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Old 09-08-2016, 02:34 PM
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GrtLksMarlin GrtLksMarlin is offline
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Default Cuisine of the Commonsewer...

Now I realize that this thread is going to both confuse some folks who are ignorant to finer fare not living in the Midwest, and then make others extremely jealous in that only a few of us live near the axis of the planet regarding this ambrosia of the gods, being S.E. Michigan. Never the less, here it is.

>>>WARNING<<<
Put on your drool bibs NOW!

May I present to you Common-sewers of fine dining, the Coney Island Hot Dog:

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Not just any old hot dog with this that or the other put on, but the Coney Island Hot Dog, or Coney Dog for the anxious to order masses, having actually nothing to do with Coney Island, N.Y., yet a phenomenon that spread through the Midwest. Initially the focal point item of Greek or Macedonian immigrant restaurants know as Coney Island's, who's hallmark is super fast service, always freshly cooked food, great breakfasts, awesome coffee and naturally, Coney Dogs.


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Odd as it may be, the first instance of a "Coney Island Hot Dog" is considered to have been in 1914 with both Ft. Wayne's Famous Coney Island Wiener Stand in Ft. Wayne, Indiana, and Todoroff's Original Coney Island in Jackson, Michigan, opening that year. Naturally the Detroit Historical Society lists it as Detroit in 1917, and who wouldn't fight over bragging rights for inventing this masterpiece of culinary perfection.

As with all things, there are some very firm rules about what exactly constitutes a Coney Dog. It must be a natural casing, hot dog, wiener or what ever you call it fine ground Vienna paste sausage. It MUST be cooked upon a griddle that everything else is cooked on, and naturally the longer it sits there, the better it is. The griddle must NEVER be washed! You may only scrape off the old residue, and typically at the finest of Coney Islands that serve just the basic fare, the dogs are lifted off via the cooks bare fingers!

However, that is simply a good hot dog...

To make a Coney Dog, you then must place it in a "steamed" white flour bun, dowse it liberally with a Beef Heart based Chili sauce, which is so unique it is actually Coney Sauce, beans included in the sauce risks execution or banishment to flip burgers at McDonalds. White Onions which MUST be crisp, the fineness of cut, debatable (finer the better IMO), and finally, a liberal 3-streaks or single tight squiggle of yellow, not brown, yellow mustard...and it MUST be shoved at and before you as though saying "hurry up and eat it, and get OUT!.

Besides your taste-buds reveling in their joy, you will instantly recognize that after you feel almost giddy. Satisfied and rejoicing in the perfectly balanced flavors that do not leave your mouth. In fact, you must be careful to not let the Coney Sauce itself to touch your skin. The scent will last for days even though you are tempted not to wash them but do, and I have literally from our local area had numerous people who will wherein upon you walking into a room, bug out their eyes, start sniffing the air, walk directly to you and state "you ate at _____ _____! How was it?!"

Why they ask that last is beyond me. They know how it was, it was amazing, the mystery of life, the nectar of the gods, and a slice of heaven on a bun. What is more amazing though is, I have had women, think about that a second, men are pigs, but a woman? Women ask me (not joking here), if they could "smell my fingers." Why I grew a mustache, that way I get more smoochin.


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Now don't get me wrong. Once you are delivered your Coney Dog, you can do any damn thing you want to it. However, there must be those basic ingredients. Louisiana Hot Sauce my preferred pepper sauce for it's vinegary flavor (in fact first tried at Coney Joe's (more on that in a minute)), most lean toward Pete's Red Hot, or whatever else one may choose to customize, or more screw up perfection to our own tastes.

Now I'm a firm believer that sweet pickle relish is for those who have not grown up. Sharp Dill pickle slices I suppose I can wrap my head around (not really, I'm lying, they have no place on a Coney)...Relish much like putting ketchup on a Coney Dog, pure blasphemy! Kid stuff, blech! That said, the local Legion Hall (more on them later) has a rather unique "Hot Relish" which I believe is more pepper based, and boy it's hot, and wow, it is deeeeelicious!

Now I get it, there are a lot of delicious hot dog styles....


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...In fact, without question the best dog I ever had in my life was just a couple years ago at a local bar which they called a "Yankee Hot Dog." Not NY Yankee, but New England. 1-pound select dog, wrapped in apple wood smoked bacon, celery salt, pepper, vinegar based slaw, tomatoes, red onion, dill pickles, some special sauce and lord knows what else. It was so orgasmically wondrous that I wish I had worn protection.

Never the less, it was NOT a Coney Dog.


With all that behind us however, it brings me to the point. S.E. Michigan has long been the axis of the Coney Dog world. Though many will claim the numerous standards of Detroit, others Flint, fact of the matter since 1972 there has been only one. Ranked the best year after year, my first experience with it in 1975, that being...

Coney Joe's of Brighton!

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Unfortunately, just this year this landmark, the home of truly the worlds greatest Coney Dog (and Chili Cheese Fries) has closed its doors and is up for sale. No doubt to never come back as it was, and the same (I hear they have even been wearing food service gloves! WTH?).

Never the less I live in S.E. Michigan, so there must be a suitable replacement to get by. Now of late I have been restraining myself to 2x/month going to the Legion Hall (more on them in a minute), however, a couple weeks ago the wife wanted to go to a Lion's Game (why?) and that gave me an opportunity to do something that all REAL men dream of...

To sample a Coney Dog at EACH of the Detroit landmark restaurants.

Now I have tried Coney Dogs all around the state, and most Coney Islands in the counties surrounding us with their inferior offerings. Some are, okay, others ehh, and some belch, patuiee! Making me want to spit more than a Woodward...well never mind that. None of them even close to Coney Joe's.

Yes, I've tried Angelo's in Flint, not even close...

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Even some posers elsewhere with their monstrosities...

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But none of them were close, with everyone telling me that I have to go hither, tither and yon in Detroit in that they have the BEST Coney there!
HA! Impossible! Bahahaha!
Never the less, that day I hit numerous legends in the Coney world, sampling one at each...
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...and I won't bore you with the rest, but SIX Coney joints in all, and they were pathetic renderings of the ultimate food group.
Which brings us to the American Legion Memorial Post #419 in Pinckney, Michigan. Within walking distance, crawling if you drink too much there and eat too many Coneys at $1.50 EACH (they were $1.25).
Click the image to open in full size.
Yeah, yeah, I know what you are saying. "That's not a Coney Joint?!" Well who cares in that compared to the old Coney Joe's they were just a smidge away from being as good as. With their hot relish...Well, almost better.
But Coney Joe's was going downhill since the Ol'Man died. His Daughters put up a great fight for a long time keeping up the tradition...Yet it has faded. Still better than anywhere else, I give my nod to Post 419.
Even though only serving Coney Dogs and Rootbeer Floats (oh and heavy poured booze) on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month from 5:00PM-7:30PM, they are by far, by a vast margin, the finest epicureal purveyors of the all-mighty CONEY DOG!...I do therefor proclaim them without question to be the VERY best in the world! Lack of Coney Chili Cheese Fries (idely with onions and mustard, and LHS) regardless. All hail American Legion Post 419!
Now tell me you're not hungry!
B.E.F.
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Old 09-08-2016, 02:56 PM
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Default Re: Cuisine of the Commonsewer...

You do know that Coney Island is in NYC right ?

Which brings me to the New York System in beautiful Olneyville, RI
So wonderful that David Byrne (of Talking Heads) once worked there

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Old 09-08-2016, 03:07 PM
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Default Re: Cuisine of the Commonsewer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rip Tide View Post
You do know that Coney Island is in NYC right ?

Which brings me to the New York System in beautiful Olneyville, RI
So wonderful that David Byrne (of Talking Heads) once worked there
Yeah, doh! I was so excited talking about Coney Dogs I was thinking Atlantic City

In any case, fixed! Thanks

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Old 09-08-2016, 03:19 PM
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Default Re: Cuisine of the Commonsewer...

Never been one to eat at a Coney Island. If I'm eating a hot dog it's coming off a grill... black... mmm black dog
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Old 09-08-2016, 03:25 PM
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Default Re: Cuisine of the Commonsewer...

Quote:
Originally Posted by itchmesir View Post
Never been one to eat at a Coney Island. If I'm eating a hot dog it's coming off a grill... black... mmm black dog
Pfft...You would become a Coney addict, especially with all the gals swarming over your to sniff your beard swooning.

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Old 09-08-2016, 03:47 PM
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Default Re: Cuisine of the Commonsewer...

I love a good hot dog...never had a coney but down here in the southwest its all about the sonoran dog...


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Old 09-08-2016, 04:13 PM
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Default Re: Cuisine of the Commonsewer...

You had me at "Louisiana Hot Sauce."

Now, please, for the love of God, someone close this thread. God, I miss those things.

My fix is in Tulsa, OK, the Coney I-Lander. Ate them ten at a time, while solving that week's puzzle on the chalkboard. Those things and Goldie's hamburgers; dang it, now I have to buy a plane ticket to Tulsa.
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Old 09-08-2016, 04:31 PM
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Default Re: Cuisine of the Commonsewer...

I grew up not far from Ft. Wayne, IN, and we had a Coney Island, and yes, it was run by a family of Greeks. The old man had the worst, and greasiest comb-over you have ever seen. I can still see him at the grill, lifting the wieners off with, yes, his bare fingers and placing them in the steamed bun. I can still smell the place. What memories. Ketchup? wasn't even in the building. Sadly, it closed shortly after the old man died. His kids tried to keep it going, too. Just wasn't the same.

Good post.
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Old 09-08-2016, 09:54 PM
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Default Re: Cuisine of the Commonsewer...

You might want to check this out and expand your horizons. I have a VHS copy.
A Hot Dog Program | Shows | PBS Food
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Old 09-08-2016, 10:20 PM
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Default Re: Cuisine of the Commonsewer...

You put a lot of work into this thread. They do look delicious. I really like Chicago dogs as well and know of a few places to get one with minimal risk of being shot at. I live near a populated area and not sure I have ever seen a dog operation larger than a street vendor for whatever reason.
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