The Completo sandwich: This particular hot dog sandwich from Chile doesn’t come up a lot when talking about what the best sandwiches around the world are. Frankly, there are way too many to even include in the conversation, but I believe this guy should hold a place in our collective sandwich memory.
Also, it’s been a couple of weeks since I did my last post on a South American sandwich, so this one is long overdue.
The completo sandwich is a different take on the hot dog, and comes usually with chopped tomatoes, mayonnaise, sauerkraut, green sauce, avocados,and cheese, depending on the variant. It sure comes with a lot of stuff, as the name suggests, and the size of the actual sandwich is close to two times that of an regular hot dog. So before anything, those are the main reasons for chosing to treat this as a sandwich instead of a hot dog.
But back to the ingredients, as the many combos you can get depends on what the actual name of the completo will be.
Variations of the Completo Sandwich
(in alphabetical order):
- A lo pobre: Eggs, fried onions and cheese.
- Alemán: Tomato, sauerkraut and mayonnaise.
- Antigua: avocado, salsa and American mayonnaise
- Atómico: chopped tomato, sauerkraut, mayonnaise, avocado, American sauce and hot pepper sauce.
- Brasileño: Melted cheese and avocado. Named for the similarity of their colors with the flag of Brazil.
- Chacarero: tomato, green beans, green pepper and mayonnaise.
- Chemilico: Scrambled eggs.
- Completo: Traditional version with chopped tomatoes, an insane amount of mayonnaise and sauerkraut. It comes with avocado in other cities.
- Dinámico: Tomato, American sauce, sauerkraut, avocado, salsa verde and mayonnaise.
- Español: Paprika and mayonnaise. Named for the similarity of their colors with the flag of Spain.
- Especial: Mayonnaise. This one is as close as you can get to eating a hot dog.
- Gringo: Tomato, cucumber, lettuce, onion and mayonnaise.
- Irlandés: lettuce, tomato and mayonnaise.
- Italiano: Chopped tomatos, avocado and mayonnaise. You can optionally eat this with ketchup, mustard and chili, seasoned with salt, pepper, lemon and oil. Named for the similarity of their colors with the flag of Italy.
- Luco: Melted cheese.
- Rodeo: Cheese, barbecue sauce and bacon.
- Simple: Chopped tomatos and mayonnaise.
- Suizo: Cheese, tomato and mayonnaise.
- Turco: Egg and cheese.
Origin of the name
Although the creation of the hot dog dates back to the second half of the nineteenth century in the United States, Chile came into the scene with the completo many years later. Eduardo Bahamondes was the first to bring the concept of the hot dog to Chile during the 1920s. Bahamondes, who had previously worked in American restaurants, decided to open an eatery in the Portal Fernández Concha, next to the Plaza de Armas in the Chilean capital of Santiago. The Quick Lunch Bahamondes was thus the first establishment to sell this variety of sandwich.
Find it right here ↓
Bahamondes introduced new ingredients such as ketchup and mustard which locals were reluctant to adapt to at the time. As a result, he started to incorporate mayonnaise, sauerkraut, tomato, avocado, and onions among other ingredients. It didn’t take long until the completo sandwich began appearing at other eateries close by, resulting in the Portal Fernández Concha area becoming the center of fast food in Santiago.
The general consensus is that the name of the sandwich comes because in Argentina a hot dog is requested as “completo” when you want all condiments on it. So being a resemblance of that, the Chileans took the name and simply ran with it. The sandwich is now a Chilean icon that is eaten on the regular by many people.
Undeniable in popularity, the completo sandwich is the perfect quick bite and the best hot dog upgrade one can get.