crispy dogs at ray’s drive inn (san antonio)

I went to Ray’s Drive Inn last year to taste the original puffy taco, and the space and the puff delivered. And then, earlier this week, I read an article in Texas Monthly about crispy dogs, including those at Ray’s.

Crispy what?

I missed them on the menu on my last visit (I was on a mission for puffiness, after all), but, as happenchance would have it, I was in San Antone on Thursday for a meeting that ended, conveniently, right before lunch.

The crispy dog, apparently invented by a San Antonio abuela or tia, is a yellow corn tortilla slapped with a slice of American cheese and rolled around a frankfurter before undergoing a deep fry. Oh my, is it delicious. The yellow tortilla is crisp but chewy while the all-beef, coarse-grained dog is juicy, warm, and cuddled with melted cheese. It is, as you might imagine, rich even though it’s considered “struggle food.” It’s one of those dishes that probably takes 15 minutes off your life expectancy but you don’t care. Trust me (unless you’re a vegan/vegetarian): you don’t want to die without trying one of these.

Although the crispy dog is carried by fewer and fewer restaurants, some other places to check out are M. K. Davis Restaurant & Bar for traditional doggies and Burgerteca for a chef’d-up version. Ray’s has been rolling ’em since 1956, so they got ’em figured out. My two dogs (like the critters boarding Noah’s ark, they come paired) cost $5.

And, yes, you can order a crispy dog plushie.

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