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I have never met a hot dog that I didn't love, especially if the hot dog is served from a cart, in an outdoor setting, and I've always got my eyes open for them.  Wednesday, September 10, 2008, I had business in downtown Sacramento, and when business was concluded, I started trolling downtown Sacramento, in search of hot dog vendors.

Photo:  Señor Hot Dog, located in Cesar Chavez park, in downtown Sacramento.  Customers dress their hot dogs from the condiment table, located next to the hot dog cart.

Wednesdays, downtown Sacramento holds a farmer's market, Cesar Chavez park, which is located in the 800 block of "J" Street, between 9th and 10th streets.  The farmer's market is quite an affair, as there are many booths that sell and endless variety of locally-grown produce (California's central valley grows about 33% of the produce consumed in the U.S.A.)  and it attracts large lunch time crowds from office workers, who leave the confines of their cubicles, for lunch in the park.   As I was making my way over to the park, I reasoned that there would probably be food vendors, and most likely there would be a hot dog vendor or two.  I wasn't to be disappointed, as in the middle of the park, near the fountain, there was a circle of food vendors, and sure enough, there was a hot dog vender, none other than Señor Hot Dog.

Señor Hot Dog is unusual, in that it's a 2-man operation.  Señor takes orders, chats with the customers, and handles the money, while Junior grabs the hot dogs, and prepares them for the customers.  Señor Hot Dog's menu is similar to most California hot dogs, in that they serve a regular dog, a jumbo dog, Polish sausage, chips, candy, sodas and bottled water.  Ditto with the condiments, as they include two kinds of mustard, ketchup, mayonnaise, dill pickle relish, diced white onions, sauerkraut, and surprise!  ... diced jalapeño pepper slices! Actually, I really shouldn't have been too surprised, as both of the gentlemen are of Mexican ancestry, and speak accented English.  For me, no problema, as I simply switched over to my passable Spanish, to place my order for a Jumbo Hot Dog.

Photo:  Señor Hot Dog himself, after I've placed my order and he holds my money in his hand.  Junior was very photo shy.

While Junior was preparing my hot dog, I asked Señor if he was familiar with bacon-wrapped hot dogs, the varieties that are served in Mexico and the southwest.  As part of the conversation, He enthusiastically replied that he was familiar with Mexican-style hot dogs, as he grew up on them and when I asked why he didn't sell them, he said the City of Sacramento doesn't allow hot dogs to be grilled; if they're sold outdoors from a cart, they must be broiled, steamed or boiled.  So much for the food police...  Somewhat nonplussed, I ordered a Jumbo Hot Dog.

Señor Hot Dog serves a delicious hot dog, and it's big, probably a quarter pound.  It's served on a soft, chewy roll. I dressed my dog with mustard, relish, and pickled jalapeño pepper slices, which seemed appropriate.  After pilling on my favorite condiments on to the hot dog, I sat on the edge of the fountain and admired the creation that I'd just purchased.  Magnificent!  When you bite into Señor's hot dog, it snaps, just like a fine hot dog should, and the juice just ooooozes out.  The hot dog is big, juicy and a little messy, but that's the way to enjoy a hot dog.

Photo:  My Jumbo Hot Dog, dressed in fine style.  Note the pickled jalapeño pepper slices, which is a first for me to apply to a hot dog.  ¡Muy sabroso!

After devouring my hot dog, I went over to Señor to comment on the Jumbo Hot Dog, and I simply said two little words in Spanish:  ¡Muy sabroso!  (very delicious)...  I could tell that I made his day, as I was rewarded with a huge grin, and he thanked me for patronizing his hot dog cart.  He also told me that they're in place, at the same location, every weekday, as long as the weather is good.

When you're in the mood for a delicious hot dog, and a walk in the park, head over to Cesar Chavez park, in downtown Sacramento, and pay a visit to Señor Hot Dog.  The dogs are delicious, the vendors are friendly, and you won't find a more interesting place to people-watch and enjoy a fine hot dog in downtown Sacramento.

Señor Hot Dog
Cesar Chavez Park
900 "J" St.
Sacramento, Ca. 95814

 


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