We took a short trip to our sister city Detroit to see Nick Cave this week, and I knew I had to stop in American Coney Island in the D. While I am pretty well known for going to some of the more fine dining kind of places every once in a while you have to go back to the classics. There is nothing more American than a hot dog, and how can you say no to a place called AMERICAN CONEY ISLAND?
The American Coney Island Hot Dog has been a favorite with Detroiters and visitors for nearly a century. As Detroiters have moved to other parts of the country, and as visitors have returned to their respective states, the American’s reputation has spread throughout the country. Over the years, American has received countless requests from people who wanted to have the Coney Islands shipped to them – either for their own restaurants, their own consumption or for parties or special events.
One of the most-frequently-mentioned comments that former Detroiters who have moved out-of-town say is: one of the things they miss most about Detroit is Coney Islands from the American Coney Island downtown on Lafayette Street!
One of the reasons for the great popularity of the American’s Coney Islands is the high-quality, specially-seasoned, natural casing hot dogs that have always been served at the American. Another reason is the Coney Island chili sauce which is specially prepared using a secret recipe the Keros’ developed decades ago. And, of course, the topping of fine mustard and fresh, chopped sweet onions adds the final touch to the distinctive overall taste and flavor of the Coney Island hot dog which is served in a warm, steamed bun. No wonder the American Coney Island hot dog has been such a tantalizing treat to the palate that’s still hard to beat after all these years!
I am hard pressed to have even a reference point to compare an American Coney in Cleveland. Yes we have the Happy Dog which is amazing. Sure we have Steve’s Lunch and even the Hot Dog Inn which cater to the standard chili dog crowd. However an American Coney is an experience. Perfectly seasoned hot dogs, with that snap that no dogs in Cleveland seem to be able to bring to the plate. Back in the day a Brookside frank from the market would get you a nice little snap but not even those can compare to the natural casing on an American dog. Add on their special recipe chili, a stripe of traditional yellow mustard, chopped sweet vidalia onions and you have America right there on a freshly steamed bun.
If you want your very own American Coney experience you can buy a kit online on their website. Each kit contains 12 Dearborn Sausage brand special recipe hot dogs, buns, a sweet onion, the magical chili sauce, instructions and a hat. Or you can just drive a couple hours and experience the real deal. Try out some of the chili cheese fries and watch the dogs sizzle live on the griddle. The one thing that you can’t get from the kit is some of the best customer service on the planet. Seated at the counter near the kitchen we were treated like we were regulars. We even were allowed to buy a couple of their very own employee shirts. Anyone that can turn just a plain old hot dog into an amazing experience is A-okay in my book.