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

Best Dog In the Galaxy?

Is this the best hot dog in the universe?

OMG. It’s increíble! And tastes as good as it looks.

I’m looking down at a viper’s nest of crispy candied onions, tomato chunks, a crooked line of yellow mustard with red balls dotted along it so it looks like a coral snake twisting under a big fat roasted chile guëro.

And it’s all bursting out of a maybe eight-inch rough-top French baguette, with Swiss cheese licking over the edges — full of holes, not cooked.

Image

Whew. And, oh yeah, yelling “Hello-oo! Under here! I’m part of the deal too, ya know!” is this giant wiener.

One bite and whoo hoo! Da wiener ain’t no wimpy canine either. As dogs go it’s hot, hot, picante hot. But the thing is, the sweet, crispy, tangy nest it’s in, plus the crunchy-crusted “bun” gives it a rich taste like…rico suave! I swear, in this dog-eat-dog world, I’ve never had it so good.

I’m in TJ. Around nine at night, down one of the little alleyways of Plaza Fiesta. The plaza is empty. Two or three bars and cantinas open, but really, this place, Sótano Suizo (the Swiss Cellar), Plaza Fiesta, Island G, Local 1 & 8-12, Paseo de Los Heroes, Zona Rio, Tijuana, 011.52.664.684-88-34), is the only one that’s rockin’. Outside deck, inside bar, and inside the inside, a woody retreat you enter through a heavy arched door that’s straight outa Grimm’s Fairy tales.

Image

First, navigate the alley...

Image

...and come across a Swiss-style bar-cellar eatery...

Image

...under the sign...

Image

...through the heavy door...

Image

...and get the welcome from Alfredo and his bell

The place is crowded, but not shoulder-to-shoulder. The music’s rock, but not thunder-blasting.

The room is full of big brass Swiss cow bells (some you can ring!), heavy rafters with rows of steins on them, deer antlers.

You wouldn’t know you weren’t in Switzerland if it wasn’t that everyone around you is speaking Spanish.

Eduardo Gonzalez (or “Tio” — "Uncle" — as all the customers around me call him) says he’s been working here 18 years. Says the hot dog itself is a hot Hungarian sausage.

Juan Hernández, the supervisor who comes around and checks on the customers, says the recipe for the Sótano hot dog was created by the Swiss owner, René Bösiger.

“He’s here every day,” says Juan, “like he has been for 22 years. We have so many customers who are total regulars, they expect to see him.”

Whatever, I’m, like, totally sold. Haven’t had a dawg like it. That, with a “Café Americano” coffee...

Image

Cafe Americano is Instant, but nicely presented

costs me the grand total of $7.57. And that includes the 11 percent IVA tax Mexicans pay.

I’m coming back with Carla and a couple of buddies to get the full-length version “Mamuth Dog,” “half-a-meter of our grandioso hot dog for 2-3 people." Costs exactly double, even though the ones I saw looked about three times as long.

Image

Mamuth Dogs

Image

Two are enough for this table

Also, they do snails (about $7) and cheese fondues (about $7.50, for two). And they’ve started up their own micro brewery in the house. Soon the brewing will be in front of everybody, right here. Gotta try that.

But most of all, they do atmosphere. It’s the warmth of the Swiss cowbell thing and Mexican casual in an olde world atmos that’s totally rocking.

Oh, and check out the giant thumb that’s also a winter fireplace you can sit around.

Image

I'll be back for a Tin Fork, soon's I can.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Delmore Schwartz: wunderkind of American poetry

Who William Carlos Williams, T.S. Eliot, Ezra Pound and Allen Tate all praise
Next Article

Why June gloom besets San Diego

Wild mustard, chamise, buckwheat

Is this the best hot dog in the universe?

OMG. It’s increíble! And tastes as good as it looks.

I’m looking down at a viper’s nest of crispy candied onions, tomato chunks, a crooked line of yellow mustard with red balls dotted along it so it looks like a coral snake twisting under a big fat roasted chile guëro.

And it’s all bursting out of a maybe eight-inch rough-top French baguette, with Swiss cheese licking over the edges — full of holes, not cooked.

Image

Whew. And, oh yeah, yelling “Hello-oo! Under here! I’m part of the deal too, ya know!” is this giant wiener.

One bite and whoo hoo! Da wiener ain’t no wimpy canine either. As dogs go it’s hot, hot, picante hot. But the thing is, the sweet, crispy, tangy nest it’s in, plus the crunchy-crusted “bun” gives it a rich taste like…rico suave! I swear, in this dog-eat-dog world, I’ve never had it so good.

I’m in TJ. Around nine at night, down one of the little alleyways of Plaza Fiesta. The plaza is empty. Two or three bars and cantinas open, but really, this place, Sótano Suizo (the Swiss Cellar), Plaza Fiesta, Island G, Local 1 & 8-12, Paseo de Los Heroes, Zona Rio, Tijuana, 011.52.664.684-88-34), is the only one that’s rockin’. Outside deck, inside bar, and inside the inside, a woody retreat you enter through a heavy arched door that’s straight outa Grimm’s Fairy tales.

Image

First, navigate the alley...

Image

...and come across a Swiss-style bar-cellar eatery...

Image

...under the sign...

Image

...through the heavy door...

Image

...and get the welcome from Alfredo and his bell

The place is crowded, but not shoulder-to-shoulder. The music’s rock, but not thunder-blasting.

The room is full of big brass Swiss cow bells (some you can ring!), heavy rafters with rows of steins on them, deer antlers.

You wouldn’t know you weren’t in Switzerland if it wasn’t that everyone around you is speaking Spanish.

Eduardo Gonzalez (or “Tio” — "Uncle" — as all the customers around me call him) says he’s been working here 18 years. Says the hot dog itself is a hot Hungarian sausage.

Juan Hernández, the supervisor who comes around and checks on the customers, says the recipe for the Sótano hot dog was created by the Swiss owner, René Bösiger.

“He’s here every day,” says Juan, “like he has been for 22 years. We have so many customers who are total regulars, they expect to see him.”

Whatever, I’m, like, totally sold. Haven’t had a dawg like it. That, with a “Café Americano” coffee...

Image

Cafe Americano is Instant, but nicely presented

costs me the grand total of $7.57. And that includes the 11 percent IVA tax Mexicans pay.

I’m coming back with Carla and a couple of buddies to get the full-length version “Mamuth Dog,” “half-a-meter of our grandioso hot dog for 2-3 people." Costs exactly double, even though the ones I saw looked about three times as long.

Image

Mamuth Dogs

Image

Two are enough for this table

Also, they do snails (about $7) and cheese fondues (about $7.50, for two). And they’ve started up their own micro brewery in the house. Soon the brewing will be in front of everybody, right here. Gotta try that.

But most of all, they do atmosphere. It’s the warmth of the Swiss cowbell thing and Mexican casual in an olde world atmos that’s totally rocking.

Oh, and check out the giant thumb that’s also a winter fireplace you can sit around.

Image

I'll be back for a Tin Fork, soon's I can.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
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
Close