No es lo mismo un colombiano perro que un perro colombiano. They’re not the hottest womanizers from Colombia, nor are they a specific breed of canines. Those who know them well just call them perros. Let me introduce you to a dish that is a big part of Colombians’ culture and palate: perros colombianos (translated: Colombian dogs).
When remembering fun times in Colombia, a perro colombiano often becomes part of the story. At that riveting soccer game, you were not only joined by your friends and family, but also by a beer and a perro. Right outside the university, the smell of perros brought you to the little cart that served your next lunch before class; and don’t forget at 4:00am after that great fiesta when you were starving and that perro was there to save you—and it tasted better than a gourmet dinner.
A typical Colombian perro is made with a regular hot dog bun and sausage, plus chopped onions, ketchup, mustard, pink sauce (mixed mayonnaise and ketchup), melted mozzarella cheese, pineapple–yes, chopped fruit with a hot dog!–, topped with ground potato chips and even more ketchup. There are various types of perros that add, subtract or switch toppings. For instance, the sausage can be made of chorizo=Choriperro, beef shish kabob=LomiPerro, or chicken=ChickenPerro. Some perros add ham on top of the beef sausage and others even come with quail eggs. The topping that catches most people’s attention is the pineapple, but if the perro is done correctly, you barely notice it, but it adds an eccentric flavor and makes the perro colombiano different from any other hot dog.
Perros in Colombia can be found easily at any time of the day, whereas in Miami, they tend to hide. They are usually not available in restaurants, but your authentic Colombian eatery like El Sitio (7th St & Washington Ave) will serve them as an added bonus. You can find them in little carts at night outside a concert venue, or by popular Latin clubs in Miami (like La Covacha). Nevertheless, if you party in South Beach, your only choice is heading to Alton & 14th Street to find Los Perros, the only Colombian ‘fast food’ place on the beach that also sells salchipapas (French fries and sausage) and hamburgers, and is open until 6:00am from Thursday to Sunday and ‘till 3:00am Mon-Wed. Depending on where you buy it and the type of perro, you can plan on spending $3.00 to $6.50.
Americans are very different than Colombians—the hot dogs, that is. Consider the following: in the U.S., you do not eat a hot dog after partying till dawn; they are usually served at BBQs, baseball games, or kids’ meals. This leads us to another point: the American hot dog is enjoyed during the day, whereas the Colombian perro is most popular at night. Moreover, there are less ingredients in an American hot dog than in a Colombian perro.
El perro colombiano is now a staple in Miami. Some carts and restaurants have been serving them for over a decade, bringing us comfort at an affordable price, just like in Latin America. No one really knows the true origins of the hot dog, but according to Wikipedia, it was invented in Germany in the 1940s (why it can also be called a frankfurter, after the city of Frankfurt). Whoever invented it, however, probably never imagined that it would adopt different nationalities, bring people together, or that the German frankfurter would one day become a perro colombiano in Miami.
Get your perro fix at:
1427 Alton Rd.
Miami Beach, Fl 33139
13313S.W. 42 St.
Miami, FL 33175
4491 N. University Dr.
Lauderhill, Fl 33351
710 Washington Ave. Suite 13
Miami, FL 33139
10730 NW 25th Ave
Miami, FL 33167