Hot Dog of the Week: El Completo
Past Weeks' Dogs
This week's dog was my last stop on a recent tour of Latin American hot dogs in the outer boroughs of New York. El Completo is Chile's hugely popular take on the hot dog, and a few years ago Robyn actually tried them in their homeland.
From fast-food chains to street vendors, the Completo seems to be everywhere in Chile. Starting with a wiener (known in Chile as "Vienesa") on a toasted roll with sauerkraut, the dog is then buried under a thick layer of mashed avocado, chopped tomatoes, and an insane amount of mayo.
Other condiment options include mustard and red chili sauce. My Completo at San Antonio Bakery #2 was a bit toned down, without the three-inch deep smear of mayo like the monsters on the streets of Chile, but what makes their dogs really special are the warm, slightly crusty house-baked buns and homemade salsa on the side. Great pies and pastries too by the way. Definitely a hot dog experience like I've never had.
Honestly I didn't love the kraut and avocado combination, but it's a great illustration of Chile's European and South American culinary mix. What I should have ordered was the "Italiano" which is a slightly minimalist version, simply garnished with avocado, tomato and mayonnaise.
In Chile, the Completo is the standard but they serve up hot dogs in all kinds of insane varieties. Check out the menus at Chilean fast-food chains Domino's and Doggi's, featuring Vienesas topped with everything from green beans and lettuce to eggs and Denmark-style crispy onions.
And then there's Chorrillana, a giant mound of french fries piled with sliced hot dogs, hunks of beef, onions, and sometimes even fried eggs on top. AMAZING. Similar to Salchipapas, a dish of french fries and cut-up hot dogs popular in Peru and Colombia, or the Garbage Plate in Rochester, New York.
For more on the Chilean hot dog, check out this clip from No Reservations and watch patron saint of street food Anthony Bourdain take on a super sized Completo (complete with Ron Jeremy reference), or just try one yourself at either San Antonio Bakery #2 in Queens, or Barros Luco, a newer Chilean sandwich shop in Manhattan.
San Antonio Bakery #2
3620 Astoria Blvd, Astoria NY 11103 (map)
300 East 52nd Street, New York NY (map)
Hawk Krall is a Philadelphia-based illustrator who has a serious thing for hot dogs. Dig his dog drawings? Many of the illustrations he has created for Hot Dog of the Week are available for sale: hawkkrall.net/prints/.