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BULLETDining Archive
Featured Dining LocationChuyito's rolls into the parking lot at the Chevron station just west of Interstate 19 in Rio Rico at approximately 5 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays. The Rio Rico exit is located 10 miles north of Nogales.

© Tim Fuller


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Dog Heaven
Nothing against Oscar Mayer — he fills a niche — but when it comes to Sonoran-style hot dogs, it doesn't get any better than Chuyito's. And the fact they're sold from a bright-yellow RV only makes them better.

By Bruce Itule

RIO RICO The graphics on the yellow RV let people know that Chuyito's is all about "hot dogs estile Sonora." Sonoran-style hot dogs are common throughout Southern Arizona, but this is one dog worth waiting for — at least until after 5 p.m., when the Chuyito's caretta pulls in at the Chevron station/minimart just west of Interstate 19 in Rio Rico.

Owner Jesus Alberto Ochoa Sr. opened Chuyito's in Rio Rico in 2007. He already had a taqueria on the Arizona side of the border in Nogales. He says it was his idea to create the rolling kitchen. "I used to have the RV for my family, but I knew that one day I was going to use it for something else," Ochoa says.

The RV — it's so yellow, you can't miss it — parks in the lot on Rio Rico Drive Mondays through Saturdays. It then takes about 15 minutes for cook Martin Lopez and order-taker Jonathan Ochoa to set things up and open for business.

While Lopez gets the grill ready at the rear end of the RV, Ochoa, whose uncle owns Chuyito's, sets up two tables and chairs outside the RV. Inside, there are three tables, one with a yellow top, one with a blue top and the other one red.

Ketchup, mustard, salt, two bottles of hot sauce and plenty of napkins are placed on each of the tables, inside and out. Lopez and Ochoa and most of their customers speak Spanish, but it's not difficult to place an order.

Uno for one. Dos for two.

It's best to order one at a time, and make it con todo.

"With everything" means the bacon-wrapped sausage comes in a bun with beans, onions, cheese, mayonnaise and a grilled chili caribe.

Fries, no chips, are also on the menu.

This is no snap-crackle-pop dog that needs only a single napkin. Think splash, stumble and plop. It might be best to keep the hot dog in its paper cradle, on the table, and use a knife and fork.

The fiercely hot chili on the side also requires liquid to help put out the fire.

If todo isn't enough, there's a drop-down shelf turned into a condiments bar that includes avocado, mushrooms, cheese and salsa jalapeño, but good luck trying to fit anything else into the bun.

Chuyito's is open until 10:30 p.m. By 6 p.m., people start rolling in — locals, tourists, Border Patrol agents, and firefighters from the Rio Rico, Nogales and Tubac fire districts.

Carlos Enriquez and his wife, who live in Rio Rico, opt for an outside table and begin eating just as the sun is going down.

"It's good," Carlos says between bites. His wife, Marta, looks up and says: "Bueno. Delicioso."

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