Every month my Downtown Detroit Luxury Loft hosts an outing for residents. Sometimes we are feted at new eateries, and sometimes we visit long-established businesses and traditions in Downtown Detroit.
This month it’s the latter. And if you think 8-Mile is ‘the divide’ in Detroit, you’re forgetting about the American Coney Island vs. Lafayette Coney Island ‘divide’—that actually joins and unites Detroiters!
Because, you see, while we Detroiters like to argue about which of these two excellent eateries is the better, the truth is, both offer an iconic Detroit delicacy. And we love them both.
First, what is a Coney Dog? Really. Well, for starters, it is not a ‘hot dog.’ Do not ever refer to it as a ‘hot dog.’ That is like referring to a Lamborghini as a ‘car.’ No one does that.
Second, a Coney Dog is not a wiener covered in chili. That would be a Chili Dog. A Coney Dog is a natural-casing beef wiener covered in Chili Sauce, a meaty, bean-less sauce that has a consistency like a soupy Sloppy-Joe. But the taste is not like a Sloppy Joe. In fact, the taste is like nothing you’ve ever had—unless you’ve had a real Coney Dog.
Third, it has onions. Yes, technically you can order a Coney Dog without onions. But you shouldn’t.
Fourth, mustard is not optional. Again, you can technically ask for it without mustard, but that’s like ordering a Lamborghini in an automatic. Technically an option, but not really an option.
In short, this is not When Harry Met Sally.
Next, where to start. My building’s Resident Event hosts have decided to start at Lafayette, where we’ll be treated to Coneys and Fries from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. on Thursday night. Then, from 7:00 until 8:00 p.m., we’ll move right next door to American to enjoy more Coneys and Fries!
Because the truth is you should never order ‘a Coney.’ You want at least two Coneys. And you want both Lafayette and American. And you want them as often as possible. Which is why it is great living just a block away from both of the iconic original Coneys!
*Alright. There may be some debate as to whether or not adding cheese improves a Coney Dog. It’s cheese, which is, well, cheese. However, if you should want a Coney Dog with Cheese you need to actually say “a Coney, with everything, plus cheese.” This is because a Coney, whether from American or Lafayette, is already ‘everything’ and a masterpiece in itself. The cheese is superlative.