[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.
Louisiana's Republican Party has filed a complaint against Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu with the Senate's ethics committee about her use of private chartered planes.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
According to Gov. Bobby Jindal, President Barack Obama needs to stop talking about “justice” and start murdering people, even if we have to go alone.
A replacement is expected by January to fill the vacancy left when Greg Roberts resigned after allegedly pointing a fake gun at an engineer during a June meeting.
The Ragin’ Cajuns got off to a superb start Saturday night, and the Human Jukebox made the soaked season opener even sweeter for the third-largest crowd in Cajun Field history.
The Louisiana health department will follow a federal judge's order and refrain from immediately penalizing doctors who are trying to comply with a new abortion law that requires them to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital, a spokeswoman said Monday.
Halliburton says it has agreed to pay $1.1 billion to settle a substantial portion of plaintiff claims arising from the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
While bogged down with qualifying candidates last month, Secretary of State Tom Schedler didn’t lose sight of the true endgame coming in November and December.
Tuesday's Blogs from the Bog!
Stoned driving a concern when pot is legal; Detroit's bankruptcy trial; speed trap scandal in Florida and more national and international news for Tuesday, September 02, 2014.
A federal jury found attorney Daniel Stanford guilty Friday afternoon on eight of 13 counts for his role in the Curious Goods conspiracy.
Lafayette City-Court Judge Francie Bouillion has served on the bench for two decades since winning a special election to replace Judge Kaliste Saloom when he retired in 1994.
The Houston firm said Friday in its weekly report that 1,575 rigs were exploring for oil and 338 for gas. One was listed as miscellaneous. A year ago there were 1,776 active rigs.
A crew began erecting the 25-foot mini-wheel late morning Friday in anticipation of the evening’s Hottest Night of the Year party at the park.
Frances Boothe of Nunez, who also happens to be filmmaker Stephen Meaux’s grandmother, prepares a cool-weather fave.
The magazine's senior football writer also predicts a break-out year for Saints fourth-year running back Mark Ingram.
New Iberia colonial or Broussard traditional home
The LPSB is poised and ready to move forward with the termination of Pat Cooper following a discussion Thursday with the attorney hired for the investigation of the superintendent, but a decision of this magnitude should be left up to the new board seated in January, especially with three pro-investigation board members bailing out come the new year.
Fiery style for game day
Acadiana's nightlife guide.
Gulf Coast ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina have begun.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries says there is little known about the effects of tiger prawns on indigenous Louisiana shrimp. But, officials say the reports they're seeking will help state biologists monitor the distribution of the prawns and determine the possible presence of spawning populations.
Baltimore Ravens coach John Harbaugh rested his regulars and watched with delight as Ray Rice's backups ground out 214 yards rushing in a 22-13 victory over the New Orleans Saints on Thursday night.
High-profile criminal defense attorney Daniel Stanford awaits his fate in the Curious Goods conspiracy trial.
The Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries is set to put the kibosh on the legal ownership of monkeys trained to help the disabled, and the agency wants to know what you think.
A federal judge on Thursday asked lawyers battling over Louisiana's new, restrictive abortion law for an agreement that apparently could let clinics stay open — at least for a while — after the law takes effect Sept. 1.
Three bedroom Port Barre cottage or three bedroom historic district Opelousas home
No laboring for shoppers this holiday
It will be next month before Gov. Bobby Jindal will likely get a chance to change the membership of a South Louisiana flood board that is suing dozens of oil, gas and pipeline companies.
Acadiana's nightlife guide.