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Hot dogs in the front, lowrider art in the back

El Pueblito — topped by grilled onion, roasted poblano, cotija and machego cheeses, smoked paprika sesame seeds, and pomegranate seeds.

Gourmet hot dogs loaded with toppings
Gourmet hot dogs loaded with toppings

If the quest to bring a healthy option to the Barrio has left you with a bad taste in your mouth, maybe an attempt to bring healthy hot dogs to Logan Avenue can help. Barrio Dog serves gourmet hot dogs off a custom street cart, built with part of a red '64 Impala so the front of the cart resembles the rear end of a low rider.

Place

Barrio Dogg

2234 Logan Avenue, San Diego

The flashy grill isn't strictly about marketing wieners; it's more a case of art for art's sake. Barrio Dogg resides within the storefront of the also new Cruizin Lowrider Galeria, self-described as "an art gallery dedicated to sharing the history and culture of Lowriders in Southern California." A look around the gallery reveals photos of, and artwork inspired by, tricked-out rides. The hot dog cart was conceived as a way to pay rent on the gallery, and keep it open every day.

A lowrider styles hot dog cart

Loosely based on the locally famous, bacon-wrapped Tijuana street dog, the hot dogs served here have been elevated right along with Logan Avenue's buzzy profile. With dogs priced between five and eight bucks apiece, Barrio Dogg pledges "high quality ingredients," beginning with organic beef franks.

It's an extra buck to wrap any of the dogs with bacon, which might be the way to go on the basic La Virgen, served bare on a steamed bun save for mayo, mustard, and/or ketchup for $5. The real fun starts when you consider the toppings available. A Chicago style dog, El Capone, gets relish, sports peppers, red onion, celery salt and poppy seeds. The Asian influenced El Samurai is topped with pickled jicama, cucumber, and carrot, along with sriracha, jalapeño, wasabi sesame seeds, and hoisin-based BBQ sauce.

A lowrider art gallery in Barrio Logan

Which isn't to say the menu entirely breaks from its Baja inspiration. I went for a bacon wrapped El Xolito, which is loaded with toppings ranging from cilantro, jalapeño and salsa verde to tomato, grilled onions, cheddar, and "crunchy garlic."

With toppings piled on, you might call these well dressed dogs, though I suspect they'd be satisfying either way. While the trimmings add texture, sauciness, and character, the subtler flavors did get lost to the boldness of that substantial beef frank, especially with the bacon added.

I didn't opt to bacon wrap El Pueblito, topped by grilled onion, roasted poblano, cotija and machego cheeses, smoked paprika sesame seeds, and pomegranate seeds. The pomegranate acidity playing off the meaty dog was worth the experience, though if I had any criticism, it would be not enough paprika sesame seeds — the idea of them intrigues me, and I wanted more of both flavors.

The idea of gourmet street dogs also intrigues me, and I enjoyed them more for knowing they're supporting a cultural venue, especially in a neighborhood where galleries are increasingly at risk as developers move in. Almost makes you wonder what a gourmet fruteria might accomplish.

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Gourmet hot dogs loaded with toppings
Gourmet hot dogs loaded with toppings

If the quest to bring a healthy option to the Barrio has left you with a bad taste in your mouth, maybe an attempt to bring healthy hot dogs to Logan Avenue can help. Barrio Dog serves gourmet hot dogs off a custom street cart, built with part of a red '64 Impala so the front of the cart resembles the rear end of a low rider.

Place

Barrio Dogg

2234 Logan Avenue, San Diego

The flashy grill isn't strictly about marketing wieners; it's more a case of art for art's sake. Barrio Dogg resides within the storefront of the also new Cruizin Lowrider Galeria, self-described as "an art gallery dedicated to sharing the history and culture of Lowriders in Southern California." A look around the gallery reveals photos of, and artwork inspired by, tricked-out rides. The hot dog cart was conceived as a way to pay rent on the gallery, and keep it open every day.

A lowrider styles hot dog cart

Loosely based on the locally famous, bacon-wrapped Tijuana street dog, the hot dogs served here have been elevated right along with Logan Avenue's buzzy profile. With dogs priced between five and eight bucks apiece, Barrio Dogg pledges "high quality ingredients," beginning with organic beef franks.

It's an extra buck to wrap any of the dogs with bacon, which might be the way to go on the basic La Virgen, served bare on a steamed bun save for mayo, mustard, and/or ketchup for $5. The real fun starts when you consider the toppings available. A Chicago style dog, El Capone, gets relish, sports peppers, red onion, celery salt and poppy seeds. The Asian influenced El Samurai is topped with pickled jicama, cucumber, and carrot, along with sriracha, jalapeño, wasabi sesame seeds, and hoisin-based BBQ sauce.

A lowrider art gallery in Barrio Logan

Which isn't to say the menu entirely breaks from its Baja inspiration. I went for a bacon wrapped El Xolito, which is loaded with toppings ranging from cilantro, jalapeño and salsa verde to tomato, grilled onions, cheddar, and "crunchy garlic."

With toppings piled on, you might call these well dressed dogs, though I suspect they'd be satisfying either way. While the trimmings add texture, sauciness, and character, the subtler flavors did get lost to the boldness of that substantial beef frank, especially with the bacon added.

I didn't opt to bacon wrap El Pueblito, topped by grilled onion, roasted poblano, cotija and machego cheeses, smoked paprika sesame seeds, and pomegranate seeds. The pomegranate acidity playing off the meaty dog was worth the experience, though if I had any criticism, it would be not enough paprika sesame seeds — the idea of them intrigues me, and I wanted more of both flavors.

The idea of gourmet street dogs also intrigues me, and I enjoyed them more for knowing they're supporting a cultural venue, especially in a neighborhood where galleries are increasingly at risk as developers move in. Almost makes you wonder what a gourmet fruteria might accomplish.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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