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Pinki’s Hot Dogs Cooks Up Creativity in Calexico

CALEXICO — Luis Sandoval was a young criminal justice major at Imperial Valley College while he was working full-time at the Cardenas Market kitchen. During his time there, he discovered that he had a passion for cooking and, in doing so, he wanted to find a way to share his favorite entreés with others, he just did not know how to. 

His idea for Pinki’s Hot Dogs later became a reality on Aug. 2, 2018, with the help of his family and some close friends. This came to be after realizing that there was a need for such treats, especially during the late-night cravings.

“I love hot dogs myself and would often make hot dogs for my co-workers. Not having late-night hot dogs in Calexico, I decided to give it a try and opened a hot dog cart,” he said. 

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Although the business is located in Calexico, Pinki’s offers a food-cart service that roams around the Imperial Valley. In pre-pandemic times, Pinki’s had made its way up to Los Angeles to share and promote its goods. Sandoval mentioned that these hot dogs are gourmet and unique because they are served with a twist.

His menu options slowly continue to grow, but Pinki’s offers a variety of hot dogs from a traditional weiner to a vegan option. Recently, Pinki’s added a new option to its menu: the “Pinkichoso,” which consists of nachos topped with cheese, bacon, jalapenos, and their homestyle chipotle sauce. 

Many locals have already come in contact with the infamous Flamin’ Dog, one of Pinki’s bestselling menu items.

Pinki’s Hot Dogs food cart is shown. | COURTESY PHOTO

“The Flamin’ Dog, (is) a hot dog topped with Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, cheese, and our homemade chipotle sauce. It is something we came up with thinking about high school days, which became a hit to the point where it’s recognized by the creator of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos, Richard Montanez,” Sandoval said. 

Pinki’s already has more than 2,000 followers on Instagram and the business plans to further introduce its goods to others. 

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“I believe that certain businesses can only make it so far in the Valley. We are extremely grateful and happy with the feedback that we have, but we are always looking forward to making it big,” Sandoval said. “Our plans are to open a food truck, and eventually expand in the Valley. We have an amazing amount of support from our customers, and we know that if we keep working hard to make them happy, we’ll only receive greater support.”

Pinki’s offers different daily specials, but Sandoval said if you are looking to try his “Calecia Craft Dog,” a Bratwurst sausage soaked in craft beer, you will have to check in on Instagram @pinkishotdogs to find out when its available. Pinki’s Hot Dogs can be found at the Calexico Gardens Mall on East Cole Boulevard from 7 to 9:30 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Call ahead at 760-481-2398 and Pinki’s deliver through www.ubereats.com


This story is featured in the Jun 25, 2020 e-Edition.

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