Queens provides plenty of elaborately dressed South American franks, often including pineapple, ketchup, and crunchy potato sticks or crushed potato chips, while boho frankfurter places like Crif Dogs have adopted the bacon-wrapped frank — but never before have we had something that approximates the Sonoran hot dog (though El Toro Bianco furnishes a pared-down version at lunch). Colombian fast food specialist Prontito—open four months in its current location, tucked away on an Elmhurst side street — concocts elaborate and wonderfully trashy versions of Colombian snacks such as stuffed arepas, dressed chicken wings, baroquely topped hot dogs, and tostones turned into nachos.
These wild snacks are something of an afterthought — fresh squeezed juices are its raison d'être, including cholado, a bright red shaved ice topped with fruit, fruit syrup, condensed milk, and a cherry. At the bottom of the hot dog menu find super perro a la Mexicana ($7.50). Ensconced in a normal bun, this hot dog doesn’t come wrapped in a slice of bacon, but with a strip on top, joined by guacamole, coleslaw, jalapenos, cheese, potato chips, Russian dressing, pico de gallo, and — perhaps strangest of all — a quail egg impaled on a toothpick. Yet, this evocation is the city’s best approximation of the Sonoran hot dog.
Eating it is a challenge, but the ingredients cohere to make an unexpectedly tasty treat — except for the quail egg, which seems oddly grotesque. It’s easily detached and disposed of. And eating the super perro a la Mexicana engenders a strong desire to try some of Prontito’s other gloppy snacks. Hamburguesas here we come!