Hot Diggity Dog!
Los Compas Sonora-style Hot Dogs in Bayard is putting on the dog, Mexico-style.
by Peggy Platonos
If you want to know how special a hot dog can be, just visit Los Compas Sonora-style Hot Dogs in Bayard. Those Sonora-style hot dogs are masterpieces that please the eye as well as the taste buds.
Los Compas restaurant partner Pete Torres finishes up a batch of carne asada on the charcoal grill. (Photo by Peggy Platonos)
What makes them so special? First, the beef hot dogs are wrapped in bacon and grilled, then nestled into a special soft, ever-so-slightly sweet bun custom-made especially for Los Compas at a state-of-the-art bakery located in Palomas. The dogs are topped with beans, melted cheese, guacamole, mustard, ketchup, grilled and raw onions, diced tomatoes, and then the whole thing is finished off with decorative squiggles of mayonnaise. The result is downright picturesque. And, with the first bite, the unlikely combination of ingredients comes together in a flavor that defies analysis and reduces conversation to appreciative grunts and groans.
Eating a Sonoran hot dog requires concentration. "Messy," mumbled a friend, when she came up for air. I was too busy licking my fingers to respond, so she carried on and voiced my thought: "But really good!"
The Sonora-style hot dogs at Los Compas are easy on the wallet, too. A "small" one (which translates to "regular sized") costs $3.29. A large one (which must be truly awesome, though I did not personally see it) costs only $3.79.
For children who might have less-adventurous tastes, a "Kids Basic Hot Dog on Mexican Bun" is available in both sizes (with chips) for a dollar less than the full-fledged adult version.
Though Sonora-style hot dogs are the specialty of the house, a wide range of other options are offered at Los Compas, as well — all a bit different than ordinary Southwestern fare.
Burritos, for instance, come in three different sizes — small (made with 9-inch tortillas), medium (made with 12-inch tortillas) and large (made with 14-inch tortillas and playfully dubbed "Burros"). All three sizes can be ordered with either regular flour tortillas or wheat tortillas. Filling options include beans and cheese, beans and chicharoncitos, shredded pork or beef with green or red chile, and Los Compas' carne asada. The preparation of the carne asada involves three steps: a custom-made dry rub, the use of Nuwave infrared-cooking technology, and a final, flavor-enhancing searing on a charcoal grill. You also have the option of a meat, potatoes and cheese filing with green or red chile, or a shredded beef, egg, potatoes, green chile combination called Machaca.
The menu offers a variety of tacos and tostadas, quesadillas (plain or with chicken) and cheese nachos, as well as some harder-to-find Mexican-style dishes: tortas and caramelos. Green chile posole is available on Saturdays, along with menudo in the winter months.
Everything on the menu is very reasonably priced. By far the most expensive item, at $10.79, is the Tampico Steak, which is char-broiled and served with corn-on-the-cob, mashed potatoes with gravy (either brown or country-style white), and the same talera bread that is used to make the various tortas.
The restaurant was established last fall, and new dishes are being added as the business grows. A somewhat Mexican-style burger was added to the menu only after prolonged campaigning by Henry Sedillos, a longtime friend of the owners, and it was named "The Enrique Burger" in his honor. More recent additions include kid-sized "La Chiquita" sodas from Mexico and char-broiled chicken garnished with lemon slices and served with a baked potato, pico de gallo, avocado, beans and lettuce. The dessert menu is also expanding beyond churros to include raspados (fruit-flavored crushed ice) and macedonias (raspados with ice cream, fruit and pecans or walnuts).
Los Compas was named in honor of the special compadre relationship shared by the three partners, who were schoolmates and graduated from Cobre High School together many years ago. The partner you are likely to meet when you visit the restaurant is Pete Torres. Sammy and Tillie Martinez now live in Tucson, and it was in Tucson that Sammy conceived the idea of introducing Sonora-style hot dogs — already a craze there — to his hometown. He persuaded Pete, who was still living in Bayard, to come out of retirement and take on the day-to-day management of the new business, and it was Sammy who arranged for Güero Canelo, the Sonora Hot Dog king of Tucson, to provide lessons in the construction of the memorable treats.
Los Compas Sonora-style Hot Dogs is located at 1203 Tom Foy Boulevard (Hwy. 180) in Bayard. It is open Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. The menu is the same throughout the day.
Orders may be phoned in ahead of time for meals to be either taken out or eaten in. With at least two hours advance notice, arrangements can be made for meals to be delivered locally — with a 5-meal minimum order for deliveries within 5 miles of the restaurant and a 10-meal minimum order for deliveries within 10 miles. To place an order, call (575) 654-4109 or (575) 654-4453.
Send Mimbres freelance writer Peggy Platonos tips for restaurant reviews
at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (575) 536-2997.