Sonic Tex Mex Footlong Quarter Pound Coney

I’ve had a craving to get a fast food hot dog for a while now. Don’t ask me why; I get pregnant woman-esque cravings for random foods all the time. Since my local KFC/A&W hybrid went all Colonel all the time and there’s not a Wienerschnitzel close enough for my satisfaction, my only option is Sonic Drive-In.

What got me from “Gee, I should get a hot dog” to “Oh damn, I need that hot dog NOW” was Sonic’s Tex Mex Footlong Quarter Pound Coney. I think Sonic’s website describes it best: “Coney lovers won’t want to miss this footlong quarter pound hot dog topped with warm chili, crunchy FRITOS® chips, shredded cheddar cheese, diced onions, sliced jalapeños and zesty Southwest chipotle sauce all inside a soft, warm bakery bun.”

That’s a holy hell of a lot of toppings on a hot dog! Of course, my eyeballs immediately zoned in on the “Fritos” part. Sonic has had a Fritos Chili Cheese Wrap on the menu for a long time now, and I’ve always wanted to try it, just because it sounded ridiculous. It wasn’t until I watched some random episode of King of the Hill quite a few years ago that I realized Frito pie is a real thing, that real people actually eat. I blame Texas. You can blame Peggy Hill for me blaming Texas.

Armed with minimal knowledge of Frito pie, the Frito Wrap seemed mildly less ridiculous, but only in the way lutefisk seems less ridiculous just because it is real and exists outside the realm of unicorns and leprechauns. Lutefisk is still fish soaked in lye, and Frito pie is still a pie made with motherfucking Fritos. Humans are silly.

Reinforcing my judgmental glare towards Texas, I’m assuming the “Tex” part of Sonic’s Coney dog is the Fritos, chili and cheese, while the “Mex” is covered by the jalapeños and Southwest chipotle sauce. The onions straddle the middle, keeping Tex from pointing a shotgun at Mex and telling it to go back to where it came from and quit taking Americans’ jobs. Ouch. Topical.

Hot-button political issues aside, I had to try this hot dog. So I drove to my nearest Sonic, which weirds me out every time I go there. First of all, they have those car stalls where you park and place your order and somebody comes out on rollerblades and gives you a tray with all your Frito pie wraps and shit. If you’re going to commit to pretending it’s still 1956, why not have them wear roller skates? And didn’t rollerblades become passe in the 1990s? Sonic, you’re all over the place.

Second of all, if you want to be a self-respecting person and get your food at the drive-thru so you can take it home and engorge yourself in privacy, you still have to deal with the carhops. Instead of handing you your bag of grease through a window, you shout your order into the metal box and then drive up two car lengths, park, and wait for your food to be delivered to you via said carhop, who has to skate over three feet of concrete and then awkwardly step into the decorative bed of shrubs and rocks at the curb, struggling not to faceplant as she hands you your food and gives you your change via an attractive coinholder apron.

I felt bad for my carhop. I had to wait 15 minutes to get my food, and when she apologized for the wait, I told her it was okay, because I’m generally a nice person and she seemed pretty frazzled. Also, she was cute. She then thanked me for being so nice, and launched into a story about the car in front of me, who complained that their food was cold, made her get new food, then told her they were going to call someone to complain about their wait and demanded an unknown quantity of free food upon their next visit. She also said her feet were very tired. I felt bad for her, and wished her a better rest of the day. In hindsight, I probably should have tipped her. You’re probably supposed to tip carhops, and I was probably getting a sob story for a better tip. Sorry, cute girl, I suck at carhop etiquette.

Three paragraphs of curmudgeonly complaining about Sonic’s food delivery method aside, let’s get to the actual hot dog, shall we?

Okay, so first off, I did not take the moniker of “footlong” seriously until I slid this bad boy out of its foil pouch when I got home. Please see my wooden ruler that I probably stole from school in third grade for proof. This Coney is serious business. I was immediately hit with the strong smell of onions and jalapeños, which elicited a Pavlovian saliva response in my mouth.

I have never seen such a large hot dog. And so loaded with toppings! They certainly didn’t skimp on anything. I wasn’t even sure how to tackle the beast. After a few moments of contemplation, I just went for it. I had to actually use one hand to hold the end and the other to support the middle, or else the whole thing would have flopped over, spilling all the toppings and making me the saddest person holding a malfunctioned footlong hot dog.

I have to say, I love the Tex Mex Footlong Quarter Pound Coney. It feels so wrong, but it tastes so right. Amazingly, with all those toppings, almost all of the flavors have their own time to shine. You taste the spicy jalapeño first, along with the onion, which delivers a great crunch. As you chew more, the cheese and the chili come through. The chili is that thinner kind of chili that I just love on a hot dog. After you get through the chili, you hit the hot dog. I had my doubts about the quality of the hot dog, but it was actually really tasty. I wanna say it tasted like a dirty water dog, but I’m not a hot dog expert (yet), so don’t hold me to that.

The two ingredients that didn’t shine were the Fritos and the Southwest chipotle sauce. By the time I got my Tex Mex Coney home, the Fritos were already mostly soggy. They did contribute a corn flavor that I liked, which surprised me, but I would have appreciated some crunch from the chips. Luckily, the onions were bright and fresh, and made up for the crunch that the chips didn’t deliver. I managed to get a little of the chipotle sauce on my hand (well, actually, I got pretty much everything on my hands), and it was tasty, although a little too subtle on the chipotle. For this reason, the sauce absolutely disappeared when eating the hot dog itself. I think it faded into the flavor of the chili, which was disappointing. I wish I could just take some of that sauce home and put it on a plain hot dog to see how it would taste on its own.

Despite these two minor failings, I am crazy about Sonic’s Tex Mex Footlong Quarter Pound Coney. There was no way I could finish it in one serving, but I tried my best. Afterward, my stomach was…unsettled. Not nauseous, not “get ready for your bowels to punish you for eating such a monstrosity”, just sort of churning. I felt like my stomach was confused. It wasn’t sure what to do with so much craziness. Even despite this, I went back to the fridge two more times to take just a few more bites. Even a little cold, I still loved it. I was a slave to the Tex Mex Coney.

Texas has two stupid sayings: “Everything’s bigger in Texas” and “Don’t mess with Texas”. While I want to punch anyone who ever says these things in the face, they apply to the Tex Mex Footlong Quarter Pound Coney. It’s a giant hot dog with tons of toppings, and if you are not ready to get messy and ridiculous, this Coney is not for you. But if you’re like me, a person willing to eat a hot dog with corn chips on it that’s the size of my forearm, I urge you to try it. Just don’t make any plans for the rest of the day, because you will be rendered incapable of moving and also chugging down gallons of water due to the insane sodium content.

Also note that this is a limited time offer, so you better get moving (if you want to be rendered incapable of moving)!

  • Score: 4.5 out of 5 carhop faceplants
  • Price: $3.69
  • Size: 1 giant fuckoff footlong quarter pound Coney hot dog
  • Purchased at: Sonic #3517
  • Nutritional Quirks: Contains 80.1 grams of fat, which is 15.1 grams more than you’re supposed to have IN ONE DAY.  Also contains 2,551 milligrams of sodium, which is almost twice that of the Double Down and also exceeds the daily recommended intake for one full day.  YEE-HAW!

20 thoughts on “Sonic Tex Mex Footlong Quarter Pound Coney”

  1. How the hell is the fact that the fritos were soggy a “failing”? Technically it’s your fault that they were soggy since you waited until you got home…duh! And probably should have tipped…carhops work for little more than servers wage. Omg 4.5 out of 5 CARHOP FACEPLANTS. Gee you are so funny. I totally see the humor in someone getting hurt.

  2. “Technically it’s your fault that they were soggy since you waited until you got home”

    Seriously? Who the hell would want to eat that sloppy mess in their CAR?*

    The fact that Sonic doesn’t offer indoor dining pretty mush guarantees that no one with any sense will ever get to eat that thing while the fritos are still crisp….

    *Well, your OWN car… Eating it in someone else’s car might be amusing….

  3. You are such a wimp Kelley: “can’t eat the cooney in one sitting” is nothing to ever write in a blog. It devalues your wisdom as a foodie. You sound so inadequate to judge fast food Betty! I still posted your review at FB, since I agree with you 99.897458% in this article. I’m getting one for my son after his basketball practice tonight, will sit and watch him snarf one in less than 1.283112 minutes I suspect.

    Ordered mine with the tater-tots on the side which I did struggle finishing, but my beagle was with me, and she is so accommodating when it comes to doing the dishes from sonic; she polished off the spuds and licke the wax from containers.

    Phreckles and Michael McVey on FB
    long live sonic and AW rootbeer drive thru

  4. For the record, Sonic carhops get paid minimum wage. I worked at Sonic for a year, anyone who tells you they make less than minimum wage is a liar. Tips are NOT expected to make up wages at Sonic so don’t feel like you HAVE to tip. I don’t tip* and I worked there – that should tell you something!

    *If it’s pouring down rain or super cold or they’re on skates, they get a tip. I’m not completely heartless. Or if they’re super good looking or something. I’m not blind either.

  5. @Mike: Yes, I am a wimp. I have quite a small appetite. But I look at that as money-saving leftovers, and yes, I’m not ashamed to eat fast food leftovers. I don’t believe that not engorging myself doesn’t mean I’m not fit to judge the products tastiness at all. For the record, I did finish the dog…eventually. Also, sorry for all the double negatives.

    @Lizarella: Well, that does make me feel a little better. Thank you! In the future, I think I will throw a little tip at them.

  6. Really Lizarella? When I started working at Sonic I made minimum wage….and now I make five dollars an hour. As do all the other carhops that work for my group. And yes tips are supposed to make up the rest…and when they don’t they assume we are lying about tips and tell us they can terminate us if we don’t truthfully report tips. @ Hominygrits- some sonic restaurants actually do have indoor dining…and I’m pretty sure they all have a patio with tables and chairs.

  7. I’m a newcomer to your blog and loving it! (got here via the Jones bacon soda link from Impulse Buyer)

    I do want to let you know, for the record, what a Frito (The word Chili is not usually used in vernacular) Pie is. Or at least the ones I had growing up in Oklahoma. The ingredients are layered in a bowl in the following order, bottom-up with optional toppings starred:
    Beef Chili (with or without beans, made with a Lawry’s seasoning packet)
    Diced Onions*
    Shredded cheddar cheese
    Additions possible are salsa, sour cream, hot sauce, ketchup, mustard

    (no pie tins or casseroles or anything, though I’m sure there’s a casserole version. There are casseroles of everything.)

    Basically it’s just chili on fritos, but the sauce of the chili softens and breaks down the chips to be more like a corn-meal-esque base (crust?), and the topping of cheese melts from the heat of the chili to become a pseudo top crust, the chili of course being the filling to the “pie”.

    I never really liked them much, but in the winter hot chili with added cheese and carbs wasn’t so bad an idea.

    So, there you go. Authentic Oklahoman Frito Pie. Now. To have a Frito Pie made with Chili Cheese flavoured Fritos. That’s hardcore.

  8. One other thing. The carhops at the one I went to last time I was in Oklahoma wore both quad skates and inlines. Though for years they didn’t have skates. Insurance probably.

    I think the whole drive-up concept is a mid-south locale “oddity”, like Tastee-Freez and such. In the town I went to college in (Norman, OK) there were at least three if not more different drive-up restaurants.

    Anyway, sorry to be encyclopedic in your comments, just thought I’d share a bit.

  9. Arg. One more thing, that might make it easier to enjoy again – you eat it like a burrito – you leave it in the foil bag and just pop the front of the tray down, keeping it for support, and slide the coney out as you eat it. Reduces mess and it’s actually possible to eat in your car this way. The tray (should be) perforated in the middle to ease the halfway transition.

    I shut up now. 🙂

  10. Hahaha. Thank you for all the info, Kelly no “e”! I take any and all information and don’t mind you being encyclopedic at all. I never noticed perforation on my tray, but that would have made it a *lot* easy to eat. When (not if) I get another one of these, I will definitely keep that in mind!

    As for Frito pie, I had a vague idea of what it was but never had it broken down like that, so thank you. Also, it would be totally hardcore to use chili cheese Fritos. So meta! Plus, they are delicious.

  11. @Lizarella: Just because you make minimum wage does not mean that all of the carhops Nationwide make minimum wage. Your payrate varies by location and depends on whether or not your Sonic is a franchise or a corporate-owned location. I have worked at 1 location where I made mimumum wage and a separate location in the same city that made $4/hr with tips being reported.

    Skates: It depends on your location, but most Sonics will allow you to skate in whatever you’re comfortable with — rollerblades or classic skates.

    It is quite possible to eat this in your car, thus avoiding the soggy fritos dilemma — it SHOULD come complete with a plastic-wrapped fork for you to eat it with. You don’t have to eat it with your hands like a noob.

    Also, being a native of Texas, I don’t quite empathize with your lack of understanding in regards to the Frito Pie — Frito Pie is not actually a pie. It’s basically three ingredients that you pile into a bowl, mix up/mash, then eat with a fork or spoon. Chili, Shredded Cheese, Fritos in a bowl = Frito “Pie”. It doesn’t have to be in any particular order, and people add ingredients based on personal taste (onions, sour cream, etc.) Hence, the Frito Wrap. It’s not entirely easy to eat Frito Pie “on the go”, but in wrap form — it is entirely possible.

    Most newer Sonics have the classic “drive-in” but also come with a Drive-thru ike any other fast-food place. It is customary to tip carhops. Essentially, they are your waitresses: they bring your food and if you eat in the parking lot, they periodically come out and ask if you need anything else (ketchup, mayo, etc.) or would like dessert.

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