Crispy dogs with bacon jalapeno dipping sauce DSC7882

Crispy dogs with bacon-jalapeño dipping sauce

“How you feel about crispy dogs?” asked a friend from San Antonio. We were discussing regional variations of hot dogs, with my favorite being the bacon-wrapped Mexican hot dogs I enjoy at the Fiesta market by my mom’s house in Houston. His, however, was the aforementioned crispy dog, which is a cheese-stuffed hot dog wrapped in a corn tortilla and then fried.

“That sounds like a flauta,” I said. He agreed it was similar, but it also reminded him of a Tex-Mex corny dog. But no matter how you define it, what’s not to love about melted cheese, juicy sausage and a crunchy fried tortilla? Yep, ever since our conversation, I’ve had a serious craving for a crispy dog.

Though here’s the thing—if you want to order a crispy dog at a restaurant in Texas, you should go to San Antonio, as they seldom appear on menus anywhere else. While its origins are a bit murky, the beloved west side restaurant Malt House says it started selling them in 1949 and believes they were the first, though they soon became popular at other places around town such as MK Davis and Ray’s.

Crispy dogs with bacon-jalapeno dipping sauce | Homesick Texan

For more history, I called the Malt House and spoke to the manager, Ivan Gonzalez. He graciously shared with me several stories about the restaurant, which his father took over in 1990 when the founding owner Herb McEwen died. His belief was that McEwen started selling the crispy dog to appeal to his customers who wanted both American food and Mexican food, making this truly a Tex-Mex dish.

Fortunately, they aren’t just limited to restaurants, as my San Antonio friends tell me that they grew up also eating them at home. They’d come home from school and their mom would fry up a few as an afternoon snack. Crispy dogs also make for fine game-watching grub, and if you pair them with some onion rings or beans they can even become a meal.

Crispy dogs are often served with the usual hot dog condiments such as yellow mustard and ketchup. Salsa, queso, chili and guacamole make for fine condiments, too. Lately, however, my favorite dipping sauce has been a mustard and mayonnaise concoction that’s livened up with diced jalapeños, crumbled bacon and a bit of cilantro, made as an homage to those bacon-wrapped Mexican hot dogs topped with mayonnaise, mustard and jalapeños.

Crispy dogs with bacon-jalapeno dipping sauce | Homesick Texan

But no matter how you serve them, if you love hot dogs and you love flautas, you’ll definitely love the crispy dog. It baffles me that they aren’t more popular, as they’re a wonderful addition to the vast array of regional hot dog variations. Though perhaps this is what makes crispy dogs so beloved to my San Antonio friends, as it’s a unique taste of their beautiful Texas home.

5 from 4 votes

Crispy dogs with bacon-jalapeño dipping sauce

Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Lisa Fain


  • 1/4 cup prepared yellow mustard
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 4 slices cooked bacon, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped cilantro
  • Salt to taste
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 8 hot dogs
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 16 sticks
  • Toothpicks
  • Oil for frying
  • Salsa for serving


  • To make the bacon-jalapeño dipping sauce, mix together the mustard, mayonnaise, bacon, jalapeño, garlic and cilantro. Add salt to taste and refrigerate while making the crispy dogs.
  • To heat up the tortillas, wrap them in foil and place in an oven set at 350° F for 10 minutes. (Alternatively, you can wrap the tortillas in a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds.)
  • While the tortillas are heating, take each hot dog and make an incision down the center, lengthwise, making sure to not cut it all the way through. Stuff each split hot dog with 2 slices of the cheese.
  • When the tortillas are soft, place a cheese-stuffed hot dog in the center of the tortilla, roll to wrap and secure with toothpicks. In a heavy skillet, heat up 1 inch of oil to 350°F. Line a plate with paper towels. With a spatula, slide the tortilla-wrapped hot dogs into the oil and fry for about 30 seconds on each side or until crisp and lightly browned. Remove from the oil and drain on the paper-towel-lined plate.
  • Serve warm with bacon-jalapeño dipping sauce and salsa.

Similar Posts

5 from 4 votes (3 ratings without comment)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Anonymous says:

    WE were wondering the name of the place that had these dogs back in 1955 close to Lackland. It had a driveup but you could go in, they had keg beer. Wasn't much of a place but the food was good, they had hamburgers too.

  2. Addlepated says:

    They sold these at Sill's Snack Shack in SA, along with the always imitated (but never duplicated) beanburger, which they invented. There also used to be a place on Barton Springs Rd. in Austin called The Filling Station that had them. Yum. Go Spurs Go.

  3. Anonymous says:

    They had these on the kids menu at a Mexican restaurant near Six Flags Over Texas, but they called them Burros Tails. It was the only item I ever ate there.

  4. Bwahahaha. These are popular all over Texas, ever since I can remember, and I now qualify for AARP.

    It had spread to East Texas by the 50s, since my mother remembers having it when she lived at home. Her mother called them Serape Dogs. My mother hadn't heard the word serape before, so she asked what it meant the first time they had some Serape Dogs, and my grandmother tartly replied that it was [Mexican racist slur] Pigs in a Blanket. I won't repeat the slur.

    I usually dipped them in salsa, guac or chimichurri, but in a pinch, a mustard-mayonnaise mix isn't half bad.

    The bean burger is quite beautifully duplicated at Chris Madrid's, although I haven't been there since Chris died.

  5. Michael Gibson says:

    I had one from the DB burgerin robstown and it was absolutely great as good or better than a corn dog.