Whether you've been to the West Coast or south of the border, you may have tried a Tijuana-style hot dog. If you're unfamiliar, the Mexican street cart bacon-wrapped creation was born in the '50s and quickly gained notoriety in states with large Mexican populations such as Arizona and California.
Recently, the Tijuana dog has sprouted up on the East Coast, too, with New York and Chicago leading the Mexican hot dog train. It's newest express, however, is right here in sunny Miami. The dogfather is none other than John Kunkel.
No stranger to Mexican cuisine, the founder of 50 Eggs and brains behind local hot spots such as Yardbird and Swine (RIP Khong River), the restaurant magnate hit the big time with the über-successful chain Lime, which he sold to Ruby Tuesday for $24 million in 2012.
With BTW (Burger, Taco, Whiskey), Kunkel has gone back to his fast-casual roots. That's a trend he intends to follow with the soon-to-open Lewellyn's Chicken & Biscuits, a fried-chicken concept near the University of Miami. And while Kunkel knows fried chicken well, the Tijuana dog was a first for him, although not a foreign idea.
"BTW is a collection of the things I grew up eating," said Kunkel, prior to restaurant opening. New Times reached out to see what, if any, childhood memory inspired the Tijuana dog. "I would love to give you a story of childhood, but that one was all our culinary team having fun."
To cut to the
point dog already, it's actually pretty straightforward really. You have a very hot and nicely seasoned dog wrapped in bacon. But not just any bacon, Miami Smokers' flavorful pig slabs, which in a way is what really makes this puppy. The rest is all garnishes. In this case that means guacamole, cotija cheese, pickled red onion, and chipotle mayo. It's priced at $9 and served with zesty potato wedges, This is ideal post-beach grub and easily the most unique thing on BTW's menu. And on wiener Wednesdays, you get a 25-ounce bud tall boy for just $2 when you order a Tijuana dog.
If whiskey is more your thing, they have 120 to choose from with $3 daily shots.