdown; Israel shells Gaza school; Russia hit with sanctions and more national and international news for Wednesday, July 30, 2014.
"Although the administration is moving forward with climate change regulations at home, we don't consider how policy decisions in the United States impact greenhouse gas emissions in other parts of the world," says Roger Martella, the former general counsel at the Environmental Protection Agency under President George W. Bush.
Louisiana agriculture officials say prices for long-grain rice are projected to drop this year.
First-time claims for unemployment insurance in Louisiana for the week ending July 19 decreased from the previous week's total.
A judge is getting ready to set a new trial date for a former BP executive charged with obstructing a congressional investigation into the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The sponsor of a Louisiana law that requires doctors that perform abortions to have hospital admitting privileges doesn't believe the provision is in jeopardy after a federal appeals court struck down a similar Mississippi law.
Louisiana's state school board has jumped into a lawsuit against Gov. Bobby Jindal that accuses the governor of illegally meddling in education policy through his efforts to block Common Core education standards.
Here's how one nationally recognized conservative political pundit reacted upon hearing the news Monday that the U.S. Chamber of Commerce was leaning toward an endorsement of Louisiana’s lone Democrat senator.
If President Barack Obama’s poll numbers, and those for his health care law, haven’t yet bottomed out in the Bayou State, then Democrats surely don’t want to know what the statistical floor actually looks like.
Midsouth Bank has released its second quarter earnings report, showing a year-over-year increase for shareholders.
The comeback of the Wayfarer
Two bedroom New Iberia ranch style house or two bedroom Lafayette condo
The deadline to purchase tickets for the 2014 ABiz Top 50 Business Luncheon featuring top-selling author, political activist and Harvard law professor Lawrence Lessig is only two weeks away.
With the qualifying deadline for Lafayette Parish School Board elections quickly approaching, a series of candidate forums have been announced by the Lafayette Parish Public Education Stakeholders Council.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
The investigation and potential prosecution of the man charged in the recent hit-and-run death of a Youngsville cyclist won’t happen overnight, according to local law enforcement officials.
Louisiana's state school board is holding a special meeting to consider whether to sue Gov. Bobby Jindal in an ongoing dispute over the Common Core education standards.
A bipartisan congressional deal to help improve veterans' health care access includes approval for new veterans clinics in Lafayette and Lake Charles.
Cajun favorites to comfort on Pinhook Road
It wouldn’t be a first, however, as the Chamber has thrown money behind Landrieu before.
The Democratic incumbent, seeking her fourth term in office, is a strong supporter of the Export-Import Bank, which helps finance exports of U.S. companies.
Summertime floral with panache
Three bedroom St. Martinville traditional or three bedroom Lafayette contemporary cottage
Acadiana's nightlife guide.