Feasting at BK Carne Asada and Hot Dogs

Miguel Corrales Valencia
December 1, 2022

From a Small Food Truck to Two Restaurants

BK Carne Asada and Tacos first opened in Tucson in 1994. The owners of this restaurant worked their way from being a small food cart to owning two establishments on the North and South side of Tucson. BK’s got its name from the owner (Benjamin) and his sister (Karel). Benjamin Galaz was from a small town in Mexico called Nacozari. In Nacozari Benjamin would often visit a small food court owned by Rolando Mendivil. Mendivil took Benjamin in and taught him how to make his famous Sonoran hotdogs and even raised money for Benjamin to start his own cart. Not wanting to compete with Rolando he went to Tucson, Arizona and tried to start a food truck. Due to health and regulation requirements and the amount of money he would need to meet the requirements, Benjamin decided to sell his truck to Daniel Contreras. He taught Contreras recipes and with the money Benjamin started over with a new food truck. Later on, he sold his food truck to Contreras who became his business “rival”  and Benjamin used the money from the food truck to invest in a new establishment in North Tucson.

Customer Interview

While at the restaurant we got a chance to interview 3 customers who decided to be anonymous. We asked them a series of questions that consisted of their favorite foods, and why they keep coming back. We first asked how they came across this place to which they all gave different answers. One said that a friend that lived close by showed him BK’s with a proud look on his face while another customer said they tried their Sonoran dogs and thought they were the best in Tucson as he had a clean hot dog dish right in front of him. The last customer actually had been going to BK’s since it was a small food truck on South 12th Avenue when the owners owned and ran their own truck. He had admitted to going for almost 25 years now. The second question we asked them was their favorite food which they all agreed was the Sonoran dogs. When we asked them how often they dine here in a time frame of a year, the customer who had been going there for 25 years said they goes about once a month. The final question we asked was what their first impressions were when they first dined here and they all said that the food was “fire” and that they “loved it right from the bat”.

Our Experience

From the moment we walked into the restaurant, we could hear Reggaetón playing in the background and the smell of carne asada ambushed me. We saw a waitress speaking in Spanish to other customers as another waitress approached us waving her hands quickly saying “Welcome and thank you for coming!”. She led Elio and I to our table right away which had a “Loteria” design (a Mexican card game related to bingo) and asked us if this was our first time coming to the restaurant, to which we politely said “yes”. She was very thrilled to hear that and told us that they are mostly recognized for their Sonoran Hot Dogs and we had to try them.

Once we sat down the waiter immediately asked if we wanted something to drink and if we wanted an appetizer. We asked for water and asked what their most famous appetizer was. She told me the aguachiles were probably the most ordered and her favorite. She took the order and went to the back so we started talking. While doing this we looked around and found a small food bar in the middle of the restaurant. With our mouths watering from how hungry we were we went over and saw all our favorite Mexican sides and sauces including guacamole, pickled onions, cucumber, and so much more. We each got a small plate and loaded it up before returning to my table. 

We sat back down and were greeted with four aguachiles which are chile poppers with a lime soy sauce. When we bit into them the heat of the chile and the sauce complimented each other perfectly. After devouring the aguachiles we ordered our entrees. We of course got a hot dog along with a burrito and some tacos. The burrito and tacos were next. When we bit into the burrito the carne asada popped out. Then the cabbage paired perfectly with the salty meat adding a bit of freshness to the mix. Next we dug our faces into the “caramelo”(quesadilla with carne asada). We loaded it up with pickled onions, cabbage, and a wonderful homemade guacamole sauce. On the first bite we got the famous cheese pull which felt like the cheese wouldn’t stop expanding. Everything about this dish was amazing and it took us back to authentic Mexican cuisine like we have had in Mexico. 

The star of the show had to be the hotdog. Filled had beans, grilled onions, tomatoes, mayo, and green chile sauce. It was the first time Miguel had ever tried a sonoran hotdog before and on the first bite he immediately  started nodding his head acknowledging its exquisite taste. For dessert we got a famous pastry in the Hispanic community called “chocoflan” that looked scrumptious as soon as we laid eyes on the dish right in front of us. The spongy chocolate cake that blended in with Flan so well as their was a thick layer cajeta caramel sauce dripping from the top of the pastry all the way to the bottom.We bit into it and it was creamy and sweet but the chocolate cake was a perfect pair making it the perfect blend to satisfy one’s tastebuds. After this experience and stunning dinner we are confident that BK’s is one of the best if not the best Mexican restaurant in Tucson, Arizona.

Meet Our Waiter, Carlos!

We had the pleasure to interview an employee named Carlos Ramos after finishing our meal. We asked them a series of questions that were more related to what it’s like working at BK’s. After asking him for how long he has worked at Bk’s and what his role and favorite part about the position was to him, we learned that this employee has been working at this restaurant for 2 years as a server where he mainly enjoyed conversing with other people and seeing them take joy from their meal. We asked him what his favorite item from the menu was and what the mostly purchased item was, he answered by saying that any sonoran hotdog is really popular amongst the costumer and he also mentioned how “caramelos” which are a quesadilla filled with carne asada, lettuce, tomato and avocados are his favorite. At last, we asked him what his opinion was on why people keep coming back. He was very proud to say that people come back for the delicious food and for the amazing customer service that BK’s provided for everyone.

Final Takeaways

As a group we each decided that this is a place worth visiting again. Everything was as close to perfection as it could be, from the variety of Sonoran food to its consistency in flavor as well as the customer service. In both times we visited the restaurant, the employees always made sure we were taken care of and delivered food within 10 minutes while the food remained scrumptious. In other words, we both decided that Bk’s has the best authentic Mexican food in Tucson and we would definitely recommend it for others to try.

2680 1st Avenue, Tucson, AZ, 85719

(520) 207- 2245

BK Carne Asada & Hot Dogs

Mike Corrales Valencia is a Physiology and Medical Sciences major student at the University of Arizona and hopes to graduate 2026.

Elio Montano is a MIS major student at the University of Arizona and hopes to graduate in 2026.