I just had to stop. After having driven by this corner many times, here was something new. A bright red VW beetle was parked there, with a small crowd gathered around it. While it is not unusual to see one of these old classics still being driven in Rocky Point, seeing one with hot dogs sizzling on a grill where the seats should be is.
On Freemont Blvd. right past the Bomberos (Firefighters) you will find it. Just the thing for a low cost, late night snack. (Three hot dogs and a half liter of Coca Cola is a snack, right?) Wrapped in bacon and set in a soft, fluffy, chewy, bun (the kind you never see in the U.S.), your hotdog can now be topped with any of the condiments laid out along the VW’s driver side. Cucumbers in cream, grated carrots with oregano, nacho cheese and more awaits.
“Salchi what?” I ask. “Salchipapas” says the man holding the tongs behind the grill. This, he says, is their specialty. “O.K., uno por favor.” He gives me a look that says “of course”, as if ordering two would be ridiculous.
His assistant tosses potato slices in a metal basket. But where the heck is he gonna…? Scooting around to the back of the Bug, he pulls open the hood where the engine used to be. A deep fryer! Genius!
I wait impatiently to find out what exactly it is that I have ordered. “This originated in Peru” the assistant tells me as he drops the fries onto paper to drain. Maybe the ancient Inca were into hotdogs too? With a big knife the cook chops two bacon wrapped dogs into little pieces, then scoops them into a basket with the spuds.
“Con todo?” (“With everything?”). Since I said yes, I get mayonaise, catsup, mustard, and some nice grilled onions. The assistant suggests adding nacho cheese, that’s how they do it in Peru dontcha know?
Judging by the small crowd of customers here tonight (and everynight), I am not the only one who appreciates the food and friendlyness at… “Hey, what is the name of this place?” The cook looks up to the street light as he considers the answer. I guess no one ever asked before. The VW Beetle has a different nickname depending what country you are in. In the U.S., it is the Bug. In Brazil, the Samba. And in Mexico? “El Vocho” he tells me. One of the easiest ‘restaurants’ to find in Rocky Point, go to Freemont and look for the bright red Vocho with steam coming out of the back.
By Richard Scott