Lessons in Columbian Street Food

Lessons in Columbian Street Food

Columbian street food in Sedona, Arizona? I’ll push through an aura-readers’ off-roading jeep tour for that.
Thanksgiving weekend was a blast. The day after making (and eating) untraditional Cornish hens, Brussels sprouts, German potato salad, and mom’s famous cheesecake, I went on a seven-mile hike in Sedona, Arizona, as penance for the weekend’s diet sins. “Of course there’s a flute player on the rocks.” He was perched on top of one of the red rock spires, probably for maximum volume projection. The rest of the time I could hear him, I spent making fun of Sedona in my mind. As a tour helicopter flew over, someone joked that it was probably a part-time resident on a Starbucks run. At the end of Boynton Canyon trail, the graffiti defacing the rocks was of a sun with a yin-yang symbol inside. It would be unwise to publish the rest of the stereotype-rich cracks at this point. I finished growing up around here, so I give myself a local’s license.
In search of post-hike beer and food, we stumbled upon the antidote to the elite resorts, rock climbing flute soloists and crystal shops that make up a significant part of the cultural landscape of Sedona. At the Oak Creek Brewery, the bartender gave me a menu for the hot dog window I ignored in order to get inside the brewpub.
Lesson #1: Never, ever ignore a person who seems happy to be stuffed into in a hole-in-the-wall food establishment with an order window. He knows something you do not.
Simon, of Simon’s Gourmet Hot Dogs opened this closet-sized hot dog business a year and a half ago, and the fingerprints of his Columbian heritage are all over the comfort food on the menu. While looking at the menu, aloud, I reasoned that “I can get a chili dog anywhere, so I’ll have the maicitos instead.”
“You can’t get my chili dog anywhere.”
Lesson #2: Know better than to say “I can get that anywhere” to the person making, serving, cashiering and bussing your food, especially when the menu says “chili dog” followed by “family recipe”.
“I’ll get both.” My loving compadre ordered the Loka brat, a brown mustard, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, and jalepeno-covered bratwurst. I ordered the chili dog and the maicitos, a corn, bacon and cream baked stew with white cheese and crushed potato chips on top.
The dogs came dressed in a soft, tangy roll. The beef chili was savory but had a sweetness of a clove or cinnamon-type spice. In a word, I suppose, it was balanced. And delicious.
Maicitos
The maicitos came with tortilla chips on the side, probably to prevent people from grabbing the entire bowl and drinking it, and contained the power to break whole sentences into shards, in public.
“Corn delicious sweet.”
“Bacony crack.”
“Love potato chips…”
“Cheese melty”
“Try… make this someday.”
Simon seemed as though he has seen this reaction before. He gave us a card, thanked us for ordering food, and beamed a soul-lifting smile.
If you are within 50 miles of Sedona, please make a special stop to go find Simon. For $20, you’ll receive two full bellies of killer Columbian-infused street food, no attitude, a great story, and a brilliant twist on the classic beer-and-brats combination. Over our country’s most hallowed food holiday, it was one of the best meals of the weekend.
2050 Yavapai Drive, Sedona, AZ, inside the Oak Creek Brewery
928-496-0266
Plug the address into your gps; the brewery is located on a small street off highway 89A and is easy to miss.